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Va va voom to the Vendée to visit an authentic and very special part of France Lucy Pitts and her three children discover the area has oodles of of charm and loads to to do for families There’s a little pocket of France which remains one of its hidden gems says Lucy Pitts who has a home in the area. It hovers across four departments, right on the cusp of where north meets south. The area is well served by airports and motorways yet is still distinctly rural in feel and as one local described it to me recently (as he apologised for not speaking English), it’s still very French.
It’s a place where cuisses de grenuoilles (frogs legs), escargot (snails) and andouillette (a sausage not for the faint hearted made of, amongst other things, intestines and sometimes tripe) are still very much in evidence on local lunch menus. Shops shut for lunch, restaurants have a habit of shutting for August, some schools still close on a Wednesday and a few of the locals speak in a heavy patois (well my neighbour there does at least and I wonder if I’ll ever understand him). It’s also a place where one minute there are rolling green hills and thick, lush woodland and then in the blink of an eye, you’re driving across burnt orange planes dodging the melon stalls. Sunflowers morph into vineyards, and huge lazy rivers transform into a vast network of orderly canals making up one of the largest marshlands in France.
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INFORMATION The Somme is about 90 m
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