Nearby Towns and Villages
Chiché (2 mins) – Chiché has two excellent boulangeries, La Brioche du Thouaret on the main road which specialises in pastries and cakes and a more traditional bakers around the corner which focuses on amazing rustic breads. Chiché also has a shop, church, restaurant, bank, pharmacy, hairdressers and café.
Just outside Chiché, the restaurant Bois Joly is highly recommended and has an outside play area. Open 12pm-2pm on weekdays and 12pm-2pm and 7pm-10pm at weekends.
Open for lunch only – Restaurant La Grange, Chanteloup (20 mins) has an excellent value and delicious ‘menu du jour’, including a carafe of wine.
Bressuire (15 mins) – a good range of shops and supermarkets, plus market day on a Tuesday. Bressuire has a château and sensory garden with play park at its foot which leads to a riverside walk coulée verte.
Parthenay (20 mins) – known for its medieval St Jacques district, with timbered houses and Romanesque churches.
Saint Loup Sur Thouet (15 mins) – It is certainly worth a visit to this pretty village and chateau.
Thouars (30 mins) – a stunning town, built on a rocky spur, surrounded by the Thouet river and dominated by its 17th century château. The region’s biggest market is held here on a Friday.
Poitiers (1hr 10min) – Beautiful capital of the Vienne department – a lively University city with a combination of historic and modern buildings and the stunning Blossac Park.
Marais Poitevin / Venice Vert (60 mins) – near Niort. This marshland is dubbed “Green Venice” for its ‘floating’ villages that are interlaced with waterways. Head for Coulon, one of France’s Plus Beaux Villages, where you can hire boats to row or punt yourself, or even hire a boat with somebody else to steer while you relax and enjoy the views.
Loire Valley Caves and Vineyards (Chinon / Samur) (60 mins) – take a scenic drive through miles of sunflower fields to visit the beautiful Loire Valley. Stop in Chinon for lunch and to see the Château, then follow the river along to Samur where you’ll find a huge choice of caves to visit, sample and buy delicious local wine.
La Rochelle / The Coast (1hr 35min) – La Rochelle is considered one of the best maintained cities in Western France – well worth a visit for the port and beaches.
Local Market Days
Bressuire – Tuesday (and Saturday)
Parthenay – Wednesday
Niort – Thursday (and Saturday)
Thouars – Friday (and Tuesday)
Airvault – Saturday
Chiche has it’s own shop which you will find is pretty comprehensive considering its size. Bressuire hosts a big Le Clerc supermarket and also a Carrefour (now open on Sunday mornings!) – both are excellent and host a huge array of wine and local produce as well as the usual standards. There is an Intermarche at the pretty and historic village of Airvault, just 20 mins away. There are also large supermarkets at Parthenay.
The Great Outdoors