Just like the Dordogne in France this region was unknown to me. I knew of Cognac, bien sur, but just thought it was that fabulous drink folks swirled and sipped. Like a lot of things in France though, the drink is named after the region (or maybe it’s the other way around… but in any case, they are intricately entwined).
Francois, Eliott and I drove down for a long weekend and rather quickly wished we’d stayed for a week! There are lots of things to do and it immediately has that feel of a relaxing summer vacation.
While we were there we got invited to do a visit and tasting of the Cognac Bertrand property. The Domaine has been family-run since 1731. After the tasting, where I was utterly swayed to the joys of a fabulous Cognac (psst… theirs is incredible… aged longer than most… smooth and delightful.. ships worldwide here.), I asked Therese for recommendations in the area. See below for everything she suggested plus a couple more that we added in on our short trip. I can tell you that all of her recommendations were spot on and would make for a fantastic jaunt around this region.
For our visit, we focused on two cities: Jonzac and Cognac – there are so many to discover though. By the way, the tourist office at Jonzac offers great walking tours!
Where to stay:
Le Coq d’Or in Jonzac – located just by the chateau, beautiful old world charm
Maison du Clocher – a beautiful home rental in a town near Jonzac.
Where to eat:
Le Coq d’Or – Jonzac – fantastic for a burger, beautiful terrasse and atmosphere, typical French food too
Le Comptoir du Marche – Jonzac – right by the beautiful covered market. Fantastic three course meal at an incredible price of 20€. The interior isn’t super interesting but go for the food. We were super pleased.
Bistro Chez Loic – Jonzac – beautiful, fresh, and French – what more could you ask for!
Hotel Chais Monnet – Cognac – gorgeous new hotel. They have a Michelin starred restaurant but also a more casual one called La Distillerie. We went to the latter, and loved it! Fantastic food not overly expensive, and it was fun to look down at the Michelin starred restaurant area surrounded by huge oak barrels.
La Maison – Cognac – this is a super neat restaurant set up in an old manor home. You can eat in one of the rooms or go to the rooftop terrace. We really enjoyed it! Interesting flavors, delicious!
Where to go for a Cognac tasting:
Cognac Bertrand – in between Jonzac and Cognac – It’s impossible for me to say not to go! It is a beautiful domaine in the countryside that is family run and so very personal from the welcome, to the visit, to the tasting. We had a really fantastic time and now count two of the owners as friends!
Where to go for a drink:
Indigo Rooftop bar at Martell – Cognac – great vibe, fun music, gorgeous views of the city. Get ready for some fun Cognac cocktails too!
Hotel Chais Monnet – Cognac – they have a rooftop bar and a jazz bar.
Where to shop for antiques:
You’ll see lots of brocantes/antiquities as you’re driving through the region. We particularly loved Retro in Jonzac, with its multi-levels and fantastic selection.
Have more suggestions that we need to try out? Add them to the comments!