In the UK an integral part of the ride is the ‘Coffee & Cake’ stop where you can have a great cup of artisan coffee and some homemade cake to recharge for the second leg of the ride. But in France, cyclists tend to meet up, go for a ride, stopping for maybe a quick coffee and to refill their bidons before heading on and refuel when they get back home.
In addition, population density in rural France is such that there aren’t enough potential customers to make a living from a ‘cycling café’.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions for cycling stops in Charente Maritime where cyclists will be welcomed and refuelled.
1 Tallow’s Café, Royan Local guy Benjamin set this café up this year. It’s just near the port in Royan so is perfect whilst waiting for the ferry across to Verdon or if you need refuelling on the way through. The coffee is roasted in Hossegor and the delicious cakes and pastries are made by local healthy food expert and chef, Julie Lopez. The vibe is a relaxed, surfer style café and there’s space for your bikes out front.
2. La Crique Suzac Beach House, Meschers-sur-Gironde This local restaurant is in its second year; its beautiful terrace is right on the beach between St Georges de Didonne and Meschers. David and his team will welcome you for a great coffee – their large machine is perfectly calibrated for a delicious espresso. Homemade tarts and artisan ice-cream are served so you can relax and enjoy the scenery before heading on.
On a practical note, there’s a tarmac pathway down to the restaurant and space to chain bikes up so you won’t get sand in your derailleur!
3. La Brise, Talmont-sur-Gironde Talmont is one of the most beautiful villages in France so a must see whilst you’re here. La Brise is the first place that you’ll see on arrival and I’m suggesting it because the staff are friendly, they do crêpes and ice creams (as well as a full restaurant menu if you wish) and you can lean your bike against a tree in front so keep it in view!
4. La Caburote, St Seurin d’Uzet Slightly further down the Estuary you will find the tiny port village of St Seurin d’Uzet. A Dutch man has set up a very simple restaurant on the waterside. It’s plastic tables and chairs with a warm welcome here as his two sons, who have grown up in France, welcome you. The menu is very short (but that’s a good thing I reckon) Charcuterie board, Moules Frites, Steak Frites and that’s about it! For the cyclist, there is coffee and ice creams and home made apple crumble to be enjoyed in the shade!
You can also use Cafe Network which is an excellent resource to find cafés in your region.
Where have you found that you can stop for a rest and recharge around your area?
Do you agree with my theory on Cycling Cafés and coffee stops in Charente Maritime or France in general?
If you have any other questions about Cycling in Charente Maritime please ask me!