Verteuil-sur-Charente – A Fairytale Village

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An absolute highlight on our recent trip to France was a day-trip to Verteuil-sur-Charente.  I had seen James Martin (the TV chef) visit the Chateau de Verteuil as part of his ‘French Adventure’ series, and it looked so picturesque.  And it is only 45 minutes drive from our house – so, a perfect outing!  Verteuil is situated 10 minutes drive south of Ruffec, and 1hr45 inland from La Rochelle.  Verteuil turned out to be as picture-postcard as it appeared on the TV, as was the drive there.  The rolling farming countryside of the Charente is stunning, and there was some wonderful wildlife to be seen – we saw buzzards, red kites, and harrier’s, as well as my first ever hare (sorry for the poor photo)!

 

  Hare - Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

We visited Verteuil-sur-Charente mid-week, which I think is a wise idea, it’s the kind of place that would be packed on the weekends, especially in the high season.  There is some parking in the centre of town outside the Mairie’s office, and also just on the edge of the town towards to the D26 road.

 

Street - Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

The chateau is right in town, surrounded by houses on one side and the river on the other.  You can visit, but only April-Sept, and only on the weekends by way of a guided tour.  It is not possible to visit without a guide.  Sadly, as it was mid week, we didn’t get to visit inside. It presides over the town in a mild and graceful way – yes, it’s a beautifully grand building, but it isn’t hugely ostentatious or overwhelming.  It really is a bit of a fairytale.

 

Chateau - Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

We decided to visit Le Moulin de Verteuil, the old mill café that makes the most fabulous brioche using flour milled there.  They have two beautiful terraces, one with a view of the chateau (where this picture was taken), and one looking over the lower section of the river and the bridge.  It is an idyllic setting.

 

  Chateau Kir - Verteuil-sur-Charente   Moulin - Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

I highly recommend the set lunch menu – only €14.80 (as of April 2017) for 3 courses + a glass of house wine.  We had a beautiful duck and prosciutto salad with strawberries to start; a main of homemade sausage and butter mash; followed by the most divine coffee gateau and coffee ice-cream.

 

Lunch at Le Moulin - Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

And of course, you can’t come to the land of brioche without getting one to take away!  Brioche is a sweet bread, full of butter, and is a bit like a loaf of croissant!  This beauty fed us for the next 2 days!  Make sure you take a trip to the toilette before you leave, it has a rather unique feature (no, I won’t ruin the surprise)!

 

 Le Moulin Mill - Verteuil-sur-Charente   Brioche - Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

There is also a Cave in town (a wine and spirits shop), a brocante (antique store) and some other shops, so if you have room or time after relaxing on the terrace, then check out the little shops on the main street.  Verteuil-sur-Charente is truly a gorgeous little town and we will definitely be back.  There are fairytale villages all over France, but this one has totally won our hearts!

 

Flowers in Verteuil-sur-Charente

 

All photos © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!).  Images shot with a Canon DSLR T31 Rebel + Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM; and an iPhone6s.

 



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Verteuil-sur-Charentes - HH Lifestyle Travel

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16 Comments

  • Bel says:

    Wow this place looks incredibly charming and beautiful!! When we visited France a few years ago for Paris. It was wonderful but I feel like we didn’t really get to experience much of the country. Looking at your post makes me want to return very soon and spend a lot more time in the outskirts. Great article!

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      Thanks for your comment Bel, yes Verteuil is as charming as the photos! Agreed, I love Paris for what it is, but there is much more to France than just Paris. The train networks are fantastic, and watching the rolling countryside from a train is one of my favourite things. Try to visit places like St Malo, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Mont St Michel, Il de Re, and Brantôme! And if you have time, exploring the Charente is beautiful – Saintes, Cognac, Verteuil and inland to the Limousin to visit Oradour-sur-Glane. Have a great day!

  • Anonymous says:

    Very good article.I have a property in Verteuil for holiday rentals…Facebook/holidayinverteuil

  • Hello Hannah, just found your blog entry on Verteuil after it being shared by a facebook friend. Coincidental as today is the eve prior to taking the long journey again from Brisbane to Verteuil to our little house in the village. We found this beautiful corner of the Charente through good fortune. You are right, it is a beautiful little village that has charmed the socks off us. Well written, and thanks for the taste of Verteuil !

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      What a big journey for you! I’m glad you liked the article, and I hope you have a wonderful time back in the village!

  • Sreekar says:

    This village surely has a rustic feel to it. Al least from your photos they do look great. Kinda reminded me of Mont St Michel in the architecture. Similar awesomeness!

  • Indrani says:

    Wow indeed like a fairy land! Those Wisteria flowers are so delightful! Food choice sounds too good. France deserves more days to tour and experience. I wish I had that time.

  • anu says:

    Not allowed to vist without a guide, that is strange. What if someone wants to visit at their own pace. Those lavender colored flowers are beautiful, by any chance do you know their name?

  • Danila Caputo says:

    So many people only focus on Paris, which is lovely, but that way they miss all the beautiful towns in France! I’d never heard of Verteuil-sur-Charente, but we were already toying with the idea of a tiny road trip in France. Since you said that April is a good month to explore the city, we might see if we can get a guided tour over there. It looks lovely!

  • Michela says:

    I think France is one fo those european destinations that never tires you. The landscape, the food, the good wine, bread and cheese, and the OCean beaches. I have only been to Paris, and a few times crossing south of France on my way to Spain. Bordeaux and the region has been long on my list, also because of all the relatives I have in that region. It’s a bit of a shame that I haven’t been visiting France as I should. This place is truly a little gem, the Chateau looks beautiful and those flowering roads, are they bougainvilles? So pretty! You make me really want to go!

  • We used to watch the James Martin TV series, we have to go back and watch this episode again. It does look beautiful village. We have to visit soon if only to solve the mystery of the toilet.

  • Really looks like a fairytale. the place is lovely and peaceful. it’s pretty much a much-needed getaway. i think france has many hidden gems, although i haven’t been yet. i love house wines! when we go to restaurants or any local places, we love trying out the house wines, and yes, the brioche, sweet! i love breads! take away, please!

  • CLAIRE says:

    I love France, the villages are all gorgeous! I can’t get over that wisteria purple plan, I want one of those in my house! Good old James Martin, he is my friend’s favourite chef, she’s obsessed with him! I’ll have to bring her here to follow in his footsteps!

  • Megan Jerrard says:

    Verteuil-sur-Charente definitely looks like a fairytale village – so cool that it’s so close to you – might make it easy enough to make another trip back at a time when you can visit inside the chateau 🙂 The chateau is so stunning from the outside though! I love local travel, there’s usually so much cool stuff to do within our local areas that we forget about!

  • This place sure looks like a fairytale town. Unfortunately, I have only visited Paris but I would love to explore more of France by visiting towns like this one. I have heard the castles in France are spectacular.

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