Thursday afternoon’s visit was a meeting with some lovely people I talked to at the France Show in January who are looking to buy a holiday home in the area. No problems with this one – clearly a business meeting rather than simply enjoying myself tootling about in the Marais Poitevin.
However, when the Other Half proposed a visit, this time in the rain, on Saturday afternoon and ensured me that it would definitely count as research I must admit I was a little suspicious.
We both love living in the Deux –Sèvres, wouldn’t change it for anything but there’s obviously the odd thing about the UK that we miss. In Andy’s case it’s beer, and this is where the research comes in.
In the centre of Coulon we visited the Brasserie du Marais Poitevin, a small organic brewery built on the site of an ancient dairy. Using the wild hops grown locally on the Marais Poitevin and organic barley, the brasserie produces a range of beers from a lively blonde- similar to a lager – through to a dark ‘bier brune’ with flavours of coffee and a hint of chocolate which the men in our party assured me was like a quality real ale. The brewer who explained the history and process to us clearly had a real passion for his art and was more than happy to answer questions.
Inevitably, we bought a bottle or six and, as the Other Half pointed out, it’s great having a good source of ale close at hand -not to mention another interesting place to take visitors.
What has Coulon got to offer? Well, apart from the scenery, the gorgeous stone houses, the kilometres of waterways that you can explore by boat, on foot or on cycle, a host of wildlife and some lovely restaurants , Coulon also has….beer! Enjoy.