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Le Skippy  St.Laurent-sur-Sèvre
43,rue Calvaire. Tel. 02 51 67 83 62.

Sud Vendee.. Haut Bocage.. Coastal Region.. Marais Poitevin.. Marais Breton.. Bas Bocage.. Plaine.. Marais Olonne..
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Le Skippy

There are some things in life that you never imagine that you will ever say, and yet there you are saying them. One such phrase is “Saved by Skippy”, I would never have thought that I would be saying it anywhere let alone in the middle of a French town in the Haut Bocage known as the “Holy Town of the Vendée”.

We had set out on a grey Wednesday to visit one of my favourite places in the Haut Bocage where the Sèvre Nantaise meanders along the border of the Vendée. We intended to eat at the Auberge des 3 Provinces, a pretty little Auberge right on the river at the junction of the Vendée, the Loire Atlantique and Deux Sèvres, that we had found on a previous visit and thought we should try. We arrived only to find that it was closed on Wednesdays. Our second choice was another Auberge right on the river at Rochard, we had never seen it open and today was no exception, although there were tables and chairs set up outside. We now had a problem, where to eat! It seems quite incredible that although it was only the last day of August, finding a restaurant open was presenting such a problem. It was our own fault, we had not come prepared enough and had we printed out the restaurant page from the guide we might well have found somewhere more suitable. We hadn’t however and so we found ourselves in Le Skippy a bar restaurant in the heart of Saint Laurent-sur-Sèvre uttering the phrase “Saved by Le Skippy”.

Le Skippy was located in a street that when we were there was in the process of being dug up. It was an ordinary place with a large circular bar and a utilitarian dining room off to the side which was very busy. It was populated by locals and the staff were friendly and helpful, the decor was clean if uninspiring with one wood panelled wall while the others were white, with a tiled floor. The
10.50 menu offered an entrée of hors d’ouvres, a main course of either a burger with an egg or cheese on top and chips, or Spaghetti Bolognese and a dessert, with wine included. We decided to go for the 13.90 menu which was the same as the 10.50 menu with the exception of a broader choice of main course and without wine. I had decided to continue my alcohol free week and so had tonic water and Trevor had a non alcoholic beer. We both ordered exactly the same meal and as I had looked over the hors d’ouvres table which was pretty good, Trevor fetched my selections. My selection from the hors d’ouvres table was a pork rillette, a paté de campagne, Poitrine de Porc which was a large thick chunk of cold belly pork, Macedonian vegetables, which are a mixture of diced vegetables in a little bit of mayonnaise, cold potatoes in vinaigrette, a green salad with tomatoes and a hardboiled egg. Trevor’s selection only differed slightly insofar as he also had the sardines, pickled herrings and a slice of melon. The whole thing was delicious and everything was very well prepared and very fresh. For our main course we had both decided that as we were in “Le Skippy” it would be churlish not to try the Kangaroo, and when it arrived it was perfectly cooked rare and bloody. Trevor and I had a brief conversation on the likelihood that it was fresh, and I did take his point that just because we hadn’t seen any Kangaroo farms in the vicinity didn’t mean that there weren’t any. I think we both felt that the overwhelming probability was that Skippy, like the chips, had come out of the refrigerator. Nonetheless it was tasty and the strong gamey flavour was certainly a change. I am partial to game but it did take me some time to adjust to the taste and to the thought of eating a childhood TV hero.

Main course done and dusted we both opted for the Crème Brulée, which was fabricated in house, whether it was homemade is another story. You can buy the filling in the supermarket either readymade or in powder form, once it is set a quick sprinkling of sugar over the top and a touch of the blowtorch treatment and there you have it. Whatever this was the taste was good, a bit more of a vanilla flavour than normal, and the texture was perfect, we finished with large white coffees and the bill came to
37.80. It was a perfectly acceptable meal, nothing exceptional except perhaps the chance to eat Kangaroo, I wouldn’t rush back there to eat, but if I ever found myself in the area and I was stuck for somewhere to eat I know that I could get a decent meal at a reasonable price at Le Skippy and with that rider I would recommend it. Tate - 2011.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

About the author: Tate spends the summers in the Vendee and is passionate about good wine and good food,he writes exclusively for the
The coping of this article is permitted as long as the complete article along with these credits are published.

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