Les Sables is home to some of the finest restaurants in the Vendee, a department of France that is particularly strong on the gastronomic front. Eating and drinking are absolute highlights in these parts and seafood lovers are in for a tasty treat - surrounded by maritime treasures including mussels, oysters and langoustines fished straight out of the Atlantic ocean. It's sweet brioches are also a thing of beauty, while the Jambon de Vendee cuts of home leave the mouth watering.
While you should certainly sample as much fresh produce as you can when staying in Les Sables, the best culinary experiences are to be found in the top-rated restaurants that line the boulevards of this quaint seaside resort. Along the waterfront at La Chaume, you'll be lost for choice amid fantastically-rated restaurants offering top French fare at prices beyond reasonable. Because Les Sables is also home to our number one rated campsite, you won't have to travel far before you're tucking into world-class cuisine. Below is a rundown of some of our favourite eateries that you'll find in and around Les Sables.
This is one of the top-rated restaurants in all of the Vendee and can be found along the Quai René Guiné, offering stunning views across the harbour. Within its rustic yet breezy interior you'll find an atmosphere that has been fine tuned for the optimal dining experience. Surrounded by plenty of greenery, the tables are illuminated with tasteful mood lighting. The prices are also smile-inducing, with most ranging from ten to 25 euros, generally speaking. Despite all this, it's most definitely the food that takes centre stage, with the restaurant's unique slant on fine gourmet classics receiving universal praise.
Seafood dishes are particularly noteworthy, with house specialities including base fillet with langoustine bisque, choucroute de la mer (literally 'sauerkraut of the sea'), Carpaccio de Saint Jacques with lobster course and the fresh-caught fish of the day all coming highly recommended. There are plenty of non-seafood options if those don't take your fancy and the desserts are simply divine, blending the best French traditions of taste and presentation.
Fleurs de Thym
Just along the quayside, Fleurs de Thym is another modern classic that hides deceptively impressive cuisine behind the modest facade of its farmhouse-like exterior and freshly flowered terrace. Shabby chic furniture, small alcoves and the charming patio area all conspire to create an intimate atmosphere that is perfect if you're looking for somewhere quiet to enjoy a romantic meal with your significant other.
The menu is playful and inventive, making generous use of spices with the Saint-Jacques style tandoori chorizo skewers, foie gras terrines, oriental-style lamb tagine and monkfish tail with chorizo popular options. Glancing up at the dessert board, you'll be spoiled for choice, with tough decisions to make between the crisp anise cookies and the chocolate and raspberry millefeuille, among others.
Le Poisson à Roulettes
On the other side of the water from the first two restaurants, along the Rue Saint Nicholas in La Chaume, you'll find Le Poisson à Roulettes overlooking the marketplace. This bistro, as the name implies, is a great choice for seafood and has fantastic lunchtime menus. With so much produce on its doorstep, it's no surprise that the dishes here are made of the freshest possible ingredients - whether you're looking for an informal platter of cheese and charcuterie to accompany that excellent bottle of wine, or a taste of its delicious "cuisine du marché" ("market food").
Don't let the name fool you though. These are some impressive dishes despite their homely appearance. The seafood platter, cuttlefish curry cotriade and roast monkfish all come with hearty recommendations. The bistro is also known for its love of culture and if you're lucky, you'll be able to tuck into one of their tasty meals while local musicians perform jazz and blues. There's a whole concert programme, as well as the odd art exhibition, so check out what's on during your stay.
Along the Quai George Cinq, again overlooking the water, is Le Fatra, which is another favourite among visiting holidaymakers in Les Sables. The reviews you'll read of this establishment are unanimous in their praise and it's easy to spot, thanks to its colourful exterior. Inside, the inviting atmosphere draws in patrons to enjoy dishes that are as much works of art on the plate as they are delicious meals.
Despite the impressive visuals, these are not haughty dishes. The menu is reassuringly simple, such is the believe that the restaurant has in its ingredients and cooking techniques. Again, the prices are very reasonable and the owner of the establishment is always welcoming to visitors. Here, you'll find a delicious menu that revolves with the seasonality of the fare on offer, including tuna a la plancha, eggs casserole with foie gras and Marmiton St Jacques, terrine squid, and plenty of other local delicacies.
Whether you visit these restaurants or any others in the myriad of top dining establishments in and around Les Sables, the culinary quality of what's on offer is likely to be one of the abiding memories of your trip to the Vendee, and keep you coming back year after year.
Any views or opinions expressed in all articles under the title “Carisma News” are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Carisma Holidays Limited