General Information
 

 

 
  Local
Shops
Supermarkets Markets Banks Bars Restaurants Sports Activities
 & Interests
      
Tourist      Offices        Local
 Attractions
 

Local towns:     Jarnac  6km     Châteauneuf-sur-Charente  9km    Cognac 15km      Segonzac  9 km      Angoulême 30km      
         
         
  Local Shops

The COOP grocery shop in St Même is open from 8h00-12h30 and 15h00-19h00 (sometimes later in summer months) and on Sunday mornings from 9h00 to 11h45.  It is closed on Mondays. 

The Pharmacie is open 9h00– 12h15 and 14h00-19h30 Monday to Friday. It is open on Saturday from 9h00-12h30. 

The Boulangerie in St Même on Route de Chateauneuf is open from 7h15-13h00 and 15h00-19h00 and closed on Monday.   It is open Sunday and Bank Holiday mornings.           

There is also a cobbler and several hairdressers in the village.           

The square in St Même has a small market on Thursday mornings with a fruit and vegetable stall, fish stall and charcuterie/boucherie.

 
         
  Supermarkets

The hypermarket AUCHAN in Cognac is open from 8h00—22h00  It is closed all day Sunday. 

SUPER U in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente is open from Monday to Saturday from 09h00 to 19h30.

INTERMARCHE are available in Jarnac and Segonzac.  They are also open on Sunday mornings from 9h00 to 11h45.

 
         
   

In France shops close for lunch which can be any time between 12h00 to 15h00.  In Jarnac most shops close on Sundays and Mondays.

 
         
  Markets

Jarnac has a covered produce market open in the mornings with an open market on the first Saturday of the month.  Tuesday and Friday are the days for the fish stall in the market.

Every Sunday Segonzac has a market in the town square with the best being on the first Sunday in the month.

On the 27th of every month, the whole town of Rouillac becomes a street market.  Highly recommended. Many, many more, ask for details.

 
         
  Banks The nearest Banks and Cash Machines (ATM‘s) are in Jarnac.  Banks also close during the lunchtime period and are closed on Mondays  
         
  Bars French rural bars are not like English Pubs and will often close by 21h00.  The Bar in St Même sells papers, magazines, cigarettes, as well as serving coffee and alcoholic drinks.  It is also a much-used betting shop.  In July and August it has an open Terrasse on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.  More liberal opening hours are found in bars in the more tourist -orientated towns such as Cognac and Angoulême,  
         
 

Restaurants

Booking is highly recommended at most restaurants in summer months.  Lunchtime food is strictly served between 12h00 to 14h00 and it is as well to arrive by 13h00 to be sure of eating.   Where not stated please check opening hours because most local restaurants are closed Sunday evenings and all day Mondays.  Again Cognac is tourist-orientated and more flexible in its times.

St Même les Carrières

Le Goût du Jour  Route de Châteauneuf.  Catherine runs our local restuarant where she offers home cooked food to eat in or take away.  Open Tuesday to Thursday 11am for lunches. Friday and Saturday it is open from 11am to 10pm. Open more hours in the summer as advised by Catherine.  

Bar du Centre    Lunchtime menu available from 11 euros   Tel:  05 45 32 13 45 

Bassac

L'Auberge de Conde - Place de la Poste.  Good lunchtime and evening menus.  One of our favourties.  Tel:  05 45 88 09 67.

Segonzac

La Cagouillarde. Closed Saturday lunchtime, Sunday evening and all day Monday.

Tel: 05 45 83 12 99 

 
Jarnac

L’Alambic - good lunchtime food available from 12h00-14h00 inside or outside on the place du Château.  Tel: 05 45 81 19 58

Bar du Théâtre - again good lunchtime food in the place du Chateau.

