Solange and Patou invited us out for a day on Île d'Oléron, mainly to collect 10 kilos of scallops (half for us), but on top of that we did 2 lovely walks, had lunch with Solanges’ sister and niece and ate very fresh oysters. We had visited the island before and to be honest we found it a bit touristy, but when you visit with people who know it well, you see it through different eyes. The morning was spent at Le Château-d'Oléron and then after lunch we went see oysters being washed and prepared for sale, around 60% of all oysters are sold in the run up to Christmas. There were 2 types available to try, one is known as Les Vertes which takes its name from the green algae they feed on and the other Blanche. You cannot get fresher oysters than straight from the sea, and while we appreciate how enthusiastic people are about them and were grateful for the tasting session, we just can’t see the appeal. We were given 12 oysters to take home and I’m going to try baking them, results will be posted soon. The end of the day was spent walking on the beautiful beach at Gatseau at the very south tip of the island. The tide was coming in and with mist hugging the waves, everything felt very atmospheric but one thing we didn’t expect to be doing in December was paddling.