|Apple Orchard||Self Catering||Saturday||4||8||2||2|
Apple Orchard is a charming 'ex-cider producing' country house with an orchard, pool, with beautiful uninterrupted rural views, and is 45 mins from the beaches at Lorient. You will enjoy a peaceful setting in a 16th century church hamlet situated near the chateau towns in central Brittany. The house can sleep 8 + 2 (4 bedrooms).
The country house is located on the outskirts of a tiny village near the town of Melrand and close to the chateaux towns of Pontivy, Josselin, and Vannes and the beautiful fishing port of Auray called St Goustan. Apple Orchard boasts its own private 1 acre garden with an orchard of over 70 trees planted in lines, which in spring and summer form green tunnels of natural shade adding a wonderful ambiance when dining al fresco. It is a short (150 yard) stroll to the 400 year old chapel and access to Locmaria's natural spring, and has open forest walks and tracks with safe, quiet country roads suitable for biking.
In Melrand (1.5 km) there is a general store, boulangerie, garage, boucherie, creperie, hairdresser and an excellent restaurant with authentic French cuisine (La Tourelle). There is a small play area close to La Tourelle and a 'not-to-be-missed' beautiful lake with lovely 'green tunnelled' walks, footbridges, fishing and play areas and a river weir situated on the southern outskirts approximately 1/2 mile from the church.
Our guests have exclusive use of this country house which is on 3 levels and has a 'walk in home' rather than holiday inventory. The top level has a twin and double room with a separate toilet and bathroom. The ground floor has the other double and twin rooms, a large shower room, separate toilet, fully equipped kitchen and a living room with a long farmhouse style dining table suitable for seating 10 people. The basement contains an internal garage area, a utility room with washing machine and ironing facilities and the gamesroom with table tennis, darts, pool table and kids table football.
Other entertainment in the salon includes satellite tv, dvd, cd player and iPod station, boardgames and 7-9Mbps wi-fi for gaming, video streaming or watching UK tv iPlayers.
In terms of outdoor activity there are lawned areas for badminton and volleyball, a bbq area adjacent to the boules court and a large above ground pool in its own safe astro-turfed enclosure adjacent to the games area and amongst the trees in the orchard.
Amongst our other unique additonal services which are described below we also offer 20% discount on your ferry fares if travelling with Brittany Ferries.
Our country kitchen is well equipped with a fridge-freezer, electric and gas hob, electric oven, microwave, kettle, toaster and plenty of crockery, glasses and cooking utensils for up to full occupancy.
There is an additional breakfast table to seat 6 people in addition to the larger farmhouse table in the salon which seats 10. A highchair is also provided for babies and toddlers. There is also terrace and garden furniture if you wish to dine 'al fresco'.
The salon has sofa seating for up to 10 people and a long farmhouse dining table and a full suite of entertainment including cd/dvd/video players, an iPod docking station, tv and wi-fi broadband for VOIP/video streaming or gaming.
We have a small library of books and a rack of magazines which we offer on an honesty basis to enable you to take home a book you are part through reading provided you leave another behind for others to enjoy.
There are also french windows which provide easy access to the front terrace.
We have 4 contemporary styled bedrooms. Papillon and Citrouille are the twin rooms and Lys and Aubergine are the double rooms. We also have 2 put-u-up beds suitable for kids up to teenagers.
Each room has wardrobe and storage facilities and the downstairs twin contains a box of toys and boardgames.
Apple Orchard has 2 bathrooms. The first floor has a bathroom and separate toilet and the ground floor a large shower room and separate toilet.
Apple Orchard is centrally heated throughout although this is not normally required during the main season and so also has portable electric heaters to provide more warmth in specific rooms, if required.
For entertainment there is UK satellite tv, wi-fi/broadband (7-9 mbps), iPod docking station and a cd/dvd and video players. There are also boardgames to suit the whole family and games/toys for younger children to enjoy.
The basement gamesroom provides a pool table, table tennis, darts and a kids table football game.
Outside you can play boules or petanque on our boules court, erect the nets to play badminton or volleyball in the play area in the centre of the orchard or even use the inflatables in the pool. Other choices are garden Jenga, football or bat and ball.
As well as the furniture on the front terrace there is ample (and more portable) garden furniture for you to set up and dine (or use the bbq provided) amongst the apple trees in the orchard enabling families to socialise and have fun with outdoor games or supervise their youngsters.
There is internal parking for 1 car and hard standing car parking for at least 4 cars at the end of the driveway.
Apple Orchard is a non smoking retreat due to the internal smoke alarms and in respect to our non-smoking guests. However there are ample areas for smoking outside.
The property lends itself to 2 families holidaying together, extended families, or groups given the sleeping accommodation, bathroom and toilets are split evenly on 2 levels.
It is not recommended for the severely disabled or wheelchairs due to the 7 or 8 stone steps from the driveway up to the property and the 3 levels of stairs inside between the basement and the top floor.
However with the support and supervision of family members or friends, wheelchair access is possible from the road if taken across the front lawn to the front terrace and if accommodation is then restricted to the ground floor. Supported wheelchair access to the gamesroom is also possible via the driveway and central garage (again via the terrace and front lawn).
We offer a meals on arrival service with a selection of tasty meals enabling you to feed the family quickly on arrival and settle in to your holiday.
We also offer a hamper service to avoid having to shop in your first couple of days or our fresh Sunday morning hamper to provide you with a hearty brunch on your first morning without having to shop soon after you arrive.
We can also supply locally produced jams to use during your stay or take home with you as a slowly dwindling souvenir !
Our linen service also enables a linen change midway through a 2 week tenure if requested.
