|Les Mimosas||Self Catering||Saturday||4||8||2||Travelcot for small child|
Les Mimosas is a 200 year old Charantaise house, renovated to an exceptionally high standard. The house retains original beams and exposed stonework and has been beautifully decorated in a contemporary French style. It is located on the edge of the small village of Lorignac overlooking vineyards and open countryside rolling down to the Gironde estuary in the distance. The local hotel and bar, both of which serve food, and village shop, are just a few minutes walk.
There is a large garden, ample parking, flowerbeds and large grassed area. Separately fenced is a 11 x 5m private heated pool encircled with sunbeds.
The house is all on one level and its lay out is highly suitable for 2 families sharing. It comfortably sleeps 8 plus an infant. It is very well insulated and has full central heating and a wood burning stove making it suitable for winter lets. Fans in all bedrooms and living room help keep it cool in the summer heat.
Les Mimosas is a peaceful rural retreat from which to explore the cycling paths, walks, fishing, bird watching and of course sandy beaches. It is fabulous outside of the peak season in the warm months of June and September when you can find yourself walking a beach alone.
The kitchen is well equipped and designed for rustling up a meal from the abundance of local fresh produce! It boasts a 6 burner gas range cooker with large oven; double butler sink; dishwasher; microwave; toaster; kettle; Nespresso coffee-machine and drawers full of sharp knives and utensils.
If you prefer the Weber Kettle bbq next to the covered veranda, will cook everything from fish to steaks and tends to be the mainstay for summer al fresco dining.
Dining can either be outside on the veranda to enjoy the setting sun over the vineyards as you consume delightful local wines; or on cooler days, inside on a large oval table in the dining room.
The main living room has 2 comfortable sofas seating 4 and 3 people respectively, and 2 arm chairs. There is a 42" flat screen tv with free to view English Sky and all free to view French channels. It is boosted by surround sound which doubles as a dvd player and music system for your MP3/line-in music. Free wi-fi.
On cooler nights at the periphery of the season there is a log burner to keep you snug.
The villa has 4 double bedrooms.
The main bedroom is a king size double bed with views over the sun patio, ensuite to the main bathroom. It has a French free to view tv and DAB radio.
The other 3 bedrooms are twin beds. Two of the twin bedrooms link to the en suite shower and laundry room and one has double doors onto the garden.
There are 2 bathrooms.
The main bathroom has a large bateau bath and walk-in shower/wet room, toilet and basin.
The second bathroom has a shower enclosure, toilet, basin as well as the laundry facilities of washing machine and dryer.
The house has propane central heating for winter months only. There is a log burner in the main living room but logs are not provided.
For the summer months all rooms have large fans.
Flat screen tv, free to view French and English channels. Surround sound system with MP3/line-in in put. There is a dvd library and books. For the garden there is an outdoor table tennis table and boules. Free wi-fi.
The garden is in sections. The private heated 11m x 5m pool with a variety of pool toys is the main attraction. Within the pool area is a shed with bikes and beach toys. Next to it is an open grassed area surrounded by shrubs which is suitable for ball games or for playing on the outdoor table tennis table. Next to the house is the sun patio. An absolute sun trap for those who like to sun bathe or sit under a sun umbrella away from the hustle and bustle of the pool. Being close to the house it is great for the continuous sipping of cool champagne from the fridge!
The Weber bbq sits next to covered the veranda where the 8 seating tables look over the garden and vineyards.
The large gravel driveway provides adequate space for 2/3 cars, securely tucked away out of view.
Ideally suited for families with young children and grandparents.
Kevin and Christine live in Kent. We bought Les Mimosas as a holiday home to let during peak season and be able to use, at other times, with our children when they were younger. Now it is fun for all the family and our grandchildren.
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||The Gironde Estuary is a very beautiful part of France, with the Vitrezay nature reserve only minutes away from us. The climate is superb with lots of sunshine (only exceeded by the med coast!) and summers around 30c. Fabulous sandy beaches looking out on the Atlantic are about 20 minutes away and just complete this ideal location.
An hour north of Bordeaux, Lorignac is in the heart of the western wine producing region of Charente Maritime. Lorignac is a small rural village that has it's own local shop, a bar and a hotel, a hairdresser and a garage. Villages near by have a boulangerie, patisserie, post office, Co-op, newsagent/tabac, chemist etc, etc.
The area hosts numerous bars and restaurants in some of the most stunning locations.
The estuary provides coastal walks and cycle tracks teeming with bird and other wildlife, in a wonderfully tranquil setting.
|Unique benefits of property||Les Mimosas is part of a traditional Charentaise long house. Timber framed and stone built over 200 years ago, it boasts a wealth of original features, yet has been renovated to a high standard to provide a comfortable home from home. The property is equipped for 8 guests and has 4 good sized bedrooms including a king, and 3 twin bed rooms. The large fully equipped kitchen leads through to the impressive sitting/dining room. Outside, a private veranda overlooking the garden and pool, has table seating for 8 and a bbq. The complete security of the garden means you can relax confident that your children are happy, safe and sound.
