Épicerie Merlo (Soulac-sur-Mer)

© Henriette Ma

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Gone are the days of wheelin’ and dealin’ in Soulac, since Léo Busnoult and Charlène Gosselin set up their multi-purpose place in this stylishly cool spot decked out in wood and red roof tiles, thus completing the golden triangle formed with the canteen Ola and the bakery-épicerie Montreal-sur-Mer. Here at Merlo, the former stylist and barista (ex-I/O, Télescope Café and Brûlerie de Belleville in Paris) stock the best local produce (fresh goat’s cheese from the Ferme du Maquis in Vertheuil, fruit from the Ferme de l’Ancien in Vendays-Montalivet) as well as gems from further afield – Dohatsu broths from the Basque Country, jams from Céline Dubreuil in Burgundy, Greek herbs and spices from Daphnis and Chloe, premium pasta from Michele Portoghese… You’ll also find all these good things in the sandwiches of the day (like the one with goat’s cheese, pickled beetroot, lettuce, parsley and mint), which beg to paired with a scone and an Oven Heaven coffee on the sunny terrace. // Henriette Ma

THE HIDDEN GEM: Tinned fish from the craft nano-cannery Pirate Cannerie in the Landes (€8.90 to €14.80 per 140 g can).

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