|La Belle Ferme||Self Catering||Saturday||5||14||4||Z-beds available|
A lovely former farmhouse which has been restored to provide all mod cons in a traditional feature filled 18th Century rustic house.
The property is deceptively spacious with large bedrooms and excellent communal rooms. With 2 full bathrooms and 2 full shower rooms there are plenty of facilities for all guests.
A real feature of this holiday location are the grounds of the property. There are approximately 2 acres of meadow, orchard, garden and sun-bathing terracing for guests to enjoy.
In addition, the large in-ground pool in a part walled area of the garden will be well used by guests in the summer months.
The location is within a small quiet village but only 3km from all day to day needs in the town of Chef Boutonne which has its own delightful chateau. Situated a little over an hour from the Atlantic coast with it's lovely beaches and islands and less than an hour from Futuroscope and Poitiers, guests are offered a diverse range of holiday activities which can include roman amphitheatres and ancient burial grounds!
This is a great base for any holiday in France as the accommodation is suitable for many different groups of people and there is so much to do in the area!
Kitchen is conveniently spread over 2 areas with wet preparation, drinks making and food storage in one part and seating, cooking and eating in the larger section. It is well equipped with large fridge-freezer, electric cooker, microwave, dishwasher, coffee-machine etc. There is a washing machine in the utility room.
There is a good sized separate dining room with seating for 6/8 but with wide doorways, the table from the kitchen can easily be added to this to seat large parties.
The spacious and light living room has sofa and chairs, coffee table and tv/dvd. There is English tv via a freeview box.
The open fireplace has a Provencal style wrought iron gas stove available for Spring and Autumn rentals which is clean and easy to operate.
There is a supply of board games and jigsaws in the games cupboard.
Bedroom 1 - large double (can have Z-bed added) with en suite shower room.
Bedroom 2 - large double plus twin with vanity washbasin.
Bedroom 3 - large triple bedded room with vanity washbasin. (Can have Z bed added)
Bedroom 4 - large double bedded room (can have Z-bed added) with shower room next to it. This is a good sized room with beamed ceiling and fireplace.
Bedroom 5 - the smallest double room with a bright and roomy en suite bathroom
All bedrooms have drawers and wardrobes with clothes hangers.
The upstairs rooms have high ceilings, exposed stone walls and beautiful old beams.
En suite shower room to bed 1(upstairs) has shower, washbasin and toilet.
Family bathroom (upstairs) has bath with shower over, washbasin and toilet
Both of these rooms have exposed stone walls and oak beams.
Shower room (downstairs) next to bedroom 4 has shower cubicle, toilet and washbasin
En suite bathroom to bed 5 (downstairs) has bath, toilet and washbasin
There are 2 large hot water cylinders installed in the property so it is very well provided with plenty of hot water.
During the summer there should be no need for heating. In autumn and spring there are woodburners available in the kitchen and bedroom 4 as well as the gas-fired Provençal iron stove in the sitting room. A further mobile gas heater can be provided during cooler months.
The sitting room has tv and dvd player and there is an iPod dock for listening to music.
A games cupboard is provided in the sitting room with a good selection of games and puzzles for all ages.
There are also boules and some other games for outside provided.
The grounds extend to about 2 acres. There is a large meadow, an orchard which has plenty of fruit available for guests, grassed and terraced areas. Located behind the open barn is a fire pit which can be lovely on warm evenings (wood is provided). In the garden there is a children's play area with swings and slide.
At the front of the property there is a gravelled parking area for up to 3 cars. Additional cars can be accommodated on the grass or the drive.
Motorbikes and cycles can be stored safely round the back of the property under the covered barn.
This property lends itself to pretty much any group of people!
Families with young children or older ones will be well catered for and equipment for babies can be provided free of charge.
Guests with restricted mobility will find the downstairs bedroom and large shower room easy to use (although there is a stepover into the shower). All of the bottom floor is on one level apart from the covered eating area on the back of the house. This is accessed by 3 steps, but can also be accessed from the front for wheelchair users.
It is particularly suited to groups of friends, and will accommodate 5 couples with ease and comfort for a long weekend away, benefitting from off peak cheap flights from the UK to this area all year.
The garden has many fruit trees from which guests are invited to pick the ripe fruit for their use. We also grow organic, seasonal veg around the garden for guests to use during their stay.
We are able to offer 'baby' sitting and/or child minding as Karen is a former deputy head with many years teaching experience. She is also willing to organise craft and creative activities for children and adults - please ask!
We will also 'dog-sit' if guests would like to bring their pet with them, but may like a dog free day or evening - again, please do ask!
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 left his home maintenance business behind to maintain our French properties. We now live here full time with our two dogs, Max a large soft Labrador and Duke a lively Pointer. Our sons are in the UK, but visit frequently and our friends are everywhere! We look forward to welcoming you to our little bit of France!
