Looking for a genuinely local gift?
Explore our selection of made-in-Charente shopping destinations. Twelve ideas for treating someone else, or yourself, while supporting our region’s skills and culture. Whether it’s a craft item, designer furniture, a local delicacy or an organic beauty product, Charente always comes up with an original gift idea.
Gift idea: a graphic novel made in Charente
Histoires d’Angoulême is a comic strip that recounts everything from the Norman invasions to the exploits of General Régnier and the 1944 bombardment. This is an ideal present for anyone interested, directly or indirectly, in the history of Charente.
- Histoires d’Angoulême, a collective work edited byEric Wantiez. A graphic novel published by Le Troisième Homme. Available at the Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image bookshop, Quai de la Charente, Angoulême. €15
For foodies: Angoulême’s chocolate daisies
Duceau chocolate shop is a real institution in Angoulême. At the helm is the talented Jean-Christophe Crosnier , who has been named as one of the 100 best chocolatiers in France.
Step into this chocolate shop to discover the Daisy of Angoulême, a work of art that lets you savour, petal by petal, some of Brazil’s best cocoa. 21€
- Chocolaterie Duceau, 18 Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Angoulême
And why not a local knife?
Why not treat yourself to a designer knife straight from one of Charente’s cutlery factories? Discover the passionate craft of Pascal Renoux and Sylvain Berthommé, cutlery artisans, in Barret and La Rochelle.
- Coutellerie Renoux, Champ des Rivaux, Barret
- Couteaux et Montres Farol, 1 Rue de Québec, La Rochelle
From the soil: give someone (or yourself) the perfect bottle
Looking for the perfect local tipple to enjoy or to give as a gift? Head to the Cognathèque, your specialist in cognac and pineau des Charentes. This Cognac institution offers an incredible selection of vintages from the region’s biggest producers.
- La Cognathèque, 10 Place Jean-Monnet, Cognac
Cooking: 100% Charentais vinegar and balsamic
Vinegar is a traditional speciality in Charente (did you know that the father of former French President François Mitterrand owned a renowned vinegar factory in Jarnac?). If you’re looking for a 100% local present that’s out of the ordinary, give them a bottle of Pineau vinegar or balsamic aged in cognac barrels.
- Pineau vinegar available at Françoise Fleuriet, 293 Rue d’Angoulême, Rouillac. 8.80 €
- Le Baume de Bouteville balsamic vinegar is on sale at Brûlerie des Valois, 14 Rue des Postes, Angoulême. From €15.90. But don’t miss out on the factory in Boutteville, at the heart of the vineyard – it’s worth the detour!
Shopping inspiration: real charentaises
When shopping in Charente, there’s one thing you mustn’t forget to buy: traditional charentaises. These are little French-made slippers, crafted using a technique that’s been handed down through the generations.
- NEO charentaises by Degorce, at Marthon – Boutique 8, Rue des Postes, Angoulême. 59 €
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- Théo charentaises by Rondinaud. 33 €
- La Tcha (+ link http://www.lacharentaise-tcha.com), “designer” charentaises! Go and visit their pretty factory at Quai 55, Route de la Sablière, Touvre.
- Laubuge and its cute Pant’animos, leather charentaises designed by Gaëlle Gilles. This is one of the few factories to use the famous “American stitch”. 5 Route des Chênes, ZE de la Braconne, Mornac.
A designer present: the irresistible Ernest chair
At Blomkal, a family workshop that creates designer furniture, everything’s made in Charente. Discover the Ernest chair, an original chair with a Scandi twist, perfect for brightening up a kitchen or dining room. 135 €
- Blomkal, 144 Route de Vars, Angoulême
Original creations using recycled materials
At Matlama Case, they love messing around with old material to come up with colourful, original creations. Discover their unusual collection of bags made from recycled materials. From 23 €
- Matlama Case, 61 Quai Louis Prunier, La Rochelle
In her oyster hut, Isabel Faustino makes bicycle baskets, bags and shopping carrier using materials taken from oyster farming, such as oyster bags and cages.
- Chenal de la Cayenne, Marennes oyster farming port
Since 2008,Espritvoiles has been making bags and accessories from marine canvas (the material that’s used to make sail bags).
- Boutique 67, Rue St Nicolas, La Rochelle
Beauty tip: donkey’s milk soap
If you’re looking for an authentic present from Charente, go and explore the soap factory on Île de Ré. Its speciality is an organic donkey’s milk soap made using the “Marseillaise” method. It’s a true delight for your body or hands.
- Savonnerie de Île de Ré, 74 Rue Charles de Gaulle, Rivedoux-Plage
Treat yourself to some artisanal biscuits
Fancy taking home a foodie present from your trip to Charente? Stop by the Beurlay biscuit factory to enjoy a real Charentaise biscuit. From €2.60
- Pâtisserie Beurlay, 1 Rue de la Saintonge, Beurlay
Enjoy the seasoned salt of Île de Ré
Since 1986, L’Esprit du Sel has been developinga comprehensive range of 100% organic seasoned salts. The fleur de sel used in the brand’s blends comes exclusively from the Île de Ré salt marshes.
- L’Esprit du Sel, 13 Rue de Sully, Saint-Martin de Ré
Face care: Léa Nature cosmetics
The benefits of Jonzac’s thermal spring waters are known throughout Charente and beyond. Discover Léa Nature’s Eau Thermale Jonzac® cosmetics. A complete range of face and body care products available at pharmacies and organic shops.