This beautifully renovated stone farmhouse is filled with both original charm and contemporary style. Belle Vue boasts a large private heated pool, extensive gardens in an idyllic location surrounded by fields whilst only 10 minutes from the local amenities in the pretty village of Chef Boutonne.
With 4 bedrooms to sleep 8 people. Belle Vue is a fabulous setting for extended families and friends to holiday together.
Also available a separate 2 bedroom gite providing additional accommodation.
On the ground floor the property has a fully equipped kitchen containing a dishwasher, washing machine, fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster. There is a wide range of cooking equipment and plenty of crockery and cutlery including plastic crockery for and cutlery for children. The kitchen opens into the spacious dining room containing a table to seat 10 (2 x IKEA high chairs provided). Doors open out into the courtyard and to further outdoor seating.
Comfy sofas and chairs surround an open fire place (logs provided in winter). The lounge has a tv and dvd player, numerous boardgames and dvds.
There are 4 bedrooms which have been thoughtfully decorated and furnished to delight every guest. One bedroom is downstairs containing a king size bed, beautiful exposed stone work, wooden floors and windows looking out onto the courtyard. The remainder of the bedrooms are upstairs. One bedroom has its own private staircase, it contains a double bed and has double aspect views overlooking the courtyard and and a Juliet balcony overlooking the pool. The final 2 bedrooms share a staircase and each contain 2 single beds. The first is our children’s room and is open to the landing, with a large selection of toys and books filling one of the wardrobes as well as under the bed storage boxes full of toys. The second bedroom is accessed past the bathroom and contains 2 single beds as well as a beautiful fire place. In addition there are 2 wooden cots available for guests to use.
The property has 2 shower rooms: one downstairs and one upstairs (near the two twin bedrooms) each containing a shower, sink and toilet. There is also a poolside shower room containing a shower, sink and toilet.
Oil fired central heating and open fire.
At Belle Vue Children have plenty of space to play outdoors in the large garden with its fruit trees, (which guests are welcome to pick when in season) wild flowers and views over open fields. Parents will unwind into relaxation mode as soon as they arrive, with children captivated by exploring the safe grounds and garden games.
At the side of the house is the secure private pool area, only accessible through lockable gates. The large 6 x 11m heated swimming pool is large enough for parents to swim in and children to play. The pool is heated to 27C creating a fantastic environment for all the family to enjoy. Surrounding the pool are plenty of sun loungers to relax on and an indoor pool shower and toilet for added convenience.
Plenty of parking in the courtyard as well as a 2 car parking spaces in the open barn.
Belle Vue is suitable for extended families and friends of any age. The spacious house provides plenty of room for a family and grandparents or perhaps 2 families.
The house is fitted out with lots of baby and child friendly facilities such as stairgates, highchairs, cots, babybath, potty, stools to reach the sinks, plastic plates, bowls and cups and small cutlery.
If the weather is not suitable to use the pool, there are plenty of games, books and dvds to keep children and adults entertained.
One of the bedrooms is on the ground floor and located close to one of the bathrooms, suitable for the less abled.
Hi, I live in the south east of England with my wife and 2 young daughters. We are extremely lucky to also own a beautiful farm house and gite in France. We have spent many weeks enjoying the house and pool as well as the beautiful country side and pretty local towns. We hope you love it as much as we do.
|Year property purchased||2018|
|Why this location?||The house is in the pretty hamlet of Aubigné with its church, small park and impressive town hall is a quiet and tranquil setting to unwind. Both the nearby towns of Chef Boutonne and Brioux Sur Boutonne, both approximately 10 minutes drive, offer supermarkets, shops, banks, bakeries and a small selection of restaurants. Our children particularly like the pizza restaurant in Chef. There are lots of activities and attractions to keep both parents and children entertained such as Zoodysee an animal park showcasing European wildlife (25 mins). There is Lac du Lambon (40 mins) offering activities such as mini golf, watersports and pedeloes for hire. With La Rochelle, the coast, Poitiers, Futuroscope and the leafy waterways of Marias Poitivin (known as Venice Verte) all just over an hour away you will always find something to do.|
|Unique benefits of property||The property is full of character and has many unique features from the beautiful stone work to the unusual door handle. It is a beautiful tranquil location with a large garden and fruit trees. From the house, garden and pool you can enjoy fantastic views across open fields and countryside.|
This region is well known for its goats cheese. ‘Cheese in Poitou Charentes is a tradition. The region produces two thirds of the French goat cheese production and accounts for one third of the total number of goats in France.’
Le tourteau fromagé, is a favourite of mine. It is somewhere between a cake and a cheesecake and it is made from cow’s milk. You will find it in many places, just look out for its round shape and its blackened top giving it the appearance of having been burned.