La Chaumière - closed Sunday evening and all day Monday. Tel: 05 45 81 64 66

Restaurant du Château - definitely more up-market.   Tel: 05 45 81 07 17 

St Simon

La Chabourne  - closed Tuesdays.  Good value menu and eat inside or out in the village square.  Tel: 05 45 67 82 88

Bourras

L’Abri des Pins - closed Mondays.  Good value five course set menu with wine (no choices) for €10.50.  Tel: 05 45 35 81 27

 

Touzac

Le Doci - closed Wednesdays and Bank Holidays Tel: 05 45 97 59 82

 

Barbezieux

La Pizzeria du Fair Play - closed Sunday and Monday evenings.   

Eat inside or outside Tel:  05 45 78 03 99

 

Cognac

Many eating establishments available, catering for tourists, often with menus in   English, many around the central “Place Francois Premier”.

 

Gensac

Grizzly’s - just outside Cognac, good value “trucker stop” with set five course lunch and wine for €11.00. No choice, no luxury but heaving with testosterone.

   

Bourg-Charente

La Ribaudière  - for that extra special occasion.  One Michelin One Star riverside restaurant.  Tel: 05 45  81 30 54

 
         
 

Sports Activities and Interests

Boules

We have our own boules set here and there is a boules pitch nearby in the village, close to the football pitch on the Châteauneuf road.

 

Cycling & Mountain Biking (VTT)

Cycling is a great way to explore the local area and a perfect holiday activity for all the family.

Bike Hire Direct offer a wide range of bicycles and accessories and include free delivery and collection to Chez Anne.  Their childrens and adult bikes are great value.  Speak with either Natasha or Neville on 05 45 36 19 09 or online at www.bikehiredirect.com  

 
Fishing

Fishing licences (daily or weekly) can be bought from one of several equipment shops in Jarnac.  Carte de Pêche “Vacances”  can be purchased covering 15 consecutive days between 1st June and 31st December for 30 euros.  Remember they close for lunch and are not open Sundays and Mondays.

 

Go-Karting

Indoor and Outdoor Go-Karting at Nercillac, open Tuesday to Sunday from 15h00—24h00 (19h00 on sundays).  Tel:  05 45 83 22 60

 

Golf

St Brice, near Cognac, has a magnificent course and visitors are welcome. It boasts eighteen holes and four practice holes.  Open every day from May to September.  Tel: 05 45 32 18 17.   Check for other months. Restaurant.  Tel: 05 45 35 38 50 

 

Horse-Riding    

At Foussignac, riding, trekking and lessons (horses and ponies). Tel:  05 45 35 40 79

 

Horse Racing

In Jarnac at the Hippodrome du Quint — race meetings on the first three Sundays in September.

 

Kayaking

Rent from the outlet near the bridge in Jarnac, hourly, half day and day lessons and trips.  Friday nights in July and August, a night-time trip followed by barbeque (booking required in advance).Tel: 05 45 81 32 01

Also Gondeville, the Club Canoë-Kayak .            Tel: 05 45 81 20 79

 

Microlight Flights 

For around 20 euros, there are microlight flights from the Pierre Levée aérodrome near St Même on the St Preuil road, available at weekends.

 

Nautilus           

Sailing, windsurfing, rowing and motor boating available in Angouleme at Nautilus.  Also has Water Park with many and varied swimming pools (ice-skating area for 8 months of the year) as well as “relaxation” area with spa, saunas and zen garden.   Tel: 05 45 95 50 00

 

Pub     

The riverside pub of the Pub Gabariers lies in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Charente at Saint-Simeux, open every day, serving lunch and evening meals and with live concerts some weekends.  See website for opening hours and menus and concert details.  Tel:  05 45 66 23 11

www.pubgabariers.com

 

Recreation       

In the heart of Jarnac, near the bridge at Ile Madame, this outdoor area swimming pool is open every day from 15th June to 1st September and includes volley-ball and basket ball pitches, children’s’ playground and skateboarding.

 

Skateboard

Small skateboard area in St Même, near football pitch.

 

Tennis

Tennis court in Mainxe—approx 3 kms from here.

