|Maison Blanche||Self Catering||Saturday||2||4||1||cot|
Are you looking for a pretty holiday home with exclusive use of your own swimming pool, set in 2 acres of grounds, overlooking a small lake? Want to relax in a shady corner with that book you’ve wanted to read? Cook outdoors on a double barbecue or indoors in a modern, well-equipped kitchen? Sunbathe on a private patio? Do you long to drive on quiet country roads, enjoying beautiful countryside, walk through forests, beside lakes and streams, rich in wildlife or simply visit historic towns, picturesque villages and local markets?
A stay in the gite Maison Blanche offers you the chance to do all these things. It is located near the tiny village of Roussines in the lovely, peaceful countryside of the little-known area of the Charente. The property is within easy walking distance of the Dordogne and High Vienne, allowing guests to experience 3 very different - but equally beautiful - areas of France. Alongside the property is a rural path so that within minutes you will find yourself in unspoilt countryside with far-reaching views.
Although its owners have been in the holiday business for over 10 years, 2015 was the first season for Maison Blanche. Our fittings and fixtures complement its fresh, country feel. To make your stay easier and more comfortable, crisp bed linen and good quality towels are provided and you will also find a dishwasher, a washing machine, tv with English and French channels and a dvd player. The swimming pool is floodlit for those night time swims under the stars and has a bespoke telescopic transparent cover, so that it is sheltered and warm whatever the weather.
The lively little market town of Montbron is a short drive away and has all the shops and services you will need, as well as a beautiful riverside restaurant. There are numerous markets all around, providing you with a true taste of France, and giving you the opportunity to buy fantastic fresh, local produce. And who would guess that there is a Michelin starred restaurant set in a stunning château only 10km away? With the famous cities of Angoulême and Limoges less than an hour's drive away, those requiring city life, restaurants and culture are also well catered for. And for those bursting with energy, canoeing, sailing, go-karting and zip-wire experiences in the forests await in the Périgord-Limousin Regional Park or at the nearby Lakes of Haute Charente.
We do hope to see you soon!
For your peace of mind: please note that Maison Blanche was inspected by the Gîtes de France organisation and rated 3*. To check the authenticity of the business, you can check that Maison Blanche appears on their website. Our gîte is also registered at the local tourist office and can be inspected at any time. We are fully insured to recivve paying guests.
The fully equipped kitchen/diner overlooking the swimming pool with glazed sliding doors on 3 sides. The kitchen has gas rings and an electric oven. There is a microwave oven and a dishwasher. The kitchen opens out onto the patio where you will find a double bbq.
A modern sofa and 2 swivel chairs provide the seating to watch the flat screen tv with both English and French channels. There is a dvd player and a selection of films.
There is 1 double bedroom with a handbasin, double windows looking out to the side garden. Bedroom 2 is a modern twin room with french windows leading to the swimming pool and patio area.
Handbasin, shower, heater, shaver light and a separate toilet.
Electric radiators throughout.
Radio cd player, tv, dvd. A small library of books, dvds, board games and cards are provided. Radio also via satellite tv.
All our guests have exclusive use of the two acres enclosed garden with small lake.
Swimming pool with integral steps, alarm and retractable cover. This satisfies current safety requirements and is maintained by the owners.
On-site secure private parking for several vehicles.
Adults, couples and families with older children can comfortably enjoy all our facilities.
For the very young, parental control is essential because of the pool and the lake on the property. The accommodation is suitable for the less mobile as there is only one step within the gite, otherwise everything is ground floor level.
We recommend discussing your needs with the owners before booking.
When we came to France in 2002, we lived in Brittany, where we ran a B&B with a restaurant and bar for 11 years. In July 2014 we moved to the Maison Blanche, and have since very much enjoyed living in this beautiful, unspoilt area of the Charente. Before moving to France, Karen was a secondary school teacher of French and German for 22 years. Steve trained in catering and later worked in the European sales markets.
