|Old Atelier Gite||Self Catering||Saturday||1||2||1|
A newly converted old stone house with its own secure garden, providing a real "get away from it all" escape for 2. This is a quiet rural location where you can really lose yourself, far away from the usual hurly-burly but just 6km from the N10 motorway and the bustling town of Ruffec, which lies on the beautiful Charente River.
It is now nearly 10 years since we bought our beautiful Charentais barn, and 3 years since we converted one of the outhouses into a gîte. We have had such a positive experience in letting this out, that we decided we should also convert a lovely old stone workshop into another gîte. The Old Atelier has its own entrance further along the drive with gates opening onto a large gravelled parking area, with plenty of room for both boules and barbecues, then down a couple of stone steps into the secluded garden area which is equipped with comfortable reclining chairs, assorted tables, chairs, and the very important parasol.
At the time of writing, the conversion has just been completed, and it was very important to us that it has been carried out sympathetically, and to a very high standard.
We are particularly keen to provide everything we think is important for a happy holiday; a local oak dining table, a dishwasher, broadband wi-fi, Denby bone china, sharp knives, 2 types of corkscrew, a huge flat screen tv with 5.1 cinema surround sound UK tv and lots of good dvds, a large firm and especially comfortable bed, and a large walk-in shower.
Outside, in the secluded, gated garden, there are 3 discrete relaxing areas: the main north-facing dining area for summer dining away from the direct heat, a smaller east-facing dining area for breakfasts, coffee etc., and a south-facing relaxation area with reclining chairs and a small table with a large parasol for that all-important soaking up of the wonderful Charentais sun. Remember in the lovely summer micro-climate of the Charente, clouds are rarely seen and it stays warm until 2am - perfect for an extremely leisurely al-fresco apéritif and barbecue, as you unwind at the end of a long day!
The kitchen has all the things which are important for a great holiday - gas hob, electric oven, dishwasher, washing machine, large fridge with freezer over, microwave, Denby bone china, champagne stopper, 2 types of corkscrew, and good sharp knives!
The living/dining room has a heavy French oak dining table with 4 oak chairs, double sofa, large flat screen tv with 5.1 cinema surround sound, for watching UK tv, dvds or listening to your music - plug the cable provided into your iPod earphone socket.
A bright and airy bedroom with a double bed, and a comfortable arm chair. The walls show off the lovely pinkish Charentais stone which forms the structure of the Old Atelier, giving the room a restful ambiance.
A spacious bathroom wityh a large walk-in shower, basin and wc.
Very large flat screen tv for watching UK tv, and dvds with 5.1 cinema surround sound. Free wi-fi is provided throughout.
Plenty of on-road and off-road parking in our gravelled yard behind lockable gates.
Two adults, regrettably the Old Atelier is not suitable for either children or pets.
Rob & Lene, decided to buy a holiday home in the Charente as we entered our 5th decade 10 years ago. It is now 3 years since we converted one of the outhouses into a gîte, and we have had such a positive experience in letting this out, that we decided we should also convert a lovely old stone workshop into another gîte.
|Year property purchased||2007|
|Why this location?||We wanted to go for our holidays somewhere far enough south to get proper hot summer weather, but not so far that it was more than an easy day's drive. The Old Atelier is just 400 miles from Calais, on motorways which have very little traffic - even in the summer, as they don't head either towards or away from Paris.
This is a quiet rural location where you can really lose yourself, far away from the usual hurly-burly. The Charente has a wonderful micro-climate which provides lots of sun, and very few overcast or cloudy days; it apparently has the most sunshine of any area in France away from the Mediterranean.
|Unique benefits of property||Our rural retreat is on the edge of a tiny hamlet; if we see 3 cars a day passing the road at the end of our drive, we feel honoured! We are however just 5km away from the N10 motorway, and our local town of Ruffec.|
There is a small lakeside swimming and fishing development 9km away in Villefagnan, and another larger one 10km away on the Charente River at the Aire de Réjallant in Ruffec, where there is also canoeing and fine dining in the old mill house.
We are of course blessed with many restaurants, some very good indeed, and all very reasonably priced. Well worth exploring!
The market town of Ruffec is only 6km away, just past the N10 motorway. It lies on the Charente River and has a twice-weekly market, several large supermarkets, restaurants, etc.
A very well maintained gite that has been converted to a high standard and has everything you need for a wonderfully relaxing holiday get-away. Located in a small hamlet there are no local facilities like a shop, but Ruffec has plenty to offer and is only a short car ride away (less than 10 minutes). Exceptionally comfy bed and super shower and there is a good selection of films and English TV for cosy nights in. Private garden with relaxing chairs to catch the sun or enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace area. Unfortunately our weather during our 2 week stay wasn't as good as we had hoped for as we did have several cloudy days and a couple of rainy days too but it was still pleasantly warm. Lots of interesting places to visit so this is a good base with good roads to travel in all directions. It took us approx 7 hours to drive down from Calais with one short stop (remember there are some toll roads too that cost us approx £50 each way, but the roads are very good). The owners were helpful and very responsive and a local English caretaker was available to deal with any issues/queries.
A useful welcome pack is included too. One item that might be of practical use would be a clothes airer to dry towels / clothes if the weather isn't good enough to hang them out, but I think we were just a bit unlucky with our weather! Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this gite to family and friends and we thoroughly enjoyed our first holiday in 21 years without our children! Didn't want to leave!
Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely detailed review of the Old Atelier. It makes us very pleased when we hear that you had such a good time, as that really is our aim! Thank you also for leaving all the information for future guests, and Lene and I hope that we may be able to welcome you back again one day.
The Old Atelier Gite was gorgeous and the Welcome Pack was indeed very welcome as the shops were closed when we arrived on the Sunday. It was in located in very rural France. It does adjoin a second gite owned by the same people. It is set in a complex of three, two gites and the owner's barn. There is a swimming pool but only available to the Hobogite and not available for use at all when the owners are there. So if you want to use the pool, book the hobogite and not the Atelier. It was beautiful, there are many places to visit so in essence Ruffec is a great location. You will need a car and the use of bicycles would be great, as we run and did some fabulous runs straight from the gite. The scenery is gorgeous and the gite served us well. Would happily recommend it for a great holiday.
Many thanks for leaving such a detailed and positive review of the Old Atelier, it is always so nice to hear of our guests' experiences there. As you say, we only rent out our other gite "The Hobogite", when we are not staying in our Barn so that they have sole use of our main gardens and pool. The Old Atelier is further along the drive, with its own entrance and of course its own secluded garden!
Lovely gite in a great location for touring the beautiful countryside. Everything provided for a perfect stay, very clean and well maintained. Nice spacious private garden, perfect for sipping a glass of wine and watch the sun go down.
Thank you so much for your lovely review, and it was great to hear that you obviously enjoyed your stay with us. We try hard to make the Old Atelier a really nice place to spend your holiday, and it's good to hear that you had a good time there!
A beautiful, newly restored property with all the comforts of home in a beautiful location. Impeccably clean and obviously loved by the owners, who were more than helpful with information in advance and with helping answer our questions. They left a list of local restaurants which we tried and they were wonderful both in food provided and their locations, this was very useful as we didn't know the area. Have already recommended this to friends and hope to return next year.
Thank you very much for leaving such a lovely review, and it was really good to hear your appreciation of the Old Atelier - and of our little restaurant reviews too! We hope that we may look forward to welcoming you back to La Renaudiere again in the future.