What specific architectural features does your building have ?
Our home is an 18th century mansion supported by an older part which is probably from the end of the 16th century. It was built in 1780 for doctor Charles-Louis Perreau, but unfortunately this is not well-documented. Specialists of the time believe that it was one of Nicolas Ledoux’s students, Amiot, who was behind the project – he was an architect in La Rochelle who came to settle in Fontenay. This unique residence certainly resembles buildings that can be found in La Rochelle and Niort. Unfortunately, his original design with seven sections was not completed due to the revolution. In fact, some toothing stones can be seen on the left-hand side of the façade. The owner had purchased the neighbouring building to continue the work that was never finished. The classical architecture of the façade features a broad cornice, a horizontal stone ledge with the bossage technique that runs the length of the house, an entablature above the door showing a sculpted acanthus leaf, and a beautifully crafted wooden door. Inside, the winding staircase and the sculptures of polichinelles are particularly intriguing.
Places you would personally recommend
The South Vendée region is rich in architecture and attractions. We are fortunate enough to be located just ten minutes from the Marais Poitevin where we always enjoy the boat trips that are available by the Abbey as well as those in Damvix. We are not far from the forest of Mervent and only a few kilometers from the ‘Petites Cités de Caractères’– Vouvant, Foussais Payré and Nieul on the Autize – and the abbeys of Nieul and Maillezais. Niort is only forty minutes away and La Rochelle is just a little further, as are the beaches of Vendée and Le Puy du Fou.
As far as restaurants are concerned, we have visited many to ensure that we are giving the best possible recommendations to our guests. With a range of areas and styles, we are able to offer them anything from pizzerias and gourmet restaurants, to places in the neighbourhood. We would recommend the Pizzeria de la République, for example, which is run by Carole (in the kitchen) and Philippe. With its beautiful Art Deco interior and particularly exquisite selection of local wines from the Pays de Loire, it is an excellent restaurant. We also know the Pinky very well, a small restaurant nearby in the Les Halles district where the charming terrace is very popular, the staff are friendly and a Lobster menu is available on Fridays and Saturdays. Also in the Les Halles district is L'Ardoisine or the Hotel de Vendée, both have excellent service and the dishes are traditional with generous portions. The restaurants at the Rabelais or Fontarabie hotels offer something a little more upmarket, but the gourmet restaurant of L'Auberge de la Riviere with an utterly charming exterior probably serves the most refined cuisine just ten kilometers away. Otherwise, there is the Belle Etoile in Niort, a restaurant that combines modernity and charm with excellent cuisine on the edge of Sèvre – this is one that we always recommend to our guests.