Mike and Tracy have owned and managed Apple Orchard for 15 years. We live in Stubbington village on the South Coast of the UK and have two grown up sons of 20 and 22 who have flown the nest to start work or University. Mike is a landlord of a number of properties in the UK and Tracy is a commercial bank manager for Lloyds Bank Plc. We also run our bed and breakfast called Country View in our coastal location.
|Year property purchased||2001|
|Why this location?||The house is in a quiet and tranquil location which provides easy access to the chateaux towns in central Brittany and is a short drive to the beaches at Lorient, the Gulf of Morbihan and the impressive Lake Guerledan.|
|Unique benefits of property||We have a safe above ground pool in its own enclosure, an Orchard of Apple Trees amongst large grounds and play areas including a boules court and bbq area. Apple Orchard was a cider making villa and is spacious, well equipped and comfortably furnished unlike gites which are fairly small and spartan by comparison. Melrand is also situated between the two large towns of Pontivy (Chateaux Town) to the North and Baud to the South and has good links to both. The rural views from the terrace are both therapeutic and unbroken adding to Apple Orchard's rustic charm.|
La Tourelle is the well established and busy village restaurant serving tasty french style cuisine. The best time to go is at lunchtime when the atmosphere is quite lively and a 3 course plat de jour will cost you around 10 Euros including wine and cider. Gwen the owner also speaks quite good English. Eating there in the evening is more expensive as the main meal of the day in France is lunch.
St Goustan is the cobbled quayside estuary area below the town of Auray. It has a number of Bistro bar/restaurants on the quayside and boasts medieval style buildings running off the quay. There is an amazing (and very naughty) home made biscuit and sweet shop on the town side of the quay with the road behind it lined with shops and leads up a steep rise to the small but bustling town of Auray. There is lots of art on show and a lovely church at its centre.
This is about a 2 hour run and should not be missed as it is a great place to take the family for a 'National Trust' style experience as you can walk around the peninsula via the natural shoreline with parkland in the centre. You should plan to arrive early and leave early as it is a single carriageway road to get on and off the peninsula and it is very popular all year round but especially during the holiday season. Our advice is to visit Quiberon (pronounced Keeberon) in the morning and then either Auray/St Goustan or Carnac beach on the way back in the afternoon.
This is 2km from Apple Orchard by car. Head into Melrand village from Apple Orchard and follow the main road leaving the church to your left and carry on for a further ½ km and the lake is on your right hand side. Families use this for picnics and you can also paddle and fish there.
Around a 60-75 minute run in the car (all motorway) and 9 miles west of Quimperle on west coast of Brittany. Idyllic Cotswold style riverside setting with paddle wheels on the backs of houses, small river islands, art shops, bars and restaurants. Very popular.
Fishing port with a Vintage medieval walled fort/city. There are boat trips out to the Iles des Glénan, a small archipelago, home to a famous sailing school and seabird sanctuaries. (Should be combined with the trip to Pont Aven – see above - which is only a few km away).
A medieval village dominated by an awesome 11c Castle. South west of Melrand (35 minutes). Exhibits include entry to the castle/chateau which is still a residence of Josselin de Rohan, fourteenth Duke of Rohan, who was President of the region of Brittany from 1998 to 2004 and are one of the richest families in France. The castle also hosts jousting events in the Summer.
North of Melrand/Pontivy - beaches and motor boat/canoe/pedalo hire (45 minutes drive). Last year the lake was completely drained to carry out works on the dam and the amazing sight of the size and scale of the lake was not to be missed. The lake was refilled between November 2015 and January 2016. Joining the Nantes-Brest Canal at its western and eastern ends, the 7 miles (12km)-long Lac de Guerlédan was created in the 1920s at the same time as the dam, which provides hydro-electricity for the region; visit the Musée de l’Electricité at St Aignan (mid-June to mid-Sept) to find out about its history. A good time to visit Guerlédan is in mid-August when the Fête du Lac takes place – a day-long festival featuring markets, classic cars, water-based activities, fireworks and the all-important Fest-Noz.
The lake’s main village is Beau Rivage on the north bank. With its choice of accommodation, restaurants, beaches and moorings, this is a good base to explore the surrounding area – why not do a tour of the lake on horseback, on foot or by bike? In Beau Rivage you’ll also be able to hire kayaks, pedalos or try your hand at water-skiing. Less active sorts can take life at a more leisurely pace on a boat trip.
Interesting and challenging 9 hole (full yardage) course 9km from Melrand, just south of Pontivy – (25 mins drive from Apple Orchard) set in the grounds of an old chateau. Club hire is also available but ring up and check first in the event they are booked out.
Great pool with slides and water falls and no need for speedos and hats. [Most pools normally insist on these – we have not yet worked out why it is necessary for the boys and men to wear speedos rather then the usual baggy short attire!!]
Lomener and Lamour Plage. The former is a cove with rock pools (pictured) and the latter a long sandy beach with wooden boardwalks (allow around an hour to get there from Melrand – worth the trip).
Lovely river ambience with riverside path, cycle hire and boat trips – (20 mins - 7km).
For kids from 6 - 12 (?) years old - round a small circuit and then through the forest for big kids - great fun. There is also an adventure park there for all ages with the ropes through the trees etc. Must book the quads before you go.
We have just enjoyed the most wonderful, relaxing break with friends at Apple Orchard. We were met on arrival by the kind and generous Mike & Tracy, who couldn't do enough to make our stay a very memorable experience.
Extremely spacious, spotless, well equipped house with a beautiful orchard and lovely pool set in the delightful French countryside. You couldn't find a more rural property, yet only 5 minutes from the village with patisserie, bank, supermarket, and charming drinking establishments, where the local people were welcoming and patient with our broken French. A particular restaurant/bar not to miss where you can get fantastic value is La Tourelle. Marvellous break and would be ideal for a family, many thanks to Mike & Tracy.