|Le Vieux Grenier||Self Catering||Saturday||3||6||2|
Le Vieux Grenier is a spacious converted late 18th Century grain attic which retains many original features such as stone walls and beautiful chestnut and oak beams. The facilities in this property however, are right up to date with everything that you might need to make this a relaxing holiday in this lovely, unspoilt part of France.
With 3 bedrooms and 2 bath/shower rooms as well as a rustic, but well equipped kitchen/diner and the light airy sitting room, this property offers holidaymakers comfortable accommodation in a small village but close to all amenities. Although this is a converted attic, the accommodation all has full head height and in some parts the ceilings and beams are more than 4m above your head. Le Vieux Grenier is all one floor level plus a small mezzanine and it is accessed by an external stone staircase from the garden.
The outside space is made for easy enjoyment with a lovely, good sized, private swimming pool, a poolside bar, seating, bbq and sunbathing areas. The owners are on hand to maintain the pool and ensure it is in tip top condition throughout the season. The river Belle runs alongside the property as it meanders its way through the village of Croué, this can be paddled and played in as a change from the pool should your children wish to do so.
The location of Le Vieux Grenier is in a small village where there is an active farming community. There are chickens, cockerels, the odd passing tractor or 2 and perhaps a cow bell. Fresh eggs are usually available together with vegetables from the garden or local markets according to the season!
We are about an hour from the Atlantic coast, its islands and lovely beaches and about the same distance from one of France's favourite theme parks - Futuroscope. This places it perfectly to get the best of all worlds: the coast, the countryside, the historic towns and cities and modern entertainment of the Poitou-Charente region.
The kitchen is rustic in style with beautiful crown post beams and stone walls but it is modern in its equipment. The cupboards are made of old oak and the worktops are beech. It is equipped with a range-style cooker, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, microwave and a Senseo coffee-machine. The large farmhouse style dining table can seat 8 comfortably and there is padded bench seating around the room to relax on as well. You will find enough crockery, cutlery and cooking pots etc to meet your needs but if you are short of anything the owners are on hand and happy to lend you anything you may need (food processor, slow-cooker, bread maker...). Please do ask!
The sitting room is high ceiling with lovely large oak and chestnut beams and stone walls. There is a good sized 'L' shaped sofa, which is large enough for everyone! A flat screen tv with Freeview English tv, dvd player, iPod dock and a games cupboard are also available in the sitting room area.
This is a light and spacious room with high ceiling and a huge stone wall. All of the bedrooms and bathroom lead from this room.
Above part of the sitting room is a small mezzanine accessed by a steep stair case. This gives access to the shower room with its unique stone wall in the shower cubicle.
Bed 1 - has a double bed, wardrobe with plenty of hangers, chest of drawers, seat and its own washbasin.
Bed 2 - is a twin bedded room with 2 single beds, a wardrobe with plenty of hangers, chest of drawers and its own washbasin.
Bed 3 - is a bunk bedded room with wardrobe and hangers and chest of drawers.
All bedrooms are traditionally styled with beams and stone walls. All three of these rooms look over the swimming pool and garden.
Main bathroom - located off the sitting room, it has bath with high power shower over, sink and toilet. Like all the rooms, this has beams and stone walls.
Shower room - located on the mezanine, has shower, toilet and washbasin.
Two of the bedrooms also have washbasins in them.
Heating is not required in the property from late spring through until October at least. If the property is let in a cooler period of the year we can provide a cast iron gas powered provençal stove, a further gas heater and electric radiators. A very large traditional stone chimney passes through the accommodation and this provides a lovely background warmth.
There are plenty of boardgames and jigsaws for quieter evenings in the gite as well as a selection of toys for all ages. We also provide a good selection of films for our guests. There is English tv and wi-fi; you will also find an iPod dock for you to play your choice of music.
For use in the pool we provide dive sticks, pool basket ball hoop and some other toys. We are happy for guests to use inflatables in the pool, but we would prefer them to provide their own as they tend to get punctured too easily!
We are also have a selection of body boards for trips to the coast should guests wish to borrow them.
The garden is mainly laid to gravel, decking and paving and there is a lovely seating and dining area for guests which is shaded with a large pergola.
