Nº22 is a typical Charentaise stone farmhouse in the quiet village of Louzignac in the Charente-Maritime. Built around 1840, the house and garden are surrounded by its orchard and outbuildings, the whole property enclosed by stone walls. The entrance is through a typical porche charentais - a large stone gateway - and has big wooden gates, which can be closed at night, as can the wooden shutters on all French doors and the windows.
Nº22 has been our family's holiday home for over 25 years and we have been making it available for holiday lets, generally during the Summer, for eight years now. We believe it is very well-equipped, including wi-fi, satellite tv and cotton bed linen. The house is comfortably furnished, including some antique pieces, and simply decorated throughout with rugs, ornaments, posters and pictures.
Among the very kind entries in our visitors' book, one guest wrote: "This isn't a gîte! We have all the facilities of a 5-star hotel but with the comfort of a lovely home."
The ground floor consists of a spacious hall with a cloakroom, a kitchen and a utility room off to one side. Through an arch on the other side is a large dining area leading up to the sitting room with its traditional working fireplace, comfortable seating, tv etc.
Upstairs, there are four comfortable bedrooms, one with an en suite shower room, a family bathroom and a separate loo with basin. We have two enormous water heaters, ensuring there is always enough hot water for baths and showers. We supply l'Occitane toiletries.
While the house will comfortably sleep eight, it is also welcoming and cozy enough for couples and smaller parties to feel comfortable, and to whom we can offer discounts.
A barn next to the house has been converted into a luxurious, tiled, heated swimming pool with large windows opening onto a terrace and the garden.
We hope you will find everything you need on first arriving at a holiday house (such as loo paper) and basic cooking ingredients (oil, salt and pepper, etc), but we also supply some welcoming local produce including: wine, organic yogurts and eggs, bread, butter, cheese, honey and home made jams.
We supply swimming and bath towels as well as bedlinen, and cleaning and laundry are included in the rent.
The kitchen has plenty of equipment, including a good range of saucepans, plenty of china (including some Limoges) and glasses, fridge-freezer, filter coffee maker, Bialetti Moka coffee pots, kettle, small food processor, small blender, electric beater, citrus press, etc, etc, and, of course, a dishwasher.The cooker has a hob with three gas rings and one electric ring, and an electric oven which has a grill and a spit for roasting. There is an additional fridge in a cupboard off the hall. The kitchen table will seat four to six
The utility room, just off the kitchen, is where there is washing machine, tumble dryer, drying rack, small ironing board and iron, and a shower cubicle. A large ironing board and steam generator iron can be supplied if you want to do serious ironing!
Larger parties would probably be more comfortable eating in the dining room with its long table and chandelier over, with room for 10 - 12 on its 19th century chairs.
A small step leads up from the dining room into the sitting room. A large stone fireplace dominates the room and wood is supplied for the open fire.
There are two three-seater sofas, several chairs, a large low table, occasional tables with lamps, and book-cases with dozens of English fiction and non-fiction books, as well as some French ones. We also have endless books on France, the Cognac region and various guidebooks, and plenty of maps of the area, including detailed ones for walking and cycling.
The tv and dvd player are in this room - details below.
There are four double bedrooms. They all have external wooden shutters and internal voile curtains, as well as bedside tables with lamps, hanging space with plenty of clothes hangers, a hair dryer, and a pedestal fan.
Bedroom 1 has a 1.60m double bed and its own shower rom with underfloor heating and heated towel rail, large shower, lavatory, bidet and basin.
Bedroom 2 has two 1.20m lits bateau, a chest of drawers and an old armoire.
Bedroom 3 has a 1.40m double bed and small chest of drawers.
Bedroom 4 has a 1.60m double bed and a chest of drawers.
All beds have cotton bed linen, including some antique pillowcases and handmade patchwork quilts. We supply duvets but also a sheet and light cover if necessary in hot weather. Mattress and pillow covers are changed for each new booking.
All duvets and pillows supplied have synthetic fillings - both for their anti-allergy properties and so that they can be laundered frequently.
