|Chez Guérin||Self Catering||Sunday||4||6||2||Cot available|
Set in peaceful rural Charente Maritime, our French country cottage is a comfortable, well-equipped family home with its own private swimming pool (8 x 4m). With 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms it can readily accommodate parties up to a maximum of 6 people. The house is set in its own enclosed gardens backing on to fields and woods.
The cottage is in Chez Guérin, a tiny hamlet bordered by woods, vineyards and fields of sunflowers. The placid River Charente flows just 10 minutes away. The endless Atlantic beaches of the Cote Sauvage and the pretty islands of Ile d'Oléron and Ile de Ré are within an hour's drive. The nearest town with all facilities is the pretty riverside town of Saint-Savinien (10 minutes) while the medieval towns of St-Jean d'Angély and Saintes are within 15 and 20 minutes' drive respectively.
Although the house is not isolated - shops and all essential services are less than 10 minutes away - a car is essential whether you drive from the Channel ports - between 4 and a half hours (St Malo), 5 hours (Caen), 6 hours (Cherbourg) and 7 hours (Calais) - or hire a car at one of the nearby airports (La Rochelle, Poitiers, Bordeaux).
Fully equipped open-plan kitchen. Table and chairs for four. Ceramic hob, fan oven, large fridge, dishwasher, Espresso machine, kettle and toaster. (Washing machine in bathroom.)
Spacious sunroom/dining room, looking out over the pool area, with dining table to seat six.
Sitting room with wood burning stove. Flat screen tv with UK Freesat channels, dvd player, iPod dock. Plus seating area with easy chairs in the large airy sunroom.
Master bedroom with attached shower room. A large bright room, with french windows opening on to the balcony. Large king size bed (160cms x 200cms). Wardrobe and chest of drawers.
Bedroom 2, with french windows opening on to the sunny balcony. A compact room with a huge bed! (large king size, 160cms x 200cms). Wardrobe and chest of drawers.
Bedroom 3, with french windows opening on to the balcony. Standard double bed (140cms x 200 cms). Clothes rail and chest of drawers.
Bedroom 4, with a view over fields. Single bed. Clothes rail and chest of drawers.
Downstairs family bathroom with basin, bath and shower attachment. Separate wc. Upstairs shower room attached to master bedroom, with wc and basin.
Electric radiators in all rooms. They are individually controlled. Although it is unlikely to be needed in July/August there is a wood burning stove in the sitting room for cooler months and a supply of logs in the front garden.
UK satellite television and radio channels, those broadcast on Freesat in the UK, are provided. (French channels are not supplied.) DVD player and iPod dock available. Secured wi-fi internet is provided. The connection and password details will be available in your arrival pack.
At the poolside, sun loungers, garden furniture and parasols are provided. The private pool is not heated. To comply with French regulations there is a pool alarm. But this is no substitute for careful supervision of swimmers, particularly children who must be accompanied at all times. Guests use the pool at their own risk.
There is plenty of space in the driveway to park a car. Guests may also park on the central part of the grassy verge adjoining the front garden by agreement of the owner, our neighbour opposite.
There is level access to the ground floor of the house. All bedrooms are upstairs and the staircase is quite steep with restricted headroom and could be difficult for anyone with limited mobility. Toddlers would need supervision on the stairs and children should not be allowed on to the balcony, which runs along the first floor frontage, except under supervision. Not suitable for pets.
Bring your own tennis racquets as guests have access, free of charge, to the tennis court of the commune - a five minute walk from Chez Guérin. You can also use the table-tennis table there and the boules pitch. There is an open air swimming pool in nearby St-Savinien-sur-Charente and a boating lake. Boats on the River Charente may be hired. There is a water park in St-Jean d'Angély, the Centre Aquatique Atlantys.
|Year property purchased||2011|
|Why this location?||Here we can enjoy the best of both worlds: the get-away-from-it-all appeal of charming villages, sleepy rivers and pretty countryside, while never being more than an hour or so in a car away from the coastal delights of chic harbourside restaurants and family-friendly beaches with activities for the children. Plus it's a comfortable drive from the Channel ports in a day.|
|Unique benefits of property||Privacy, peace and quiet, and a lovely view in whatever direction you look..|
Its sunny climate coupled with clean Atlantic waters and endless sandy beaches has made Charente-Maritime a hugely popular destination for holidaymakers. Beaches on the Gironde estuary, such as Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Meschers-sur-Gironde and Saint-Palais-sur-Mer offer safe swimming and acres of sand for the kids to roam, as well as jet-skiing and kite-surfing facilities. Further north, the exposure to the Atlantic makes for bigger waves and fine surfing.
Our nearest beaches are about 45 minutes away, on the peninsula of Fouras. South of Fouras, on the Arvert peninsula, is the Cote Sauvage with miles of beaches (and sometimes rough seas) backed by pine forests while Royan is a popular resort town with wide clean beaches.
A string of islands lies just off the coast. Catch a little ferry from Fouras to the Ile d'Aix, where no motor vehicles are allowed (take bikes if you have them). Or drive to the islands of Ile de Ré and Ile d'Oléron, both connected to the mainland by bridges and about an hour from Chez Guérin. Both have pretty harbours and a huge choice of beaches.They can be very busy in high season: avoid weekends and public holidays, otherwise you may see little but traffic jams.