Jarnac Tennis Club can arrange for summer membership or pay approximately 8 euros an hour.   Tel: 06 14 38 91 30 Also at Gondeville.  Tel: 05 45 81 19 06

 

Thermal Spa

Book a day visit at the thermal spa at Jonzac.   Tel: 05 46 48 59 59

 

Walking           

Walk through the vines along the towpath of the Charente from Bourg Charente through Jarnac to Bassac.  Ramblers’ maps are available from Tourist Offices.

 

Water Ski

Planet Ski here in St Meme.  Children and adults, new or experienced, one off or courses to suit.  Even Baby Ski!   Children from 7 euros and adults from 15 euros.

Tel: 06 86 81 66 33. Denis Garcia or deniski@aol.com

 

Vélo Rail                      

Pedal your own carriage truck from Manot to Ansac. Tel: 05 45 71 16 64

 
         
  Local Tourist Offices:   

Jarnac:  Tel: 05 45 81 09 30

Châteauneuf  Tel: 05 45 97 13 32

Segonzac  Tel: 05 45 83 37 77

Cognac Tel:  05 45 82 10 71

Rouillac  Tel:  05 45 21 80 05

   
       
 

Local Attractions

Information and leaflets on all the following attractions are available from our (very helpful) local tourist offices.   You can also check the file in the entrance where I have a selection of literature for you to peruse.

 

Cognac

You are staying in the Premier Cru area for Cognac production.  Most of the local producers have their own distilleries as well as the larger “names” such as Courvoisier, Bisquit, Hine, Hennessy, Martell and Remy Martin.   Follow the signs off the road to taste (dégustation) and purchase Cognac, Pineau and wines from the smaller producers.  Mr Thorin, Mme Lascaux and Mr Martin are just some of our local small producers. There are also many tours available and a museum to visit in the old town of Cognac itself, and you can see the old “quays” from where Cognac used to start its world-wide journey. (Pineau is a sweet aperitif or dessert wine made from a combination of cognac and wine first produced in Jarnac.)    

 

Beauty and Holistic Therapies - The Riverside Retreat

Enjoy a little pampering at our local riverside salon where beauty and holistic therapies are on offer. Manicure, pedicure, make-up, facials, massage, reflexology.  Call Allison Tel: 05 45 81 61 38    www.theriversideretreat.co.uk


Artists  

An artist colony at Talmont, a picturesque coastal village.  Restaurant Sarl le Promontoire is a popular fish restaurant.

 

Chocolate

There, that got your attention!  Regular tours at the wonderful Chocolaterie Letuffe in Trois-Palis, on the road to Angouleme. Tel: 05 45 91 05 21

 

Churches         

Roman Catholic church services held in St Même Église.

Protestant church in Jarnac. Service 11 a.m. Sept-June,  10.30 July-Aug .

Protestant Temple in Segonzac

 

Bassac Abbey

Founded in the 11th Century, Bassac Abbey, was given a new lease of life in 1947 by the arrival of the missionary brothers of Saint Theresa of the Infant Jesus.  Monks still live around the Abbey cloisters and it is used as a retreat and meditation centre. Unaccompanied and guided visits every day 1500-1800.   Tel:  05 45 81 94 22

Church services also held here, times vary.

 

Festivals

There are many and varied festivals and ferias held in the area, especially over the summer months.  Please see local details available in the tourist office publications held here, as times and dates vary from year to year.

 

Futuroscope

An amazing theme park just north of Poitiers, dedicated to the world of cinema and the moving image.  There are huge screens and fantastic projectors that allow you to experience flying, falling, space flight and other super real effects.  There are rides for kids and spectacular laser shows in the evening.  Destination Cosmos is a stunning journey to the limits of the universe.  Tel 05 49 49 30 80 for times and tariffs. Or www.futuroscope.com.

