Bressuire is in the Deux – Sevres department of the Poitou-Charentes region, i.e. the two rivers which have their sources here. You will find Bressuire midway between Nantes and Poitiers and about 60 miles inland from Bay of Biscay. The town has a population of about 13,000 and a further 6,000 people live in the associated parishes. It has a large number of youngsters and so has 6 pre-schools, 6 primary schools as well as 2 junior and 2 senior secondary schools. The town is set amid cattle – raising countryside and its architecture includes some beautiful buildings dating from as long ago as the 11th and 12th centuries. Nearby are rivers, lakes, quiet country towns, busy markets and lots of festivals. Look out for hand written signs saying ‘Brocante’ – bargains are to be found. It is twinned with the Irish town of Leixlip in County Kildare.
Being just below the Loire valley you are in a southern weather system and the area is known for its high number of sunny days, without the scorching effect of being in the extreme south and far enough inland to escape some of the winter storms. The prices will be a little lower too.
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There is a rail station in Poitier, to where there are also several companies offering flights from the U.K as there are to Nantes. Then travel buy hire-car, taxi or local bus to Bressuire. There are buses from Nantes, Angers and Poitiers.
Activities in the town include Baseball with the Garocheurs, but for the historically minded it is also on ‘La Route Historique des Rois de Angleterre’. It is a convenient place from which to visit many local attractions including Futuroscope in Poitiers and some of France’s most beautiful chateaus including the one at La Rochefoucault, home also to a chocolate factory. Bressuire is also twinned with the Scottish town of Fraserburgh and the towns play soccer matches from time to time. The local area is also well known for its fishing.
Food and Drink
Farmers markets mean the availability of fresh, local produce of the highest quality. Honey with hazelnuts is a local specialty. Tuesday is market day. Being near to Cognac this is often included as an ingredient on local menus as do fish from the near by Atlantic including local oysters.
La Boule d’Or, Place Emile Zola, 79300 Bressuire , Tel no. 05 49 65 02 18 Menus from 13€
Les Trois Marchands, Les Sicadieres 79300, Bressuire, Tel no. 05 49 65 01 19 Menus from 13€:
Sextant properties can put you in touch with a local bi-lingual estate agent (immoblier) who can suggest suitable properties in the area and who will accompany you on visits. This is a lovely area for families, but there is something for everyone, whether they want a small modern town house or rolling acres and a water mill and whether this is to be a holiday home or a permanent move.
When the transaction is complete you could just look in the Yellow Pages but the Mairie, always worth a visit, can tell you of local workmen who can bring their expertise to your property – everything from a total restoration to a new shutter. British housewives for instance may find French work surfaces a little low for comfort. However, be patient because the very best workmen will be well booked up. There is even a British builder’s merchant in Thouarsais Bouildroux for those who want it just like home – but haven’t you made the decision to change. So I wish you happy house hunting in Deux Sevres.