Gite near river Dronne. Close to Sain-Aigulin

Saint-Aigulin (3km from La Roche-Chalais), Charente Maritime, Poitou Charentes Reference: PM004631 Advertiser since: 22 February 2016
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
Le Loriot Self Catering Saturday 2 4 2 Cot

About this property

Shabby Chic Romantic Hideaway in Rural Location. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

This ancient building can be found on the edge of the tiny hamlet of Les Herveux, an undiscovered little corner of 'France Profonde'.  The house and garden are not overlooked by other properties so it is the perfect place to relax in the peace of the countryside.  The River Dronne, some 300 metres away is strictly conserved so the area abounds with rare and interesting flora and fauna.  The house is called 'Le Loriot' because of the frequent mellifluous call of the Golden Oriole that nests nearby and the meadow between the house and the river hosts a mass of fritilleries and Ragged Robin in their season.
The house has been painstakingly restored to the highest specification and offers a host of visual delights and enormous charm.    The 'shabby chic' style is derived from a wonderful mix of vernacular, artistic and retro fittings and artefacts which include a Georgian four poster bed, stained glass windows, huge stone fireplaces and a solid walnut hand crafted kitchen. The house is filled with beautiful things to please the eye, almost nothing within it having been bought from Ikea. In this way it differs greatly from the typical rental property.
The property can be used in two ways: either as a romantic hideaway all on the ground floor, or as a cottage for two couples, one of whom can use the bedroom amidst the beams upstairs with its own en suite bathroom.  A cot can be provided if required.
The house looks out onto a flower garden with its own sitting area and summer kitchen where there is a pizza oven and barbecue.



Kitchen and dining

There is a hand made solid oak and walnut fitted kitchen made from locally sourced timber. The kitchen is well equipped and designed for people that like to cook. Cooker, dishwasher, fridge etc.

Retro dining table with art deco chairs with china and glass of the same style.

Living rooms

Lovely sitting room with stone fireplace, comfortable armchairs and sofa. There is a flat screen tv with all the UK channels via satellite and a dvd player. There is also a vintage gramophone with a vinyl collection from the 60's and 70's.


Bedroom 1: On the ground floor with 1 door into the kitchen/dining area and another into the luxurious downstairs bathroom, with views onto the private flower garden at the front of the house. The room has some charming art on the walls as well as a Venetian mirror. There is an antique wardrobe and chest of drawers for clothing storage.

Bedroom 2: This room is up in the roof of the building and the bed nestles between ancient rustic beams. It has two 'bullseye' windows and stained glass in the roof truss itself. A low beam crosses the room and one has to duck under this to access the bed. There is an ensuite bathroom with shower.


Bathrom 1: This bathroom is effectively the 'en suite' for the downstairs bedroom. It is a massive bathroom with underfloor heating and has as its main feature the timber framing that was once the exterior wall of the building to which it was attached. It has a walk-in shower 2 metres in length, twin sinks, a free-standing bath, together with toilet and bidet.

Bathroom 2: This bathroom is the en suite for the upstairs bedroom and comprises toilet, sink and shower.


The house is extremely well insulated and is easily kept warm by the 2 wood burners in the kitchen and living room. Wood is of course supplied.


There are a host of places of interest to visit in every direction. Aubeterre, one of the most beautiful villages in France in half an hour away, as are the vineyards of St Emilion in the opposite direction. The coast is a little over an hour away and to the north lies Cognac with its magnificent distilleries.

Locally there are the small restaurants and markets that you would hope to find in such an area of France. A five minute drive away is the permanent "Marché des Fermiers' which showcases a marvelous range of locally produced food and wine.

The river is a great source of entertainment for fishing, swimming and canoeing with 'Centres de Loisir' close by at Parcoul and St Aulaye.

Garden and outside

The house has a beautiful flower garden in front of the building. In it there is a small deck right outside the front door, ideal for coffee and croissants under the morning sun. At the end of the garden is a 'summer kitchen' with pizza oven and barbecue, with sink and running water. None of this is overlooked by neighbours.

We request that you do not smoke in the house and therefore have provided ash trays for outside use.

Parking and garages

The property is accessed through a gate leading from a bridleway with a gravel drive leading to the house. There is ample parking space for two vehicles.


  • Cleaning

  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Linen


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: These take place in many local towns and villages throughout the summer and details can be found on websites Dordogne,/Charente/Charente Maritime Brocantes
Distance: 10 km


Fishing nearby

Species of fish: Various
Name of nearest fishing location: River Dronne
Distance: 0.5 km


Name and address of nearest golf course: Montendre, Aubeterre
Distance: 32 km

Signed wine route

Name of nearest signed wine route: St Emilion

About the Owner, Mrs Amaryllis Cooke

Stephen and Amaryllis Cooke are a retired couple who live in Birmingham but have had a second home in France since 1988. Our careers were in education and psychotherapy but our great love is building. This cottage has been our retirement project and we have done much of the work ourselves, painstakingly restoring a pair of derelict cottages and filling them with art and objects that please us. We hope to live in it one day but right now are happy to let it to those who will appreciate it.