Nearby Marennes borders the vast oyster beds where the River Seudre meets the sea. The Marennes-Oléron oysters are highly prized. The clean sea conditions, local climate and centuries of farming know-how combine to produce sweet and delectable huîtres. Of course almost all local restaurants serve oysters but why not try them at one of the little oyster shacks and fish restaurants near the marshes, for example at L'Eguille or at pretty Mornac-sur-Seudre.
The quiet roads around Chez Guérin are ideal for bike rides through the countryside. Charente-Maritime is famed for being one of the best destinations in France for “La Petite Reine”, the bicycle. The region is blessed with every kind of route imaginable, from off-road trails signposted as Vélo Tout Terrain (VTT), to carefully-planned tours for longer-distance road cycling. The web-based information available is exceptional too – everything from route planners to ideas for picturesque refreshment stops.
If you can't bring your own bikes we can recommend a local firm who will deliver your requirements to the property and collect them at the end of the holiday.
There are many delightful walks available, right from your front door. Grandjean's former station is just down the hill and the grassed over railway track offers an easy walk in either direction. The ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella passes less than a mile away at Fenioux - follow this for as long as you fancy.
The River Charente meanders through the countryside only a few minutes from Chez Guérin. Along its banks are pretty little towns, once thriving river ports but now quiet backwaters. Notable are Taillebourg, Port d'Envaux and Saint-Savinien-sur-Charente, all offering walks along the banks and pleasant waterside restaurants and cafes. Boats may be hired at Saint-Savinien and Port d'Envaux, by the hour or by the day, for a river cruise.
Chez Guerin looks towards two lovely old towns: to its north is the medieval town of St-Jean-d'Angely, for centuries a way station on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella. To the south is Saintes, with its fine amphitheatre dating back to Roman times. Both have excellent markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
At Rochefort, a famous port and site of naval construction for centuries, visit the impressive buildings of the old naval arsenal, the fascinating Corderie Royale museum, the Musée National de la Marine, and the Hermione, a replica of the ship in which Lafayette sailed to the aid of the Americans during the War of Independence. Guided tours are available when she is in port.
Cognac is an eau-de-vie, the water of life, recognised worldwide as the finest spirit produced from grapes. A tour of one of the major brandy producers' distilleries in Cognac provides an interesting day out. Several of the big Cognac houses - Martell, Rémy Martin, Camus, Hennessy, Otard - offer informative visits explaining the distilling and blending process followed by tastings of the product.
There are several attractive chateaux and grounds worth a visit, for example the nearby Chateau de la Roche-Courbon.
Just back from 2 weeks in Chez Guerin with three young children and all had a wonderful holiday. The property is very well maintained and equipped (one of the best that we have been to in France) with everything you need at hand - and the house is even nicer in person than the attached photos.
The pool and large garden are perfect to passing away sunny summer days together and, while the location is wonderfully quiet and peaceful, it is still within easy drives of places such as St. Savinien, Saintes, Ile d'Oleron, Royan and even La Rochelle for supplies and fun day trips.
The hosts were extremely helpful and very prompt to reply to any mails and supply plenty of information to set you up for your stay - including a very thoughtful welcome pack which was much appreciated when we arrived.
Would definitely look to return to Chez Guerin again in the future.
So glad everybody enjoyed their holiday. Hope we will see you again at Chez Guerin.
Lovely place to stay, very clean and welcoming. As we are pensioners we found the house too distant from local amenities and too distant from places of interest eg La Rochelle.. We became very tired travelling, so we will stay in UK next year.
The owner offered good service.As I am a very busy pensioner, I was content to rest, but my husband was bored.
So glad you loved the house. Rural tranquillity is Chez Guerin's hallmark and we wouldn't really suggest it as a good base for city visits. But within a radius of 10-60 minutes' drive there is wealth of different things to do: beaches, harbours, river ports; Roman remains and Napoleonic forts; vineyards and Cognac distilleries; chateaux, museums and medieval towns. Not going out? - we leave a large selection of films, CDs, books and board games in the house.
We had a lovely week here, we didn't want to leave!
The property is gorgeous and has everything you could possibly need. It is very well kept and clean, the owners have worked hard to ensure that guests have a truly relaxing break. We will definitely book this property again. As the shops are shut on a Sunday, it was nice to find bread, cheese, jam, wine & beer etc waiting for us when we arrived ( a really thoughtful touch) .
We visited local towns and restaurants and were pleased to capture a real taste of France. You definitely need a car to get around and see all the sights as well picking up shopping from the local supermarket. If you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday to get away from the chaios of London life, then this will hit the spot!
Contact with the owners was excellent. The additional information they provided was extremely helpful.
Thank you for a lovely holiday in France, we really enjoyed ourselves!
This house was absolutely stunning, in my opinion the photos don't do it enough justice. We had a lovely week here with friends and our children. Anything you could possibly need the house is equipped with. What was particularly great was there is a lovely big pool and a garden next to it, we played tennis and badminton most days and the other half who wanted to lounge by the pool were right next to us. I have never felt so comfortable and at home on another holiday and we will be looking to book again next year. Contact with Andrew was also great and he replied straight away, there was so much useful information at the property too. Thanks very much.
So glad that everyone enjoyed their stay at Chez Guerin. Thank you for a generous review. Andrew & Kathie