|La Maree||Self Catering||Saturday||2||4||1|
Whether in summer or winter, this carefully restored 19th century cottage surrounded by vineyards and meadows provides a cosy retreat from the stresses of modern life. Both bedrooms have views across salt marshes to the Gironde Estuary, as well as a small windmill which is typical of the region.
It's just a 10 minute drive from the sandy beaches at Meschers, or a 5 minute walk to the picturesque port of Les Monards, which has 2 popular restaurants as well as picnic tables along the water's edge.
The cottage has its own enclosed south facing garden, shaded by a mulberry tree, with a built-in barbecue for those balmy evenings. Two bicycles can be provided for exploring the rolling countryside and dramatic coastal paths.
Kitchen and dining area are open-plan, with a window onto the terrace. There's seating for 6 at the dining table and the kitchen is fully equipped with good quality crockery and utensils. Cooking is on a gas hob and there is a fridge-freezer as well as washing machine, iron, toaster, cafetiere and vacuum cleaner. (There's also a small logburner for winter visitors.)
Focal point is an open fireplace, which can be used for burning logs in winter. There is a comfortable 3 seater sofa and small armchair.
One double room and one twin room, both with spacious wardrobes and bedside cupboards, as well as electric fans if it gets really hot. Although mosquitos are not a particular problem on the coast, all our rooms are fitted with insect blinds to keep out unwanted intruders.
A bright shower room with double basins, hair dryer and socket. Separate wc.
Electric radiators in all rooms for winter occupation, as well as open fire and log burning stove.
Plenty of books and up-to-date local information to browse; UK satellite tv and a library of English dvds at your disposal, as well as some boardgames.
Secluded garden full of plants and flowers, with a small lawn for sitting out. Also terrace with table and chairs, as well as recliners for sunbathing. Built-in charcoal barbecue.
We're sorry but we don't allow pets.
Street parking in lay-by opposite, underneath windmill. (This is quite safe and has been used by us for the last ten years.)
Suitable as a romantic coastal getaway for couples or for small families who want a taste of something typically French - but with all home comforts!
Our neighbour - who has restored the historic flour mill almost single-handed - now offers family canoe rides on his tranquil lake and river, which is also a haven for wildlife. In addition to serving excellent moules, our closest restaurant (3 mins walk) offers takeaway pizzas. You can sit out on their terrace for meals and there's a garden play area for children. On the other side of our little port is a popular auberge restaurant with great value 'menu du jour'.
Retired horologist and clock restorer who enjoys trawling antique fairs, doing up property, photographing wildlife and gardening - not necessarily in that order!
|Year property purchased||2002|
|Why this location?||My partner, Caroline, and I wanted somewhere coastal with lots of sunshine so we knew it had to be south of the Loire. But we didn't want it to be too hot either, so the Charente-Maritime seemed ideal and has more than lived up to our expectations. The locals are very friendly and welcoming, food is both delicious and great value, there's lots to see in the area and it's only just over 5 hours' drive from St Malo. We never get tired of exploring this coastline and the beaches offer something for everyone, whether it's surfing or fishing, swimming in calm water, or eating seafood at a restaurant on the sand. Unlike the UK, it never seems to get too busy either!|
|Unique benefits of property||The cottage is very close to the Gironde estuary and has views of the water from upstairs. This means the garden is cooled by sea breezes and it's pleasant to sit out on your private terrace without being overlooked. It's literally 5 minutes walk to the shore, or to the nearest little port where there are two friendly restaurants (competitively priced!) and picnic tables where you can sit and watch the fishing boats. We're in a rural area, surrounded by fields and salt marshes, where there's an abundance of wildlife but not too many tourists. The cottage has all mod-cons but we've kept many of its original features to give visitors a real feel for French country living. As we've been running the gite for over 10 years now, we've built up a valuable "book" of information on restaurants, beaches, shops and local attractions to give people a clear idea of where to go. Living next-door, we're always on hand to help and many visitors have become firm friends over the years.|
There are many ways to enjoy the unspoiled scenery along this coastline. On cooler days it's great to cycle around the local area, visiting pretty villages like Talmont and Mortagne which offer stunning views over the Gironde Estuary. Further afield, you can cycle through pine forests up at the Cote Sauvage where there are sand dunes and wide Atlantic beaches. On warmer days you can take boat trips from the quayside at Meschers, exploring lighthouses and caves or doing some sea fishing. Over several years now we've compiled a book of local information, suggesting places to visit and things to do - from days out in Bordeaux or Cognac, to the best-priced restaurants and the most attractive beaches. There is really something for everyone along this magical coast!
This was our second year at La Maree, so obviously we have loved it. The cottage is delightful - we particularly appreciate the net blinds on the windows which keep the mosquitoes out and ensure a good night's sleep! The garden is filled with flowers and has comfortable outdoor furniture.
There is lots to explore in the surrounding area - beautiful beaches and lovely towns with great food markets just a short drive away.
Les Monards itself is small, but we have really enjoyed strolling into the village to canoe down the river and in the evening eat at the local pizza place (fab ice creams).
Caroline and Christina are excellent hosts, providing an extremely useful guide of the local area, and have been on hand to offer advice and answer our queries. We would highly recommend La Maree to all.
Wonderful place authentic and clean perfectly situated and run by two well informed dedicated people who look after you very well highly recommended.
The cottage was really well equipped, clean and maintained to a high standard. Every effort made to make it a comfortable "home from home". The provision of mosquito blinds on all the windows was a big bonus. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and found the owners very helpful - the wealth of information contained in the many folders was really appreciated.
From the moment we arrived, to find the lovely welcome gifts we felt completely relaxed and ready to enjoy our week in the Gironde. The bikes supplied by the owners were well used and we enjoyed some lovely rides through the local countryside. The cottage is also an easy drive to the Cote Savage but has closer beaches to hand as well.
We enjoyed our meals sitting in the pretty garden. The property is certainly one we would like to visit again and we hope to do so in the very near future. We would certainly recommend this property to friends and family.
The advert accurately described the cottage. The directions to La Maree that we received from the owners were very easy to follow and we found the cottage without any problem. Parking under the windmill is fine and, we felt, very safe! The first thing you notice is the beautifully maintained garden which has a very "country cottage" feel about it. The cottage itself was extremely clean and tidy and the owners, Christina and Caroline, had left us some very useful provisions which were greatly appreciated as we got there quite late. The inside of the cottage is very comfortable and spacious and has everything you will need. The main bedroom is very spacious and the second one is of a good size. We found the separate toilet a bonus. The location of La Maree is very good! A short 3/4 minute walk brings you into Les Monards which is a delightful place. There is a bar/restaurant call "Le Cheun a Quay" which we ate in twice and is very good and the "Auberge Les Monards" just a bit further on was excellent too!! The staff at both eating places were very pleasant and helpful.
Christina and Caroline were very friendly and gave us lots of advice as to where to go! Our favourite walk was to Talmont (45 mins) which is the prettiest village I have ever seen.
Thank you Christina and Caroline for your hospitality, we will definitely come back again to stay in La Maree!! We would definitely recommend this property to friends or relatives!