|The Dairy||Self Catering||4||8||2|
This delightful villa with pool in the grounds of an 18th century estate is a former dairy, converted in recent times to a high standard, creating a stylish and spacious holiday home in a peaceful rural location only a few minutes from the sea in one direction and a small market town in the other.
The Dairy is is a peaceful and relaxing place which comfortably accommodates up to 8 people. There are high ceilings and exposed beams throughout making it light and airy. It is best suited to groups of adults or families with young children. The pool is just across the courtyard to the front which has 3 beautiful old lime trees and there is a large secluded garden to the rear. The Dairy has satellite tv, dvd, a sound system and WI-FI. The house is well equipped for babies and small children. There is a wide range of sightseeing and leisure activities nearby for both adults and children.
The dining room seats 8-10 at a beautiful antique oak table and has french doors onto the covered terrace where you can also eat 'al fresco'. On one side of the dining room is a well equipped galley kitchen with oven, ceramic hob, fridge, microwave, coffee-machine and kettle; on the other side is a utility room with freezer, washing machine, dryer, iron and ironing board.
The spacious living room is double height and has a huge west-facing arched window filling the old coach entrance and giving views over the countryside. French doors open onto the garden while an electric shutter prevents the room from over-heating in summer! There is a splendid stone fireplace, under-floor heating and a stone spiral staircase leading to the mezzanine. Comfortable sofas and chairs and colourful rugs make this a pleasant place to relax.
The master bedroom has french doors to the front and rear gardens, a large double bed, walk-in wardrobe and en suite bathroom.
There are 3 further good sized double bedrooms with plenty of storage. All 3 overlook the rear garden and can be arranged as 2 doubles and 1 twin or 1 double and 2 twin rooms.
There is a cloakroom off the hall with fitted washbasin and wc.
There are 2 bathrooms, the en suite off the master bedroom and the house bathroom. Both are fully-tiled, luxurious and spacious: each has a separate bath and shower, double fitted basins and wc.
The Dairy has a stone-paved covered terrace, a built-in barbecue, table, chairs and sun loungers. The secluded garden overlooks the surrounding fields and the village church in the distance. The beautiful pool, just across the courtyard is 12m x 6m, solar-heated and completely enclosed with a child-proof gate. The sunshine hours in the Charente Maritime are second only in France to the Cote d'Azur so the pool is reliably warm in summer. The owners rarely use their house in peak season so the pool is likely to be for the exclusive use of the Dairy - please feel free to check.
There is plenty of parking outside the Dairy.
The Dairy is suited to both younger and older visitors: it is on one level apart from 2 steps between the dining and living rooms. There is 1 step up to the front door and the terrace is on 2 levels each accessible from the house.
Young adults and later teens might find the Dairy a little too peaceful!.
All bed linen, towels and beach towels are provided; they are changed weekly when the Dairy is cleaned.
We have owned our property for more than 20 years and continue to enjoy it, as do 4 generations of our family.
|Year property purchased||1993|
|Why this location?||The climate and location are ideal: we almost always have older relatives and/or children with us and, as we live in the North of England, travelling times and distances are not too great.|
|Unique benefits of property||We are in the peace and quiet of the countryside and yet close to the coast and not too far from major towns like la Rochelle and Bordeaux. We find this gives us so many options that we haven't yet got bored after all this time!|
There are several small, sheltered, Blue Flag beaches between Meschers and St Georges with fine sand, rock pools and pine trees for shade - ideal for children. A little further afield are the more exciting and larger scale Atlantic beaches of the Cote Sauvage and the Grand Cote.
Cozes is our nearest town with a full range of shops, a picturesque, ancient covered market which is good for cheese, vegetables and sea food. There is also a supermarket and a couple of bars. Cozes is easily reached by car, 5 minutes, bike, on quiet back roads or on foot if you are a bit more energetic. The market is on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the summer.
These are always popular. Zoos do not always find favour but this one is attractively set out and specializes in the protection of endangered species.
Meschers and Mortagne are 2 attractive small towns close by. Mortagne is a small port nestled in chalk cliffs with quay-side restaurants and bars. Meschers is also a small port where boat and fishing trips are available. The Fa, on the other hand, is our local archaeological site. The foundations of a large Roman port have been exposed and preserved and there is a small museum displaying the finds - excavation is ongoing.
St Malo 350km, Ouistreham/Caen 474km and Cherbourg 529km.
La Rochelle 96km and Bordeaux 120km
Our favourite restaurant is also the nearest, Le Cottage, in Arces - a few minutes by car. There are many more in the attractive small towns nearby: Meschers, Mortagne, Talmont and St Georges de Didonne. Details are to be found in the Dairy.
These are our 2 local, contrasting seaside towns. Both have water sports centres with expert instruction. Royan is rather larger and situated on the stretch of the Atlantic coastline known as the Coast of Beauty. Here you can take your pick from many beaches and it is still a lively fishing port: a little fleet leaves daily, its catches finding their way onto the restaurant tables that evening. Royan town has a lot to offer; with exceptional shopping, designer boutiques, surfing stores and a superb covered market. There are restaurants, cafes and bars of all kinds plus 2 casinos! Culture buffs can find lots to interest them with a good and varied programme of events ranging from concerts to sailing regattas and art exhibitions. Most of Royan, including the cathedral which is much nicer inside than out, was built in the Modern style between 1955 and 1958 because the allies bombed the town during the war! St Georges, on the other hand, is smaller, quieter and more traditional. It boasts a beautiful sandy bay, promenade, coastal walk and lighthouse as well as restaurants, bars and shops.
25 minutes in-land is the historic town of Saintes complete with Roman Arch, a ruined ampitheatre and small museums. It is a thriving commercial centre with good shopping in beautiful buildings. There are bars for watching the world go by over a drink and river trips on the Charente.
Less than five minutes away, our nearest coastal village is Talmont, a bastide built in 1284 by Edward the First of England. Inside the walls, there is a magnificent church built in 1094, 17th and 18th century houses which surround the harbour, hollyhocks and roses growing in huge abundance throughout the little streets and lanes. Talmont has 2 excellent restaurants, several good cafes and lots of delightful, individual shops. All this and wonderful sea views make Talmont a lovely place for a leisurely stroll, especially in the evening.
If you are entertaining children it might be useful to know that there is a bowling alley at Semussac and an Aqua Park in Jonzac for when it is too cold to swim outdoors!
Visible from the coast, a visit to the Cordouan Lighthouse is a bit of an adventure. The trip can be booked in and leaves from Royan according to the tides.
La Rochelle and Bordeaux are well worth the journey - Bordeaux is now on the Unesco Heritage List for architecture.
Last but not least, it is possible to visit and taste wine, cognac and pineau, the local fortified wine, at vineyards and distilleries at every level from the small local producer to world famous names.