Year property purchased 2005
Why this location? We have had a second home in France for nearly thirty years and it is a big house some 10kms away in Les Essards. On retirement we renovated a much smaller derelict building for our old age when we may find the larger house too much. This house has been created for ourselves but we are not yet ready to move into it and thus have offered it for holiday rental.<br/><br/>The house is unlike the typical holiday let because it has been created as thing of beauty to the highest standard not as cash cow. We chose this location because of its tranquility and unspoiled countryside in a hamlet whose inhabitants are almost exclusively French. Local amenities are fantastic, though a short drive away, and the house is within reach of Bordeaux, the wine routes of a number of appellations, the coast and the beautiful countryside of the Charente and Dordogne. The closeness of the River Dronne is also a great draw as our family love to canoe, swim and fish in its unpolluted water.
Unique benefits of property The principal quality of our property is its beauty and decor. The house has been constructed from two derelict cottages built originally in the 17th century as timber framed one room dwellings. At some point about 150 years ago it was largely rebuilt in stone, though some of the timber framing still shows. The building has great character and charm as a result of its construction from recycled materials - even the fireplaces have been built from reused stones. We have equipped the house with objects we have collected over the years, so this is not your Ikea holiday let, it's full of interesting things to use and look at.<br/><br/>The house is situated on the river plane where the countryside is unspoilt and where wild flowers and birdlife abound beyond the beauty of its private gardens.<br/><br/>Though there are no amenities in the hamlet there are two towns within 3 kms where everything can be found. And further afield there are endless possibilities for tourism, wine buying and gastronomy.

The Owner Recommends


Angouleme is well worth a visit having an old town with a cathedral, many old buildings and a busy restaurant quarter. Museums in the town offer fine art and archaeology and contemporary art, however Angouleme is most famous for its paper industry and its leading role in the culture of cartoons and comic strips. An International Comic Strip Festival is held there annually and the city hosts the national Comic Strip Museum. Cartoons abound in the city and can be found easily on the 'Painted Wall Trail'.

Aubeterre sur Dronne

Twenty minutes away is Aubeterre, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. In the old town is a wonderful square with bars, restaurants and shops and just below is the Eglise Monolithe, the oldest and largest troglodyte church in France which is truly spectacular. On the lower level by the river is a Centre de Loisirs which has activities for all the family including canoeing, tennis, swimming.


Just under an hour away by car is Blaye and its magnificent citadel designed by Vauban. In the town are some lovely restaurants and bars but the highlight is the ferry that crosses the estuary and drops you and your car just below Pauillac on the Medoc. A loveley day out can be spent driving around the Medoc seeing the chateaux made famous for their world class wines.


It takes an hour to get to Bordeaux by car or you can take the train from Coutras, from where there is a frequent service. Bordeaux has become a very modern, chic city which prides itself on magnificent shopping and dining. A wonderful city to walk around to admire the architecture and the Gironde waterfront and well worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage status.


Chalais has a busy street market every Monday morning between 9.00 and 12.00 am. Fifteen minutes away by car the town has a large Intermarche and the usual banks and shops. There is a fine outdoor swimming pool there where you can swim pretty much on your own at the start and end of the day. Its main feature is the Chateau Talleyrand in which there is a highly regarded restaurant.


Coutras is 20 minutes away in the direction of Bordeaux. It has recently being regenerated as a town and has the biggest supermarket in the area at Leclerc. There is a busy market there on Saturday morning.

Lac Jemaye Regional Park

La Jemaye is a half hour drive and is a hugely popular centre for for a whole range of aquatic sports.


A little under half an hour away is the town of Riberac which is famous for its Friday morning market. Though a small town it is a busy local commercial centre with some good shops and a range of good bars and restaurants.


Royan is built around a magnificent beach and is a major seaside resort. Having been destroyed by allied forces in WW2 many buildings have been replaced by some remarkable art deco inspired structures. For those interested in architecture the town's church and produce market are extraordinary buildings. For those who want quieter beaches, these can be found to both north and south of the town.

St Aulaye

A little over ten minutes away by car is St Aulaye, a small town with basic amenities and a Carrefour Contact. Its main attraction is a sandy river beach which has a bar and restaurant and is a lovely place to hang out for the day. There is a small street market held on Saturday morning.

St Emilion

St Emilion, now a UNESCO world heritage site, is a beautiful town and the centre of the St Emilion appelation, 40 minutes away by car. The town is full of shops and restaurants and places to taste and buy wine. There are some beautiful buildings in the town for those with an interest in architecture and these include a monolithic church and 13th century belltower from which there are magnificent views across the regions vineyards.

Val de Dronne: Circuit Roman

The Dronne Valley has a circuit identified whereby the Romanesque churches of the region can be found. The region is filled with some fine examples of this architectural style, notably in such places as Bonnes. Being mostly on a level terrain this circuit is ideal for those who enjoy cycling.

1 Review
  • Cleanliness: 10
  • Comfort: 10
  • Condition: 10
  • Facilities: 10
  • Local Amenities: 9
  • Setting: 10
  • Value for Money: 10
9.9 / 10 RNash 28 August, 2016

This house is one of the most special places I have ever been to. The owners have taken care to restore it to the highest standard - it is absolutely beautiful, and every room in the building has a unique feel and design.

The owners also looked after us, taking care of any question we had. I can't recommend this property enough!

Owner response

Thank you Rebecca and Andrew for your lovely review. it has been an utter delight to have you staying here at Le Loriot. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay here and that you like the house as much as we do! Thank you for your obvious care and respect - the house is immaculate. You are welcome any time.