Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 5, Ratings 1 9.7/10
This location has multiple holiday properties
|Thouvenin||Self Catering||Saturday||4||8||2||Travel cot available at no charge|
A beautiful, vine-covered house situated in the peaceful, ancient village of Migron with its pretty, 11th century stone church - the heart of the Cognac/Pineau producing area and surrounded by acres of vineyards and sunflowers. Excellently furnished and equipped throughout, with large, airy living rooms which stay cool even on the hottest of Charentaise days.
It is perfect for those who want a quiet village surrounded by vineyards and sunflower fields, but don't want to be too remote. Migron has a well-stocked mini-market complete with a tiny coffee bar. Its a 5 minute walk and almost next door is the village bakers. The bakery is exceptional and actually supplies most of the bakery shops in the surrounding area. The shop is simply a counter within the bakery itself. A pizza van with a wood burning oven calls on Monday evenings and oysters and mussel stalls appear on Saturday morning.
The village also has a post office and hairdresser and a vegetable van calls during the week. The village of Migron is truly historic and has at its heart, the church, a natural spring and a communal washing station.
The house gets its name from when it was Hotel Thouvenin, the station hotel. Before that, it was a typical Charentaise farmhouse dating back to the 18th century. The railway has long since gone and quiet has returned to the village. The mezannine area, fully undercover and accessible from the ground and first floors, has been converted into a private café/bar, capturing the feel of a stylish, but lost era. Its louvred wall provides dappled shade even at the height of summer.
The village Pretres cassock hangs on the hatstand alongside the Gendarmes cap, beside thirsty travellers luggage awaiting their departure. It is furnished with tables and sofas and the hand crafted zinc bar has both a fridge and a freezer hidden within it. Its a fabulous spot for breakfast, or leisurely enjoying a good book out of the sun, and the perfect place for a late night drink at the end of a relaxing day. We can even arrange to stock the bar before you arrive!
Thouvenin has a covered dining terrace which also includes a full-sized table tennis table, overlooking the pool. Adjacent is the brick-built barbecue and the boule area, hedged by lavender bushes and ornamental grasses.
The pool has been completely refurbished for 2019. It is 9x4m is heated and open from April to October. The pool is fully fenced and has a good supply of loungers with a large paved area surrounded by flower beds and a rosemary hedge.
The village is surrounded by vineyards and sunflower fields, and all roads lead to further sleepy villages, vineyards, abbeys and historic sites. The properties are within 20 minutes of the beautiful historic towns of Cognac, Saintes and St Jean D'Angely. Each is worth several days of your time with elegant squares, parks, good shopping, great food, lovely bars... and the largest supermarkets. Even closer are the villages of Burie (5 minutes) and Matha (10 minutes) with supermarkets, cafes and a range of shops.
The properties are just 40 minutes from the beautiful sandy beaches of Royan and an hour to Bordeaux, La Rochelle and the fantastic islands of Ile de Re and Ile D'Oleron. Near the coast are massive areas of sea marshes, nature reserves with egrets, storks and coypu, a true wildlife haven.
Near the coast too are the huge oyster and mussel beds that serve the restaurants of France. Every village and town has a local market, inevitably with fresh seafood, and vegetables and cheeses piled high. Each village too will have a summer festival weekend and Cognac has an international music festival which attracts the biggest names, but also has music in every cafe and in the pedestrianised streets.
Migron and the surrounding area is excellent for cycling, miles and miles of level countryside with virtually traffic free routes through vineyards, fields, woodland and villages. Other activities include river trips, antiques markets (large brocantes held in surrounding villages regularly throughout the summer), visits to chateaux, churches and museums, walking, cycling and bird-watching.
Sport and leisure in the area include golf (18 hole courses in both Cognac and Saintes which are 20 minutes away), horseriding, all types of fishing, tennis (including a court in the village), canoe-kayaking (boats to hire at various places along the Charente in Cognac and Saintes), and plenty of space in and around the village to kick a football.
We will supply details of all the local attractions, markets and beaches. Our caretaker will research your special interests, book tickets and restaurant tables if you so require... an optional, but entirely free service.
