|Les Gîtes de Fontenioux||Self Catering||Flexible||6||12||4|
This area is part of a sunny microclimate on the edge of Deux Sevres close to the Vendee border. Violette and Marguerite are two charming historic cottages with a connecting door on the ground floor so they become one large holiday home for groups or families of up to twelve people. We have the ground-floor set out as the dining-room in Violette and the lounge in Marguerite. However the first floor is still separate with three bedrooms in each and two staircases. So a little separation if needed for two families or 'the kids' in one and 'the grown ups' in the other!
The gites are part of the buildings originally belonging to the Chateau de Fontenioux (although the chateau has been taken down) and are therefore built in the chateau style with steep slate roofs and the windows framed in stone and brick. The many original features include an original fireplaces and beams The ceilings are higher than usually found in traditional cottages, although upstairs there are some quirky sloping areas with lower beams, all adding to the character. All modern amenities have been installed with sympathy for the historic nature of the buildings. There are no other gites on site so you have exclusive use of the pool, play areas and gardens.
The ground floor of Violette is open plan with a fitted kitchen to the rear and is used as the dining-room for the two gites. A separate hallway has a cosy reading corner and desk and there is an original artisan crafted staircase with gentle low-rise treads. A further sitting area on the landing with views over the garden, has its own reading lamp and can be curtained off. There are 3 bedrooms:1 double and 2 twin (one twin can be made-up as a large double) There are 2 shower rooms (one en suite to the double) to the first floor.
The ground floor of Marguerite is also open plan with a fitted kitchen to the rear and is used as the sitting room for the two gites. It features a corner seating area (with handy power socket for the laptop) and a spiral staircase to the first floor. There are 3 bedrooms: 1 double and 2 twin. There are 2 shower-rooms one on the first floor and one on the ground floor, (near the connecting door with Violette), very handy after a swim.
NB: We are flexible on start and finish days if you wish to take advantage of midweek travel. So we are happy to accommodate those travelling on the Cork - Roscoff ferries which do not operate on a Saturday to Saturday basis. You only pay for the nights you book - three night minimum.
The two fitted kitchens are to the rear of both of the open plan ground floor rooms. In each kitchen there is a dishwasher, cooker (bottled gas) with 4 burners and an oven, a fridge-freezer in Violette and a fridge with freezer compartment in Marguerite (ideal as a drinks fridge). There are a microwave, coffee-machine, kettle and toaster in each kitchen. The kitchens are well stocked with ample crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment for 12 people. A hand towel, two tea-towels, oven gloves, J-cloth and sponge scourer to each kitchen. The 2 dining tables seat 12 and one can be adjusted in size to suit your requirements.
Please let us know if you require an additional fridge, as this can be placed in the lobby area between the two gites.
The living rooms are open plan with kitchen to the rear. There are four very comfortable settees plus a corner seat plus floor cushions in Marguerite and a window seat in Violette. There is a wall mounted television with freeview channels in the lounge and in the dining room. Both rooms have large woodburners in the traditional fireplaces. Logs are supplied free from 1 October to 15 May. Fans are supplied for the warmer months.
Violette 3 bedrooms:
One double bedroom (en suite) and 2 twin rooms.
The twin beds in bedroom 2 have zip together mattresses and can be made up as a large double
A single bed can be added to the double bedroom or bedroom 2.
Please let us know what option you prefer.
Marguerite 3 bedrooms:
One double bedroom and 2 twin rooms.
All bedrooms have: a fan; oil-filled radiator; wardrobe; chest of drawers; mirror with adjacent power point plus a hairdryer. All beds have modern slatted bases.
We do not use folding beds or bed settees.
All the usual bed-linen:
Single beds: single duvet; two pillows; matching duvet set; fitted sheet; flat sheet; fleece throw.
Double beds: king size duvets; four pillows; matching duvet set; fitted sheet; king size flat sheet; fleece throw.
We have travelcots with folding mattresses; highchairs; baby baths; fire-guards and stairgates. Please let us know if you need any of these.
Four shower rooms.
There is a family shower room plus an en suite shower room for the double bedroom on the first floor in Violette.
There is a first floor shower room and a ground floor shower room in Marguerite.
All the shower rooms have:
Modern quadrant shower cubicle with choice of spray settings.
Washbasin and mirror with vanity, pedestal or storage unit under.
Heated towel rail.
Towel ring or rail for hand towel.
UK shaver point with adjacent shelf to charge shavers and electric toothbrushes.
All towels are supplied:
1 bath towel and 1 bath sheet per person - not for use by the pool.
1 pool towel per person.
Hand towel for each shower-room.
There is an oil-filled electric radiator to each bedroom and for the colder months logs are supplied, 1 October to 15 May, for the wood-burners. Both wood-burners have fire-guards Gas heaters are also available on request.
