The last few days of this week should surely be dedicated to panic. Trying to get last minute, unique and wonderful gifts (which you should of been shopping for ages ago) and fighting your way round the likes of Super U. It’s the international language of the days before Christmas: panic, stress, a large dash of chaos and a desperate need for inspiration.
But there is good news for the French foodie or the foodie in France.
I am genuinely grateful to the Office de Tourisme du Pays de Fontenay Le Comte who have been running a “Made in Fontenay” campaign to support and promote local producers and artisans and provide inspiration to us last minute shoppers. If you’re stuck for some foodie stocking filler ideas or just want something a little special and very local on your Christmas table, here are some of their top culinary recommendations:
La Lutine a mouth watering and award winning Boulangerie with shops in L’Orbrie (Mervent), Pissotte (I know a lady who always stops here on her way home from Fontenay) and Fontaines and their salted butter, caramel yule log sounds both unusual and divine.
La Domaine de Boisse (rue Phelippon Baudray, Fontenay) specialise in duck and pigeon and have a wonderful selection of pigeon patés and rillettes (have that along with your snail spread perhaps).
Then (and one that I’m definitely heading to), there is a talented chocolaterie at L’Atelier du Gout in Foussais Payré (rue Melusine) who is well worth a visit and don’t forget to try the Fief Vendéens wines from Pissotte. I’ve heard mixed reviews about these so would love to know what you think.
Last minute gifts.
Thanks also to the Tourist Office for the heads up on some local artisans and gift ideas. For unique, hand painted glassware head to Jacqueline Diot (6 rue Du Moulin a Tan Les Loges in Mervent) where you’ll find mirrors, glasses, vases and photo frames and to Emma Creations in Montreuil (rue Chantefoin). Or there are quality leather goods at L’Octroi (Place de la Bascule) in Fontenay and metalcraft and sculptures at the Fonderie d’Art (rue Kléber, Fontenay).
Time for one last Christmas market in the Vendée.
Finally, if you haven’t yet enjoyed the delights of a local Christmas market then head down to Fontenay Le Comte this weekend. Starting today they’ve got all sorts of things going on including ice skating, ice sculpture, rides in a horse drawn carriage and tours of the old town, not to mention of course an artisans market and something described as “ambulation”!?
Well I hope that this blog has provided a little bit of inspiration and respite from the mayhem of the next few days. With luck you’ll soon be enjoying a well earned rest as well the blue skies and crisp weather!
The festive season always sees a massive surge in the number of people looking online at properties and hard as it is to believe at this point of chaos, people start thinking of buying or selling a property over the holidays. So after Christmas I’m hoping to catch up with local estate agents Agence Melusine to find out what tips they have for those of you thinking about a move in 2014. Until then, Joyeux Noel and I wont wish you happy new year as I understand this is considered bad luck before the 1st (which explains the odd looks I got last year).