The kitchen itself is extremely well equipped with good quality utensils, plenty of pots and dishes etc, a large fridge-freezer, ceramic hob, multi-function oven, full-size dishwasher and washing machine.
The kitchen has a dining area, ideal for informal eating.
In addition there is the beamed dining room, with a long dining table (seating for up to 10), candelabra and an 18th century Charentaise stone fireplace.
The extremely spacious sitting room which includes 2 sofas and a further armchair, has a large colour tv with Freesat bringing all BBC and ITV channels as well as French television, dvd player, vhs player and a cd player. There is a plentiful selection of book and games.
On the first floor there is a large. cool mezzanine area, that is perfect for a quiet drink before bedtime, or breakfast outdoors and the perfect chill out space, ideal for undisturbed reading out of the sun.
In winter months, the second Charentaise stone fireplace in the living room is available in addition to the central heating and a plentiful supply of logs is provided.
Thouvenin has 4 bedrooms: the principal bedroom is very large, with a super king size bed and door outside to the covered mezzanine area.
The second largest bedroom, with its pretty limed-oak furniture, has a 5' double bed, and the third and fourth bedrooms are identical in size and each has bunk beds with a single on top and a pull-out double underneath.
There is a family bathroom with shower on the first floor. From April 2017 there will be a second shower room with wc. In addition there is a further wc on the ground floor.
There is an oil fired central heating available for the cooler months. In addition, the fireplace in the living room is fully functional.
There is also a separate electric hot water system providing a plentiful supply for showers throughout the year.
As described in other sections, there is good range of entertainment available at the house: swimming, boules, table tennis, tv, reading, etc.
The large garden has lawned, gravelled and terraced areas plus table tennis, a stone-built barbecue with chimney and plenty of outdoor seating and umbrellas. There is a full size boules area adjacent to the barbecue area.
The 9 x 4m pool is 1.5m deep, and is security alarmed to help protect younger children and is fenced. There is a small attached gite which shares the pool and can be booked for larger parties: please ask for special arrangements..
The property is fully fenced and the gated drive can accommodate 2-3 cars. There is ample additional parking on the street.
This is a historic house, built in the style of its time. The staircase has childproof safety gates, but would be a challenge for those with restricted mobility.
There is a second staircase to the garden from the first floor cafe/bar.
Free wi-fi is provided.
We will research as a free service local activities and events for each visitor if they have particular interests. We provide a comprehensive guide to local attractions, towns, restaurants, markets, etc. Cycle hire can be arranged.
We expect the property to be left in the same state as upon arrival... on that basis, there is no cleaning charge. However, if you have to dash for an early ferry, a paid-for cleaning service can be provided.
Linda and I have busy lives in England, both working from home, and with two grown up children. Our house in France has become a part of family life: a place we treasure and where we come together and where we know we will eventually live.<br/><br/>Its also a place where we've been delighted to welcome guests for over 11 years..<br/>
|Year property purchased||2005|
|Why this location?||We spent more than five years looking for the perfect location. It had to be in beautiful countryside, within striking distance of the coast, close enough to get to comfortably and far enough south to have a long, warm sunny summer. In fact, the area is within a micro climate that is the 2nd sunniest in France. We first visited it on a wet January day. Even then we knew we had found the place. The huge rooms of the house, the careful restoration that created a fantastic atmosphere and its quirky character made it irresistible. And then we discovered the towns.. Saintes, Cognac, St Jean, Angouleme, each brilliant but with a distinctive character. And Oleron, France's 2nd largest island, but hardly mentioned in England, with huge unspoilt sandy beaches. We were absolutely sold.|
|Unique benefits of property||We holiday at the house each year ourselves. We never tire of the countryside and villages, the local walks and just soaking up the atmosphere of the towns. In truth, we spend most of our time at the house. It just seems to fit our mood. There's the shade of L'Ecurie's orchard and herb garden. And Thouvenin with its quiet, almost hidden spaces, to sit, read, think, snooze.. And the pools big enough for a real family swim or the competitiveness of winning at boules or table tennis. Eating outdoors is for us an essential part of summer and there's nothing better than walking down the road to buy fresh bread to have with cheese and wine.