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||This has one of the best climates in France, second only to the mediterranean coast, but without the very long drive, or the expense! It is exceptionally accessible by trains, planes and automobiles. Our properties are situated almost equidistant from the Atlantic coast to the west and Poitiers and Futuroscope to the east, meaning you can have the best of all sorts of experiences on a holiday here!|
|Unique benefits of property||Both of our holiday homes have been restored to offer our guests all home comforts and modern amenities inside a traditional farmhouse property with a wealth of original features. We also have a wealth of knowledge about our area and are happy to answer any questions you might have about where to go and what to do.|
Within the property is a guide to the vast range of things to do in this area. In addition, we know the area very well and can advise you of places to go to suit your group. Please ask us, if we don't already know of where to find what you would like to do, we have a huge network of contacts, French and English who can help!
Just over an hour away, the wonderful Atlantic coast with pristine beaches, chic cafés, safe sea bathing and beautiful islands is well worth a visit. The towns of Chatelaillon Plage, Fouras etc are simply lovely and have remained unspoilt with the character and style of a traditional seaside town. The Islands of Ré and Oleron are a must. Quaint little fishing villages, vinyards, oyster shacks and smart harbour-sides where yachts nestle with working boats make for a picturesque location. The donkeys in pyjamas will delight everyone!
This historic and pretty little town has one of France's 'Abbaye Royale'. It is simply beautiful! There are lovely grounds as well and one of the best places to see the celebrations for 14 July... Although here the fireworks take place on the 13 July! This town has a very quaint little bar and a couple of restaurants, but its attraction is really the Abbey and its grounds.
Just 2 km from La Belle Ferme is this lovely small chateau with a national collection of traditional headdresses from the different regions of France. The park around the chateau is a good place for a quiet walk round the lake or along the river. There are tours of the chateau in English.
This is a little further afield just NW of Niort. There are lots of things to do here, including tree top trails, with high wires slides etc, riding, biking and sailing at the base nautique. The parc Pere Bruin is a great place for young children and their parents and grandparents... It is filled with all those swings, slides and other rides that filled the playgrounds of the 60s and 70s... One of the loveliest viillages in France is near the forest as well. Vouvant is delightful with its many artists who open their studios for much of the summer. It is a medieval village located on the bend of the river.
France's favourite theme park is just less than an hour away. With thrills and visual excitement, there is something here for everyone. Look for ticket offers in the UK before you leave for your holiday!
This lovely area of canals, meadows and quaint traditional towns and villages that make up this area known as the 'Green Venise' are unique. Take a flat bottomed boat trip through the marshes and look for Kingfishers, otters and large dragonflies plus a myriad of other flora and fauna found in the area. There are some great walks here as well!
Melle is a great town! It has a good market on a Friday morning and a few nice eateries and cafés/bars (some well hidden down back streets). There are 3 lovely Romaneque churches in Melle, one of which houses the information centre. On the outskirts of the town there is a a walk of discovery through the arboretum, which is worth doing!
Niort is a fab town. A real mix of old and new. The centre has been remodelled in recent years with big open grassed areas where people sit eating their lunch. There are lots of pavement cafés, an excellent and diverse range of eateries and of course lots of shops! The market is held every day but the best day is Saturday when it is very busy. All of this is off set by the huge Donjon and ancient churches as well as Gothic public buildings and softly coloured stone houses nestling along the river. Throughout the summer there is a range of activities which take place in the park and on the river. It is well worth a visit for a change from the peace and quiet of the countryside!
About 40 minutes from the house is a fab Roman amphitheatre nestled in the woods just outside Rouillac. This is a great place for children to let of steam and have a good run around whilst taking in the history of the place! The site is very open and just inviting you to explore this ancient monument!
We were a party of grandparents, children and 1 year old grandchild. We chose La Belle Ferme for the flexibility of the accommodation, and this worked really well. Lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, comfortable living areas and very well equipped kitchen. House was clean and welcoming on arrival.
Karen was extremely helpful, and certainly helped make our stay a happy one.
Possible downsides are lack of local amenities - we like to try different restaurants and struggled a bit
to find good local eateries and the pool was a bit chilly! I think this will be addressed soon by installing new cover. Garden is huge with lots of fruit trees - we enjoyed the plums and were given some delicious plum jam.
We have stayed in many houses/gites in France over the years. La Belle Ferme rates well, Comfortable and spacious and somewhere we could relax as a family. Happy to recommend.
Thank you for taking the time to review our property and we are pleased that you all enjoyed your holiday, even though you had the only rainy day for about 5 weeks followed by a cooler last day!
By their nature, gites are rural/village properties and so, like ours, are unlikely to have a selection of eateries on the doorstep! Having said that, the property is only 2-3km from the local town with 4 different eateries/bars, one of which is highly recommended.
With regard to facilities, please do let us know if you feel there is something missing or not up to scratch!
We will be adding an insulating cover to the pool for next year as it has been a little cooler this year and we need to be prepared for this. We do however remind guests that when the air temperature is 30+ the pool feels chilly even at 26/27 degrees.
With regard to value for money, this gite sleeps 12-14 very comfortably and is aimed at larger family or 2 family groups. As your party was only 5 adults and a baby, I suspect that has impacted the value for money factor! I do discount out of the main season for smaller groups of holidaymakers.
Thank you for your recommendation and lovely comments in our visitor book!