In addition to Bedroom 1's shower room, there is a family bathroom on the first floor. This has a bath, with shower over, a bidet and a basin. Next door is a lavatory with small basin.
In addition, there is a shower in the utility room off the kitchen, as well as one in the swimming pool.
There is also another lavatory with basin on the ground floor.
We supply l'Occitane toiletries.
The open fire throws out plenty of heat on a chilly evening.
Although rarely needed, all rooms have modern electric radiators (filled with ecologically-sound vegetable oil). They can be turned on, or up, as necessary, each one having its own thermostat. These radiators should not be covered.
There is a television in the sitting room, with freesat box (for UK tv channels), and a dvd player with several dvds and box sets. We have also kept an old VCR, as there are a few videos.
In a cupboard in the dining room is a mini hifi system with tuner, CD and cassette players and a lead for mobile devices. In addition, we have a Bose bluetooth portable speaker which can be used outside.
We have broadband and wi-fi, the best available in this part of rural France. This is quite adequate for email and browsing but we do suggest you download any films or tv programmes you might want to watch before you come. We have installed a range extender, so use of devices is possible outside.
There are playing cards and a couple of board games in the sideboard in the dining room and a terrain de boules along the side of the garden - we supply sets of boules to play with.
Tennis courts are available in a neighbouring village, as well as in Matha which also has a new swimming pool.
The house has its own garden, exclusively for the use of guests, as is the heated pool with its terrace. There are steamer chairs with cushions, as well as other garden furniture.
Between the house and the pool, there is a large, round, wooden outside dining table with chairs. These are covered by shade sails and strings of lights.
There are two barbecues for guests' use: a Weber kettle using charcoal or a gas fuelled Outback.
The garden is mostly laid to lawn, with mature trees for shade. There is a flower border at one end and various pots.There is a small herb garden for the use of guests, but there is also a gate giving access to the orchard and vegetable garden, where more herbs are to be found, as well as fruit and vegetables in season.
The tiled pool (5.5 x 4 metres) is heated - both the water and building. There is a counter-current for those who want serious exercise and, for a more leisurely swim, Bose speakers and a music system to play your mobile devices
Guests have their own entrance and covered parking through the wagon entrance situated beyond the pool.
On a wet day, shopping can be unloaded directly into the hall of the house through the side door, which gives on to rue du Puits.
If your party has another car, it can be parked in the courtyard opposite the house, also in shade, under another wagon entrance.
Although it is not difficult to enter the house itself, there is no downstairs sleeping accommodation and there is a small step up into the sitting room area. The downstairs loo is rather narrow.
Regretfully, we do not accept children under the age of 12. This is not because the house is full of priceless antiques (although the 19th century chairs are a bit wobbly!), but we just don’t think either the house or the garden are suitable.
However, we could supply a cot, and some other equipment, for a small baby.
We have four or five bicycles. They are not new, but you are welcome to borrow them and they will take you to the boulangerie in Siecq or for a gentle ride on the tracks surrounding the village.
Simon, my husband, and I live in London, not far from Richmond Park, where we exercise ourselves and our two Battersea rescue dogs. Having taken early retirement, we are now able to spend more time at Nº22, our family home in France, as well as travelling further afield to visit family and friends.
|Year property purchased||1989|
|Why this location?||Having lived in Paris in the early 80s, we were nostalgic for France and the French way of life, so in 1989 decided to buy a holiday house in France and chose the Charente-Maritime for its wonderful climate and its charming buildings of stone with their terracotta roofs. We worked internationally and had to take our holidays in August so, although we love the sea, we felt we would prefer a house in a quiet country location. We also decided that for ease of access, we needed to be within easy reach of the Channel ports, as well as no more than half an hour from an autoroute, one hour or so from an airport, and one hour from a TGV station. Now we have the added benefit of low-cost airlines flying into La Rochelle, Poitiers and Bordeaux.|
|Unique benefits of property||We all love to stay at Nº22. Built around 1840, the house is a typical Charentais stone farmhouse surrounded by walls, giving a feeling of privacy and tranquility in its village settling. The rooms are large and airy and there is a wonderful welcoming atmosphere that everyone feels when they come to the house. The house is comfortably furnished, including some antique pieces, and simply decorated with rugs, ornaments, posters and pictures. As it has been our family's holiday home for over twenty years, we feel that Nº22 is much better equipped and furnished than a typical gîte, with lots of personal touches. While the house will comfortably sleep eight, it is also welcoming and cozy enough for couples and smaller parties to feel comfortable, and for whom we offer discounts.|
When you arrive, you will find a folder full of information about the house and including places of interest and restaurants. There are endless possibilities, from visits to historic and beautiful towns, such as La Rochelle, Rochefort, Saintes, Angoulême and, of course, Cognac, to visiting the coast.