There are two 32" tvs with free-to-air UK satellite channels one in each ground floor room. There is also a small tv/dvd player with dvds supplied which can be used anywhere in the cottages. Ample books are provided (please ask if you cannot see something to your taste) plus a selection of boardgames.
The fenced, sunny garden with attractive flower beds, has plenty of room to run around. Footballs, mini goals, badminton sets and boule sets are available.
The swimming pool with bespoke sundeck, is heated from 15 May to 1 October, for your exclusive use. It is 9m x 4.5m and 1.2m deep throughout so suitable for all abilities. The approved security fencing with self-closing gate ensures safety for the little ones.
Our home-grown tree-stump play area and willow den have proved popular with all age-groups!
There are swings with see-saw and rope ladder, plus small plastic play equipment for the younger ones.
A barbecue area with picnic tables is available to guests with charcoal supplied. A variety of sunloungers and parasols, are provided, both in the garden and on the deck.
The paved terrace in front the gites is furnished with tables, chairs and parasols for al fresco dining. A smaller covered terrace offers shady seating.
There is semi-shaded parking adjacent to the gites plus an extra parking area with security lighting at the end of the drive. There is no restriction on the number of vehicles.
There are 2 secure clean, dry outhouse 'bike sheds'. They can also be used to store bike carriers, top-boxes etc. The covered terrace in front is handy for a bit of tinkering on your bikes. Basic tools can be borrowed.
All age groups have enjoyed their holidays here, including many three generation family groups. With room for up to 12 we have often had three families.
Travel cots with folding mattresses, highchairs, baby baths, stair-gates and fire-guards are available.
Les Gites de Fontenioux is suitable for those who want a relaxing laid-back base for their holiday, but there are many interesting, exciting, even strenuous activities and attractions within easy reach.
The artisan crafted original stairs in Violette have easy low rise treads, for those with mobility problems. The younger ones love the novelty of the spiral stairs in Marguerite.
This is an excellent area for cycling, walking, bird-watching, photography and painting. The local produce is outstanding, Parthenais steak is particularly recommended. As an apple-growing region there are many local artisan ciders as well as wines to try.
Fans in each room.
Hairdryer and mirror with adjacent socket to each bedroom.
A welcome pack of necessities - just let us know, red, white or rose!
Two washing machines.
Covered drying area.
Dry, secure storage for bicycles and top boxes etc.
Cots, highchairs, baby-baths, stair-gates available.
All linen: the usual bedding (king size duvets for doubles) plus a flat sheet and throw for each bed.
All towels: hand towels, tea towels, oven gloves and two generous towels plus pool towel per person - no more soggy towels in the car after that last swim!
Pool heated from 15 May - 1 October.
Free logs for the woodburner (1 October - 15 May) plus gas heaters if required.
Oil filled radiator to each bedroom.
Heated towel radiators in all four shower-rooms.
Please note that departure is 11:00 am, ample time to pack the car and pop the breakfast pots in the dishwasher.
We moved to France in late 2012. We fell in love with this property at first sight, even though we knew it needed a lot of work! We moved in on Christmas Eve so that we could wake up Christmas morning in our very own little bit of France. There have been many improvements since then and we really enjoy meeting new guests and seeing them unwind and enjoy their holiday here.
|Year property purchased||2012|
|Why this location?||We love this property with peaceful pastoral views and big sky which is mostly blue with the odd fluffy cloud, and there can be spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The lack of light pollution means lovely starlit nights. It is quiet and secluded, we see rabbits playing tag up and down our lane and occasional deer. There are birds singing and butterflies we have never seen before. It is so easy to relax with the slower pace of life, who needs the rat race?|
|Unique benefits of property||Our property is a peaceful rural retreat in the lovely Gatine countryside for a relaxing holiday away from it all. However there are many attractions just a short ride away so your holiday can be as restful or exciting and energetic as you want. The buildings belonged to the Chateau de Fontenioux (now sadly no more) and built in the chateau style with beams and high ceilings (although some upstairs ceilings are a little quirky!) and original fireplaces. So you can live history, but with all modern conveniences installed sympathetically to the historic setting.
The village is only 20 minutes walk or 5 minutes drive away with an excellent boulangerie, where you will also find many corner shop items including wine. We can also particularly recommend La Petite Noisette bar restaurant a little further into the village.
Very picturesque town full of history. The tourist information centre provide walking maps to do your own tour and discover many interesting buildings and information. The aquarium is fantastic and has many interactive activities for the children.
A cycle route from Ouistreham in Normandy to La Rochelle via Saumur in the Loire Valley, through the Thouet valley and passing through the lovely historic town of Parthenay, only 23 km from us. There are various stages to pick and choose from if you are not feeling too energetic and there are well signposted local "loops". There are many historic towns, meandering rivers and spectacular countryside along the route. More details on: www.cycling.lavelofrancette.com
There are also many local routes to cycle in the picturesque countryside and pretty villages with plenty of places to stop off for a coffee or a spot of lunch.
