|La Petite Cachette||Self Catering||Saturday||1||2||1||cot|
La Petite Cachette is a charming, single storey, open plan house, with one bedroom. It is private, not overlooked, tranquil and peaceful, set in its own garden with terraces on three sides for sun and shade throughout the day. It is surrounded by vineyards and benefits from glorious sunsets.
It is well equipped and furnished with modern and French antique furniture.
There is UK satellite television and wi-fi - but please note there is not the capacity for downloading lots of data.
The open plan kitchen has a cooker with four ring hob, grill and oven, a microwave oven, dishwasher, kettle, toaster and fridge freezer. There is a dining area with table and chairs.
The open plan living room is very comfortably furnished with an antique three piece suite and plenty of tables. There is a woodburner for winter visitors. The television has freeview UK channels, and there is an audio unit and lots of books to read. The French windows open onto the terrace.
There is one large bedroom with two antique French beds, a wardrobe, chairs and large chest of drawers.
The beds are three foot wide singles and can be joined together to make one very large (6 foot wide) king size bed.
French windows open on to the terrace.
There is a bathroom with a small bath and overhead shower, washbasin and toilet.
There are electric wall hung radiators and a woodburner.
Television with UK freeview channels, an audio unit, books to borrow and card games.
The private garden surrounds the house with a terrace on three sides. There is plenty of outside furniture and a bbq.
There is private parking at the house.
The house is suitable for two visitors and one or two very small children or babies.
We have owned our house for 16 years and have lived here for several years, having built La Petite Cachette to keep us busy! Alan was a Head Gardener in heritage properties, including National Trust houses, and Barbara worked in the tourism industry, for, amongst others, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and managing a Queen Anne house. Alan is now busy creating our own garden, while Barbara continues to work. We really enjoy our life in 'our' little corner of France, and hope that you will too.
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||Our house is tranquil and private, surrounded by vineyards. We are about 30 kilometres, around half an hours drive, from the beautiful Atlantic beaches and the busy tourist centres of Montalivet, Soulac and Hourtin, so we have the best of all worlds. What could be better after a day's jaunt, than to return to the tranquility of your own little hideaway, where you can watch the beauty of the sun set from your own private terrace. It is a nature lovers paradise, with visiting nightingales and hoopoes as well as many other varieties of birds. There are two bikes which you may use to explore the surroundings. The roads are ideal for cycling, with few hills and little traffic. For the more energetic there are many cycle tracks through the pine forests on the Atlantic coast where bikes are available for hire. Bordeaux, a World Heritage Site, is accessible by car, bus or train and delightful St Emilion is accessible for a day out, as is beautiful La Rochelle.|
|Unique benefits of property||La Petite Cachette is private, tranquil and perfect for unwinding and relaxing. The house has terraces on 3 sides to catch the sun all day long, or find shade if you prefer. The sunsets are magnificent, and you can enjoy your own private show each night as the sun sinks behind the vines.|
The wonderful sandy beaches which stretch all the way to Spain are on the west coast (the Atlantic). Le Pin Sec is the nearest beach, although not the prettiest with the remains of WWII emplacements, it is still a wonderful stretch of sand. A little further you will find the beautiful beach of Hourtin Plage. Montalivet beach is popular and on Sundays there is a very large market in the town square selling a colourful variety of things, with food stalls similar to those at the Night Markets which take place in July and August.
Hourtin lake has beaches at Hourtin Port and Maubuisson which are lovely to visit. There are pedaloes and canoes to hire, and at Hourtin there is an 'inflatable' and a zip wire. There are plenty of ‘eateries’ and restaurants in both places. Further north, the bustling seaside town of Soulac has a good beach with pools left by the outgoing tide (take care when the tide returns as they can then be dangerous). There is lots of atmosphere and life as you walk to the sea, the small town buzzing with shops and restaurants.
The beautiful city of Bordeaux, a world heritage site, is just over an hours drive away. You can use the park and ride trams, the bus which takes you right to the centre for 4.20 euros return, or the train and then the tram.. Amble along by the river, enjoy the mirror pool, take a boat trip, explore this wonderful city. On Sunday, wander along the river pavement where there are pop up food stalls, watch the skateboarders, admire the chic locals. If you feel like a longer drive, St Emilion and La Rochelle are utterly charming. From La Rochelle you can cross the bridge by car to the very pretty Ile de Re or take a boat trip to the small Aix Island or out to Fort Boyard. Down the coast, there is road access to the holiday island Ile d’Oleron, known for its oysters, and which has its own charm.
If you have crossed the estuary you can discover the ‘bastide’ style, 13th century village of Talmont-sur-Gironde, built on a rocky outcrop south of Royan. It is designated as a Plus Beau Village and the Romanesque church with its fortified walls dominates the delightful village with its narrow streets and charming cottages.
From Meschers where you can visit troglodyte caves.
Mornac-sur-Seudre to the north of Royan is also a Plus Beau Village and has a picturesque medieval centre, small 'arty' type shops and restaurants. A signposted walk across the salt marshes and boat trips along the Seudre river are also available.
The biggest sand dune in Europe, the Dune du Pilat, near Archacon is a couple of hours drive away. It can be seen from Cap Ferret, a charming small town across the bay.
There is a small airfield near Pauillac where a small two seater plane will take you over the Medoc, booking is essential.
The Abbey at Vertheuil is very atmospheric and it and the pretty village are well worth a visit if you are nearby.
The Medoc is no different from all other parts of France with local markets in all the towns. You will find a list of these in the house. The one on Wednesday morning at St Vivien is very good. Lesparre has a market on Saturday and Tuesday mornings.
In July and August there is a night market somewhere every night of the week, where you choose food from one of the stalls, sit down at a tressle table and enjoy the fun.
You are in the middle of one of the most famous wine producing areas in the world. We have lost count but there must be around 20 just around our village. You will find many of the grand Chateaux such as Rothschild , Margaux, Beychevelle on the ‘Chateau Route’. Chateau la Gorce is local where they will often give you a tour of the wine cellar. The grand chateau La Tour de By has a tower offering good views and you can sample the wine.
At Chateau Castillon in St Christoly they offer lunch, a vineyard tour and wine tasting on Tuesdays and Fridays (possibly summertime only) for a very reasonable price, we are told.
Pauillac, on the estuary, has restaurants, a harbour and antique shops.
Along the estuary you will find small sea food restaurants which open for lunch, such as Le Canoe at Goulee near Valeyrac, where there is also a restaurant, the Duc du Eperon, and a creperie – this is open in the summer.
From the start of July to the end of August there are night markets in the Medoc where you buy the food of your choice from one of the stalls. Tables are provided, just find yourself a seat. There is information on the notice board about the locations of these markets which are taking place all over the Medoc. There is one to be found somewhere every night of the week, including Sunday!
Lesparre has local shops, supermarkets, banks and a market on Saturday morning.
Eating out is such a personal thing so we hesitate to recommend anywhere, but there are: there are a variety of eateries in Lesparre, La Table Medoc just outside Lesparre direction Le Verdun, Le Ble Noir is a little bit further along that road. There are restaurants in Pauillac, Queyrac and St Christoly.
'Noisettines', delicious caramelised nuts, are made in Blaignan and you can visit to buy and see what goes on if you are interested.