The 10 x 11m pool with Roman steps is a real feature of the property and is available for guests to use at any time. There is a small poolside bar which is a great place to sit and sip a cool drink whilst others work out in the pool!
The river Belle runs alongside the property and it is possible to fish in here after purchasing an appropriate licence. It isn't very deep, especially in summer but there are apparently trout in there! Without fishing, it is a quiet contemplative place to sit and read or dabble your feet!
There is parking for 2 guests vehicles just outside the garden of the property in a gravelled and shaded area or on the grass opposite the garden gate.
This property is suitable for couples, friends, families with children of any age. We do offer low season discounts for under-occupancy (i.e. one couple or just 2 or 3 people), so please do ask if you would like to holiday in a bigger space off the main season.
However, the accommodation is accessed by a set of stone stairs from the garden and so will not be suitable for people with mobility problems.
In 2013 we decided it was time for a change! I left my job as a deputy head teacher in a girls school in the SE and my husband, Simon, left his home maintenance business behind to maintain our French properties. We now live here full time with our two dogs, Max a big soft Labrador and Duke a lively Pointer. One of our sons lives in France, the other in the USA. We enjoy spending time with them when we can; our friends are everywhere! We look forward to welcoming you to our little bit of France!
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||The location was chosen for its gentle, rural calm but still being close to everything that you could want for a perfect holiday. The Vieux Grenier is in the village of Croué is located close to the beautiful historic town of Celles sur Belle which provides all day to day amenities. Within a 20 minute drive you can be in the 'big' city - Niort with its shops, bars, cafes and history as well as all manner of other activities! La Belle Ferme is 3km from lively the town of Chef Boutonne with its pretty chateau.
Located between the coast and Poitiers, holiday makers can enjoy the seaside, the countryside, the historic towns, forests, lakes and rivers as well as the modern theme park of Futuroscope! That pretty much covers all bases... However, there is so much to do in this area.
This is one of the best regions in France for cheap flights from the UK, Poitiers has a TGV station that links to Eurostar at Lille and, should you choose to drive it is an easy route from most channel ports.
|Unique benefits of property||Le Vieux Grenier is a converted grain attic and so is on the upper floor of the house. La Belle Ferme is a former farmhouse. Both have high ceilings and retain their character with beautiful beams and stone walls. The properties are very well equipped and you should be comfortable and your needs well catered for!
The owners live at Croue which means holidaymakers can benefit from their wealth of knowledge of the area and its facilities. We are there to help should you need it - from car repairs and buggy maintenance to providing fresh eggs and vegetables from the garden or sharing an apero in the evening... if you want anything we can probably help out with it!
Both have wonderful in-ground pools which sit in the sunniest location of the garden and have lots of seating, sunbathing and eating areas around it. There is no long walk to a distant pool, you can sit and watch the children playing as you sip your drink, or eat your lunch!
This is our local town and only about 4km from the property. Celles has a stunning Royal Abbey which is open to the public as well as a seminary with beautiful gardens that you can walk round. Within the gardens is a lovely area for children with insect hotels, herbs, vegetables and sometimes some chicks! There is also a woodland walk with a fitness trail and slides that zig-zag down the side of the hill!
The town itself is small but very quaint with the Abbey standing at the centre on the square. Next to the Abbey is a very quirky little bar that is a great place for a refreshing drink, relax and take time to enjoy the surroundings.
This is one France's premier theme parks and just about an hour from the property. It is not full of high octane super-scary rides, but rather many of the attractions are based on visual experiences. There are some that will still set the adrenalin pumping, but it is very different from Alton Towers and it exploits technology more than fear!! It is a great place for all the family as most of the attractions can be enjoyed by everyone in your group. Look out for special offers in the UK before you come on holiday as you can often get reductions on ticket prices if you book in advance!
The Marais is a unique area of canals and waterways brimming with wildlife. Take a flat bottomed boat out to see the area for yourself from the water, or join a trip with a guide. Within the Marais there are museums telling you about the development of the area in the 14th and 15th century and beyond and it's unique habitat, flora and fauna. There are lovely waterside towns and villages with cafes, restaurants and shops etc. It is a good area for easy walking and cycling as it is quite flat but very interesting! Buy angelica liqueur here - a speciality of the area.
