|The Chateau at Petit Champagne||Self Catering||Saturday||6||16||6|
Petit Champagne is a domaine of just 4 houses in the Charente Maritime region of South Western France, the second sunniest after the Cote d’Azur and on the Lonely Planet top ten places to visit in 2012.
We are located 5 minutes from junction 34 of the A10 Paris to Bordeaux motorway, 45 minutes from La Rochelle (which is also the closest airport) and, 25 minutes from the nearest beach.
Connections to the UK are straightforward with flights all year round from Stansted and Birmingham East Midlands, and summer from Southampton and Bristol.
Road connections are also good with the nearest French port of St. Malo three and a half hours distant.
The buildings are nicely positioned in the centre of the property with gardens all round.
The chateau has gardens at the front and a grassed terrace shaded by Acacia trees at the back. Part of this grassed area has been paved to make a bbq area.
There are lovely walks through the woodland which is surrounded by sunflowers.
There is an abundance of interesting bird and wildlife.
The local river, 'The Boutonne', has excellent fishing and is less than a 15 minute walk from the property.
There are many cycle routes in the area, and we can arrange bike hire for you.
Facing the garden and with views across the valley there is a huge country kitchen with a handmade solid oak table which seats 16.
There is also an 8 foot breakfast bar with stools, which is great for feeding the children and for sitting at with a glass of Pineau (local fortified wine which is served chilled) while someone else makes the dinner.
There is also a wood burning stove fitted.
There is a flatscreen tv in the kitchen with a UK Freeview system and dvd player. Internet access.
There is also a SONOS sound system with speakers on the floodlight terrace as well as throughout the chateau.
Opposite there is a large lounge with ornate carved ceiling and views across the garden and pool.
In this lovely room are 3 sofas and a selection of armchairs arranged around the original fireplace.
The house also has 2 bedrooms on the ground floor. One has a king sized bed with an en suite bathroom, and the other a king sized bed with 2 additional singles, this is intended primarily to be a childrens room as it has a big tv, dvd player etc.
The shower room for this bedroom is also on the ground floor, the other side of the entrance hall.
Upstairs there are a further four bedrooms, all en suite.
The master suite, which faces the back garden, with a view across the valley, has a king sized bed and a huge bathroom with large corner bath, huge shower, bidet, toilet and double sink.
The other back bedroom (with same view) has a king sized bed with two additional singles, and an en suite bathroom with a large corner bath which has a shower attachment, bidet, sink and toilet.
The third bedroom facing the front, has two three foot singles which can be zipped together to make a queen sized bed, and an en suite bathroom with bath and shower over, plus a sink and toilet.
Five out of the 6 bedrooms are en suite all have baths as well as showers. The sixth bedroom has a shower room across the corridor.
Full oil fired central heating and wood burning stove. The house is fully double glazed.
Gamesroom with table tennis table. Huge 15m x 8m swimming pool with diving board, alarm and solar cover.
The first thing you see when you enter Petit Champagne through the wrought iron gates are the large front gardens with numerous trees and parking for many cars in the gravelled areas.
The chateau is set on gently sloping land facing west for lovely sunsets and panoramic views. Most is set to lawn with the pool centrally situated with large sunbathing area.
The pool is 15m x 8m. The maximum depth is 3.4m. It is surrounded by paving with roman steps at one end and then a large sun area with plenty of sunloungers. Part of the pool and terrace are shaded in the summer afternoons which can be important so the little ones can keep swimming while it is hot.
There is a trampoline with safety net on the large back lawn.
There is ample parking for up to 35 cars!
There are 2 downstairs bedrooms with no step from the front door which opens wide enough to allow a wheel chair through. There are 2 steps out onto the terrace however a wheelchair can go around the house.
The Poitou-Charentes region The Charente Maritime is the second sunniest region in France after the Cote d'Azur. It also remains predominantly French. There is a great mixture of rolling countryside and flatter plains nearer to the sea. There are loads of things to see and do from the high tech. Futuroscope in Poitiers, to the historic port of Rochefort with the wooden frigate restoration museum to the beaches at Royan. The Bordeaux wine region is a great day trip, and Cognac rather closer.
