In July & August there is also an evening Marché Gourmande every Tuesday evening. The centre of town is filled with food stalls and seating for hundreds. Here you can buy almost everything, hog roast, fish & chips, duck, snails, moule frites, salads, Chinese & Italian food. There is a fabulous family atmosphere & a couple of bars & stalls sell local wines at amazingly low prices. (Typically around four euros)
Montendre also has a large boating lake surrounded by forest trail. Plenty of interesting outdoor pursuits including an outdoor gym, sailing, fishing & a large outdoor swimming pool with wave machine. Montendre also has a lovely nine hole golf course & there are riding stables on the outskirts. Montendre Lac is also the home to an annual music festival showcasing French & international bands including in recent years The Kaiser Chiefs & Franz Ferdinand.
Between Montendre & the Gironde estuary the land flattens out and is covered in forest & agricultural land. This area crosses into the Bordeaux wine appellations of Côte de Bourg & Côte de Blaye, both excellent wines. There are many vineyards open for wine tastings & tours. We are not far from Cognac & much of the wine in our area is taken to make that little tipple. As well as wine & Cognac, the area specialises in a drink called Pineau de Charente, a beautiful fortified wine which is usually drunk chilled as an aperitif.
Montendre and it’s surroundings host a wide range of restaurants, everything from pizzas & crepes to fine dining & French country cooking. You’ll certainly not go home hungry if you choose to eat out here. Our favourite is La Quincaillerie, a Michelin recommended restaurant in the heart of Montendre who are more than happy to cater for vegatarian diners (still quite rare in rural France). For a more relaxed atmosphere the bar/restaurant Chez GiGi is a fair walk or 5 minute drive from the Gite. The menu is small but the food is great & there is live music most weekends through the summer months.