a trip to poitou-charentes #1 – cognac


I’ve been rather quiet for the past week, mainly because we were on holiday in the Poitou-Charente area of France, over in the south-west of the country. That wouldn’t usually stop me from posting, but on this occasion we had irregular access to steam-driven wifi, and a very poor mobile phone signal. So, now that we’re home, and our own very poor internet connection feels like superfast fibre-optic broadband in comparison, I thought that I’d share a few pictures.

We have visited the area before, only a few years ago as we thought, although it turned out to have been in 2007 when we checked (where does the time go?). For some reason, we didn’t go to the town of Cognac on that occasion, so that was one of our first destinations this time.

It’s a pretty little town on the banks of the River Charente. The waterfront is dominated by the warehouse and distilleries of the famous cognac houses such as Martell and Hennessy, although the town apparently first came into being and flourished on the back of the salt trade.

Most of the the buildings are a beautiful pale cream limestone, giving the town a very unified appearance. We followed a route around the medieval areas, with charming little cobbled streets and some half-timbered buildings, but there are also many fine examples of Belle Époque architecture.

It wasn’t quite as deserted as it looks on the photographs, although being a Monday afternoon in France, it was fairly quiet. We did see a few folks around the cognac houses, and in the main shopping street. And just in case you’re wondering about the weather, it was a lot warmer than it probably looks!

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