Family holiday gite nr St Palais de Phiolin - PM004586

Saint-Palais-de-Phiolin (3km from Saint-Genis-de-Saintonge), Charente Maritime, Poitou Charentes Reference: PM004586 Advertiser since: 2 December 2015
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
L'Etable (The Cowshed) Self Catering Flexible 2 4 1 Travel cot available

About this property

Family Friendly Gite in Peaceful Hamlet . This cottage/gite is in a village setting.

***NEW FOR 2019 - OUR 10m X 5m HEATED SALTWATER SWIMMING POOL - Open May 2019***

L'Etable is a stylish baby and child friendly gite and one of 4 individually styled character gites at La Fermette France.

Once an old stone cowshed it's now converted into a stylish 2 bedroomed gite with exposed stone walls and original beams, packed full of baby and toddler kit designed to make your stay stress free......not just highchair and travel cot ......also stair gates, bed guards, steriliser, baby bath, potty, toilet step, trainer seat, baby monitor, baby/toddler cutlery, crayons & paper, toys.........and also very popular with couples!

An impressive charentaise fireplace (not used) complete with family crest dominates the open plan ground floor.  
The south facing garden is a real suntrap ideal for relaxed bbq's in the evening sunlight once the children are safely tucked up in bed (we have a baby intercom for peace of mind).  

The separate orchard field is ideal for ball games or just watching the sun go down over the fields ......and please help yourself to any fruits that are in season (peaches, cherries, pears, figs, and walnuts). If you feel active you can play table tennis or table football in the games barn, or just pack a picnic and head off for a cycle ride on the bikes......or maybe take the body boards to the beach....or just relax by our new swimming pool.    
We are flexible about which day you arrive as long as you stay a minimum of 4 nights.



Kitchen and dining

Open plan ground floor with with well equipped kitchen: gas hob, electric oven, microwave, hob kettle, toaster, fridge-freezer, washing machine, iron and ironing board. The table comfortably seats 8.

For our youngest guests we also supply a high chair, booster seat, baby and toddler plates, cups and plastic cutlery and bottle steriliser. For safety there are child locks on the kitchen cupboards which can be disabled if required, and electric socket covers.

Living rooms

Settee and chair plus pouffe and toddler sized stools. TV (UK Freeview channels), dvd, cd player, books, dvd's and cd's for all ages plus board games and crayons. There is a toy box with small toys plus toddler bike, dolls pushchair and ride on toy.


The master bedroom with large double bed, wardrobe and dressing table looks out onto the garden.

The second bedroom has twin beds (with bed guards if required) and chest of drawers. Shutters ensure that little ones won't be woken by the early morning sun!...... A travelcot or full size cot and linen is available at no extra cost. For peace of mind we also offer a baby monitor plus mosquito plug-ins in each bedroom (just in case either is needed).


Electric shower, wc and washbasin. Also available is a baby bath, toilet step, toddler toilet seat and changing mat.


The thick stone walls keep L'Etable cool in the summer and warm in the winter, however there are free standing fans (and heaters) in each bedroom.

A heat exchange system provides warmth for out of season rentals and air conditioning for high summer weeks (additional cost of £10 per day).


The games barn has 10 adults and 4 children's bikes, bodyboards, boules, table tennis, table football, bats and balls, hoola hoops and buckets & spades for the beach, and baby sun tent for the beach.......plenty to keep you busy.

The separate orchard field is great play for kids. It's also a great place for grown ups to relax and watch the beautiful sunsets we have (glass of wine in hand of course!).....and from May 2019 our new 10m x 5m heated saltwater swimming pool will be open.

Garden and outside

The gravelled garden has table and chairs plus charcoal bbq.

Parking and garages

Parking is available on the driveway at the front of L'Etable (shared with L'Ecurie).

Visitor suitability

Ideal for families with babies or young children - grandparents can stay in L'Ecurie (the old stable) our spacious studio apartment attached to L'Etable. Ask us about our special deal if you book L'Etable and L'Ecurie together.

