What to see and do
We live in a quiet hamlet (Les Morinauds), near the pretty village of Brives sur Charente (45 40 03 N 0 27 13 W), in the 'Petite Champagne' near Cognac. The next village is only 2 miles away. Our rural setting is perfect for walking, cycling and getting away from it all for all the family.
Cognac and beyond!
For families, Cognac has a huge open air swimming pool and play park. The surrounding area has a great deal to offer from the buzzing town of Cognac (lots of cafes and boutique shops, not forgetting the world-famous distillery tours - Hennessy, Otard, Remy-Martin, Martell, Camus and - in Jarnac - Courvoisier) or try a visit to a more local, intimate distillerie, to the beautiful ancient towns of Pons and Saintes. Weekly local markets are held in Cognac, Pons and Saintes. There are a multitude of local restaurants and bars all within an easy drive. Some are (luckily!) only about 15 minutes by bike. Canoes can be hired at nearby Dompierre, Cognac and Pons. The Chateau des Enigmes near Pons and the Paleosite (near Saintes) make wonderful days out for children. Adults may prefer a trip to the beautiful village of Aubeterre sur dronne (now officially recognised as one of France's prettiest villages) or Oradour sur Glane to visit the World War II martyrs' village and memorial.
The beautiful beaches of St George-de-Didonne and St Palais-sur-Mer are a 30 minute drive way and La Palmyre Zoo (one of the biggest zoos in Europe with over 1600 animals to delight all the family) is about an hour's drive. There is plenty to do for the whole family.
It is lovely being able to shop at the local food markets in Pons, Cognac or Saintes which are exceptionally good. The produce is fabulously fresh,the selection of locally caught fish is outstanding and the cheeses are simply delicious. Every town and village hosts a Brocante throughout the summer - these are an enjoyable mixture of car boot sales and local, village fairs where you can pick up a bargain, buy local produce and eat alfresco!
There are also many marvellous marked walks and cycleways commencing at Brives sur Charente and our surrounding villages (see the maps and guidebooks in the gites).
The 'necessary' bits....
Post Office: Brives sur Charente & Cognac or Pons.
Local shops: Salignac, Perignac, Ars, Dompierre and Rouffiac.
Cash point: Chaniers and at all local supermarkets.
Banks: Cognac and Pons.
Children's Play Park: Base de plein-air Andre Mermet (Cognac).
Tennis: Rouffiac or Ars.
Swimming (indoor and outdoor): Cognac and Saintes, Charente, coast.
Doctor, Dentist & Hospital: Cognac.