Angouleme - City of Festivals, great Shopping and History

Angouleme is a Commune in south-western France and the capital Charente of the department.

It is located 106kms or N.N.E. of Bordeaux. Here you find great Restaurants, lots of History, Festivals and of course Shopping.

Following are some information about the great Festivals that happen every year and it is well worth visiting just for that.

If you decide to visit and are looking for somewhere to stay, why not check out La Petite Maison.

Angouleme, along with paper and printing, has long been associated with animation, illustration and the graphic arts. The national Musée de la Bande Dessinée (comic strip museum, the CNBD) is situated in an ambitious paper-mill conversion down by the river.

A new museum dedicated to the motion picture opened in Summer 2007 at the newly restored "chais" on the riverside at Saint Cybard.

The famous Angouleme International Comics Festival takes place for a week every year in January and receives nearly a quarter of a million visitors from around the world.

Now, if you are interested in Classic Cars this is just the right place for you in mid September.

The motor racing event, Circuit Des Remparts with its historic street circuit around the ramparts and past the Cathedral, is re-enacted on the Sunday of the mid weekend in September, and is the world's largest gathering of pre-war Bugatti racing machines.

The hair-raising day-long race of classic cars around Angouleme's ramparts has run the same course since 1939.

Usually around 30 cars of fabulous value, many being examples of the legendary T35, the Ferraris of their day, which their owners "demonstrate" at full speed around the twisting circuit, complete with hairpin bends and hillclimbs.

British vintage and classic cars are also in abundance, most having been driven to the event.

The Saturday of the "Remparts" weekend includes a "touristic" rally (as opposed to a speed event) for classic and sporting cars, around the picturesque Cognac growing area. Tickets include a big lunch and a large party and prize-giving in Les Halles in the evening.

This really is a great event and I love going there and just look at these fab cars and wishing one of them was mine.

Well, one can dream...........

If you are not really in to Comics or Classic cars, how about Food!!!!!!

I think I can say that we all like to eat and the french food really is good and full of variety.

Every year in November the Gastronomades Festival happens here.

It seems like the whole of Angouleme is turned in to a food fest. Everywhere you go you inhale fantastic smells, you see different types of food and much more........

After all that, how about some shopping now?? I am sure this is probably more for the Ladies, but everyone is free to carry on reading!!!!

Since I arrived here 9 years ago Angouleme has changed quite a bit with regards to shopping.

There is a great pedestrian area but at the time 9 years ago all the shops felt very old fashioned to me and I found it very difficult to find anything.

But that has all changed now, in particular since a shopping centre, The Champ Mars, opened right in the centre at the end of 2007.

Now it is really nice to wander through the pedestrian area and look at all the shop windows. I can actually find things now.....

The best thing that happened lately is that the McDonald was closed, due to lack of customer. It pleased me to no end as Angouleme has a variety of really nice Restaurants and who needs a McDonald????

As I started talking about Restaurants, the old town really offers a great variety of Restaurants.

It has lunch time places, but also lovely places to have dinner.

My favourite lunch time place is called 'Le Chat Noir' and you find it right by the Market Hall. Very reasonable, good food and friendly service. The waiter even speaks some english in case you stuck.

So, here was a taste of the City, after all the beautiful villages I am sure you have visited.

Just remember - what ever you do have a great time....

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