|La Cigogne||Self Catering||Saturday||4||8||4|
La Cigogne is a privately owned Charentaise farmhouse built around a walled courtyard in a rural hamlet of the same name. It is a spacious, carefully restored and well equipped property with easy access to wine routes, beaches and endless beautiful rolling countryside.
It is a family home that we use as our base when not living and working in Tanzania. Our neighbours are mostly working farmers.
La Cigogne has 4 bedrooms, 2 en suite and 2 with a shared bathroom, and a private swimming pool. There are 2 big reception rooms with wi-fi, a large kitchen and dining area. An extensive courtyard is at the front of the house with a well equipped built-in barbecue. There is a garden and garage at the back of the property.
The village of St Dizant du Gua is about 3 km away with a cafe, shop and garage. A large supermarket and many more shops are found at Mirambeau, about 14 km away.
The property is easily accessible from both Bordeaux and La Rochelle airports, and is close to the A7 motorway that links Paris to Bordeaux.
There is a huge range of different activities easily accessible from La Cigogne. These include the Cognac areas to the north and the Bordeaux wine routes to the south and west. Fishing, boating and sightseeing on the Gironde Estuary is close by and the Atlantic beaches are not far way.
The area is well endowed with historic sites, old churches and beautiful towns and villages - many with regular markets. There are many restaurants at the ports, nature reserves and villages easily accessible by foot, bike or car. Tennis courts are not far away at St Fort.
There is an almost infinite range of walking and biking routes in the many tracks through the surrounding vines, woods and fields.
This is a bright and cheerful room with a high ceiling and opens both onto the courtyard at the kitchen end and the garden which is the dining end.
The kitchen/dining area is split level. It has a raised fireplace with a wood burning stove which also opens into the sitting room next door but this is not in use during the letting season. There is seating along side the fireplace.
There is a small breakfast bar which is mainly used for food preparation as it is close to the sink, cook top, raised over and fridge.
The table seats 8 and there is plenty of storage. The dishwasher is in the dining area.
On one side is a door into the sitting room and on the other side you enter the utility room/pantry which has another sink, microwave, large fridge-freezer, iron and ironing board, collapsible clothes drying rack, worktable and any amount of storage.
La Cigogne has 2 living rooms, the one off the kitchen being more formal with comfortable sofas and chairs, paintings, stereo, paintings and a large selection of books. There are also some boardgames.
The 'chais' is a long, bright room between the courtyard and the swimming pool where the wine was made and stored originally. We have made this into an informal room with seating, television and plenty of space.
The fact that it links the pool with the courtyard and the rest of the house, as well as the utility room and therefore the kitchen, is an important feature.
The door to the pool must be kept closed and locked at all times if there are small children in the house.
There are 4 bedrooms, they are all upstairs which is accessed either by the inside staircase or from the outside by stone steps up the outside of the house. The stone steps are wide but do not have an outside railing. All bedrooms have built-in wardrobes, bedside tables with lamps, a book case and dressing table with a chair and stools. If they don't have an en suite bathroom they have their own basin.
Bedroom 1 with twin beds and en suite bathroom.
Bedroom 2 with double bed and basin.
Bedroom 3 with double bed, and basin.
Bedroom 4 double bed and with en suite bathroom.
We have 2 cots available.
There are 2 single sized mattresses for bedrooms 2 and 3 for the floor in case guests would rather not share the double bed.
We supply all linen except pool towels. Linen can be changed weekly.
Two bathrooms are en suite and consist of a bath, basin and wc. The baths both have a shower head mixer and length of hose. They are fitted with towel rails, hooks, a stool and mirrors above the basin.
There is a separate shower room and another room with a wc and basin.
Downstairs, off the cloakroom area is another wc and basin.
There is no heating.
Hi-fi system, cd player with a wide range of cds, radio.
Dvd player with a limited number of dvds.
English satellite tv.
Wi-fi broadband internet.
Piano in the hall with a limited amount of sheet music.
Fenced 10 x 5 metre swimming pool, for renters exclusive use, with sunloungers, mattresses, tables and parasols
Courtyard with built-in barbecue, patio with table, chairs and parasol, picnic table under a shady tree, swing seat.
Grassed garden with patio and breakfast table, chairs and parasol. Access to covered garage and parking space for further cars. 2 laundry lines.
Covered parking for one vehicle which also houses the 2 washing machines and the gas as well as baskets for recyclable items and a clothes line in case of wet weather.
One of the back doors leads out of the garage into the utility room/pantry which is very useful for unloading shopping.
Outside there is parking for at least 2 cars, and more if necessary but we try not to use the grass.
La Cigogne is a great place for a 3 generation family holiday, there is something for everyone and numerous places both inside and out for people to retire to.
It's also perfect for groups of friends wanting to relax in the peace and quiet of the countryside experiencing delicious local produce and regional restaurants. As much walking or sight seeing as you could want for if that's what you want to do.
There are a variety of activities available within reasonable driving distance but if you just want to stay put then you can do that too.
Unfortunately due to all the bedrooms being upstairs, it is not suitable for handicapped guests.
We welcome well behaved pets but request that they remain downstairs.
Although we are British, our family has always lived and worked overseas, however we wanted a base in Europe in order to keep links with our family and friends in Great Britain. This was particularly important when our children were at school there, and they and their friends helped tremendously when we restored La Cigogne from a very basic farmhouse to the comfortable and roomy home that it is today.
|Year property purchased||1995|
|Why this location?||Since we all speak French, France seemed the obvious choice, and the Charente Maritime fitted perfectly with its easy access to Britain by road, rail and air. Its spaciousness, proximity to water, varied countryside and reputation for lots of sunshine. What we love about La Cigogne is the peace and the beauty of the surrounding area. We enjoy walking from the house and also being able to go out to a meal at a variety of small restaurants nearby. We can chose between local markets or a good well stocked supermarket, and we have easy access to vineyards or wildfowl areas and many other things as well, should we wish to make an excursion.|
|Unique benefits of property||Twice a year we ourselves spend time at La Cigogne to relax and appreciate it, at the same time we enjoy preparing the garden for the summer, and make sure everything is in working order. We are still improving things little by little. We encourage friends and family to join us when we are there, they can come and go doing whatever takes their fancy.|
La Cigogne is in a small agricultural hamlet of the same name, with villages, beaches, towns and many restaurants of different standards and price not far away. The towns of Blaye, Bourg, Saintes, Cognac, Royan, Rochefort and Bordeaux are in easy reach for a day's visit. Both Cognac and Bordeaux vineyards are accessible, as are several eleventh and twelfth century churches.
La Cigogne is close to several picturesque ports on the the Gironde Estuary - at Maubert and Mortange for example - and estuarine nature reserves (with good restaurants) at Vitrezay and Calonges. Throughout the surrounding area there are outlets for wine, pineau, congac and other regional produce, as well as many local markets. Royan, Blaye and Rochefort are all a little bit further, but well worth the effort as they are good markets, and there are other things to see and do nearby. If you go early to the Blaye market you can then get the ferry across the Gironde to Lamark, spend the day in the Medoc and come back on the northern ferry from Le Cap de Grave at the northern tip of the Medoc to Royan. The Royan market is daily, but particularly good in Saturday.
The area is ideal for hiking and biking with a varied landscape offering mixture of rolling hills, open farmland, vines, woods and wetlands. There is a vast network of rural tracks that can take you off the tarmac all day long.
Meschers: 25 minutes away has a nice beach that is relatively quiet. St Georges: A bit further away, with bigger beaches, lots of sand and young people and plenty of things to do. Royan: A crowded resort that boasts a zoo and a yachting centre. Lots to do if you are