Visit France’s Cognac Country

Take a pointer from the French on living simple and elegant lifestyles.

| March/April 2004

Few people have perfected simple, graceful living better than the French, whose relaxed culture centers around fresh, locally produced cuisine and timeless art and architecture. When visiting, travel off the beaten path into the Poitou-Charentes region along France’s western Atlantic coast, an area famous for its cognac and fine goat cheeses.


Papermakers and bookbinders breathe new life into Montmorillon, the “City of Books.” Artisans demonstrate illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy, and ink-making.

Sweet dreams: Sleep in a charming country inn, Relais du Lyon d’Or, in the nearby village of Angles-sur-l'Anglin.


Pole a flat-bottomed boat through the tree-canopied canals in the Marais Poitevin, nicknamed France’s “Green Venice” for its abundance of duckweed.

Home base: Lodge in Coulon, but venture thirty kilometers east to the 6,000-year-old stone-age burial mounds in Bougon.

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