Are you planning to visit to the region of Cognac? Well here 7 of the best places to go and enjoy Cognac, as chosen by us. Of course you should visit some of the big Cognac houses, some of the middle sized as well. Here is a selection of restaurants, hotels and one great shop.

First of all, I think that the region itself is the best place: It’s like with lots of other products, drink a Var-Rosé in Provence and it will taste better than drinking it at home in Berlin. Have oysters in Charente-Maritime and it will be sort of nicer to taste them over there.

You get my point.

Same for Cognac. The eaux-de-vie simply is more alive when drinking it in the region, at the source.

Here comes a selection where you should go to enjoy your Cognac in the region.

1. Shopping in the Cognatheque

Cognatheque

It is the biggest Cognac shop in the world. With over 400 Cognacs and 50 Pineaux des Charentes you will find almost everything. From rare Frapin vintage Cognacs to the Paradis of Ragnaud-Sabourin. The Paradis is that special because about ten perecent of the blend is from the time before the vine fretter crisis.

At the Cognatheque you will find lots of rare vintage Cognacs liket Godet 1900, Lafragette 1906,Pierre Ferrand 1914, Navarre 1925, La Gabarre 1944, Hine 1957 and much more.

10, Place Jean Monnet
16100 Cognac
telephone  0033 (0)545 82 43 41
fax 0033 (0)545 82 53 79

2. Hotel Château De L’Yeuse

Château De L’Yeuse

A bit outside of the town of Cognac, lies the Château De L’Yeuse. A little castle from the 19th century, with tower, pink-white striped walls, 3 acres park and a fantastic veranda and the most majestic view on the town of Cognac.

The chateau is within comfortable reach of the centre ville, giving its guests the feeling of being in the countryside and close to the beating heart of town. The rooms are romantic, done with rich colors and fine accessories.

This place is totally idyllic: A magnificent view, Sauna, Jacuzzi and more make this stay a very relaxed one. It is definitely an upscale, high-end stay.

But here comes the very special point: The Château has its own Cognac collection with over 180 different bottles, from A. de Fussigny, to Camus, Frapin and all the important, rare products. It’s no wonder that producers and merchants made this place their unofficial meeting point. If there is an important guest coming to the region, he will be going to the Hotel Château.

Château de l’Yleuse
65, rue de Bellevue
16100 Châteaubernard-Cognac
telephone 0033 (0) 545 36 82 60

Fax 0033 (0) 545 35 06 32
[email protected]

3. Hotel Domaine de L’Echassier

Domaine de L’Echassier

Like the Château de L’Yleuse, the domaine lies slightly out of Cognac: a stunning country house with a swimmingpool and twenty two contemporary rooms at reasonable price. Watch out: if you’re coming in summer, be sure to get a room with air condition.

A 2-acres park surrounds the house. The restaurant serves dishes which often consist of regional ingredients, such as Pineau, mushrooms from the area and of course: there is quite an impressive menu card of Cognacs.

Domaine de l’Echassier
72, rue Bellevue
16100 Châteaubernard
0033 (0) 545 34 01 09

0033 (0) 545 32 22 43

4. Hotel des Francs Garcons

The “hotel of the honest boys” is a building from the 13th century, situated in a medieval town between Saintes and Angoulême.

Hotel des Francs Garcons

It is quite a small hotel with only seven rooms. Once you’ve opened the door, the atmosphere strikes you.

The entry hall is designed with “wood” of Cole & Son and reminds somehow of a forest. The breakfast room is done with rustic stones, decorated with Italian chairs and tables. In the library you will find several books about architecture, you may read in front of a fireplace.

The swimming pool and the veranda are not that large, the view is characterized by a small 12th century church.

This place is a real design hotel, you would probably expect in London or New York. The hotel was designed by different architects – each room is named after an architect.

Owner Hervé Audinet is one of them, but also Douglas Gibbons (Royal Institute of British Architecture), John Casbarian, Danny Samuels and Bob Timme. Of course, every room is differently designed.