A local recommended drink to accompany your goats cheese is Pineau des Charentes. Pineau des Charentes is a superb fortified wine made from adding unfermented grape juice to cognac. After the ageing process, the wine produced is slightly sweet. Occasionally, pineau will be aged for 5 years or more to ensure an even richer flavourand this may be described as vintage. There are 2 types of pineau, white which is made with white wine grapes and red which is of course made with red wine grapes.
Cognac is another local drink from this region. Cognac can only be given this name if it is made with grapes grown within a certain area. This includes much of the Charente, the Charente-Maritime and parts of the Deux-Sèvres.
Pizzeria Jos – nice, cheap pizza restaurant. They often have specials on offer such as moules and frites as well. Very suitable for kids, although they have a limited kids menu, ours tend to order off the main menu as the options are too appetizing.
A Table – This is another lovely pizza restaurant although again it offers lots of other delicious food and has a nice outdoor area if it is a warm evening. It also has a few more options on the kids menu.
Melle is the closest large town. It is a very picturesque ancient town dating back before the 17th century. There are plenty of interesting tourist attractions including the Silver Mines and the Arboretum walk. The town boasts a variety of traditional shops, as well as 2 large supermarkets and several restaurants featuring regional French cuisine, a popular steak house and a pizza restaurant. The market in Melle is on a Friday, where the town square comes alive with stalls selling delicious food and beautiful clothes and gifts.
La Rochelle’s main feature is the ‘Vieux Port’ (Old Harbour), which is at the heart of the city, picturesque and lined with seafood restaurants. The city walls are open for a leisurely promenade. Parking can be difficult during peak season. We tend to find that the multistory carpark near the aquarium will often have spaces when others are full or you can use the park and ride. There is plenty to do in La Rochelle and if you have small children there is a beautiful merry-go-round on the harbour front next to a good play park. There is also a triangle of water sprays to cool you down and a water tap to refill your water bottles at the same location.
From the harbour, boating trips can be taken to the Ȋle d’Aix and Fort Boyard. The nearby Ȋle de Ré is accessible via a bridge from La Rochelle, although this does get very busy in the summer. There is also a large aquarium in La Rochelle. The aquarium is open late into the evening and is often quieter if you go later in the day.
There are many markets in the surrounding towns on pretty much every day of the week. We try to keep an updated copy of which markets are on where, in the house guest information pack.
Saint-Macoux is an inland lake suitable to swim/paddle in. At Plan d’Eau Saint-Macoux there are picnic benches and lots of shade available under the trees. Part of the lake is cordoned off for swimming and paddling in and is usually supervised (July and August) in an afternoon during peak season. There is a water slide that is in operation during the afternoon (July – September) and people often bring inflatables and enjoy a paddle in the cool water. There is a volleyball net next to the lake if you wanted to take a ball. There is also a children’s play area. There is a restaurant on site which often has lots of customers. The restaurant is open July – September and serves lunch. You can also purchase drinks, snacks and ice creams. There are toilets on-site near the restaurant.
There is a market at Civray on a Tuesday morning. This makes a pleasant morning excursion to combine with Plan d’eau Saint-Macoux. Civray is located on the banks of the Charente river and is home to the beautiful Saint-Nicolas church. There are plenty of market stalls on a Tuesday morning to purchase your food for a picnic. There is a tourist information office near to the market, if you wanted to get some more information for your stay. They have always spoken English when we have been in.
Aire de Detente de Rejallent de Ruffec is a picturesque riverside location with a thriving on-site restaurant. There is plenty of shade at Rejallent and picnic benches available if you prefer to bring your own food.
There are lots of places to enter the river depending on whether you would like to paddle or swim. There is a supervised area that is roped off, ideal for little ones to paddle. For older children, lots of people tend to bring inflatables or you can hire kayaks and pedalos.
The region is extensively crossed by canals and rivers and in many parts is best explored by boat. The area is known as Venise Verte (Green Venice) due to the green water and interconnecting canals. The main towns for exploring the area are Coulon, Arçais and Luçon. We have explored the area from Coulon, there is a large carpark and a selection of shops and restaurants. You can hire a ‘barque’ (flat-bottomed boat) to explore on your own (you are given a map) or you can join a guided tour. On the guided tours the guides will often stir up the bottom of the rivers to release the methane gas and then set light to it for a bit of added theatre. The popular start points can get crowded during peak season, that maybe an early morning or late afternoon excursion would be quieter.
This is a lovely place to see monkeys of all varieties. A great hit with kids and adults alike. The enclosures are large and you can enter many of them to get up close. There are lots of feeding times at various times of the day which enable great viewing and photo opportunities.
