Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 3, Ratings 2 10/10
|Le Beau Fief||Self Catering||Friday||3||5||2|
Le Beau Fief is a totally independent stone cottage enjoying a tranquil setting in the midst of parades of sunflowers and lush green vineyards just a 10 minute drive from the market town of Aulnay. Brimming with character, this nineteenth century gite is set within the confines of a 600 sq m walled courtyard, adorned with trailing vines and kiwis, providing a safe and relaxing haven for families and couples alike. A 500 sq m fruit tree orchard can also be enjoyed by guests - perfect for a picnic or a glass of wine at sundown. The property benefits from a private heated swimming pool (via heat pump, so does not rely on sunny weather to be warm). The pool, as well as the whole property and gardens, is not shared with owners or other renters, so guests have full exclusive use of all it has to offer.
The gite has been newly decorated and furnished, retaining oodles of rustic charm with its exposed beams and quirky features. The property is comprehensively equipped with all mod cons as well as many other extras we feel will make your holiday that little more special. Our guests have full exclusive use of the property and all it has to offer during their stay.
The property opens out onto acres of raw farmland where there's not much to be heard other than the tweeting of birds and the tooting of the local boulanger who delivers fresh baguettes to the hamlet several times a week. However, hop in a car and you can be amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy market town within 10 minutes. St. Jean d'Angely, Cognac, Saintes and La Rochelle are also all within easy reach. The nearest beaches are less than an hour away.
The kitchen is decorated in traditional French country style with washing machine, electric oven, gas hob, extracter fan, kettle, microwave, fridge, separate freezer, iron and ironing board. It is fully equipped with plenty of pots, pans, loads of appliances. We are sure it will please the keenest of chefs. There is a dining area with a table to seat 6.
The lounge area has two comfortable sofas, log burning stove, tv, dvd player with a selection of films, and radio.
Three pretty bedrooms - 1 double, 1 twin and 1 single.
Upstairs shower room with sink and wc.
Downstairs toilet with sink and wc.
Electric radiators are in all rooms for rentals during the cooler months except for the lounge area which has a log burner.
Tv, dvd player, radio, a selection of dvds and books. Indoor and outdoor games. Free wi-fi.
The high-walled garden provides a secure and private area with ample seating spots dotted around. The swimming pool is fenced with child-proof gates and plenty of sun-loungers and parasols. There are two barbecues with cooking equipment that guests can make use of as well as mountain bikes and a selection of outdoor games. An additional 500 sq m plot sits opposite facing out to the open countryside, and is shaded by various fruit trees.
Parking in abundance.
Ideal for families and couples alike in search of a peaceful break.
Highchair and travel cot available on request. Baby monitor supplied as well as booster steps for the little ones.
All towels and linen are included with a free weekly change, together with a starter pack of cleaning materials. We also supply 1 pool towel per guest free of charge.
Barbecue available for guests' use.
If you’re a true foodie who would like to incorporate a cookery course into your holiday, then you’ve come to the right place. Beginners to gourmets will improve their skills under the guidance of a professionally trained chef in the comfort of your holiday accommodation. From French classics to desserts to sauces to bread, you can tailor your course to suit or leave it to the professionals.
Make sure you arrive early Sunday morning to catch some of the best fresh local produce at Aulnay's weekly market. After doing a bit of shopping, we recommend going for a glass of wine at 'Le Colombier', where its tables and chairs take over the street for all the thirsty market-goers. Be sure not to miss the 'roast chicken man'! He has a stall on the market, selling delicious roast chickens and herby chips. Grab yourself a bag before heading home for a relaxed Sunday afternoon.
We have supplied mountain bikes at the gite which are free of charge for you to use. The lanes surrounding the gite have very little traffic and will lead you past fields of sunflowers, maize, and vineyards, through rustic little hamlets, basically the very best of the French countryside.
Do not miss La Rochelle. It's under an hour away from the gite and is a simply gorgeous city with fabulous shops, bars and restaurants. We normally have lunch in one of the restaurants by the harbour where they offer really good fish dishes, but there are also plenty others in the town centre for non-seafood-lovers which are equally as good. In high-season, there are usually many street entertainers which include some really talented artists. La Rochelle also has an aquarium and a watch tower, although we are yet to look round these.
