Dining options are limited, although Arçais and Coulon both cook up a couple of lovely possibilities. Alternatively, bring picnic supplies with you from nearby Poitiers.

Gourmet Butter

The French president and the queen of England both eat it so why shouldn't you. Creamy, artisan AOP-protected Échiré butter is deemed to be one of the world's finest beurres (butters). It has been crafted in the tiny village of Échiré, on the northern fringe of the Parc Naturel Interrégional du Marais Poitevin, since the 19th century. Milk from 4000-odd cows from 60 different farms, all within a 60km radius of the village, arrives fresh each day at the cooperative diary. The same traditional method has been used to turn the milk into butter – including turning it in small batches in the same Burmese-teak wooden churn – since 1894 when the dairy opened. The dairy can't be visited, but its adjoining shop sells Échiré butter, salted or unsalted, and wrapped in gold foil and packaged in a miniature wooden basket (called 'mottes' in French) befitting of its world-famous status.