Parthenay, Deux-Sevres, France

An medieval fortified town with the River Thouet on two sides; a very romantic legend tells that Parthenay was created by the wave of the fairy Melusine’s wand. There’s a lovely castle, built in the 13th century, and a wonderful medieval quarter with half-timbered houses. Every year in July the town hosts the Festival Ludique Internationale when the streets are bustling with people playing games – board games, computer games and organised team games, plus entertainment and food stalls. You’ll find independent shops to browse and when you’re feeling peckish head to Auberge la Bouncheliere, Le Ralais des Saveurs, or La Truffade for some proper French cuisine.

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