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Carefully curated by      Francois      &      Jens

The lure of France can be summed up (well for me anyway) in a few wonderful things: culture, landscape, lifestyle, food and drink. And it is with all these in mind (particularly the food and drink) that myself and the NHP Publishing team took ourselves off to the country to sample and explore some of the culinary delights of Cognac.

Armed with eager taste buds, a sense of adventure and a trusty camera, we were sent on a mission by independent travel magazine, Lodestars Anthology, to test and sample the region’s most infamous produce: Cognac, vinegar and oysters.

Pottering around the vineyards and strolling through the old streets of hillside villages, we visited the wonderful Cognac house of Bache Gabrielsson. Combined with the heady perfumes of the wooden barrels, inside and before us were row upon row of mottled oak barrels and ornate glass bottles housing Cognac in quantities unimaginable. We sampled many varieties and had the most extraordinary tour of the Cognac house.

After a morning of Cognac tasting, we climbed higher into the hillside and venture to Beaumes de Boutville, a small balsamic vinegar production company, who use a fermenting process using the Cognac barrels! Here we learnt how this vinegar is gaining a remarkable reputation on an international scale.  As the owners suggested, one of the best ways to consume the vinegar is as an accompaniment to the region’s oysters.

With this in mind, and vinegar in hand, we took ourselves to David Herve’s Oyster Farm in the middle of the tranquil Marees Saland (a network of channel inlets where an old salt mine was found). Here we sampled the different varieties of oysters produced by David Herve.

We has such a wonderful experience with these local producers, that we wanted to share more of our story and images here.  A big thank you to all those that had us last summer.

To learn more about our adventure, the full article can be found in the latest issue of Lodestars Anthology  – FRANCE.

Written by

Yorkshireman living in London. Matt can often be found exploring his city (and beyond). He loves architecture, live music and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Pass him the latest copy of monocle and a flat white and he'll be happy. Often found in a uniform of navy blue.

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