The mediaval town of Saint Jean d'Angely is approx.15 minutes by car, and is well worth a visit. It has some charming little shops as well as good cafes and restaurants where you can dine under the leafy shade of the trees. Saturday is market day, be sure to go and grab yourself something for that night's supper. Make sure you plan an afternoon by the lake where there is a large picnic area (picnic rug & cooler box supplied at the gite) with plenty of shade. You can hire out pedaloes and canoes on the lake, and there is a small park for the children. A wonderful lazy afternoon!
Saintes hosts a 'foire' on the first Monday of every month, which is basically a huge market that dominates the town centre for a day. You'll find pretty much anything there from fresh local produce to clothes to chickens and ducks to shoes to leather goods to kitchen equipment.
Unfortunately this property requires quite a lot of maintenance; electric socket not working in bedroom (the owner said this could not be fixed as time between clients is too short to get someone in); shower head at a set height of about 5' and small cubicle; bedside drawers hard to open and close; no light in the utility cupboard; gate did not stay closed on it's own, had to be locked with key or bunjied to keep shut; no heating downstairs, only a wood burning stove (wood only supplied a few months of the year, otherwise you have to purchase from owner); very small tv; double bedroom door does not catch to keep shut; no toilet roll holders in the bathrooms (upstairs was put on a small unit, but downstairs was on the back of the toilet, so very awkward if you have back problems.; tiny head on the vacuum.
There were a lot of cobwebs in all rooms.
There was a horrendous smell of sewerage; unable to be fixed by caretaker.
The T's & C's confirm the property is to be left as found, removal of all rubbish; this we only found out on arrival meant taking the rubbish to the nearest local waste collection unit down the road, and the nearest bottle bank about 5 - 10 minutes drive away!
Having to strip the beds on last day; not ever had to do this before!
Owner dismissed all our issues on return.
DEFINITELY NOT RECOMMENDED TO OTHERS.
We were extremely concerned when we were notified about the ‘horrendous sewerage smell’ you described inside the property & investigated as soon as it was brought to our attention. However, each time someone arrived at the property to investigate, you admitted that you could no longer smell it but that “it had been bad overnight”. This continued to happen each time we sent someone around, making it really difficult to rectify. I can assure guests that we take this very seriously as this is also our second home. We have since investigated this, having stayed in the gite ourselves but could find no evidence of the smell you referred to.
We left complimentary wood for your stay since you experienced unseasonal cold weather. This lasted the duration of your holiday & there was no charge made at all for fuel.
Our apologies if you find it unreasonable to leave the property in good condition upon departure. However, it is in our t&cs (emailed to you prior to booking) that the gite is to be left in order.This really is no different to any other holiday rental in France.
We apologise that one of the plug sockets was out of order. As already explained, the socket that the heater was attached to stopped working prior to your arrival. We were aware of this, which is why we provided an additional heater plugged into one of the other sockets in your bedroom.
We're really very sorry you had such an awful holiday as we really do strive to please every guest that stays with us.
Fantastic place to stay. Beautifully presented gite that has every comfort and is full of charm. The owners have thought of everything and they clearly care about the satisfaction of their clients. Only a ten minute drive from the supermarket at Aulnay and if you get a grey day only 40 minutes from Saintes which is well worth a visit. If the sun stays out you probably won't want to leave Le Beau Fief even for a day. I have marked it slightly down on condition for this stay only because the pool was due for refurbishment at the end of the 2017 summer season, otherwise it would have scored 10 throughout. Truly lovely property.
the accommodation was as described, the property was very clean, the bed linen was beautiful, the kitchen was well equipped, the towels provided were clean and of good quality. the pool was the greatest attraction, we were told it is due for refurbishment in September. the property is very private, very quiet and very rural. the outdoor bbq and seating area was lovely.
Just returned from a lovely relaxing week here, beautiful gite which was very well equipped, plenty of space and gorgeous location. Couldn't have wanted more, very good communication from owner and helpful during holiday. Looking forward to returning, thank you so much
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