Portrait of Jean Réveillon

the marsh: a land of inspiration
©DJI_0015|Tourisme en Pays de Saint-Omer

A former racing cyclist, then journalist and TV station owner, Jean Réveillon chose to settle in Saint-Omer when he retired. The septuagenarian nonetheless retains many activities while realizing his childhood dream of working in show business. Between two trips to the other side of the world, he finds inspiration for his new projects in his home and garden in the Audomarois marshlands.

Jean Réveillon,

At the heart of the audomarois marshlands

It’s a little house tucked away in the Audomarois marshlands. Shielded from the noise of the city, the shady garden invites you to rest or reflect. Jean Réveillon’s haven of peace is not close to the marsh: it’s in the marsh. At the far end of the garden, a small path opens onto the water. This is Jean Réveillon’s favorite spot: the one where he teases the fish. “Every time I come here, I settle down for a spot of fishing. Ever since I was a little guy, I’ve loved fishing.”

A passion that led him to buy in Saint-Omer

“The first time I came to Saint-Omer, it was already for fishing, with my father”Today, Jean Réveillon enjoys the pleasures of fishing at the bottom of his garden, settled on his little wooden chair. And when he wants to see more species – there are so many in the Saint-Omer marsh! -he boards his little boat built by his neighbor, the last manufacturer of traditional wooden boats, bacôves and escutes.

“I asked the Bateaux Faiseurs to build me an escute as soon as I arrived and I’m starting to get the hang of piloting.”

Saint-Omer by bike

“These are magical moments. What’s great is the flora and fauna, all the birds wandering around… You can find almost every aquatic species here. My favorite is my little kingfisher, which passes in a ray of morning sunshine in front of my fishing rod.”

The Pays de Saint-Omer, Jean Réveillon also travels it by bike. “Cycling is the common thread running through my life.” The septuagenarian has plenty of cycling memories in the region. Journalism has taken him to the head of regional and even national media. But he’s never stopped riding and racking up the miles. “I think it’s what keeps me fit and energized.

“I’ve tried mountain biking, which is even better for discovering the marshes. There are lots of little paths, it’s really nice.”

A fascinating town

Jean Réveillon will never have seen the whole of the Audomarois marsh. Its more than 3,700 hectares reveal new treasures with every stroll. Just like the town of Saint-Omer, which can be seen from the marsh. The former journalist never tires of discovering its architectural and cultural wonders. “I really enjoy strolling through the little streets around the Grand Place. I’m also fascinated by the Jesuit chapel and the library. The town is very pleasant.”

No doubt Jean Réveillon is inspired by these old stones and the omnipresent nature when, back in the calm of his garden, he works on his new projects. If you listen carefully, you may recognize Saint-Omer in the middle of a verse in one of Céline Dion’s latest songs, in the middle of a musical or between two tirades on the stage of a Parisian theater…

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du pays de Saint-Omer