The beautiful island of île de Ré is known for their many salt marshes
“Ane en culotte” Back in the 19th century the Poitou donkey was used for the work in the marshes and fields and in order to protect the donkey’s legs against cuts, insects and the salt, a local woman from Rétais had the ingenious idea to design trousers for their front and hind legs. The trousers were made of old red Vichy pattern curtain fabrics or grey striped mattress ticking, giving them the name Anes en Culotte (donkeys in panties).
The donkeys are no longer used for the work in the salt marshes, but the tradition of the donkeys wearing trousers is being carried on. Children can get to know these docile intelligent animals, ride them and of course have their picture taken with them.
The Poitou donkey race, recognisable for their long shaggy coat is actually an endangered species, there are only 300 Poitou donkey left in the world with 19 of them on île de Ré, hence the island takes great pride in carrying on the tradition and doing their bit to conserve the species.
Where to eat or what to eat
The “Cybèle de Marais” Oyster
Salt and oyster farming is synonymous with île de Ré, so much so, that 6 oyster farmers have cultivated a whole new type of oysters, the “Cybèle de Marais”. What sets it apart is that they are grown in the salt marshes instead of the sea, giving them a unique taste. The oyster is an officially recognised product after complying with the 70 criteria set out by the regional institute for food quality.
Out and about in Aquitaine
22 – 25 August 2015, Jazz en Ré
The sixteenth “Jazz en Ré” festival will be taking place at Saint Martin de Ré under the Vauban fortifications. The festival has something for everyone, from swing to ‘Manouche’ to blues.
18 April 2015, Hermione’s departure from Rochefort
In April the Hermione will set sail for America. In 1780, the Marquis de La Fayette sailed on the Hermione to help the American rebels in their fight for independence. Following an 18 year building process a replica has been constructed using the same material and craftsmanship. All the hard work will culminate when she embarks on her 40 day long journey to America’s East coast.
Press contact: Stéphane Morand
+33 (0)5 46 31 71 77