|Les Alouettes||Self Catering||Flexible||4||8||2|
Les Alouettes is a converted barn located on the edge of Le Langon, a village in the South Vendée close to Fontenay le Comte.
The property has been converted and renovated to provide high quality accommodation for up to 8 people plus 2 infants. Les Alouettes has been well furnished and equipped to make the property equally suitable for family groups holidaying with young children as for groups of friends travelling together. The gite is located next to our own home and we (Jon & Julia and our three daughters) are on hand to offer any information or assistance you might want.
Inside, Les Alouettes is dominated by a high and airy central living area. Downstairs, there is a large kitchen / diner. The kitchen is fully equipped with a range cooker, fridge/freezer and a wide selection of utensils. There is also a washing machine here.
The solid-wood dining table seats eight in comfort while to one side of the kitchen there is a small seating area with a sofa and a collection of toys & games for children.
On the mezzanine above the kitchen there is a comfortable seating area with sofas and easy chairs. Here there is also a television (with both English & French language channels), a music system, a well-stocked bookcase and a cupboard with board games.
The sleeping area comprises of two suites of rooms, each made up of two bedrooms plus a bathroom set either side of the central living area, an arrangement that makes the property particularly suitable for two families taking a holiday together. Each suite includes a double bedroom, a twin bedroom (with cot); one of the twin rooms can be arranged as a king-sized double if required. The bathrooms each have a bath with shower over, sink and wc.
Outside, the gite has a terrace fitted with a shade sail. There is a table for outside dining and a bbq. for outside cooking. The garden has a well-equipped play area and outdoor games (table tennis, boules, Molkey) are provided for your use.
The swimming pool is fenced for security and boiler heated for comfort. It is constructed in the shape of an “L” and is large – equivalent in size to a 12 by 6-meter rectangular pool. Depth ranges from 2.1 meters to 80 cm. The design of the pool means that those who wish to swim can enjoy one part of the pool while others play in the shallower part Les Alouettes is not part of a gite complex and the pool is not shared with other properties. We – the owners – do occasionally use the pool.
Les Alouettes is located in the village of Le Langon, which has an excellent bakery, a general store and a café/bar. The village and its neighbours host a number of festivals and events during the summer months that give a real taste of French country life.
The gite is roughly equidistant between the market towns of Fontenay le Comte and Luçon, both of which have a full range of shops & services as well as a fine selection of restaurants. The sights of the area are within easy reach: the beaches of the South Vendée (which are rather excellent) are an easy drive (La Faute sur Mer is about 40 km away); La Rochelle with its lively city centre, shopping and restaurants is 45 km. There are adventure parks (Indian Forrest & the O’Gliss water park) 45 minute drive away and the world-class theme park at the Puy du Fou is less than an hour. Closer to home, the natural beauty of the Mervent forest with its shady trails & cycle paths, lake (with water sports centre) and zoo is a 15 minute trip.
For groups travelling with young children, cots, highchairs, children’s’ crockery and a bottle sterilizer are provided. Buggy loan is available is desired and the stairs to the mezzanine are fitted with gates top and bottom.
We provide all bedlinen and towels (bath and pool / beach); all utilities, local taxes and end-of-stay cleaning are included.
Les Alouettes has a large, open plan, kitchen diner that is equipped with all you could need to make delicious meals from fine local ingredients. The dining table seats 8 in comfort and there is a terrace with table for outdoor meals. There is also a bbq.
The main living area in Les Alouettes is located on the mezzanine above the kitchen and provides comfortable seating, tv (including English language channels) and music playing equipment.
Les Alouettes has two double rooms (one king size), 2 twins, 2 cots available. The bedrooms are arranged with one double and one twin in two wings either side of the main living area.
Note that one twin can be made up as a king size double if required.
Les Alouettes has two bathrooms, one in each wing, each equipped with a bath and over-bath shower.
Les Alouettes is a summer (May/September) rental only.
Les Alouettes has English language television. Cd, dvd and mp3 players/iPod docking stations are provided and free wi-fi is available.
The pool is designed with the needs of both children and adults borne in mind. It has shallow areas suitable for toddlers as well as providing interest for the more serious swimmer. The play area is equipped with slides, climbing frame, Wendy house and trampoline.
There is parking off road for up to 3 cars.
Particularly suitable for families with babies and young children.
We relocated to France from the UK with our young family in 2003 having spent the previous summer in the Vendée and finding it hard to leave. After 13 years here our enthusiasm for France and for the region is as strong as ever.
|Year property purchased||2002|
|Why this location?||The South Vendée provides an ideal balance for us. We enjoy all the tranquillity of a rural location with the advantages of the nearby coast. The cities of La Rochelle and Nantes are close enough to give us a dose of the bright lights occasionally while local market towns such as Fontenay le Comte and Lucon provide us with day-to-day shopping, entertainment and a fine choice of restaurants. The uncrowded countryside around is a delight and we have so many choices for recreation right on our doorstep.|
|Unique benefits of property||We are! We know the area very well and are on hand to give advice about what to do and where to go and to provide assistance as needed.|
Twice voted by the theme park industry as being the best park in the world, the Puy du Fou is quite unique. The park revolves around 6 live shows or spectaculars that are dramatisations of historical or mythical events relating to the Vendée. The stage craft is exceptional and can justifiably be described as both world class and – in some instances – ground breaking. Away from the big shows, the rest of the park has plenty to interest the visitor. This is a “must do” for any holiday in the Vendée. Located about 65km from our gite in Les Epesses.