The large (11 x 5m), in-ground heated salt water pool is set in a poolside patio area, and contained by a fence.
Les Mimosas is ideal for large or extended families where cousins and grandparents can enjoy quality time together.
Les Mimosas is about 20-25 minutes away from sandy beaches at Meschers sur Gironde and St Georges de Didonne. As you travel west the beaches get smarter and at Royan you can hire a blue and white striped tent and join the ultra-smart set.
Les Mathes on the other side of Royan has wonderful beaches for surfing. It set in a forest with 30km of beach and cycle paths looking out to the sea and the Ile d’Oleron. Both the Ile d’Oleron and Ile de Re have miles of fabulous beaches.
The nearest beach to Les Mimosas is in the village of Meschers, which has several sandy coves for swimming and sunbathing. Plage des Nonnes has a bar and restaurant on the beach that is well thought of. You can also visit the caves that have been hollowed out of the white cliffs overlooking the Gironde. Indeed there are guided visits to discover the history and legends of the caves.
Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, which is before Royan, has a relaxed family atmosphere. It is easy to understand what characterises Saint Georges: two cliffs which protect a long beach of fine sand and an old, very lively, town centre which nevertheless, keeps the character of a village, with its business areas in streets around the church.
On the cliff of Vallières, the lighthouse, which creates the familiar silhouette of Saint Georges, is made of stone and was built in 1900 on a headland which protects the small port. From the path around the lighthouse, there are beautiful views of the Pointe de Grave, the Pointe de Suzac and the lighthouse of Cordouan.
At the Pointe de Suzac, there is a path which goes along the cliff and this makes a very pleasant walk to Meschers.
Chateau Beaulon, which has a distillery and tasting venue in Lorignac village, make Cognac and Pineau.
The Chateau is a mile down the road in Saint Dizant. It was built by the “de Vinsons” family in 1480 during the reign of King Louis XI.
At the dawn of the renaissance period Beaulon’s architectural style was still flamboyantly gothic.
The North face bears witness to this original style of construction with the exception of the extensions on either side.
The roof window on the left hand side is an important element in the overall composition, a sumptuous reminder of medieval architecture at its most illustrious. Situated at the top of a vertical row of windows it appears to be cut out of the dark backdrop of the slate roof. Adorned with ornate floral sculptures, ornamental cabbage and small hooked pinnacles outlined against the azure sky.
In comparison the second renaissance roof window is strictly classical but this lack of symmetry doesn’t detract from the building’s overall harmony, on the contrary it underlines the authenticity of a construction which has survived 5 centuries of history.
Enter into the world of the gourmet.
At its birth in 1689 it was a celebrated festive wine, today it is often taken as an aperitif. However limiting it to an aperitif is to underestimate the treasures it conceals. At Beaulon the Pineau des Charentes is easily distinguishable by the complex fruitiness of the noble Bordeaux grape varieties : Semillon/Sauvignon for the white; Cabernets Franc/Sauvignon and Merlot for the red, combined with the fragrances of old cognacs and further magnified by the ageing in oak. A delectable discovery of the wonderful harmony of 5 grape varieties.
Port Maubert, is just down the road and through Saint Dizant. It is a charming little port which has a camp site and sailing club, where you can book for sailing classes. In the season there is small café towards the end of the port. The restaurant L’Ecluse has re-opened and isn’t bad. The port is fantastic for a walk amongst the reeds down to the Gironde Estuary. There is an observation platform for the Viterzay nature reserve and miles of both walking and cycling pathways, all on the flat! On the way down to the Port you might like to stop off at the Creperie la Daugaterie, which gets good reviews.
A 21 hectare nature reserve on the largest wild estuary in Europe, found on the Gironde river in the Charente-Maritime, Pôle-Nature de Vitrezay is a place of big skies, peace and tranquillity and nature as far as the eye can see.
This wildlife centre, fully opened for the first time in 2005, is local to Les Mimosas and well worth a visit particularly in the migratory season. 10 kms away.
Paths lead out into the marais through the wetlands with observation hides. There is also an exhibition centre and throughout the season various different entertainments and special events are laid on. There is a restaurant-bar with a panoramic view of the estuary; you can take a boat trip over to Pauillac on the other side of the Gironde. There is the opportunity to try your hand at a number of activities, including fishing in various forms, canoeing, sailing or going out in a sea kayak. It is also a great place to make your own way around, walking or on hired bikes (and for the slightly less energetic they have electric bikes!).There are day and evening trips on a gabare and you can even rent a genuine carrelet by the hour, day or night! If you need to telephone Vitrezay for further information English is spoken. Tel (05 46 49 89 99).
