|Chez Blanchet||Self Catering||Saturday||2||5||1||single bed downstairs in pigeonnier|
A charming Charentais country home with lovely views, on the edge of a quiet rural hamlet, in its own grounds of 6 acres of formal garden, orchard, woods and pasture. Not far from the market town of Chalais - 5 kms - and 10 kms to the attractive village of Aubeterre sur Dronne.
The main room is big - 60 m2 - and offers a central open plan living area with a fully equipped kitchen and breakfast bar, plus a spacious lounge and dining area. This room opens onto the south facing terrace with a shady area for outside meals.
In the main room you will find fast/free wi-fi, tv with both french and UK satellite channels (freeview), and a dvd player. The ground floor of the pigeonnier tower, which connects with the main room, provides a quiet area for reading.
We provide comfortable beds, and good bedding. From the entrance you go up 3 steps to access the en suite bedroom (25 m2) with 2, or if necessary 3 single beds.
Upstairs in the pigeonnier tower another good-sized bedroom with a double bed, 4 windows, a balcony, and lovely views.
One en suite bathroom, with a shower, a claw-foot bath, and toilet.
A separate wash-room, and toilet.
There is electric heating in the bathroom.
Any other heating is unnecessary in the summer months.
A secure 8 x 4 single depth pool for your sole use, with comfortable wide steps to go into the water.
2 bikes available for hire.
Direct access to tracks and trails for walks.
Kayack/canoes available at Aubeterre, for hot summer afternoons on the river Dronne.
A walled garden runs along the north side of the house and enables dog owners to keep an eye on their pet from the main room.
There is also a pretty garden, an old orchard, a wood, and some pasture land.
There is ample parking space inside the property. No garage, I'm afraid!
Would not suit people with physical handicaps, due to the steps up to both bedrooms, although there is a single bed provided on the ground floor of the pigeonnier.
This well-known village about 10 kms away is built on an outcrop above the river Dronne and the roads are steep and picturesque. There is a network of little pathways - often steep - that take you between the houses, around the gardens. There is a big château. One of the landmarks is an underground church St Jean (eglise monolithique) which is certainly worth a visit. It was delved out of the rock by the first Christians, and later by monks. In the centre of the village is a square where you can have drinks or a meal under the trees at the Hôtel de France, with a big parking area nearby. There are boutiques, and several potters. For bathing there is a river beach suitable for families, with imported sand. Canoe/kayaks with safety equipment can be hired near the beach (you can see the kayaks from the road), call 05 45 98 51 72 . Lovely for a hot summer afternoon. You will be taken up river in a van with your equipment and the canoes/kayaks and then you can paddle peacefully down back to Aubeterre,. The two-hour option is good, but there are other possibilities.
Cassinomagus is a gallo roman site (about 1h30 away at Chassenon). On this site there are roman baths which are among the best-preserved buildings of their type in the territory of Ancient Gaul, and possibly in the whole Roman Empire. Visits in July and August from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm. To get there : general direction Limoges, via Angoulême, La Rochefoucauld (impressive château),,Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnière, then at Chabanais take a turn right and follow the signposts through Chassenon to Cassinomagus, situated on road edge on your right. “The village of Chassenon is built on the ancient Gallo-Roman town of Cassinomagus, whose etymological origin is probably the "oaks' market". Located on the border of the Charente and the Haute-Vienne, it is, today, away from the main communication lines. Its location in the ancient world was very different. Located on the Agrippan Way (Lyon - Saintes), Cassinomagus was, in the Roman times, important enough to be mentioned on the medieval Peutinger map as one of the two secondary towns between Limoges and Saintes. The remains of this Gallo-Roman town lay on about 300 hectares and include a sanctuary of about 25 hectares. This sanctuary consisted of several monuments : a great temple, two small ones, a theatre and thermal baths (which are very well preserved and can be visited).” PRICES adult / child Admission only € 5 € 2.5 Audio-guides € 5.5 € 3 With guide or animation € 7 € 4.5
L’Etang de la Jemaye in the Dordogne department (about 35 kms), is a lovely place for bathing and picnics. White sand, childrens games, restaurants near the beach. Canoeing, kayaks available (free of charge). Suitable for children. Parking free of charge.
Les Antilles indoor water park in Jonzac, distance 58 kms What has Les Antilles to offer ? under an enormous canopy : the ‘Espace Lagon’ - water sports for adults and children in the blue lagoon, with sandy beach, toboggan, waves – (you’ll need a one euro coin for the locker). Children younger than twelve must be accompanied by an adult (in bathing suit !). the ‘Espace Forme’, adults only (+16 years old,) where you can relax in 700 m2 of connecting pools of turquoise water at 31°, plus sauna, hammam and roman baths, individual jacuzzis and a solarium. If you enjoy working out you can use the fitness area equipped with cardio machines - for this you’ll need your sport equipment, including running shoes. the ‘Espace Beauté’ a beauty parlour to spend a moment or the whole day, with facial treatments, nail bar, hair removal (half, three quarter, or full leg, bikini line, brazilian, arm, under-arm, lip, chin….), and also several different beauty programmes, including for instance • a day for yourself – to unwind and rejuvenate, in the morning a facial, then three-course lunch at the restaurant, in the afternoon hammam, gommage, peeling, for a total of 3h15 of beauty treatments, and access to the ‘Espace Forme’ included, for 179 euros. • or the anti-stress programme for 137 euros which includes 25 mins of spa-therapy relaxation, followed by a full body-wrap treatment (55 mins), then 40 mins of Antilles modelage to re-sculpt your body – access to the ‘Espace Forme’ is included, plus a personalised gym (or aquagym) session, for 137 euros. The panoramic restaurant provides flexible meals for families at reasonable prices. Here is the link to enable you to see what the Antilles look like, prices and telephone numbers to make a reservation in the ‘Espace Beauty’, or the restaurant - http://www.lesantillesdejonzac.com/
Nautilus water park at Angoulême, Charente (St Yrieix) Distance : 51 kms A large indoor/outdoor water park, with pools, slides and diving boards for the children aged from six years old, and a whirlpools, sauna and solarium for their parents! There is also an ice rink. Opening hours : all year round, but opening times vary with the season. Tickets: Children 6-17: from €2 Adults: from €4.80 Address : NAUTILIS Rue des Mesniers Le Fontastier, 16710 St Yrieix
Exactly what was promised, a rural French cottage, lovely setting quiet and peaceful. The buildings and grounds are pleasingly "distressed". Pleasant and helpful owner. Would recommend the property to anyone looking for a bit of bucolic living for a week.
