|5 Place du Garnal||Self Catering||Saturday||4||7||3||Bunk bed can take one child|
Large coastal house in Batz-sur-Mer, petite cite de caractère, near La Baule, southern Brittany.
Batz-sur-Mer is on a peninsula with sea on one side and the salt marshes on the other. Le Croisic, a fishing port, is at the end of the peninsula and is an attractive town easily cyclable. It is also the terminus of the high speed train (TGV) from Paris. Le Pouliguen is on the river that separates it from La Baule. La Baule is sophisticated and has its own charm lying among pine trees. Guérande is a medieval walled city a little inland and has to be seen. Market days here are Wednesday and Saturday and the stalls fill most of the streets! La Brière is a huge freshwater marshland.
Travel: The nearest airport is Nantes - an hour's drive. St Malo is the nearest ferry port, about 2 1/2 hours' drive. Cherbourg and Caen are about 4 hours away and Calais about 7 hours. Le Croisic (2 km away) is the terminus for the hight speed train (TGV) from Paris and Lille Europe. There is a local train stop in Batz itself. It is possible to stay in Batz without a car as everything necessary is available and there are so many lovely walks and cycle rides.
Golf: La Bretesche at Missillac and La Baule golf courses are renowned with La Baule being the nearer. A 9 hole course at Le Croisic has lovely views over the Atlantic.
The gamesroom has a snooker table with removable table tennis top. The snooker table has a wooden top which can be used for more formal dining - and has 8 chairs.
The kitchen contains everything you could need: large fridge-freezer, microwave/combination oven, toaster, coffee-maker, double electric oven with halogen hob, sink. Ample cupboard space contains plates, dishes, cutlery, enough for about 15 people. One tenant said he had been to rental homes in France for 30 years but had never found one so well equipped as ours, even an oyster knife!
A table and 6 chairs makes for friendly kitchen meals.
Adjoining the kitchen is a utility room with washing machine and dishwasher.
There is a wc to the left of this, and the utility room gives on to the garden.
The first floor sitting room is comfortably furnished with sofa and armchairs. There is a fireplace with wood burning stove for winter evenings. A television provides French channels and British freeview channels.
There is a dvd player, a cd player and several videos and cds. There are lots of books in this room as well as in other rooms in the house. On the coffee-table there are several books on the local area left out for interest.
We have wi-fi through the landline which also offers free telephone calls to landlines in most countries, but not to mobile phones.
There are 4 bedrooms:
A single bedroom on the first floor; there is a desk in here which some tenants have used to work from (although it is supposed to be a holiday!). This bedroom is right next to the first floor shower room with wc and washbasin.
On the second floor: a double bedroom with washbasin, wardrobe, chests of drawers, and a large twin bedroom with en suite shower room with washbasin.
On the top floor, another twin bedroom, with a cabin bunk, and washbasin. The bathroom is next door.
There is a wc on the ground floor.
A good sized shower room with washbasin and wc on the first floor.
An en suite shower room to the twin bed room on the second floor.
A good sized bathroom, with shower over the bath, wash basin and wc on the top floor.
There are electric radiators and also a wood burning stove in the sitting room.
There is a snooker table with removable table-tennis table on the ground floor. In the sitting room there are dvds and cds. There are very many books, mostly English, in the house, catering for a variety of tastes. There are several games, as well as children's toys.
Outside, in the outbuilding, there is a table-football and buckets and spades.
Also a variety of bikes which we are happy for anyone to use.
A gas barbeque is provided, as well as table and chairs for eating outside. A built-in garden barbeque can be found in the second garden.
A couple of reclining seats.
There are 2 communicating gardens which are entirely walled and therefore safe for children. The garden is very attractive wth seasonal plants. The first garden starts as a wide path with plants and climbing plants on either side, and ends in a sort of patio outside the outbuilding, with wooden table and chairs. Through a gate into the second garden which is an open space and good for children to play. This garden has a gate onto the little side road (rue St Christophe) for taking bikes out and, if necessary, bringing in luggage. The open space is surrounded by flower beds.
We do have a very discreet and pleasant man who comes to do a bit of gardening when we are not there.
The outbuilding was originally one storey, and was very old (circa 17th century). It had originally had an upper floor and some years ago we applied for permission to recreate the upper floor more in keeping with the conservation area. The flat is now let but has no access to the garden.
We do not have a garage, but there are ample parking spaces in Batz and they are all free. No one has ever had any trouble finding a space, even in August. Some areas are in a blue zone, where parking is restricted to a certain time. You will find a parking disc in the entrance of the house.
The nature of the house, with its several floors and stairs sadly make it impossible to welcome anyone who needs a wheel chair. Otherwise it is fine. The stairs are quickly mastered by children who tend to love the top floor and make that bedroom their own.
Despite my name, Paddy, I was born in France of an English mother and French father. I have spent most of my life in England having married an Englshman, but I retain stronfg family links with France and speak the language fluently. We became attached to the area when my father moved to La Baule in retirement and preferred the small village atmosphere of Batz to La Baule which, nonetheless has its own charms. In 1989 for the price of a studio in La Baule, we bought this wonderful big house.
|Year property purchased||1989|
|Why this location?||We did prefer Batz to La Baule but, also, for the price of a studio in La Baule we were able to buy this wonderful house! It had been empty for a while and was rather neglected with a wild jungle for a garden, but we could see its potential and took the plunge. 30 years later we have never regretted it and and have seen the house, the garden and the village of Batz change a great deal. Batz is a friendly village and being SO near the sea and a beach was such an incitement. Some years later, when our son had children, we acquired a beach hut to keep all the paraphernalia for children's beach activities. There is so much to see in the area: Le Croisic, Guérande, small coastal villages, wonderful walks in the salt marshes and excellent cycle rides. The house is fully equipped as a home and I feel this has helped the many tenants we have had over the years to enjoy it. I take a personal interest in the letting and many tenants have become friends.|
|Unique benefits of property||The house is ideally situated in the centre of the village with all possible food requirements on the doorstep or a few metres away: boulangerie, superette, fish shop, pharmacy. butcher, wine shop, restaurants, café. A lovely bookshop too. Within a few metres the Tourist Office can give any information required about the area. There is a large local market on Mondays and Fridays in July and August, Mondays only at other times. There are many interesting local activities in the Summer: Les Nuits Salines, a folk festival, the Pardon St Guénolé (a traditional Breton festival celebrating the salt harvest), numerous exhibitions and two huge antique fairs, one in July and one in August, as well as local vide greniers in neighbouring villages and towns. There are the salt marshes, an amazing ecosystem created by man where the paludiers harvest the salt using methods unchanged for over a thousand years. A lovely museum in Batz (2 minutes’ walk ) shows its history and also of the area.|
The salt pans, created ecologically by man over a thousand years ago, continue to use the same methods to harvest the salt. The men and women who do this are called Paludiers and for many of them, it is their sole income. It is hard work, but many of them come from generations of Paludiers. Some will give guided tours and it is well worth a visit. The museum in Batz is very interesting too. The bird life is wonderful.
The nearest beach is just a 4/5 minute walk from the house and is perfect for families with small children, with lots of rock pools. Yhis is where we have our beach hut, perfect for keeping beach clobber and for changing. Unlike British beach huts, however, there is no electricity!
There are so many places locally to visit, but a trip to Guérande, the medieval, walled city a little inland, is a must. Market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays with a big indoor market and streets full of stalls.
The huge Blockhaus overlooking the Atlantic has been turned into an extremely interesting museum showing the occupation of the area by the Germans in WW2.