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Le Pic Vert

Le Pic Vert or The Green Woodpecker is a small creperie tucked away on the banks of the River Mere at Vouvant.

The Restaurant itself is fairly small but is supplemented by outside tables, and sitting al fresco on the edge of the River Mere, cocooned by the steep tree lined banks rising on either side of the broad slow moving river, is somewhat like eating in a green cathedral. That is not to say that Le Pic Vert is quiet. We visited on a Thursday night and unlike many Vendéen restaurants on midweek evenings, it was vibrant and lively, with plenty of customers.

Vouvant, labelled as one of the prettiest villages in France, and home to a large community of artists, has a very high British occupancy rate. This may be one reason that the restaurant was busy in the evening. Other reasons could be the very friendly English speaking staff, the small but varied menu, and the quality of the food and service.

The entrance to Le Pic Vert is a little tricky if you aren’t very mobile or you don’t handle steps too well. The car park is situated above the restaurant and a short walk downhill brings you to the gates and a flight of steps that are quite steep, they do have good handrails but none the less if you are not too mobile take care. The restaurant can be approached from further down the hill through their drive but it is a bit of a walk. However if you are able to get to it your effort will be well rewarded.

Eating at Le Pic Vert was an absolute delight; the staff were helpful and happy to speak in either English or French. For all I know they may well have spoken Dutch and German too though I didn’t hear them do so. I was eating with Trevor and another friend Kieran, and we all decided on the same things. We started with ham cheese and egg galettes, which for the uninitiated are savoury pancakes. They were tasty and light and we all really enjoyed them. Trevor doesn’t drink, it’s the sign of a seriously misspent youth, so he was driving as usual and Kieran and I shared a couple of carafes of the perfectly acceptable house red wine. We were having a really good time, we would have had a good time no matter what as the conversation is always lively and interesting when we get together but it was made all the more so by the friendly atmosphere engendered by the staff and the surroundings. For our main course we all chose the entrecôte and frites it was juicy, succulent and cooked to perfection basically it was as good as entrecôte gets. We all decided against a sweet which I must say surprised me as Trevor normally has the devil of a sweet tooth.

The bill followed coffee as naturally as night follows day and it wasn’t at all painful, as I write this in 2008 it was about 70 Euros, which I think is pretty good value, gone lamentably are the days of the 50 Franc menu. It was especially good value for Kieran and me, as it was Trevor’s turn to pay.

This is a friendly restaurant with friendly staff, and a good atmosphere both inside and out. The food is very good, not haut cuisine, but then it doesn’t purport to be. This is an honest restaurant good food, good value and a good ambience. I would highly recommend it.

Tate
About the author: Tate spends the summers in the Vendee and is passionate about good wine and good food,he writes exclusively for the www.gites-with-pools.co.uk website.

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The Pic Vert Restaurant on the banks of the river Mere at Vouvant
Patrice the Owner
a Contented client at the Pic Vert Restaurant, Vouvant, Vendee.
Expectant diners at the Pic Vert, Vouvant
Smoked salmon salad
Hot Duck salad at the Pic Vert Restaurant, Vouvant, Vendee.
3 cheese salad at the Pic Vert
Dining outdoors at the Pic Vert
Pictures taken 2009 at the Pic Vert

Le Pic Vert

And they taste as good as they look.