For this, my first blog post, I've chosen to take you on a tour of a small town teeming with eco-responsible initiatives. Giving a second life to clothes, furniture and even a monument is a speciality of Pleumartin

I put on my super ambassador outfit and off I go. Are you following me?

12.30pm: At to see and eat

A restaurant-brocante is an unusual concept, to say the least! When I pushed open the door of L'Atelier des SaveursI was immediately seduced by the atmosphere in the main room. On the left, the magnificent zinc bar makes you irresistibly want to climb up on a stool to drink a coffee while chatting with Christophe, the voluble and friendly waiter. 

To the right, the tables are set, each uniquely decorated. Clocks, paintings, copper saucepans and musical instruments compete for every square centimetre from wall to ceiling. After all, everything here is for sale! 

Across the way, through the porthole in the swinging door, I can see the chef hard at work alone at the stove. Zouheir Bouchane, originally a teacher in Morocco, came to France to pursue his passion for cooking. Or rather cuisines: Moroccan, of course, but also Italian, French... In 2018 Alexandre Roux, manager of the brocante L'Atelier in Chauvigny, suggested that they combine their two passions by resurrecting this ex-PMU. To the delight of gourmets and bargain-hunters alike...

On the menu that day was chicken tagine. The flavours of spices and preserved lemon tantalise the taste buds. Both the chicken and the potatoes are perfectly cooked. All this makes me want to come back and try the other specialities of the house: couscous, almond pastilla, praline millefeuille, chocolate ginger macaroon... After lunch, I take advantage of a beautiful ray of sunshine to visit the large terrace and all its treasures. A real paradise for satisfying both my taste for retro and my desire to fight against overproduction...

New for 2020: opening this summer of a gîte-brocante for 6 people in the former hotel at the back of the courtyard.

L'Atelier des Saveurs

43, place de l'hôtel de ville 86450 Pleumartin Tel : 05 49 19 54 89

Open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, evenings only on Fridays and Saturdays.

Lunch menu (starter-main course-dessert): €12.50€ - A la carte menu from €22 à 35

Takeaway meals at weekends or by reservation - Cookery lessons (2h30): €40/per person

14h30 The hall in all its states

I'm meeting Jacques Perochon in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville. I'm curious to find out about the incredible history of this remarkable building in the centre of the town.

The former mayor tells me that these halls, 27 metres long and 13 metres wide, were built in 1650 by the Marquis of Pleumartin.

Originally, they were already located on the square, but were positioned slightly further south, perpendicular to the current site. The town was famous for the grain and oxen it sold there.

At the end of the 19th century, the town council bought the building, which was in a poor state of repair, and then sold it to a farmer who dismantled it and converted it into a barn on the Ribatou site in Leigné-les-Bois.

One hundred years later, the new owner of the farm no longer had any use for it and suggested to my interviewee, who was mayor of Pleumartin at the time, that he should sell it to a new owner. the halls for a symbolic euro. Attached to its history and heritageThe town decided to renovate and reassemble them with financial assistance from public partners.

Since its inauguration in November 2004, the monument has once again become a lively place, regularly hosting events and a Sunday market, as well as picnic tables that are ideal come rain or shine.

Indeed, I can see a group of passing visitors happily having lunch under the superb oak roof structure. Such adventures for these old stones when you think about it!

3.30pm: Fancy dress is chic

A year ago, Laura Decaillon fell in love with the location of this shop next to the imposing town hall. Having worked as a care assistant for 13 years, the thirty-something confides in me that she wanted to develop a friendly, environmentally-friendly career plan.

In the end, it's going to be a second-hand shop selling women's, men's and children's clothes - second-hand, of course, but still very slightly worn. Some bags, shoes and jewellery too.

À La P'tite FriperieNo mountains of dusty clothes, no prices per kilo. Skirts, jackets and shirts wait coquettishly on their hangers.

Chatting to Laura in her mini tea room, I realised that her credo can be summed up in three words: 'accessible to all'. This applies, of course, to prices (€5 for tops, €8 for dresses or trousers, up to €15 for a coat) but also to sizes (from 36 to 54). 

On the racks, I'm finding beautiful, colourful pieces, perfect for summer. Vintage or contemporary fashion lovers beware...

Finally, a special mention for the delicatessen corner and its exclusively local products: delicacies from Serenity Biscuitshoney The Stinging Beehive... It's all good!

La P'tite Friperie

La P'tite Friperie has moved since this article was written. It is now located at 10 Rue Bourbon, 86270 La Roche-Posay.

As you can see, in Pleumartin you can consume differently, in line with the slow tourism approach that is so close to my heart. I hope this article has inspired you to stop off in this charming village with its unique initiatives.

See you next week for new adventures...

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