Beaches - Spotless, sandy and safe. If the beach is your thing then the Atlantic coast is well equipped to satisfy all tastes with shallow gentle shores at Chatellaillon Plage and for surfers there is the Cote Sauvage. There is a wealth of golden beaches many uncrowded even in high season. Our favourites include Chatelaillon- Plage and Fouras, famous for its oyster beds. Royan has a spectacular beach stretching 2 km where you can sail and windsurf.
Medieval market town full of character with leafy squares, timber houses and cobbled streets. The 15th Century clock tower and abbey towers impose on the skyline and the colourful twice-weekly market selling superb regional produce is an assault on your senses. Enjoy a fresh coffee at one of the pavement cafés and soak up the atmosphere.
You will find abundance of restaurants and bars catering for all tastes. Swim indoors at the Atlantis aqua centre with 50m amazing waterslide. There are more water sports to be had at the lake by paddling a canoe or kayak. For the less energetic, a round of crazy golf might prove a better alternative. For children with a need for speed, Go Karting offers fast track fun. Afternoons 3– 8pm.
Château de Dampierre - Our local château! A 16th century Renaissance treasure surrounded by running water in a wooded setting. Wander through the tranquil, green gardens or lose yourself in the small maze. Chizé forest - A nature reserve where you can safely see roe deer, wild boar, wolves and many other animals in their natural habitat in the cool forest. Surgères - Unassuming market town with a beautiful Chèteau nestled in green parkland. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays stall holders set up their wares at the crack of dawn, and Surgères comes to vibrant and very French life. Try the superb locally produced butter on your crusty baguette washed down with some good inexpensive vin! Antezant - A little known spot on the river Boutonne, shaded by tall trees and perfect for children. Ideal setting for picnics. The snack bar provides light lunches and ices. There is also a boule pitch and children’s play area. La Rochelle - Not to be missed! Head here for serious retail therapy, credit cards at the ready (husbands optional!) Discover the chicest boutiques amongst arcaded streets in this cosmopolitan, bustling city. Enjoy the finest fresh seafood overlooking the historic old port or take a boat trip to one of the islands. When the heat is on head to The Aquarium to cool off. This water wonderland is a deservedly very popular attraction. Magical, mystical and ultra modern, but go early! When you’ve exhausted the shops and the children, take time out to relax at the small beach. . The park and mini zoo with black swans and peacocks are just a stone’s throw away. Sip a coffee or chilled beer at ‘ La Brasserie de la Plage’ whilst overlooking the sea. Parfait!
The Islands - Beautiful yet unpretentious. Brimming with charm, Ile de Ré is picture postcard where the beaches are sandy soft and the island’s salt marshes deliver the ‘Fleur de Sel’ or ‘white gold‘ as it is known locally. A culinary find for any discerning cook. St. Martin, the largest town is a lively hub for food, nightlife and shopping. Artisanal ice creams are hard to resist. Ile d’Oleron also offers exceptional beaches on the ‘Cote Sauvage’ where you can picnic amongst the pine forests and sand dunes or just browse the shops in the narrow lanes. Both islands are accessible by car or boat but we never tire of the journey across the 3km bridge despite the toll. Cycling is also an excellent way to explore these self-contained islands. From Fouras you can visit the Ile d'Aix where Napoleon considered his future. Lovely beaches here as well has history.
The Chateau at Petit Champagne is a truly beautiful home.
It is very large and ideal for big groups.
It was spotlessly clean throughout, beautiful white bed linens and towels, the beds are very comfortable, quiet secluded environment.
The swimming pool is huge and was well looked after every day before we even got up.
The settings are gorgeous and so peaceful, it is perfect.
The area nearby is full of lovely French villages and the beaches are close by if you feel like it, although we found that the house was so lovely, that we didn't really want to go out!
I would highly recommend this lovely home and our family is planning to come back in the near future.