|Year property purchased||2014|
|Why this location?||Having sold our business in Brittany, we decided to move further south and we now live near the tiny village of Roussines in the little-known area of the Charente. It’s a very outdoors sort of place, with friendly locals and traditional values, a slow pace of life and beautiful, unspoilt countryside. Within easy reach of the Dordogne and the Haute Vienne too, we have access to a huge National Park and rural paths through forests, beside lakes and streams, all rich in wildlife: otters, kingfishers, birds of prey, stunning butterflies an flowers. The quiet country roads meander through fields of sunflowers, maize or gently grazing red Limousin cattle. We can visit historic towns, picturesque villages & local markets with fantastic fresh, local produce providing a true taste of France. The lively little town of Montbron provides all our local amenities whilst the famous cities of Angoulême & Limoges are each less than an hour's drive away if we feel in need of culture or serious shopping!|
|Unique benefits of property||Come and spend some time at the Maison Blanche! Clean, professionally run with discrete yet friendly service, here you will find a warm welcome & good value for money: just the place for that all-important, stress-free break you so much deserve! Stay in a modern, comfortable, well equipped gîte set in extensive grounds. Enjoy total independence & exclusive use of the lovely, private swimming pool (which can be covered) Take advantage of our local knowledge to find stunning places to visit & interesting things to do - or simply stay put and relax. Get up when you feel like it, have your breakfast outside, listen to the birds, stroll along a local country path, sit in the shade with that book you’ve been meaning to read, sunbathe on the patio, have a barbecue and a glass of wine poolside, star-gaze late into the night. Looking for property? Benefit from having a comfortable place to stay and a sympathetic ear! Above all, relax and make yourself at home! There’s no rush!|
Angouleme is the capital of the Charente department and as such is the largest conurbation in the area with a population of around 100,000. It is a city of two halves: the ancient hill-top town and a modern, vibrant commercial sector. Here you are never short of things to do. There is the beautiful cathedral of St Pierre and the Museum of Angouleme just next door, with its 3 collections covering African and Pacific art, archaeology and fine art. There is the Museum of Paper, tracing the importance of paper production in the town. There are cinemas, a theatre, shops, bars, cafés and restaurants covering all types of cuisine plus glorious parks and gardens. There are exhibitions, and concerts to suit all tastes, with fantastic street art on walls around every corner. Each year, Angouleme plays host to a whole catalogue of festivals: a hugely popular comic strip festival, an international music festival, a festival of French film and an international piano festival. In September, not to be missed is the Circuit of the Ramparts, a three-day historic car rally where Angouleme's old-town is transformed into a street circuit. Then there are trips to be taken on the river Charente, watersports and children's activity parks to explore, alternatively you can simply sit outside a cafe and take in the atmosphere or maybe enjoy the sounds and fragrance of the central, covered market. If the bustle of the city is for you, don't miss a trip to Angouleme!
Just a ten minute drive from Maison Blanche are the lakes of Lavaud and Mas Chaban. Covering over 400 hectares, the Lakes of the Haute Charente make up the largest Lakeland area in the whole of the Poitou-Charente region, a veritable paradise for birders and fishermen. This area also offers a fantastic array of outdoor pursuits: swimming, sailing, horse riding, mountain biking and an adventure park with zip-wires and bungee jumping. There are lovely, supervised man-made sandy beaches, dedicated picnic areas, mini-golf, pedalos, two snack-bars and a restaurant. A fantastic family day out or a beautiful area to quietly relax or take a long, scenic walk. Regular guided walks and bike rides are organised from the tourist office in Massignac.
The Charente is well known for the drink called Pineau des Charentes or simply Pineau. This is a sweetish, fortified wine of similar strength to sherry or port, made by blending grape juice with brandy. Usually white, but can be rosé or red, Pineau is generally served chilled as an aperitif. A great idea for something different to take home as a souvenir! On the other hand, everyone has heard of cognac, named after the town which lies just over an hour's drive to the west of Maison Blanche. The big cognac houses, Martell and Courvoisier, offer regular guided tours and tastings but there are smaller local producers who offer good quality cognac at reasonable prices. Keep a look out for bargains when you visit the local markets, here you can find a myriad of fresh produce, including of course the famous Charentais melons. If you don't fancy cooking, try one the local ‘fermes auberges’ where you will be served fresh produce from the farm. If you do prefer to cooking, you will find a great farm shop selling poultry raised in the local village, eggs, preserves and all things duck, including excellent duck sausages, just five minutes' drive away. A little further and you come to a village butcher's which sells all manner of locally produced meat, pies, quiches, pâtés and the local speciality called grillons, which is a type of potted pork. Just the thing to enjoy with fresh bread from the boulangerie!