Thouvenin's new bar has just added another wonderful space to relax. And as the evening finally falls, seeing the stars without extraneous light, brighter than I've ever seen.
The beautiful sandy beaches of Royan are just 40 minutes away. Also within an hour's drive are Rochefort, Ile d'Oleron, La Rochelle and - just a bit further - the beautiful Ile de Re, dubbed the Cote d'Azur of the Atlantic Coast.
Migron and the surrounding area is excellent for cycling - miles and miles of level countryside with virtually traffic-free routes through vineyards, fields, woodland and villages. Other activities include river trips, antique markets (large brocantes held in surrounding villages regularly throughout the summer), visits to chateaux, churches and museums, walking, cycling and birdwatching (74 hectares of lagoon nature reserves in the area).
In Cognac, 20 minutes' drive away, there's a chance to visit some of the world-famous Cognac distilleries and the beautiful old Roman town of Saintes, also 20 minutes away, has good shopping, good museums, a Roman ampitheatre and 2 cathedrals.
There is a market to go to practically every day of the week, in Saintes, Cognac, Matha, St Jean d'Angely among others, and there are many excellent local restaurants and auberges to suit every budget.
Our village is blessed with a great baker, mini market, butcher, Post Office and hairdresser.
Plenty to do in the area, including golf (18-hole courses in both Cognac and Saintes which are 20 minutes away), horse riding, all types of fishing, tennis (including a court in the village), canoe-kayaking (boats to hire at various places along the Charente in Cognac and Saintes), and plenty of space in and around the village to kick a football.
We visited as a couple with my 84 year old Mother. The timing was end Sept/Oct for 1 week and we were lucky with the weather enabling us to use the outside space, play Boule and use swimming pool and BBQ - all fab. The evenings were cooler so we didn't use the upstairs bar area but were quite comfortable in the house reading. A walk around the Village is lovely and the Washing area interesting although not much made of it either locally or on internet in regards to history etc.which is a shame as is quite unique - we even saw a Kingfisher which was a bonus.
The Property is lovely with good facilities throughout. You definitely need a car to get into Matha (or elsewhere) for shopping and note most are closed on Sunday afternoons.
All communications was excellent and the Welcome Pack was certainly welcoming and appreciated as we arrived Sunday later afternoon with no produce !
We visited Otard which we thought has been the best Visit having already done a number of visits previously. I think the highlight for us was VeloRail near Saints which was such good fun and safe enough for my 84 year old Mother to have a go without the fear of wobbling off a normal bicycle.
All in all excellent place to stay and would not hesitate to recommend it :)
Just (literally) come back from a 2 week holiday here. It's a fantastic, characterful property in a rural village. It truly is spacious and we spent many occasions walking around in circles after each other! It is comfortable, well equipped and the pool was perfect (especially when temperatures over 35c!) There was ample space for a family of 6 or more to be together or separately. The bar area was a lovely addition and great for enjoying the warmth but out of the sun. The addition of family activities such as ping pong and boules made it all the more enjoyable and we were quite happy spending the day at the house and being as lazy or active as we wanted. Location wise it offers a great base for a wide area with many places of interest being only about 30 -40 minutes away. To get to some fantastic beaches took just over an hour but made an easy and comfortable day trip. Everyone from owner to caretaker ensured the booking and stay was stress free and enjoyable. Thank you.
Delightful. A beautiful house for my short visit, providing outstanding facilities in a stunning village location. Would recommend without hesitation and I look forward to my next visit
We were two families with 4 children and a baby between us and we never felt crowde, it is a lovely large family house definitely home from home with games books etc and fully equipped kitchen. We had a lovely time the pool was brilliant and the village very traditional with a couple of local shops and weekly pizza van. We would definitely go back and are missing it already. I marked it down a little bit in comfort as there is no air condition and very few fans and it was unbearably hot whilst we were there, this comment has however been well recieved by the owner so I'm am sure fans will be considered for the future. Also some if the furniture in the lounge is a little tired but this did not at all spoil our opinion of the house. Truly amazing historical house a real find.