Hôtel des Francs Garcons
1, rue Francs Garcons
17160 Saint-Sauvant
Telephone 0033 (0) 546 90 33 93

5. Hotel Restaurant de Bordeaux

Hotel Restaurant de Bordeaux

About 95 kilometers north of Bordeaux lies Pons. It’s one of those slowly moving, easy, Southwestern towns in France, with typical small streets. Pons is tiny but important, firstly because of its history and secondly because of the cooking.

Bruno Foucher is one of the great talents in Charente and presents wonderful dishes – at a reasonable price. Elsewhere you would easily pay the double. But there is more to discover at the Hotel de Bordeaux: The dining room is a bit modest but the small and very charming courtyard with a small lemon tree is a great place for summer dinners. Totally natural and well designed.

And of course there is a nice Cognac selection available from Château de Beaulon to Ragnaud-Sabourin. The owner Cornelia Müller is German.

Hôtel de Bordeaux
1, Avenue Gambetta
17800 Pons
telephone 0033 (0) 546 91 31 12

6. Restaurant La Ribaudiere

La Ribaudiere (hchalkley)

This is the place where the big Cognac merchants come to toast when a deal is done. The restaurant is a country house at the river of Charente,

view on the river, surrounded by modern sculptures.

The bourgeois manor house has been modernized recently: Once wood-brown designed, the restaurant now presents itself in stylish-modern white. But the kitchen does not exaggerate with experimenting.

Interesting is the Cognac lounge, designed in purple, red and pink. Somehow this place does not really fit in. But the cuisine is formidable!

La Ribaudière
Place du Port-Bourg
16200 Bourg-Charente
telephone 0033 (0) 545 81 30 54
fax 0033 (0) 545 81 28 05

7. Restaurant La Cagouille (Paris)

Ok this is not in Cognac country, Charente. But if you want to simulate it – and you are in Paris… go to this restaurant. Founder Gérard Allemandou is famous for his fish dishes, good and simple classics are of course also available.

Restaurant La Cagouille

The Cognac cellar looks like a liquid library: A.E. Dor, Camus, Boutinet, Martell, Marcel Ragnaud, Otard, Rémy Martin, Hennessy, Chainier, Navarre, Dubois Galant, Hine, Gourmel, Audry, Moyet, Frapin, Croizet, Merlin, Dubiny, Jean Fillioux, Château de Beaulon, Charpentron, Prunier, Serplet, Voyez, Lefoulon… this selection is known all over France.

La Cagouille
10/12 Place Constantin Brancusi
75014 Paris
telephone 0033 (0) 143 22 09 01

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Max is a spirits expert and speaker, into marketing, technology, startups, and business development. He’s also a farmer. He likes tools and machines, Game of Thrones, and Better Call Saul. Included in his Top 10 Cognacs are the Audry XO and Bache Gabrielsen 1973.Max founded Cognac Expert in 2010 at his family’s estate in Poullignac, in the Cognac region, France. Started as a blog, today Cognac Expert is the world’s largest website about all things Cognac, a blog, and a specialized online shop featuring 800+ different Cognac bottles.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I think the Château De L’Yeuse is lesss interesting than described here. It is true, the cognac bar is impressive and yes, it will be a highlight for every eau de vie lover but come on: it’s a pink, 19th century house. Compared to other buildings in the region, whether it’s Roman, churches, real castles and so on.. the De L’Yeuse remains rather uninteresting in terms of athomsphere. I’ve been there once.. of course, it’s nice and all that, but for me it somehow lacks a sense of soul.

  2. Avatar

    I work at the University of Utah for a travel and learn program called Go Learn.

    I found your blog while reading the blog “A drop of Cognac.” I am organizing a culinary trip to France for September 2012 and wanting to reach out to some English speakers near Cognac, which is where the majority of this trip will be. Our exact dates are August 29th – September 9th. I sadly do not speak French and must speak English so any help would be wonderful!

    I would love some suggestions about working with local chefs who can give cooking demonstrations to our group (20 – 26 people), transportation, and anything else! We are trying to arrange accommodations at the hotel Domaine du Breuil in Cognac. Do you know of it? Of course, we would love to tour several of the Cognac houses in the region. A comparison of small boutique to the larger more well known houses is what we hope to do.

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