Mortagne sur Gironde with its picturesque port below the town, with shops, post office, tourist office etc. The port area is very lively in the season with numerous events, themed shows and fetes together with brocantes etc and of course has several bars and restaurants. There is also the opportunity for horse riding and hiring kayaks and boats. The Hermitage is also well worth a visit. Apart from its pleasure port aspect Mortagne is a busy fishing port as fishing on the estuary is still a very intense activity linked both to the seasons and to the migration of the fish population. Previously the caviar from the migrating sturgeon and now in winter la pibelle or civale which are elvers or baby eels and these are caught along the edges of the water with a very special type of fishing boat with nets on either side of the front of the boat.
Cozes is a small town that lies close to the main roads from Cognac and Bordeaux to Royan. Cozes is a local Canton, one of nine in the Arrondissement of Saintes and one of the 51 in Charente-Maritime. The stone built houses of the village are centred on the fourteenth century covered market and the twelfth century church. The main commercial activity of Cozes is based on the agricultural produce of the surrounding canton - predominately cereals, sunflower, melons and viniculture. The district is particularly noted for the production of cognac and pineau.The village has an open air swimming pool with slide, crazy golf, tennis courts and boules area. There is also a reasonable sized Champion supermarket.
To the west of Royan is 'Zoo de La Palmyre' the most visited tourist attraction in the Charente-Maritime. This is a breeding zoo, with an emphasis on conservation, so leaving many of the 1,600 animals free to roam.
Cognac still has the feel of a sleepy county town, the stone has been turned from honey-coloured to grey by the evaporation of the famous product. (As Gramps said “Wonderful people the French - fancy naming a town after a drink!”) Take the interesting, well-run tours round the distilleries of Remy Martin, Otard, Martell and Hennessey then if you are in a fit state, stroll around the Parc du François I and take a boat trip along the River Charente.
Bordeaux - The city long known as La Belle Au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty) is well and truly awake after years of slumber. The turn of the millennium was a major turning point for Bordeaux, when the former mayor, controversial ex-Prime Minister Alain Juppé, roused this graceful city, pedestrianising its boulevards, restoring its neoclassical architecture, and implementing a high-tech public transport system. These days, bolstered by its high-spirited university student population, La Belle Bordeaux never seems to sleep at all. It is a listed UNESCO world heritage site and boasts the largest pedestrianised shopping precinct in Europe.
If you truly want to crack the credit card, head for the Triangle-d’Or (“Golden Triangle”) bordered by the Cours de l’Intendance, Allées de Tourny and Cours Clemenceau. Here you’ll find the luxury brand names and big-ticket shops. That said, the rather swish iron-and-glass Grands Hommes shopping arcade in the middle is an outpost of more reasonable pricing. It also has a daily fruit and veg market.
Affordable shops, be they fashion or otherwise, are found on or around the Rue Ste Cathérine. It’s pedestrianised, dead straight and very long – one-and-a-quarter miles in total. But there’s no need to do the whole thing. Most of what you’ll need is within easy reach of the city centre end of the street. Kick off at the Place de la Comédie and carry on until you’ve had enough.
Should you require antiques, arty items or just a wander in the sort of street Hugh Grant made popular, head for the Chartrons district and the Rue Notre Dame.
Talmont, situated on the Gironde estuary, has a beautiful 11th century fortified church, St Radegonde that sits on a small peninsula rock overlooking the estuary. Explore the village of Talmont, which dates back to the 13th C, with its old narrow streets lined with hollyhocks, shops, small museums and restaurants.
Whether you are interested in the history of Blaye, or appreciative of beautiful landscapes or good wines, you will enjoy the visit to Blaye. Blaye, for some people this name evokes the citadel which overlooks the Gironde, for others it brings to mind " Premieres Côtes de Blaye ", wines of Bordeaux from the right bank of the estuary. Blaye is also a commercial harbour. The port is situated to the south of the town. The jetty leads to the ferry which crosses the estuary to the Médoc region at Lamarque.
It is great to take the ferry across and tour the vineyards of the Medoc. The Chateaux are wonderful with beautiful gardens. Not all of them are open but there are plenty of opportunities for ‘degustation’. Have a meal in the town of Paulac in one of its many riverside restaurants.
Please, don't leave Blaye without a visit to the Maison du Vin, and to its shop situated on cours Vauban in front of the citadel. Maison du Vin des Premières Côtes de Blaye, 11, cours Vauban, BP 122, 33390 Blaye, phone 33 (0)5 57 42 91 19
More than 200 Châteaux are represented. Each bottle can be bought individually for the same price that it can be purchased from the proprietors.
A little medieval city surrounded by marshes, Mornac-sur-Seudre flourished in the 11th century thanks to salt and fishing. To defend their coveted area, the mornac seigneurs built a rampart, and later a surrounding wall and fortified church. Remarkably well-preserved, the village conserves this character. You can have a pleasant walk in the streets hosting stalls of artists and craftsmen selling jewellery, leather, clothes, painting and pottery. The village, which is a classic example of Charente coastal villages, shows off its white painted houses with their green or blue shutters that are often hidden by hollyhocks. The port is an old fishing and commercial port which today focuses more on oyster farming and the salt produced by its marshes.