 

Gardens

Visit the specialist Fuschia Garden in Mansle with 500 varieties on show, Parc Floral in Magne (near Gencay) and the arboretum in Saint-Fraigne. Nearer to home, the park in Jarnac is a lovely walk and the Francois Premier park in Cognac well worth a visit.

 

Historical Sites

La Rochefoucald Château is reputed to be one of the best in France, and was the château of Francois Premier (contemporary of Henry 8th).

           

Ruins of the Augustine Notre Dame de Châtres near Julienne, north of Bourg Charente.

 

Angouleme’s cathedral to Saint Pierre is a fine example of the areas rich display of Romanesque art.

 

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is a picturesque white village with the St Jean église (church) dug out of the white chalky cliff, dating back to the 6th century. 

 

Saintes boasts an old amphitheatre and roman buildings.

 

Visit the Eglise St Pierre in Aulnay which has remained the same since the time of the great pilgrimages.

 

The Abbaye du St Saveur at Charroux, once the richest abbey in the region, is now a ruin open to the sky with a museum holding some superb sculpture from the original portal.  The “Truce of God”, the earliest known attempt to regulate war, was signed here.

 

Horse Drawn Carriages

Les Collinauds at Sonneville offer carriage rides through the vineyards and the old village.  Tel: 05 45 80 51 23

 

Hot Air Ballooning

Montgolfieres Coup d’Europe held in August each year at Mainfonds, flying to Sainte-Souline, Angouleme and Cognac. Tel: 05 45 64 18 98   or see    www.mainfonds.com

 

Museum of Dolls through the ages.       

La Pouponnière at Bourg Charente has a collection of 1200 dolls. Entry Charge.  Open from 15th June to 15th September from 14h00—18h00 Monday to Saturday.  Tel: 05 45 81 20 46

 

Night Sightseeing Local Tour         

“Nuits Blanches en Pays Jaune D’Or”   (Sleepless nights in a golden land).  Reservations essential for this nightime floodlit car tour through local villages, and for 2009/2010 culminating in St Meme with a complimentary drink, naturally.  Book at the tourist office in Segonzac or Tel: 05 45 83 37 77

 

Paper Factory  

Le Musee du Papier D’Angoumois at Fleurac still make paper in the traditional 18th century manner.   Tel: 05 45 91 50 69

 

River Cruises

“Chabot” riverboat rides from Jarnac to Bourg Charente and return leave from the jetty by the Courvoisier museum.   1hr20min excursion with commentary  Tel:  05 45 82 09 35.

 

St Simon -  Village Gabarrier.  

Gabarres are traditional flat bottomed sailing barges used to transport cognac and salt out to the coast for export.  Trips for an hour and a half on Gabarres are available from nearby Saint-Simon where the boats were originally constructed.      Tel: 05 45 97 33 40

 

Zoo     

La Palmyre Zoo is one of the most popular zoo's in France and one of the most recommended in Europe.  It was created in 1966 near Royan, by its founder Claude Caillé.  The Zoo is always tyring to improve the quality of the animals' lives, and it plays an important role in re-introducing animals to their natural habitats.  Adults 14 €  and Children 3-12 10€    Tel:  05 46 22 46 06 

There is also  “La Vallée des Singes” (The Valley of Monkeys) which is up near Poitiers.  It is unique in that the 25 different species of primates, including gorillas, gibbons and baboons, live on islands “in total liberty in a natural, leafy environment”.   You can help feed them.  Picnic Area and Restaurant.  No Pets Allowed Obviously!   Open from end of March to early November.

Tel: 05 49 87 20 20

             

President François Mitterrand was born in Jarnac in 1916 and donated part of his collection of presidential gifts to the town.   The house where he was born (lived in by his mothers family for over a century) lies within easy reach of the riverside quay that bears his name.  Two exhibitions are available to view at the Espace Culturel François Mitterrand.  Opening times vary, please see tourist office publications for details. In accordance with his wish, President Mitterrand is buried in the Cimetiere des Grands Maisons in Jarnac.

 
         
         
         

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