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Anyone living in Deux sevres...charente


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Sid are there good markets in the area to buy sea-food and organic foods.We are concidering moving to the area and plan to cook for guests.

Can you tell us a little about life in the are?Do you find it a good place to be.

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Jon

We think it's a great place to be... but it depends what you are looking for! Anyone who knows me would fall about laughing at the idea of my offering gastronomic advice [:)]... so I won't.

Seafood is of course available at the local market (Saturday) in Chef-Boutonne and the local shops and supermarkets have plentiful supplies of good, fresh food. This is primarily an agricultural area, so you wouldn't expect anyting else.

What worries me about this question is the thought of you planning to come here on the recommendation of someone you don't know, and having picked a spot seemingly with the aid of a map and a pin. We spent 25 years holidaying in France and had an exact idea of where we'd like to live based on previous visits.

At the very least I'd say you need to visit the area yourself and check out those criteria YOU think are important. Do you hope to make a living from your guesthouse? If so, you could be disappointed, there are hundreds, if not thousands of Brits here already, many of them with gites and B&B. Whilst the area is fantastic for us it's hardly directly on the tourist trail (thankfully!).

I recommend an extended stay, and also a visit in the winter; the sun doesn't always shine here.

Regards

Sid 

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We have had our house for nearly 6 years, just a few miles north of St Jean d'Angely. Love the house but maybe now are finding the area a bit too quiet - village becoming more ghost like each time we go, & it seems to be getting hotter every summer!!! Also, as we get older & hope to retire in France we feel we may want to move nearer a town so that the bars & cafes are within walking (or hobbling) distance. Everywhere (?) from our place seems to be a good half hours drive away.  Having said that, the people are lovely & friendly - would we be as welcome further north - where we are thinking of moving to?

Kathy

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We have to decide between ....where you are and near to St Foy Le Grand just outside a village...well about 1 km.It is to set up buisness and attract  tourism.The house in your arear obviously lacks vines and the other house is in a parc surrounded by grapes.

Funny how we all want something different....but the buisness aspect is important.

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Reply to Sid...... We owned a home in Cognac and near St Malo              You are, with respect not talking to someone who has not owned property in France.                                                                                                       ..

May I say there are many British people  offer simplicity because that is "their way" and they are not familiar or interested in Chic. Some people venture on holiday to find luxury and like to be pampered.There was no pin in the map by the way!

It just happens that we have seen a house in that region which we find especially  lovely.I have to say that wherever I go in France I am sure that I will enjoy being there more than I   enjoy London life..I am have spent more than 30 years holidaying in France and some of that time was in Jan and Feb.

Dull does not have to mean british..... but maybe Charente is not a gastronomic paradise....

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Everybody seems to be asking about some fictitious place called chef du boutonne.  As Sid mentioned, it's called Chef-Boutonne.

It's a one-horse town stuck in the middle of nowhere, right on the border between rural Deux-Sevres and rural Charente.  The properties may be nice and the people may be very pleasant, but as Sid says, it's not exactly in a popular tourist area - unless you are looking for the simplicity of shuttered-up villages and cows....

Jon, you say you lived in Cognac - that's just less than an hour's drive to Chef-Boutonne. If you yourself never bothered to go up there, then I'd be surprised if any British tourists would put it on their list of holiday destinations.

To be honest, it needs some more research in terms of being a business opportunity....

 

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As it happens I owned a house in Cognac....did not live there.I did not venture to Chef Boutonne...which was an hour away, obviously in the wrong direction.

So where is a lively  place to be...to your mind ..Where are you based?Well this was begining to take on the complexion of the dear old Chiswick web site in London.So never mind the lovely house  I will have to go towards  the vines and the prosperty in order to sustain my apperitite for good food and making a living  from providing it to others..

Sorry that some of you got a little flustered on a sunday afternoon....I was only researching.

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[quote user="Sunday Driver"]

Everybody seems to be asking about some fictitious place called chef du boutonne.  As Sid mentioned, it's called Chef-Boutonne.

It's a one-horse town stuck in the middle of nowhere, right on the border between rural Deux-Sevres and rural Charente.  The properties may be nice and the people may be very pleasant, but as Sid says, it's not exactly in a popular tourist area - unless you are looking for the simplicity of shuttered-up villages and cows....

[/quote]

I am so glad someone else said this before I did and got shot down. We lived on the borders of Charente, Deux Sevres and Vienne for three years. We were at least forty minutes from anything resembling a good sized town, not that I am a townie. The nearest commerce was 3 kilometers away and that was only a bakers. The nearest butchers - non supermarket - was 15 km. I used to go to an art class in Chef (as Chef Boutonne is called by the local English) and yes the people are very nice but even in summer it has no life and in winter - well. We knew one couple who ran a gite complex and did OK but they had bought when property was rock bottom price and still had to constantly upgrade to keep the trade. There is an oversupply in the gite and B&B in the area and plenty of restos already owned by Brits - check out Verteuil where some friends updated me on the bar and restaurent situation recently. Sorry to sound negative but 'not with a barge pole'

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This looks as if it is going to be a story with a sad ending.

The house in question is really special annd needs to find new inhabitants as the present owners need to get back to live with family in England.We felt that the area was wrong for our project...however had hoped that we had miss judged.