L'Etable is also ideal for for couples (and we'll tidy away all the baby and toddler equipment!)

We are registered with the local Marie in St Palais de Phiolin as required by French law.

Information about any additional facilities

Please note that we supply bedlinen, bath towels, hand towels and tea towels,beach umbrella & cool bag and freezer blocks.

The games barn has a selection of 10 adults and 4 childrens bikes, table tennis table, table football, body boards, hoola hoops, bats and balls and boules set, toddler paddling pool and baby sun tent for the beach....and from May 2019 we have our new 10m x 5m swimming pool.

Orchard field...enough space to tire children out before bedtime! or just to sit and watch the sun go down across the fields whilsts sipping a gin & tonic or glass of local wine.

We can organise for some basic provisions to be bought in ready for your arrival (small charge) but you will find washing up liquid, tea bags, sugar, coffee, salt & pepper already in place and fresh herbs in the garden.

Check out our other gites -
La Fermette (farmhouse sleeps up to 7) PM004421
Le Chai (the old wine store, sleeps 3) PM004532
L'Ecurie (the old stable, sleeps 2) PM0046


  • Cleaning

  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Linen

  • Child facilities

  • Shared pool


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: Saintes
Distance: 20 km



Name and address of nearest golf course: Royan
Distance: 20 km

Horse riding

Name and address of nearest stables: Bois
Distance: 3 km

Signed wine route

Name of nearest signed wine route: Blaye and also Bordeaux


Name/number of nearest marked trail: local lanes, coastline and Foret de Montendre


Wine tasting

Name and address of nearest wine producer: Dousseaux Baillif - Pineau Cognac and wines
Distance: 3 km

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mrs Lesley Houareau

We are Lesley & Felix Houareau. We live in a village just outside Bath. We feel very lucky that we live in a beautiful part of the UK but can also spend time in the Charente Maritime area of France with it's medieval towns and great beaches

Year property purchased 2004
Why this location? We looked for a region with good weather but easier to travel to than the South of France. The Charente Maritime is the 2nd sunniest region of France and a hidden gem known about by the French. Lots of great beaches to choose from and great local (small) markets and rolling countryside with towns and villages with lots of character.
Unique benefits of property We are in a peaceful hamlet 2.5km from the nearest town but surrounded by fields of sunflowers, wheat and vines and lots of local wildlife. The myriad of lanes around our gites are great to explore by foot or bike (we have a selection of bikes on hand). We are close to the Bordeaux / Blaye wine region as well being able to by the best Cognac locally. Wine, good food, sun and beaches - what more could you want?

The Owner Recommends


For relaxation there is the beach, or rather beaches, as the Charente Maritime has over 470kms of coastline. We have details of the best local beaches which include....... small coves backed by cliffs of pale honey coloured stone...... town beaches..... long stretches of golden sand backed by dunes and pine trees.....


Throughout the year but especially in the summer are many festivals and ‘spectacles’. These include for 2018…..

April 7th & 8th - Fete d'asperges in Baye (asparagus festival)
April 28th & 29th - Blaye Wine Festival (Printemps de Blaye). 80 local producers
June 23 – 26 – Fetes du Vins Bordeaux. On the riverside in Bordeaux
End June – Fete de St Jean in St Genis de Saintonge
July 3rd - 7th – Cognac Blues Passion (Jazz Festival)
July 11th - 15th - La Rochelle Francopholies - contemporary French msic
July 14th – Bastille Day
End July – Fete de St Jacques de Compostella (Medieval Festival) in Pons
July 20th – Violins sur la Sable – free classical concerts on the beach at Royan.
Julty 26th - 28th - Cognac Festival – celebrating all things Cognac
End August – Fete de St Louis in St Genis de Saintonge


A local Spa town with elegant buildings and a weekly night market in July and and street food plus some local crafts. Great atmosphere. For children there is the Antilles de Jonzac swimming pool (indoor but with a roof that slides back in good weather) and also the Aire de Loisirs with man-made beach and numerous other activities for kids

Chateau des Enigmes - Children's fun park

For a step back in history the Chateau des Enigmes near Pons is a great fun day out. This is primarily an outdoor treasure hunt, with a theme that changes each year. Previous years have taken on pirate adventures and Excalibar. These games take the players around the park and gardens of the chateau, as well as underground the chateau itself. An English version is available and English speaking staff are on hand should the need arise.

