Coquelicot is one of 3 beautifully restored gites in the hamlet of Grange, near Linazay, in the Vienne region of rural France. It is surrounded by rolling countryside with fields full of sunflowers in the summer. The climate in this beautiful region of south west France ensures reasonably mild winters and warm summer days.
Comfortably sleeping 4 people in 2 bedrooms, Coquelicot is bright, with plenty of character and a host of original features. It's well-equipped and simply decorated with exposed stone walls, crisp, white bed linen, large, fluffy towels and high quality furnishings.
The sparkling, fenced and heated pool has plenty of sun loungers and shaded areas. Inside the games barn you will find table tennis, table football, darts and range of bicycles for exploring the local countryside.
Delightful local villages with boulangeries, bars and restaurants, (which we can highly recommend), along with several historic market towns provide an extensive range of facilities and amenities all within 15 minutes drive. Slightly further afield is the Atlantic Coast, Ile de Re, historic towns such as Poitiers, La Rochelle, Angouleme and Cognac, along with major tourist destinations such as Futuroscope.
Access from the main ports (Caen 5 hours, Le Havre 6 hours, Calais 7 hours) and airports (Poitiers 40 mins, La Rochelle 75 mins, Limoges 75 mins) is easy, with the majority of the journey being on the autoroute.
For unforgettable family holidays, quiet pool-side relaxation or activity packed days, in quality accommodation, Arbre de Cerise offers you an unrivalled holiday destination.
From the grassy courtyard you enter into a bright, open plan kitchen, dining, living room.
The modern, well equipped cream kitchen is fitted with a large fridge-freezer, dishwasher, gas cooker and all the standard kitchen equipment you would expect. There are ample baking dishes, pans, utensils, glasses, crockery and cutlery.
The round dining table, adjacent to the kitchen has seating for 4 people.
The living area is equipped with 2 red two-seater sofas and a flat screen television. It is comfortable and bright, and with the thick stone walls, it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms - 1 large double bedroom, with a large build in wardrobe and chest of drawers, and 1 twin bedded room with chest of drawers.
The double bedroom is spacious and full height, double doors open out onto a Juliet balcony which overlooks the grassed courtyard and magnificent cherry tree.
There is one bathroom upstairs with a toilet, sink and shower.
Electric heaters for the cooler months and fans in the bedrooms.
The gite is equipped with a flat-screen television with satellite channels and integrated dvd player.
There is a selection of books and boardgames.
Free wi-fi is available
Coquelicot opens out onto a grassy, gated courtyard, featuring a large cherry tree in the centre. In front of the gite there is a wooden table and chairs for the guests staying in Coquelicot to use for outside dining and there are also bbqs available for the
Across the garden there is a traditional French bread oven, laundry room with washing machines and large games barn with table tennis, table football, darts, boules, croquet, plus a range of bicycles which you are welcome to borrow to explore the local countryside.
Beyond the courtyard garden there is a further large garden, for outdoor games, and the sparkling 10m by 5m heated pool with plenty of sun-loungers, chairs and parasols for shade. The pool is gated and has a safety cover (each gite has a key to open and close the cover).
There is plenty of parking behind the barn.
Coquelicot is suitable for families - we have travelcots, highchairs and stairgates which you are welcome to borrow.
Coquelicot can be rented together with the other two gites, Marguerite and Tournesol, to sleep 18 guests in total making it ideal for groups of family or friends holidaying together.
Outside the main school holidays the gites are quieter and popular with couples and families with older children.
We are 2 families, each with 2 children, who bought the gites because we were fed up spending hours looking for the perfect holiday home with all the facilities (especially in the kitchen!) that we have at home in England - fresh, white bed linen, thick, fluffy towels and matching, non-chipped crockery were also a must! Every year we stay in the gites, updating the facilities and redecorating to ensure high standards are maintained.
|Year property purchased||2010|
|Why this location?||Easy 4-5 hour drive from the northern French ports. 1 hour from airports at La Rochelle and Limoges and 30 minutes from the airport at Poitiers.
In a quiet, rural location, surrounded by fields of sunflowers during the summer, but with several local towns and villages, with weekly markets and summer events within a 15 minute drive.
Just over an hour to the coast.
|Unique benefits of property||Exceptionally well-equipped, family-friendly cottages. Full of character and charm but with all the facilities you have at home.
Large gated and heated pool with plenty of sunloungers for relaxed, lazy days.