So what sort of people would want to settle in a  very large house in this area?I have no problem with the matter of where I should be...because I know.....I also realise that coming from London so many things will change.That is another topic.....anybody out there living in France, originating from London?

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[quote user="jon"]We have to decide between ....where you are and near to St Foy Le Grand just outside a village...well about 1 km.It is to set up buisness and attract  tourism.The house in your arear obviously lacks vines and the other house is in a parc surrounded by grapes.
Funny how we all want something different....but the buisness aspect is important.
[/quote]

I can't believe that with a country the size of France you have to decide between just these 2 places which you've never even been to.  [:-))]  If this is serious research I think your business is destined to fail. [+o(]

Chef-Boutonne is a nice, small town (I'm not sure that the inhabitants would like it described as "one-horse" [:$] ) and is our nearest market town. We picked the area exactly because of what it is... quiet!

What's wrong with starting your business in Cognac? Surely you'll have a better idea of what the possibilites are like there. And why are vines so important;  are you going into wine production too?

I can't decide whether this is really a serious posting, so I think I'll leave it at that.

Sid

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Sid  what is all this.

I was having a friendly conversation....asking about the area of Chef Boutonne and  somebody comes along and calls it A ONE HORSE TOWN......it was not  me!

However I think that it is crazy to assume that I will fail.Why are you judging  me?

No I  am not going to produce wine.....but I have friends who have owned a succesful vinyeard and I have been directly involved with the fine wine buisness.What, infact Sid you talk with great omniscience.

You have assumed that you are talking to someone who has no buisness experience......but you are wrong Sid.

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your better of going to fontenay le comte  theres more tourists there and theres a small theme park in the vouvant and mervent forest but theres loads of tourist there aswell, also  la roche sur yon  is abig city with a big shopping mall where you can get all the latest fashion but theres alot of wealthy people there so its a bit more pricey for the propertys
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It strokes me Jon, that if you had been a lot more forthcoming with information about yourself, your quest and your knowledge of France etc from the start, you would have got a more informed response. It seems that each time Sid mentioned something you countered him with new information.  You seem to know a lot about the trade but Sid's point about the Charente and France in general being awash with gites and chambre d'hotes is very valid and you will not make much money from a guest house miles off the beaten track when those in the tourist areas are struggling.  If you want advice or help, it really is essential to let people know the full story rather than drip feed it out.  Personally looking at your first post, I would not have even bothered to respond to it, but that's me, others are more tolerant of capital letters and lack of care when posting.[:$]

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Thank you Woody and co...yes indeed we know around Cognac...but we have only spent a week in Deux Sevres.Throughout the years we have traveled from Pas De Calais, Sommes,Normandy, Broittany, Paris, Loire,     Vendee.

         cote d, azur, Provence, around Montpellier, Arles....near Couloure, Biaritz, Bayonne, Arcachon... and toowards the Spanish border from both sides.There are places in France where I have not been...as yet...my life is not over.The problem is that I have enjoyed almost all of the regions.

My heart is not just ruled by the surroundings but by the property....and when you fall in love ...some of us are ruled buy our hearts not our head!

However....wherever we go it seems to work because we put our heart and soul  into the project and we have been known to be an asset to our area....but this is not a CV...and I am not applying for a job or approval.

My favourite areas are near Valmont and Veules les Roses.

Near Coutances and the coast of Manche.

Bayeaux town.Bidart near Biartiz.

Dinan. Saumur and some of the small towns aroun...Chinon.

And, of course round and about St Emillion.

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Ron....what is wrong?I asked questions about a region....

Is the forum about helping each other find and enjoy life in France or about looking for blemishes?

What would you all like to know about me before we talk about a region.Yes I do know a lot about the leisure buisness....and I have given it the best years of my life and when I come to France and stay in hotels and B and Bs I can see why the busy ones are busy and why the others are not.I have learnt by early mistakes....however I am not rude to others.......I pay my bill and go.

I think that I have told you a lot about myself.......

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I live near Chef Boutonne, it is indeed a smallish town, its quite rural all around the area and has a goodly poplulation of English as does a fair bit of this area, especially as you travel over towards, Sauve Vaissais and Civray etc, now thats a bad thing and of course you keep your own company as desired, I find it very easy to keep myself myself busy without the need to huddle with others but some do and I have no truck with that,   As others have said it is not really a tourist area and gites seem to be plentifull yet fraught with problems of bookings, as owners seem to come and go.   Melle is nice, St Jean D'Angely, Niort and Poitiers will all provide lots to do and see to name but a few, make your choice wisely according to your needs and a great life awaits.
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I have just been  sent the deatils about the lavender harvest in Basindtoke?Looks wonderful.Good to hear from some one like bluebell who has wise words and obviously kindness in he heart.

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Ok Jon, just like to correct what I wrote previously - when I said ' now thats a bad thing', I actually meant 'now thats not a bad thing ',  will teach me to not think about grass cutting in between writing - appologies to anyone offended oops!!
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What is wrong Jon is that you came along and asked a vaque question, when people like Sid started to help you, making assumptions about your situation to assist you, you then drip fed more information that said basically I know more about this than you do. That is what was wrong.  Yes Jon you have told people a lot about yourself.  Good luck with the guest house.
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