|Le Vivier||Self Catering||Flexible||5||10||3||There is 1 cot available and 2 highchairs.|
Le Vivier is a renovated old farmhouse with adjoining barns set on a hill facing south and overloooking the fields and woodland of south Charente. it is in a tiny hamlet which is itself part of the village commune of Brie sous Chalais. The town of Chalais with its weekly market and all other facilities is 6km away. This area of France, while being off the beaten track and therefore very quiet, is nevertheless situated within easy reach of major routes such as the main N10 and A10 roads, the larger towns of Bordeaux, Perigueux, Angoulême and Cognac, TGV trains to Paris from Angoulême and Bordeaux and several airports with direct flights to British airports. It is an easy half day’s drive from the channel ports and is an hour and a half from the beaches of the west coast.
While the house has been extensively modernised and now has modern kitchen and bathroom facilities, it still retains character with exposed beams, wood burning stoves and rustic walls. There are some low beams upstairs which all add to the charm.
The surrounding area is peppered with small villages, Romanesque churches, chateaux, vineyards and fields of sunflowers and corn. There are sandy beaches on the rivers and the wine and brandy producers of Bordeaux and Cognac to explore.
The kitchen is modern and well equipped with oven, induction hob, American fridge-freezer, dish washer, microwave, toaster, kettle and washing machine. There are plenty of pots and pans as well as adequate crockery and cutlery for all the guests.
There is an extending dining table, a central island with bar stools and 2 highchairs if there are young children.
The kitchen has a beautiful old wood burner for those cooler nights in the autumn.
Adjacent to the kitchen is the main living room with comfortable leather sofas, coffee-table and side tables. There is also a tv and sound system.
Upstairs there is another seating area with sofas and coffee-table.
The house has 5 bedrooms in total, 2 on the ground floor and 3 further bedrooms upstairs. The 2 en suite ground floor rooms both have a king sized oak framed bed. Upstairs there is a double room and 2 rooms which have twin beds.
All bed linen and towels are provided and changed weekly. There are hand towels, bath towels and pool towels provided.
The 2 ground floor en suite bedrooms have bathrooms with a walk in shower, wc and basin while the upstairs family bathroom has twin washbasins set in a unit, wc and bath with shower over. All the bathrooms have heated towel rails.
The house has electric heating plus wood burners in the kitchen and living room.
There are tv's in the kitchen and the living room plus another one in one of the downstairs bedrooms. They all receive UK programmes via satellite and the living room one also gets French tv. There is a dvd player and a cd player in the living room. There is wi-fi throughout the property.
As well as books, maps and guides there are also some boardgames and a chess set. The living room has an electric piano for our guests who are musicians. This is not a toy however and we would ask guests to use it responsibly.
To the front of the house is a large gravelled courtyard where guests will find a shady gazebo with outside dining table. Adjacent to the courtyard is a garden area which leads to the pool. There are borders with shrubs and flowers and the whole garden is fenced and can be made secure by closing the entrance gates.
The pool measures 8m x 4m and is kidney shaped. It is heated to a comfortable temperature for swimming and has an alarm for security. The pool is kept clean on a daily basis and the water quality regularly checked. The pool surround is paved and there are sun loungers and shade umbrellas provided. We do ask guests not to take any glass bottles or glasses to the pool area for safety reasons and also not to let pets go in the pool.
Outside the immediate garden area there is a further acre of grass leading down the slope away from the house which is also available for guests to use and flat areas which are ideal for ball games etc.
Parking is available for several vehicles in the courtyard.
There are 3 steps up the main door which makes the house unsuitable for wheelchair users but the downstairs bedrooms are accessible to people who cannot manage a full flight of stairs.
There is a covered barn adjacent to the house which has a table tennis table, exercise bike and where there are also several bikes suitable for different ages which guests can use to explore the quiet lanes around the property.
French lessons are available for any guests wishing to improve their language skills whilst on holiday.
We can offer to look after children if parents want a meal out on their own for a special occasion and we're also able to drop off and collect up to 4 people to/from a restaurant if they want to avoid having to have a designated, non drinking driver.
If any guests want to try one of the many walks in the area but are unsure of routes we are happy to accompany them.
We have both now retired from full time work in the UK and live most of the time in France. We have 2 children who are now both at University. We have had a property in this area for many years although we’ve only been in this property for 3 years. We love the peace and quiet of the countryside, the friendliness of the local people and the special French lifestyle.
|Year property purchased||2015|
|Why this location?||Quiet and rural but with lovely neighbours. Convenient for amenities. Great views. Easy access to Bordeaux, Angoulême and trains to Paris. Within easy reach of Channel ports. Very attractive rolling hills and woods with fields of vines and sunflowers. Just over an hour to the coast.|
|Unique benefits of property||Our house is full of character but benefits from modern comforts. It has a modern kitchen and bathrooms and the rooms are comfortable and spacious. With 5 bedrooms, 2 of which are en suite it is ideal for lots of different family configurations. We have attractive outdoor areas as well as a lovely swimming pool which is also heated to a pleasant temperature. Neither the garden areas nor the pool are overlooked and both benefit from extensive south facing views. There is sunshine all day long. You can walk or cycle direct from the house along quiet roads and tracks through the woods or fields but all the amenities are a short drive away.|
Every Monday morning the local town of Chalais is taken over by the market. The streets are closed off and the market stalls take up the whole town.
The small village of Aubeterre has an attractive main square filled with cafes and shops, a unique underground church carved from the rock and a sandy beach on the river Dronne for swimming and sunbathing. You can also hire canoes for a paddle along the river.
The famous wine town of St Emilion makes a great day out whether exploring the quaint old streets, having a meal in one of the many restaurants or taking a wine tour round one of the local vineyards.
Cognac, famous for the production of Brandy from the grapes grown in the surrounding areas offers tours of the Cognac producers of Martel, Hennessy or Otard as well as trips on the river Charente or opportunities for shopping, eating or relaxing in the towns shaded parks.
The tourist town of St Aulaye has a great beach on the river Dronne, canoeing on the river and a tree adventure park with several courses at different heights and difficulties. Quite a challenge if you’re up for it.
Bordeaux has a chic shopping centre, beautifully restored water front, cinemas and Opera House.
Angoulême has a great restaurant quarter which comes alive at night as well as shopping during the day.
Jonzac has a great water park and a recreational lake with fishing, boating and swimming. it also has an impressive main square with its chateau and stylish restaurants.
Further afield on the estuary of the Gironde river are fascinating little towns leading eventually to the resort of Royan with its harbour and beautiful wide sandy beaches. Further along the coast are smaller resorts, the wild coast with Atlantic breakers and the zoo of La Palmyre.