The Market Town of Aigre
Amongst the beautiful Charente countryside which is covered in the magical Cognac vines and those smiley sunflowers, along the D739 lies the market town of Aigre.
It is five minutes’ drive from La Grue Gites and one of the reasons we wanted to buy our property – having a thriving market town so close by is brilliant. It’s quick and easy to pop to the bustling Thursday morning market or to the supermarket and it has a great range of independent shops and small businesses too.
A personal favourite is La Maison Charentaise – people come from far and wide to browse the exquisite, stylish gifts, handmade biscuits and fine epicerie.
Aside from having an award-winning Boulangerie at BSweet which honestly sells the best croissants I have EVER tasted in France, Aigre is home to Cognac Gautier.
Gautier is one of the oldest Cognac Houses in France being founded in 1755 in a water mill on the river Osme by Royal Charter of King Louis XV.
Recently, in May 2020, Cognac Gautier sold the oldest bottle of Cognac in the world, predating the French Revolution and the 1872-74 Phylloxera vine blight, at Sotheby’s for a staggering £132,000 https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/the-oldest-vintage-cognac-ever-sold-at-auction-the-provenance-of-the-1762-gautier-cognac What a claim to fame!
Our house, La Maison Bleue is a “Phylloxera” house – it is only half built. The original owners managed to build half of the house and then Phylloxera struck, wiping out their vine stocks and consequently their cash flow to finish the house!
Aigre is also famous for the Cagouille (Snail) which is a local delicacy – we have La Cagouille Charentaise in Mons which really is an amazing snail producer selling all sorts of snail based artisan produce.
Aigre’s ‘Snail Trail’ around the town and it’s Snail Museum are a quirky extra. How many snails can you spot around the town?
If you’re looking for some relaxation, then Parc de Charmilles is perfect for a game of boules or a walk amongst the trees. It is the backdrop to Aigrefest, open air cinema, concerts and brocantes.
If you like fishing, you can fish on the Some and we have a fishing shop in Aigre – Nature et Peche Aigrinoise for all your needs. You can pick up a day licence there too.
There are some great restaurants in Aigre too. Bilboquet is very traditional and excellent value for money whereas Le Square offers pizza and burgers in additional to more traditional main dishes. There’s something for everyone.
We enjoy a regular morning coffee at the Tabac, sitting with our croissants, watching the world go by before we head back home to La Grue.