A wildlife park specialising in European animals. A great place to take the kids, lots of different animals to see and get up close to them. Not your traditional zoo animals, but there is lots to see including wolves, bison, porcupines, foxes, vultures etc.
There are lots of picnic areas if you would like to bring your own picnic. You can hire strollers as the park covers a vast area. Check out trip advisor for reviews, it gets rated quite highly and our kids loved it.
One of the main breeding centres for the hairy Poitou donkey. The donkeys can be seen closely and there is a Visitor Centre with tours on offer in English and French.
Château de Jarzay is located in Chef Boutonne and is currently under restoration but the grounds surrounding the château are very pleasant to walk around or to picnic in. There is plenty of parking and some picnic benches scattered around the grounds. There is a small lake which you can walk around and there is also a river to follow with pretty bridges on the left hand side of the lake as you enter from the car park.
Parc du Futuroscope is a French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic and audio-visual techniques. It has several 3D cinemas and a few 4D cinemas along with other attractions and shows.
Fouras-les-Bains is poised on a slender peninsula on the northern extremity of the Charente estuary to the northwest of Rochefort. Fouras has been a fortified stronghold for almost 1,000 years and the sandy shoreline is still dominated by the impressive Fort Vauban.
La Grande Conche is the main beach at Royan, stretching 2 kilometers. The beach has lots of amenities and during the peak season it has lifeguard surveillance and a section especially for children with a variety of beach activities.
Minimes beach is 5km southwest of La Rochelle’s town centre. If you wanted to tie in a visit with La Rochelle and a beach this would be a good option as you can catch a water taxi from Old Port to Minimes. Beautiful golden sand with upscale boutiques and restaurants. Scattered along the beach are many bathing stations complete with showers and other amenities to make your afternoon more comfortable.
The Arboretum is spread out over Melle covering 6km. This walk passes more than 1,000 species of trees and shrubs and a collection of over 100 roses. There are many start points to enjoy all, or some, of the walk. One option for a start point is parking your car at the Silver Mines. There are toilets and picnic benches here.
Located on the banks of the Charente river Civray is home to the beautiful Saint-Nicolas church, a 12th-century Romanesque building with a particularly remarkable carved façade. Civray is particularly vibrant and bustling on its main market day (Tuesday).
This is a beautiful old farmhouse, tastefully and thoughtfully converted to make a lovely holiday home perfect for family and friends. Set in stunning grounds with roses over the farmhouse walls and an orchard behind. While we were there the cherry tree was laden with fruit to enjoy. The heated pool is a good size for both adults and children to enjoy in the day. We also enjoyed sitting by the pool watching the sun go down. The house itself is very spacious and well equipped. In the kitchen there was ample saucepans, crockery, cutlery and glasses for ourselves and friends.
The bedrooms are very prettily decorated, with bed linen and towels all provided. Everywhere was spotlessly clean and well maintained. The owners obviously take great pride in their home.
The village of Aubigné itself is a pretty little town with peaceful walks or cycle rides to neighbouring villages. There are several very interesting places which we visited only a short drive away. We visited Dampierre which has a recently opened very interesting Chateau to explore, we would also recommend Surgeres ( very pretty town with a Chateau, river, shops and restaurants) and Melle. The latter having an Abbey, silver mines, old wash houses and a beautiful peaceful circular arboretum walk. We would recommend a visit to a lovely restaurant in Brioux-sur-Boutonne where we enjoyed some good food and wine. We are looking forward to a return visit and would recommend both the property and the area.
A fantastic holiday spent in a charming house. Belle Vue is a great place for a multi generation holiday. We anticipated great things when booking but it exceeded our expectations. The grandchildren loved playing with all the toys, letting their imagination run free. They played endless games of make believe around the grounds including making fairy gardens in a corner of the courtyard. Our youngest was so sad to go but informed us that she had ‘hugged’ goodbye to her bed, bedside table, little chair and wardrobe. The adults were able to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
The house is spotless and linens and towels luxurious. We made good use of the well provisioned kitchen and prepared scrumptious meals. Favourable weather meant we often ate outside in the courtyard garden. Chef Boutonne was easy to get to and the 2 supermarkets ample. We visited Aulnay, Melle, Angouleme and the Monkey sanctuary. All great.
There were many suggestions of places to visit in the information provided but we enjoyed being in the house so much we often chose to stay home . I can imagine that if it was warm enough to swim we would find the property’s charms even harder to resist.
The owners were very helpful when making enquiries and booking. Lots of useful information is provided to make one’s holiday a treasured memory. We felt like invited guests in their cherished house.