The beaches of the South Vendée are a delight. For the most part they are sandy (though one honourable exception has a fine line in rock pools at low tide) and are very family friendly. Our favourites are:
La Faute sur Mer – the closest beach at about 40km. La Faute is a low-rise, relaxed, small, resort town. Access to the beach is via paths of a couple of hundred metres length over the dunes. The sandy beach here is particularly fine. During the summer period the bathing is supervised on some stretches. La Faute is a nice town and has some good restaurants. We can recommend La Grand’ Voile on Avenue de la Plage.
Les Conches – is, overall, our favourite beach. Also sandy, this is a very gently sloping beach that is enormous when the tide is out and where the sea stays shallow for quite some distance. There is not a lot in the way of commerce here; just a few stalls selling drinks, snacks and ice cream. This is a good surf beach and there are two surf schools here. We recommend Manu Surf. About 55km drive.
St Vincent sur Jard – This is the most distant of our favoured beaches at around 60km. The beach here is notable for two features: firstly, there are lots of interesting rock pools to muck about in; secondly, the beach is over looked by the last home of the French statesman, Georges Clemenceau. It is a surprisingly modest house for a man widely held to be the “father of victory” in the First World War. The house is as Clemenceau left it at the time of his death in 1929. The gardens here were designed by his friend, the famous impressionist, Claude Monet.
Located adjacent to one another near the village of Moutiers les Mauxfaits (about 45km distant), Indian Forest and O’Gliss provide activity packed days. The Indian Forest adventure park centres around a series of high rope pathways (assault courses, really) slung through the tree tops. There is a range of difficulties available ranging from ‘child’s play’ to ‘downright reckless.’ Also in the park can be found bungie jumps, go karts and water slides.
Water slides (and flumes and rapids a lots of other aquatic lunacy) attain another level in the neighbouring O’Gliss water park. This is the third largest of its kind in France and is open June, July & August.
The city of La Rochelle is amongst the most visited in France. It is an elegant sort of place with lots of high end shops and many good restaurants. The aquarium – one of Europe’s largest – is excellent, and is most certainly worth a trip to La Rochelle (about 45 km distant) all by itself, but the real charm of the place can be found in just strolling around soaking up the ambiance. The area around the old port is particularly pleasant. La Rochelle has hundreds of restaurants and competition generally keeps quality quite high. Our favoured eateries are Bar André (a La Rochelle institution) at 5 rue St Jean du Perot and Le Boute en Train (classic French) at 7 rue des Bonnes Femmes.
The Vendée has long made wines and some local producers have considerable reputations. Wine of the AOC Fiefs Vendéens are made in five locations, two of which (the villages of Vix and Pissotte) are just a few km away from our gites. Producers are happy to receive visitors to taste and buy wine direct. Our favourite producers are Christian Chabirand and his wife Estelle at the Prieuré La Chaume in Vix; Domaine Coirier at Pissotte and Domaine de la Bobinière at Chantonnay.
Located about 15km away, the forest of Mervent extends over 12000 acres. At its heart is a huge lake that acts as a reservoir for the area. Aside from providing innumerable routes for shady walks, the forest is home to a number of other attractions, including the activity park at Pierre Brune (very good for children of all ages), a rather good small zoo and a water sports centre (from which canoes & kayaks can be hired). The forest also has marked tracks for mountain bikes. There are a couple of restaurants in the forest – we would recommend L’Auberge de la Forêt. In the heart of the forest for higher end dining or the Mangoustan in Mervent village for a meal with children.
Venise Verte (Green Venice) refers to a network of canals and dykes dug hundreds of years ago to drain the Poitou marshes. These days, the Venise Verte provides a haven for wildlife and is an area of gentle beauty. The best way to experience the area is by boat and these can be hired at a number of locations (for example Maillezais – where can be seen the remains of a magnificent abbey – and Damvix). For lunch, La Recré (a pizzeria / creperie in a converted school) in Damvix provides a perfect family dining option.
Once the capital of Bas Poitou, Fontenay le Comte is an historic Renaissance town and the nearest sizeable town to us (about 15 km distant). The prettiest streets lie behind the Church of Notre Dame where can be seen some really rather beautiful buildings. Beyond these streets lies the adventure playground called Parcabout which consists of large cargo nets slung through the trees and is very popular with children. Fontenay has a full range of shops and services as well as a selection of good restaurants. Our favourites – Hôtel de Vendée (at the top of Rue de la République, No. 126) for the stunning cooking; Pinky (at 3 rue de Minage) for the lovely courtyard dining; Cantina Mia (13 rue Georges Clemenceau) for the gourmet pizzas.