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May 12, 2011 01:27 PM


Travelling with two Celiacs this summer.
Any pointers for restaurants in Agouleme, Cognac, Saintes, Royan that are serving GF options and/or bakeries?
Which Supermarket chain should we look out for that has a good selection of gluten free items


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  1. As Souphie said on a recent posting about eating Gluten Free in Paris, "comrade, you're in trouble"...and given that you are going to the Charentes (Angouleme and Cognac are in the Charente, Saintes and Royan are in the Charente Maritime, together they are considered the Charentes - plural).

    Here is the thread:

    I know almost nothing about travelling with or even having a Gluten intolerance, but I think in the Charentes it will probably be even worse than what is described in Paris. People are not really used to catering to special dietary needs, whether it is vegetarianism, an allergy or an intolerance.

    That said, in Angouleme the place to go for restaurants is either across from the Hotel de Ville or in the streets behind, especially across from the food market (Les Halles).

    I'll be going down to the Charente in a couple of weeks, so I'll try to see if I can get more information for you for Angouleme and Cognac, and I'll ask around for restaurants in Saintes and Royan.

    Souphie mentioned the health food chain Naturalia, but it seems that they only have stores in the Paris area, so that won't work (or maybe you should buy whatever you need in Paris before making your way to the Charente!).

    That said, I have family members who run a chambre d'hotes right outside of Angouleme (on the way to Cognac), who also do a table d'hotes. They speak English (they lived in the US for a number of years), so if need be they may be able to arrange a GF meal for you. However, please note that this is basic homestyle cooking.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Katoon

      Much appreciated, thank you. Maybe an extra suitcase is the answer.

      1. re: worldwidestuff

        I suggest you look at the website of La Belle Demeure in Jarnac (near Cognac).
        It is a gluten-free chambres d'hotes. I have not stayed there but noticed it when looking for information on Jarnac. They provide gluten-free meals for their guests and would presumably be able to advise you on eating out as well.

        1. re: angelica052

          Whoops! Looking at the website again it looks as though you have to stay for a week! Might be worth asking if you can stay for a shorter period though.

          1. re: angelica052

            Excellent. We already booked a Gite, however I will for sure inquire about just the food part.

            Thank you


            1. re: worldwidestuff

              For your future travel reference, just below Angouleme, in the Dordogne, is an excellent chambres d' hotes, the Chateau de Villars. (I live nearby.) Six beautifully decorated rooms, large salt-filtered swimming pool in a private park, and a separate 2-bed gite on the property. During the summer the place is given over to gluten-free guests, three meals a day provided, as well as honour bar and lots of elective visits to local village markets, chateaux etc. The cooking is ambitious and creative, based on local produce. Having no gluten intolerence, I have eaten with friends who have, as well as sampled additional generous hospitality (pool, etc). Delightful! See:

              1. re: Piggyinthemiddle

                Excellent find.
                We will contact them for a meal situation, since we booked accomodations already.

    2. I live in the Dordogne, rather than in Charente but I was pleasantly surprised when going out last week with someone who is Celiac. We just mentioned in every restaurant that 'elle ne tolere pas le gluten,' and everyone responded well. She even managed to find a corn bread in a boulangerie that didn't include wheat flour.

      For groceries, you may have to go to health food stores. Certainly here I've never seen the variety that you see in a Canadian supermarket. But health food stores do have a selection.

      When my Celiac sister stayed with me I found it quite easy to cook for her, as it's easy to buy fresh products that don't have gluten additives. Roast chicken, salads, cheese, all good things to eat.