The 'county town' of Deux Sevres is Niort with one of the Sevre rivers passing through it. Don't be fooled into thinking this has nothing to offer but a few shops... It has so much more! From the stunning gothic Hotel d'Ville to its Bronze street dragons, via the Donjon , Les Halles and twin spired church it is a lovely place to visit. Add to this the Niort Plage area in the summer, which runs all along the river with walks through the botanic gardens, stand up canoes and kayaks on the river and whole range of animations this is well worth a visit. The Saturday market is busy and lively! The choice of fresh produce is excellent and there is usually a fantastic selection of stalls with spices, olives, tapenade, dried fruits, fresh fruits etc etc... Oh and you could buy a chicken if the fancy took you! It does have a good range of shops and places to eat as well!
In just under an hour you can be at the coast with its buzzy tourist town of La Rochelle or the more low key resorts such as Chatelaillon Plage, Angolins etc. This coast has a lot to offer with glorious sandy beaches that are well kept with activities for children should you want that to quiet coves where you can be pretty much on your own. The island are a particular delight. The Ile de Re is just over an hour away and offers Atlantic beaches with waves and surfers and protected eastern beaches with large bays of warm clear water. The towns are vary from the busy touristy St Martin to much quieter ones such as St Marie and Rivedoux. Our particular favourite is La Flotte - do visit it as it is not as busy as St Martin but just as pretty with a lot to offer! Further along the coast is Fouras which is a a fab little town with great beaches and lovely coastal walks where you will see working carrelets (shell fish fishing huts on stilts). You can even catch a ferry to the Ile d'Aix from here or take a trip round Fort Boyard. La Rochelle old port is lovely. There is often a market on the portside and there are numerous places to stop and take in this busy little town. The shopping are in the old town is beautiful as well with ancient stone colonnades and some lovely historic buildings to visit.
A peaceful stay here, very quiet location.
A lovely apartment and pleasant owners on site.
Lovely to find bread, milk and other essentials when we arrived.
This is the second time we have stayed at Le Vieux Grenier, The combination of the sun, tranquil setting , fantastic pool and terrace means you cannot fail but to have a relaxing break.
The gite has a nice rustic feel to it and is well equipped and the owners Sharon and Simon were always available if required for advice and useful tips on places to go.
There are a wide range of days out covering sight seeing, sports, markets etc all within a short drive. If you wanted to travel a little further then visits to the Il de Re, La Rochelle and Futuroscope are all well worth it.
I would happily recommend this property to family and friends.
Thank you for taking time to review your holiday and we are pleased that you had a good time on your second trip here. We are a rural property in a small village, so future holiday makers should be aware that our nearest town is 4 km away which does have all amenities, but there are none in the village!
This is a very comfortable and well-equipped gite with a lovely pool. Karen and Simon could not have been more welcoming or helpful, and their attention to detail meant that we really didn't lack for anything during our stay here. This is a place to relax and enjoy the quiet pleasures of rural France - lots of possibilities for interesting walks locally, and many places of historic interest within easy reach. A great deal of our time was spent using the excellent pool - this is kept very clean and is just the perfect setting for relaxing or getting some refreshment if the weather is hot. The layout of the gite is ideal for older children, there was a good Wifi connection, and a great stock of films. We'd be happy to stay there again or to recommend this property to friends. Just the perfect holiday location for this family.
It was lovely to meet you all and we are so pleased that you enjoyed your holiday and it was well worth your long drive from Scotland! Thank you for taking the time to write a review; this is very much appreciated.
It is difficult to give Le Vieux Grenier anything other than 10/10 on all points.
Karen and Simon were lovely, and always helpful during our stay. The place was very clean, well furnished and equipped, the pool was always in tip top condition, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
We were given a lovely welcome pack including a couple of beers, which were most welcome on a hot day after a long drive. There was lots to do locally and a bit further afield, and though we were in the middle of the countryside, local amenities were only a few miles away.
It was lovely to meet you all and we are delighted that you had such a good holiday! Thank you for your kind words and the great photos that you shared with us!
All best wishes for your future ventures!