Seafood, cognac and a rich Roman heritage are the three main characteristics of Saintes. Although it’s not on the coast, the river Charente links to the Atlantic sea, from where oysters and mussels are shipped in daily. The surrounding fields produce cognac, as Saintes is officially part of the ‘Appelation Cognac Controlee’ region, and there are several distilleries that are open to the public and offer tastings. The ruins of a Roman amphitheatre are located by the river, and if you wish to find out more about the town’s Roman past visit the Musee Archeologique. For fashionable shops, restaurants and bars, there’s St. Pierre in the old town.