Had miniature schnauzer with us who also enjoyed the garden and surround, but was not pleased to find two cats occasionally within the grounds.
Reasonable services in Chalais some 10 minutes away.
Lovely large kitchen (well stocked with pots, pans and appliances) and dining/living room area. Two bedrooms, one double, one twin. Need to walk through the twin room to get to the bathroom - okay if you have kids in the twin room but not so great if it's adults. Upstairs double is like a furnace. We stayed in June, it was too hot to sleep upstairs. No fans in the property so we had to buy one. Nice bathroom, good shower. Satellite TV was French with one English speaking channel - BBC news. Old DVD player didn't work and no board games etc. If the weather is poor you need to be prepared to take your own entertainment. We had a tablet so were able to watch TV on that but not ideal. No welcome basket which we've had in every other property we've stayed in. Didn't use the pool as it was closely surrounded by hedges which were teeming with bees, wasps, flies etc. Outdoor furniture was okay although BBQ was very rusty and needs replacing. Property was tidy enough but unfortunately it wasn't clean. Took an hour to clean everything and get rid of hundreds of cobwebs. Chalais is about 10 mins away in the car, nice range of shops and a supermarket, few nice pubs for lunch, pharmacy, vet etc. Owner present every day to feed cats. Be aware that you will pay more than the advertised pounds sterling price as the owner seeks payment in Euros at an exchange rate which was different to that used by our bank, regardless of advertised sterling price. We've stayed in better for less money
I was pleased to meet you and your dog. A lot of good things, and I do have a couple of comments. Firstly there was clearly a communication problem. i was completely unaware until today that you were unable to have all the british television channels (all available just by using the telecommand), or that you were unable to use DVDs, I would have been able to help.
A very bad remark about cleanliness : The person who helps me clean is a stickler for cobwebs, and for cleanliness in general, so I just do not understand the remark abou hundreds of cobwebs!!.
I require payment in euros, and do not pay for your bank charges. This is set out clearly in the contract you had to start off with.
Sorry about the heat and the insects!
We are familiar with the locality having stayed in various similar places over the years - so we knew what to expect: a definitely French style gite in a rural hamlet down winding country lanes with nothing much going on.
So, on the one hand, local amenities are none, but a short drive away is Painpoline (best boulangerie in France), Aubeterre (one of the prettiest villages in France), Riberac and Chalais markets (amongst the best in France), river swimming and canoeing (if that's what you want), and all around country cognac producers just waiting for you to visit. It's also good cycling country.
There are plenty of eating places not far away: we had posh nosh at Hostelerie Perigeux in Aubeterre and ate with the ouvriers at le Poivier in Bardenac (€13.50 for 6 courses), and we would recommend both of them.
The gite has an amazing garden all around it and Diana, the owner, appears to be struggling to keep up with it over the season, so its best to see it as a haven of tranquility to wander and wonder in. A short walk round one day revealed butterflies, praying mantis, all sorts of exotic bugs and grasshoppers, toads, and on and on.
Diana is a very thoughtful host providing all that you would need - toiletries, washing facilities, dishwasher tablets, etc, and the facilities are good quality: big fridge/freezer, range cooker, log fire and great coffee maker. She lives there when you have all gone so you are borrowing her home which she can be justifiably be proud.
A rustic home in a perfect location for exploring the area. Just on the boarder of the Dordogne you get the best of both worlds. The accommodation is delightful set in its own grounds surrounded by countryside. If you wish for peace and solitude this is the perfect place. The pool is secure and alarmed with an outside shower. Steps into the pool make access easy. The pool loungers and umbrella,s are of excellent quality. There is a small town just 5 minute drive away with a good supermarket, petrol station and local shops. A great market every Monday. Aubeterre is a 15 minute drive away and well worth a visit. The underground church is a must and so is the ice cream shop. Lots of artisan shops with good quality goods and good places to eat. We recommend the restaurant with the view off the balcony. Simple, well cooked food with great service.
There are several places to kayak and we really enjoyed our times on the river catching site of Kingfisher, heron and Black Kite,s.
The owner is a delightful lady with an abundance of local knowledge which she is happy to share with you if asked. She speaks perfect English and is easy to contact should you need her.
There are fruit trees in the orchard which you are able to help yourself at the right times of the year. We have never tasted apricots quite like it.
Look out for the local car boot sales. A brilliant experience more like a fete with great local produce and food on offer.
We are happy to recommend the property to anyone