The splendid market building at the heart of St Jean

Things to do in St Jean d’Angély

St Jean d’Angély is a bustling market town that comes alive on Wednesday and Saturday mornings – the market days. You’ll find supermarkets, clothes shops, boulangeries, and of course plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants.

Locations on this page are given using the What3Words mapping system. Click here to find out more about it.

Sights, attractions and amenities

There’s an excellent indoor swimming pool, Atlantys, with water slides at the Plan d’Eau. Opening times vary day to day, but bear in mind that like many French establishments it tends to be closed for up to three hours for lunch.

The Plan d’Eau is a park around a river, on which you can take out canoes, kayaks and pedalos. It’s open during the summer months, and is a great place for a picnic or just to walk along the river bank.

If you’re going to be ill, be ill in France. The Hospital is large, modern, and you’ll rarely have to queue in order to be seen. Be aware, though, that if the doctors do speak English, they won’t admit to it.

Built in the 17th Century, the Abbaye Royale is a magnificent historic monument. Immediately adjacent are what appears to be ruins of the original abbey, but in fact the building was abandoned part way through the building process.

The Musée des Cordeliers is a small but interesting museum, with a major exhibition on Citroën’s 1920s expeditions in Africa. Free entry, open Wednesday to Sunday 2.30 to 6pm.

La Construction Pharaonique is, rather bizarrely, a free exhibition that details the construction of Egypt’s pyramids. We have no idea why this is in St Jean or how it came to be here, but it’s worth a visit if you happen to find it open.

The Cinema Eden was a magnificent art deco cinema, which suffered a major fire and was demolished in 2015. But it’s now been rebuilt as an almost exact copy of the original. It shows first-run films, many of which are in English with French subtitles. To see what’s on, access their website (in French only) here.

If you want to know more, you could do worse than visit the Office de Tourisme. But not much worse. They’re catastrophically unhelpful, know almost nothing about the local area, and are about the only business in St Jean to be closed during the summer night markets (about which they know nothing, even on the day of the market).

Find the amenities

Atlantys
+33 5 46 59 21 50
makeups.wiggly.guzzle

Plan d’Eau
lumps.mitten.outvoted

Hospital
18 Avenue du Port
+33 5 46 59 50 50
rebellion.perching.dirtier

Abbaye Royale
ambivalence.leniency.fascinated

Musée des Cordeliers
preload.damage.trinket

La Construction Pharaonique
rapidly.cements.origami

Cinema Eden
+33 5 46 26 21 40
speedy.archery.quacking

Office de Tourisme
procreation.cerebrum.beloved

Restaurants

There are a number of restaurants in St Jean d’Angély, and we’ve tended to end up at the following:

Child Friendly

Les Jacobins is a straightforward pizza joint, and a place where they’ll not notice unruly children and the bill is not hefty.

L’Annexe is located in the central square, next to the Ellis Park Bar and has a large area of tables located under the trees. When the weather is nice it’s a great place to be, and cars don’t drive through the square so it is safe for chidren. The service can be slow occasionally, particularly if there is music on but the chef is good and the price not painful.

Le Mareyeur is an excellent fish restaurant in the centre of town, where you can get everything from fresh grilled sardines to a full plateau de fruits de mer.

Le Petit Bouchon is located in the neighbouring square, Le Place du Marché, and has plenty of tables outside. It is friendly and reasonably well priced. We strongly recommend the Petit Bouchon starter, which features a taster range of dishes and is enough in itself for a light lunchtime meal.

La P’tite Cour is a large but comfortable restaurant in Canton des Forges, with an open courtyard and the added benefit of being one of the very few restaurants in St Jean d’Angély to open on Sunday evenings.

L’Ancre Marine is a good crepe restaurant right opposite the market, a great lunchtime destination after you’ve eyed up all the tempting market seafood.

Gastronomic

Le Restaurant de la Place is located in the Place de l’Hotel de Ville, which is also a large parking area. The restaurant is hushed and the menu gastronomic; but the set menus are good value, and the quality is excellent. It is not a great place to bring young children, unless they’re French and so exceptionally well behaved.

Le Scorlion is located off the Place de Pilori with a yard facing rather the magnificent grounds of the Biblioteque. The A La Carte menu is impressive (despite the English chef) but can be expensive. The have now introduced a far more reasonable fixed price menu, and as a result have seen us more often!

Contact restaurants

Les Jacobins
26 Rue des Jacobins
+33 5 46 32 54 89
unblock.stirs.stables

L’Annexe
6 Rue Gambetta
+33 5 46 32 28 28
adopting.goggled.harvester

Ellis Park bar
10 Rue Gambetta
+33 5 46 32 43 40
earmarked.quashing.fluster

Le Mareyeur
7 Place André Lemoyne
+33 5 46 59 01 20
dainty.starkest.toothpicks

Le Petit Bouchon
4 Place du Marché
+33 5 46 59 00 53
supermarkets.overstuffed.retraces

La P’tite Cour
2 Place Canton des Forges
+33 9 54 81 20 35
acorn.ploy.irony

L’Ancre Marine
12 Place du Marché
+33 5 46 59 26 63
divulging.skincare.bumpier

Hotel Restaurant de la Place
Place de l’Hôtel de ville
+33 5 46 32 69 11
cockle.nuns.excel

Le Scorlion
5 Rue de l’Abbaye
+33 5 46 32 52 61
corsets.profusely.stress

It is advisable to book at the better restaurants. If you feel your French isn’t up to it then ask Giles to make the booking for you.

Shopping

Supermarkets

The nearest supermarket is the Intermarché, conveniently located at the closest point in St Jean to the gites – about a 10 minute drive. It’s open every day until 8pm (12.45 pm on Sundays).

A little further away is LeClerc, which is bigger and, for some items, cheaper. It has similar opening times.

There’s also a Lidl that’s open until 8pm but closed on Sundays, which has everything you’d expect at low prices – and their croissants are not only a real bargain, but very tasty.

In the centre of town you’ll find the U Express right behind the market, which is small but handy for last-minute items while you’re shopping in town.

Antiques and bricabrac

Intexterieur is a fascinating repository of the bizarre and the unusual, open from 3 to 7pm weekdays and Saturdays. Right next door is a junk shop where you can pick up some real bargains.

Just outside St Jean, at Asnières-la-Giruad, you’ll find the local branch of Emmaus, a sprawling junk shop run by a housing charity. You can get great deals here. Open 2-6 Wednesday and Friday, and 10-12 and 2-6 on Saturday.

There are regular flea markets held in the neighbouring towns, and the dates vary. Check brocabrac.fr for the latest details, or download their app to your phone.

Markets

The main market in St Jean is open from 8am to 1pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it spills out into the surrounding streets. Be sure to glance up at the impressive beamed roof, built in 1853.

Every third Saturday in the month there’s a fair in the Place de l’Hotel de Ville, selling a wide variety of clothes, hardware and even poultry.

A large flea market is held at the Place du Champ de Foire “every 5th Sunday”, so the St Jean website tells us. Make of that information what you will.