The Charente has some unmissable examples of Romanesque art such as Angouleme’s Cathedral St Pierre and the impressive chateau at La Rochefoucauld, which is open to the public. There are frescoes dating back to the 12th century at Les Salles Lavaugnon and the Route of Richard the Lionheart criss-crosses the local area. At Chassenon, you can visit the archaeological park with its Roman ruins, whilst Angouleme and Limoges offer museums and art galleries. A trip to Oradour-sur-Glane, site of the Nazi massacre in 1944, and its moving museum makes an educational and thought-provoking visit, whilst several small museums testify to the courage of the local resistance groups during the Second World War.
La Rochefoucauld, just 20 minutes' drive from Maison Blanche, is one of our favourite little towns. It is has everything you expect of a typical French town: an array of independent baker's and butcher's, a tiny covered market, street cafés, a couple of splendid restaurants (Chez Steph is our favourite) and in addition, the delightful artisan chocolate maker with its irresistible on-site shop. You can easily combine an indulgent stop here with a more cultural visit of the impressive chateau - they are side by side! The chateau offers guided tours and often in summer provides period costumes so that you can dress up and really get the authentic feel of the time, swords not provided, however. If you need to stock up on goodies to take home, there is also a huge Super U supermarket in La Rochefoucauld which has everything you could wish for, including a wide range of local products. Or, for something out of the ordinary, pop into a shoe shop in the town and buy a pair of traditional "Charentaises", beautiful hand-made carpet slippers, for which this area was once famous. On the way back, you can stop and let off steam at the Go-Karting circuit just outside La Rochefoucauld. Now that's a busy day out!
At just about an hour's drive, Limoges is well worth a visit. Known as ‘The City of Porcelain,’ Limoges is the capital of the Haute-Vienne department where more than 50% of French porcelain is made. The whiteness, delicacy, and translucence of the porcelain, as well as the diversity of the decorations, founded the international reputation of Limoges. Why not visit one of the factories and buy something special in the factory shop or bag a bargain in the seconds' outlets? As well as fabulous crockery, you will find shops selling jewellery made with Limoges porcelain and enamel inlays. Not surprisingly, Limoges is also home to the fascinating National Museum of Porcelain. This 2000 year old city boasts a host of museums, markets, picturesque old streets, along with great cafes and restaurants. You can watch the world go by from one of the modest bistros in the atmospheric halles (market) or boucherie (butcher's) districts or push the boat out at one of several Michelin starred restaurants. A great day out in the big city, with something for everyone - especially for the ladies and the gentlemen who want to treat them!
Montbron is our local market town and where we do most of our shopping. It has a small market on Friday and Saturday mornings, plus a stall selling oysters on a Sunday morning. Montbron has several bakers, butcher shops, plus two large supermarkets, Intermarché and Aldi, and a small co-op. There is a petrol station at Intermarché. Montbron is well provided for services; here you will find a doctor's, a dentist, a bank, 2 chemists, hairdresser's and a tourist office. There are also a number of lively bar/cafes and small restaurants. Our favourite though is the Moulin de la Tardoire restaurant; set on the banks of the river just a couple of minutes from the town. Montbron is situated on the River Tardoire, where you can hire canoes to explore both up and down stream, passing 19th century mills and enjoying the lovely countryside. Although only the tower from the 15th century "Old Castle" remains, Montbron boasts several other small chateaux and pretty churches. Within a 5 minute drive of Montbron; you can visit the wine co-operative at St Sornin, which produces the only vin de pays Charentais: this is mostly red wine from Gamay, Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon grapes. You can enjoy a guided tour and a tasting before you buy! Also within easy reach is a local producer of white wines, using Chenin and Sauvignon blanc grapes, a walnut oil mill and an artisan beer brewery which is open to the public in summer only.