Futuroscope at Poitiers is very popular for all ages, this futuristic theme park has something for everyone. In fact we our guests tell us that the adults enjoy it just as much as the children, if not more. There are usually vouchers in the 'Deux Sevres' magazine (local news and information in English) provided in your gite.
This historic theme park was voted the world's best park in 2014. It is an experience not to be missed. Best to book tickets on their website (check for special offers) in advance of your holiday.
A lively town with restaurants, bars and a great atmosphere and there is often street theatre in the evenings. During the summer various festivals take place, notably jazz and comedy. The medieval part of town is well worth a wonder round the narrow streets with half-timbered buildings and ancient bridges. There are picture postcard views from the ramparts perched above the Thouet river.
Beach on a lake at Xanton-Chassenon with all the usual beach and water based activities. Sandy beach, swimming area, waterslide, playground and bouncy castle plus pedalos and electric boats to hire.
The "Green Venice" is the second largest wetland of western France with over 300km of cycle and walking paths. Take a boat ride on a tourist boat, hire a boat or canoe yourself. Coulon is a good place to start exploring, they have little road train tour. Marans is the capital of the Marais Poitevin - and you may have heard that name before, apparently James Bond is a fan of the dark brown eggs from Marans hens!
The forest area has many marked footpaths and picnic areas plus 14 cycle routes. The Vendee and Mere rivers meander through the forest and a number of dams have resulted in spectacular stretches of lake. There is Natur'Zoo with watersports and tree top trails and there is also the Parc de Pierre Brune adventure park. Vouvant is one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" and also home to the legend of the fairy Melusine who is said to have built many castles and fortresses, each in only one night. After checking out the Tour Melusine pop in to the Cafe Cour du Miracle for a coffee and some yummy cake. The Tourist information Office nearby offers discounts on tickets for the zoo.
We were a large family group ages ranging from 7 to 72 and everyone had a fantastic holiday.
The gites are super clean and comfortable with a good range of pots and pans and plenty of towels and bedding. Likewise the pool is lovely and clean with lots of loungers available and the gardens provide a pleasant back drop with lots of space to relax in.
Trevor and Barbara are very welcoming and always on hand if you need info or advice. The extensive welcome pack they provide is particularly good after a long journey.
The immediate area is very peaceful with lovely walks available along the quiet country roads, if you want to venture out there are lots of places to visit within 20 mins 1/2 hour drive including several activity lakes, a karting track ( highly recommended) and a tree top adventure park for the more adventurous and pretty towns to wander around for the more sedate! Green Venice and La Rochelle are further afield but worth the extra distance.
The boulangerie in the village is lovely and there are several nearby places to eat in neighbouring L'absie and Secondigny.
Overall a lovely gite in a beautiful part of France and we would definitely visit Les Gites de Fontenioux again.
Thank you for your kind review. We enjoyed having you and your extended family here and it would be great to see you all again.
We recently stayed with our daughter and son-in-law and son, daughter-in-law and their 2 children. The pool and swing made our granddaughter's holiday. Trevor and Barbara couldn't have been more accommodating. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday away from it all. The only reservation is that one of the gîtes has a spiral staircase which is quite narrow and steep and not suitable for young children.
Thank you for taking time to leave us a review and giving us full marks for facilities, condition and value for money. Although we should point out that majority of our guests find plenty to do in the local area.
We have just returned from a fantastic week at Gites de Fontenioux. We were two families, both with four girls (all between 4yrs-6yrs) between us.
The gites were both really well equipped, with good bedding and towels, a welcome pack and lots of washing tablets. They were also beautifully furnished.
The layout offered us good communual space, as well as totally separate bedrooms and bathrooms so that each family could be alone, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. And as the pool was secured, we could happily leave our girls to run around and enjoy the beautiful garden, without constant supervision.
This all made for a fabulous, relaxing holiday - often a challenge with young children! We enjoyed many days by the pool, bbq ing at night, as well as days out visiting; local towns, canoeing, parcours, Puy de Fou etc.
We thoroughly recommend this accommodation.
Thank you so much for your lovely review. We are so pleased you enjoyed your holiday and that the accommodation was just what you wanted. All the best. Trevor and Barbara
Barbara and Trevor are the perfect hosts and could not do enough for us. They even provided things like dishwasher and washing machine tablets, bin bags and BBQ charcoal which we have always had to buy. It was also wonderful that we only had to take beach towels as all other towels and tea towels were provided. Excellent service. Thank you
Thank you for your kind comments and that you gave us 10 out of 10 for facilities and value. we want everyone who comes here to have the best holiday they can.