Games barn, equipped with bicycles for exploring the local countryside, table tennis, table football and darts for those competitive evening family holiday matches
Easily accessible from ports and airports.
A great location to explore the local towns and villages with plenty of local restaurants regularly hosting live music events.
Le Logis, Le Breuillac is home to the Mad Hatter’s Kitchen, situated on the outskirts of Caunay, a sleepy hamlet tucked away in the French countryside. In the restaurant they use fresh ingredients, many of them grown in our own kitchen garden, and free range organic eggs. With an emphasis on spontaneity and seasonal produce, their menus change all the time.
They have regular music and bistro evenings, often held in the garden during the summer. Check their facebook page for the latest information on forthcoming events.
Bookings advisable. Travel time is about about 15 minutes. Head north up the N10. Take the exit for Chaunay, and at the roundabout take the D35 to Vanzay. In Vanzay turn left onto the D110 to Caunay, and after approximately 2km take a left turn to Caunay (this is a small road easily missed, it is opposite the Pers turn). Continue up this road, until you see the Mad Hatter's as you drive up the small hill. Continue past the house turn left at the top of the hill into Chemin Seppe. Take the first left to park behind the restaurant.
They are open for evening meals from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes – but we recommend you call / check their Facebook page in advance.
The Mad Hatter’s Kitchen, Le Logis, Le Breuillac, 79190, Caunay. www.madhattersfrance.com Tel 05 49 27 67 29. Facebook: Mad Hatter’s Kitchen
Tucked away in the Charente’s most picturesque village, this little restaurant sits proudly at the foot of the chateau in Verteuil Sur Charente. Step inside to creamy stone walls and a rustic charm found only in France and discover one of the South West’s best kept secrets. The restaurant only uses the best seasonal produce and menus change frequently. They offer a Menu du Jour (12.50 euros) from Tuesday to Friday lunchtimes and an a la carte menu in the Tuesday to Saturday evenings. They are also open on Sunday lunchtimes.
Take the N10 heading south, a few minutes after passing the Ruffec Sud exit keep the outside lane and turn left at the next junction, you will see the sign VERTUEIL at the junction. Follow the road to the village which will take about 5 minute from the N10. When you come into the village square Portebleue is in the opposite corner.
Address: Café Portebleue, 3 Rue Du Baril, 16510 Verteuil-Sur-Charente. For reservations please call 0545 30 22 06. www.cafeportebleue.com. Facebook: Café Portebleue
This friendly family-run local bar and restaurant serves traditional French and English dishes. They also provide a bar menu if you're looking for something less formal. There is a large enclosed terrace in front of the restaurant, and parking at the rear with disabled access. Live music and special events add to the atmosphere on certain dates.
On the back road (D26) from Sauze Vaussais to Ruffec. 15 minute drive.
Address : L’Auberge du Noyer, La Brousse, Londigny 16700, Tel: 05 45 29 05 07. Email: email@example.com. Also on Facebook: L’Auberge du Noyer
Set in the centre of a tranquil village, just opposite the beautifully restored church, the Auberge du village is 15 minutes drive, just north of Civray. They offer a mix of French and English cuisine with a lunch time and evening menu du jour as well as a snack menu. Check their website for music nights and special events. They have a lovely sunny garden.
Summer Opening times, June-October: Thursday - Monday from 11h00 - 22h00. Winter Opening Times, November-May: Monday 11h30 - 18h00 & Thursday - Sunday 11h30 - 21h00
Follow the D7 from Civray to Couhe. Turn right on the D37 signposted Blanzay. Auberge Du Village is signposted off this Road – Turn right opposite the village shop and we are opposite the Church. There is plenty of parking round the village green. www.aubergeduvillageblanzay.eu Tel: 05 49 87 50 87
• Chef-Boutonne – Saturday
• Civray – Tuesday & Friday
• Lezay - Tuesday
• Melle – Friday
• Niort – Tuesday
• Poitiers – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
• Ruffec – Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
• Vivonne – Saturday
The little market town of Civray sits prettily on the banks of the lovely Charente River. Tranquil and unspoiled, the town is dominated by an impressive Romanesque church. This can be glimpsed from the far banks of the river through the trees, or seen in all its splendour from the main square of the town where it looks down onto pavement cafés and a twice weekly market.
Ruffec, south on the N10 is within easy reach. It’s an attractive town built beside the River Charente, steeped in history and rich in architecture. There are plenty of shops to wander around and cafes / restaurants.