Local Markets

There's a local market nearby every day of the week where you can buy the great local produce to cook at La Fermette.......also several weekly night markets in July and August with street food and entertainment And if you enjoy eating out there is a great choice of local restaurants including several with Michelin stars

Nearby town of Pons

Pretty medieval town close by. Picturesque square overlooking the Donjon - enjoy the view from one of the cafes. Don't miss the Bastille Day celebrations on 14th July, or the medieval festival on 23rd July 2016.

5 Reviews
  • Cleanliness: 9.6
  • Comfort: 9.6
  • Condition: 10
  • Facilities: 9.8
  • Local Amenities: 9.2
  • Setting: 9.6
  • Value for Money: 9.8
10 / 10 ClaireC 5 July, 2019

We stayed in a lovely little gite with two small children and it had everything we could want. There were lots of toys, books, games and teddies for them and a nice outdoor area with BBQ and dining set. The pool is shared with the other gites but we went before the school holidays so pretty much had it to ourselves. There are also a lot of bikes to borrow. The gite was clean and well maintained. There are some good things to do in the area, we did the velorail one day. There is a supermarket nearby, and boulangeries and a mini market even closer. We were going to try the crepe restaurant one night but when we went it was closed. We didn't go to any other eateries so I don't know what they are like. You need a car to get there but could use a bike to go to the nearest village. The owners were really friendly and helpful. We had a great week and I wish it had been for longer.

10 / 10 Whitecross 5 July, 2017

We recently stayed for a week and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful L'Etable, which was incredibly well-equipped and spacious.
Its in a quiet and picturesque hamlet, but only 10 minutes from the nearest town and lovely local restaurants, we definitely did not run out of things to do. Saint-Emilion and Bordeaux are also only an hours drive away and were definitely worth the short journey, especially if you are a wine lover!!
We will definitely be highly recommending La Fermette, and can't wait to return!

Thank you so much to Lesley and Felix for being so helpful!

Owner response

Thank you for your lovely review. Come back and visit us again soon.

10 / 10 Annabelle L 9 June, 2017

We spent a long weekend with a bunch of friends and enjoyed our stay immensely. The whole complex fit 13-15 of us perfectly but we met up for mealtimes in the main farmhouse. It's a home away from home and is equipped for indoor and outdoor dining! It's in a tiny hamlet an hour away from Bordeaux. It's rural setting was the perfect place to get away from it all as we live in a big city.

The hosts have a games barn with bicycles to cycle to the nearest boulangerie/cafe/restaurants and of course to explore the countryside. Discovered a great little farmers market in the nearest village called St Genis where the older generation still pay by cheque! If you don't want to cook there is also a great local restaurant nearby which caters for any dietary needs if you book in advance.

We are definitely returning to La Fermette! Thanks for having us!

9.2 / 10 JH 26 September, 2016

A very enjoyable stay in a well equipped gite. Very nicely renovated, the property is in a quiet and peaceful village setting. St Genis (nearest town) has all the basic requirements of shops etc and has one very good restaurant - the unimaginatively named St Genis!

Nearby towns and cities have many attractive historical features and the Bordeaux wine area is only a stones through away. There are also excellent beaches withing a 30 or 40 minute drive.

The owners have been very helpful and communicative.

Owner response

We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We love the history of our local area and are lucky to have such a choice of great beaches too. We agree that the St Genis restaurant serves great changed hands a couple of years ago and has good reviews locally.