This beautiful regional park covers an impressive 1800 square kilometres and offers some fantastic walking country as well as a number of very attractive towns and villages. The park has a very varied landscape with habitats including heath land, water meadows, forests, lakes and open grassland encouraging a wide range of fauna and flora. There are said to be at least 25 species of wild orchids and in the autumn, the forests abound with wild mushrooms and even truffles. The wildlife includes pine martens, red squirrels, otters, newts, deer, wild boar, wood peckers and numerous birds of prey. The park includes areas of the Charente, Dordogne and the Haute Vienne departments and their respective rivers of the same names. As well as the obvious natural attractions, there are many chateaux to be visited: Montbrun, Chalus, Rochechouart, Brie to name but a few, plus prehistoric standing stones and cave paintings to see at Teyjat and Villars. If you are out and about in this area, don't miss a visit to the lively town of Brantome, especially on Friday, which is market day or Thiviers, capital of foie gras and well known for its weekly truffle and foie gras markets in the winter and early spring or Nontron, famous for its distinctive knives, especially its folding pocket knives.
A lovely property ,well equipped and wonderfully clean. Very attentive owners.
The pool cover proved invaluable as the weather had changed suddenly. Still being able to swim was fantastic.
The owners had provided everything you could ask for and a full welcome pack was a bonus we were very grateful for after a long journey.
We were able to walk and cycle directly from the gite and our only tiny gripe would be the need for a short drive to get bread. A quiet area that suited us for relaxing.
We would recommend this holiday home to others.
Many thanks for your kind comments! We're so glad you enjoyed your stay and were able to relax in this lovely area. Hopefully, the village will have soon re-organised the depot de pain so that if you come again next year, bread should be within walking distance! Bon courage for the return to work! Kind regards,
Karen & Steve
Very nice property, lovely peaceful setting and very well equipped, beautiful grounds with small lake.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Karen and Steve and shown around the property which was spotless.
They also provided basic provisions to get us started and lots of info on the equipment in the gite plus info on the area such as shops, cafes, places of interest which was very handy as our first visit to the area.
Karen found us a different place of interest to visit every day and it was great to relax in the beautiful pool each day upon our return.
We would have no hesitation in recommending this property and hope to return soon.
A big thanks to Karen and Steve for making our holiday special.
Thank you so much for your very kind comments. We're really pleased you enjoyed your break. We'd love to see you again - we give you 10/10 as guests too!
Karen and Steve are superb hosts and very good when it comes to giving advice on where to go and what to see. The gite was everything we wanted and despite a couple of days when the weather was not that brilliant we were able to see local sights and then when the weather improved, and it did we were able to enjoy the swimming pool which is absolutely superb.
This really is a brilliant place to stay and at the end of our week we were reluctant to return home.
Well done Karen and Steve. Brilliant
Many thanks Rosemary & Ray! We're so pleased you enjoyed your holiday and hope to see you again at Maison Blanche. Such well behaved guests and genuinely lovely people, you'll be very welcome any time! Karen & Steve
This is beyond doubt the nicest gite we have ever stayed in. Steve and Karen have thought of everything you could possibly need whilst there. The property itself is set in a quiet location in beautiful gardens within the owners grounds but is very private. Inside everything is spotless and very well equipped. The welcome pack was wonderful and much appreciated after a long days traveling. The pool is the warmest we had ever been in and the only one that doesn't make you shiver as you enter due to it's warmth. The outside seating and BBQ area were lovely and the sliding doors to the kitchen open up to allow you to walk easily between the two so not far to travel to restock drinks!
We stayed whilst on a viewing trip so did not get much chance to visit things in the area but there is a lot of information about surrounding attractions within a folder at the gite, Steve and Karen can also recommend restaurants, places to see and things to do. Also a comprehensive folder about things in the gite (such as best programme to put the washer on) which is very useful. Lovely walks in the local countryside straight from the grounds and a frog chorus in the early evening from the lake! We cannot praise enough the effort that Steve and Karen have made with this property, they were so helpful and friendly throughout our stay, but never intrusive.
Cannot recommend this property or its owners highly enough!
Wow! What a lovely review! We're so pleased you enjoyed your stay - it makes it all worthwhile. We know how important it is to have a comfortable place to stay while you're property hunting so we're glad you were able to relax in the evenings - despite the frog chorus!. Now you are proud owners of your own "piece of the French dream" not too far away, we do hope that you will pop in and see us again. Thank you! K&S