The small market town of Chef-Boutonne has a lively Saturday morning market selling freshly caught fish and local produce, where you can enjoy a coffee or sample the regional speciality ‘pineau des charentes’ at one of the pavement cafes.
Just outside Chef-Boutonne is Chateau de Javarzay - a beautiful renaissance chateau with park and fishing lake and 12th century Roman Church.
The town of Melle is a very pretty market town with a glorious backdrop of beautiful countryside. Lying in a region of woodland and pasture, Melle offers a view of no less than three beautiful Romanesque churches backed by landscapes of spreading chestnut trees and lazily flowing rivers. Mediaeval in origin, Melle has some lovely ancient streets and houses to enjoy, as well as some fascinating history to discover. The colourful Friday market is always a delight, with its bustling rural charm and fresh produce, and the shops in the town are excellent for leisurely browsing too.
The town is the site of the oldest silver mine in Europe, and you can take a guided tour. There is also an archaeological dig close to the town, and a beautiful three and three quarter mile walk, the Arboretum Chemin de la Découverte, which takes you past more than hundred varieties of trees and shrubs. This also includes a glorious show of roses in season.
Hire a Canoe/Kayak and paddle along the beautiful river Charente for as little as 1 hour or all day. Bicycles can also be hired at the same point and the two can be combined – go down the river on your canoe and come back by bike.
The pickup point is just south of Ruffec. Take the N10 heading south, a few minutes after passing the Ruffec Sud exit keep the outside lane and turn left at the next junction, you will see the sign VERTEUIL at the junction. Follow the road until you come to a T-junction and turn left here and follow the Canoe hire signs. Open from 30th June to 31st August from 10.00 to 18.00.
www.canoeruffec.fr. Tel: 0645 40 40 06.
If you want more entertainment than exercise then we’ve found the perfect thing for you to try! It’s called the Vélo-Rail (bicycle-rail) which can be found on an ancient railway line in the Charente-Limousine that stretches 32 km. There are two main routes you can take; Roumazières to Manot or Confolens to Manot and four start times (depending on the course); 10am, 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm. The total journey takes around 2.5 hours, allowing time in Manot for refreshments and depending on how busy it is.
Roumazières to Manot is approx 7.5 km each way and Confolens to Manot is approx 9km each way, but it doesn’t really feel like such a distance as you can stop for coffee at the station-cum-café at Manot. Each vélo-rail can take 2 peddlers and 3 passengers. If you are in a group, then don't worry, you can be 'linked' so you can all enjoy the experience together.
The routes include ancient viaducts, travels through woodland, over level crossings and between meadows towards Manot. All-in-all it’s a great morning out with lots of laughs along the way.
For more details on tariffs, opening hours, etc., visit the website www.velorail16.com or www.cf-charentelimousine.fr where you can book by email or telephone (advisable during the high season from 1st July to 31st August). La Gare - Avenue Gambetta - 16500 CONFOLENS
10 minute drive away is La Vallée des Singes or Valley of the Monkeys, is a large 15 hectare monkey and ape park where many of the 350 primates who live here travel freely through the trees and along ropes strung between them, or are enclosed on large islands which allows them to move as they please.
One of the top attractions in the Poitou-Charentes, La Vallée des Singes is a great day out for families but also for adults of any age. It's lovely to be able to get close to the animals without bars in the way and have them scampering around you as you walk along the paths. And as they're primates, they're full of personality so they're very entertaining to watch. A small leaflet in English, which comes with the main guide, explains which monkeys you're seeing and a little bit about them.
When you need sustenance at la Vallée des Singes, choose from two picnic and restaurant areas, both of which come with a children's playground - one is near the gorillas, the other at the far end of the park by the chimpanzees. The restaurant by the chimps is larger, with a bigger menu and an indoor sit-down area. The children's playground here is also more developed with climbing frames, wooden towers and a flying squirrel – perfect for own your little monkeys! The best way to see the monkeys at La Vallée des Singes is to follow the feeding schedule which is given to you when you buy your tickets. This way you get to see them in large numbers and often, very close to you.
Opening times: March, April, May, June and September: 10am-6pm. July and August: 10am-7pm. October and November: 10am-5pm. The park is closed December to February inclusive. Last entry is 1 ½ hours before closing. Address: Le Gureau, 86700 Romagne, Vienne. Tel: 05 49 87 20 20. www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr
France's answer to the Epcot Centre and Europe's premier image theme park, is only 40 minutes away, just North of Poitiers. Offering educational rides as well as being a sound and light spectacular, Futuroscope also puts on some amazing laser and firework displays in season as darkness falls. Futuroscope’s diverseand innovative attractions are all based on the senses and, in particular on our sense of vision. And very few of them operate height restrictions, so young and old can share the experiences – and the memories.