The coast, including the magnificent beaches of the Côte Sauvage, is only an hour or so away, as are the beautiful islands: Ile de Ré and Ile d'Oléron, and tiny Ile d'Aix, which is car-free but accessible by ferry and also well worth a visit.
We can organise private visits to local cognac and wine producers, where you will be given a full tasting of all their products - wine, Pineau des Charentes and Cognac.
If you would like a wonderful tour of the countryside in a horse-drawn carriage, that too can be arranged. Danièle and her Percheron, Canaille, will drive you on small lanes and tracks through fields and woods - so tranquil and relaxing, unless you agree to a gallop!
Our area has numerous "chemins blancs" - tracks and lanes through the fields and vineyards - which are available to everyone for walking or cycling (we can lend you bikes). We have detailed maps of the area, showing all the tracks, as well as suggested routes.
We had a wonderful time at no22; it was by far the most equipped holiday home we have stayed at to date. Normally we shy away from property’s where the owners are on site but Ros and Simon were great hosts, very giving and allowed us our privacy.
Thank you so much for a terrific review.
We do try to be helpful, but discreet, when guests are in the main house, and it sounds as if we are succeeding, thank heavens. We think it is very important that guests feel they have their privacy when staying here, but sometimes they have a question or would like a reservation made, so we are here for that.
Just returned from our second visit. A beautiful house, with everything you could wish for and maintained to an extremely high standard by the thoughtful, generous and helpful owners. We've been so spoiled by the charms of No. 22 that other houses pale by comparison.
We just have to hope that we can continue to visit....
What a lovely review - thank you so much.
We are always delighted when guests come to stay again. We love the house and this beautiful area and are so pleased when others do too.
A stunning house in a lovely region of France. The house has everything you could possibly need and its owners go out of their way to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. A great holiday with a good mix of trips out and plenty of time relaxing at the house in the beautiful garden! Thank you!
A very kind review, thank you so much
This is an old farmhouse with the original floorboards inside, and creeper up the outside, so it is possible that a little dust, or an insect, is missed from time to time, or that a spider re-spins her web. Thorough vacuuming and dusting are carried out at each changeover, but we ask guests to be understanding about the difficulty of achieving a 100% score for housekeeping in the country!
This is the 5th time we have stayed at this property which is unusual for us and in itself is a testimony to the superb experience offered by Ros and Simon.
This year, we had 2 weeks of very high temperatures and this, together with the fact that we had previously explored the area, meant that we had more time to enjoy the facilities that the property offers. We tended to follow the sun/shade around the garden and then, when even the shade became too much, go in the indoor pool which has doors opening on to the garden.
There are no shops in the village but the nearest small town is only a few minutes drive away.
The towns of Cognac and Saintes are a little further and have a wide range of restaurants and one could easily spend a day in both towns.Both have a wealth of history as does
La Rochelle on the coast about an hour away.
There is a 'Cave' selling excellent wine and cognac only a few kilometres away and Ros and Simon are very pleased to take you to local Cognac producers and generally invite you to other local events - Brocantes, special events etc.
Having said that, if you want to spend your time there in glorious isolation, Ros and Simon are never intrusive and will take their cue from you as to how much you want them to be involved with your stay.
For us, them living next door was an invaluable bonus and 'makes' the holiday.
We have no hesitation in recommending this property.
A lovely review - thank you very much!