Futuroscope educates whilst it entertains. New attractions include the breathtaking 4D adventures of Arthur and the Minimoys, projected on a vast IMAX dome, and a unique perspective on the paintings of Vincent van Gogh.
Towering above the town of La Rochefoucauld by the River Tardoire in the Charente, just North of Anguoleme, the Château de la Rochefoucauld is an impressive castle, with its original 11th century square keep flanked by Renaissance towers. It is still the residence of the La Rochefoucauld family, one of the oldest noble families in France.
Parts of the château are open to the public - there is no garden - and highlights include the beautiful 16th century staircase, highly ornate Renaissance detailing in the ceiling and windows, and the courtyard with its Italianate archways. These as well as the kitchen, the dungeon and guard rooms can be seen without the need to take the guided tour. However, to see the salons, including a small room with painted wooden panelled walls and ceiling and the libraries with their antique maps and prints, you have to take the tour which is included in the ticket price. The tours occur at regular intervals and English is spoken.
When buying your ticket you will receive a brochure, in English, giving the history of the castle and explaining its architectural features. Children will love the dressing up room where they – and their parents – can put on medieval costumes and pretend to be lords and ladies of the manor.
Opening times: April 1 – January 2: every day except Tuesdays, from 10am - 7 pm. Other times: Sunday afternoons from 2pm. Contact: 16110 La Rochefoucauld. Tel: 05 45 62 07 42. Website: www.chateau-la-rochefoucauld.com
Plenty of white, sandy beaches can be found on Île de Ré where you can choose from 10km of white fine sand to lay your towel. Le-Bois-Plage-en-Ré is one of the most popular and picturesque. For quieter beaches, head for those on the southwest coast, close to Phare des Baleines (the lighthouse). In the north the beaches are rockier and shallow although this makes them great for rockpooling.
This holiday island is known for its villages of white-washed houses and gardens bursting with hollyhocks - but the terrain surrounding these neat villages is wilder with wild rosemary, pine forests, and the marshes where oysters are grown and salt, known as ‘white gold’, is harvested. The island is known for its production of fleur de sel (flower of salt). The best way to see the island it to take to a bicycle – the terrain is wonderfully flat and the roads are not made for loads of cars. There are 100 km of cycle paths and plenty of places all round the island from where you can hire bicycles.
The main town of Saint Martin-de-Ré is a lively bustling place set around a harbour. Do a spot of shopping in one of the many chic boutiques or have a drink or meal at the plentiful cafés and restaurants.
The pretty port village of Ars-en Ré with its winding streets, white houses and hollyhocks. is quintessentially Île de Ré. It is famous for Saint-Étienne church, whose black and white painted bell tower is a beacon for passing ships. During the summer, you can climb to the top of the church for a view of the surrounding forest and oyster beds.
The Island is connected to the mainland via a 3km toll bridge from La Rochelle.
Another of our favourite beaches is at Chatelaillion-Plage, just south of La Rochelle - this charming, family-friendly seaside resort has a clean, sandy beach (3 km long - swept daily) which leads gently into the water and is ideal for children.
Along the promenade are various restaurants and the small town behind has numerous shops and cafes.
Poitiers (35mins) A university town steeped in history. The pedestrianised, cobbled streets are great for wandering around and the town has a good selection of shops and restaurants (and ancient churches).
Niort (40 mins) This lovely town offers excellent shopping made more enjoyable by pedestrian streets.
Confolons (30 mins ) A beautiful medieval town that sits on the Vienne river.
Angouleme (30 mins), with its many fine 17th and 18th century streets and houses to explore. Walk around the ramparts of the city and see some spectacular views. Visit the wonderful morning market (open every day but Sundays are best) or taste chocolate at Chocolaterie Letuffe.
Cognac (60 mins) best known for the production of brandy. In Cognac visit the famed Cognac Museum and the houses of Hennessy, Martell, Remy Martin and Otard. Go to Jarnac to visit Courvoisier.
La Rochelle (75 mins) A lively and vibrant port with plenty of shops, the wonderful harbour to explore and plenty of bars and restaurants serving excellent seafood.
Limoges (90 mins ) Visit the porcelain factories and the many stunning churches and cathedrals.
Oradour-sur-Glane (75 mins) Visit the fascinating World War II martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane.