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Four exclusive gites in an historic French watermill only 10 mins from Cognac - La Principale

Bob and Jane Todd

Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks English, French
Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights

Contact the Owner

Bob and Jane Todd

Member since: 2009
Speaks English, French
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
17 May, 2015
Tell the owner when you would like to travel.
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
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Four exclusive gites in an historic French watermill only 10 mins from Cognac - La Principale

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


Photos and Description of this 3 bedroom holiday home in Cognac - Le Moulin de Chazotte

Four individual gites sleeping 4, 5, 6 and 7 persons respectively

Le Moulin de Chazotte dates back to the 15th century when it was a flour and walnut-oil mill constructed by the then owner who had a chateau in the existing grounds. The mill closed down in 1896 and was finally abandoned during the first world war. The current owners began a total renovation project in 2003 beginning with bringing drinkable water, electricity and sanitation to the mill for the first time. Since then they have created four individual self-catering holiday gites within the building complex. The accommodation has been reconstructed to a very high standard but still retains many of the original features, particularly the exposed beams and the wonderful cream-coloured limestone. The mill stands in 11 acres of park and woodland with it's own little river, the Chazotte, running through it. Visitors can enjoy the total rural tranquilty of the mill location and the many facilities such as the large salt water pool whilst being able to be in bustling Cognac in 10 minutes by car.

The history of Cognac: The Cognac area was colonised by the Romans for some 800 years and any town or village with the letters 'ac' at the end or it's name was originally a roman villa (hence names like Cognac, Mesnac, Jarnac etc). The Romans introduced vines and viticulture into the region and so initiated the development of the world-famous drink of Cognac. Nowadays Cognac production is a thriving industry and we have the likes of Hennessy, Courvoisier and Martell almost on our doorsteps. We recommend that you have a conducted tour (and tasting!) of at least one Cognac distillery while you are staying with us.

There are also literally hundreds and hundreds of small family-run Cognac producers in the Charente and we have a close tie with the Chateau Chesnel which produces Cognac and Pineau (a local aperitif based on Cognac) under the family name of Roffignac. There was an intermarriage between the Chesnel and Chazotte families back in the middle ages so it makes for a particularly interesting local visit.

Water sports: The West coast of France boasts some of the finest sandy beaches in Europe. The mill is located only an hour from Royan where you can combine a day basking on the beach with a superb meal at one of many fresh-fish restaurants. At St. Georges de Didonne (next to Royan) is a magnificent sheltered and sandy beach which is perfect for younger kids. There is now also a pretty hair-raising tree rope-walking centre! For the more confident swimmer you can drive just a few miles along the coast from Royan to the Côte Sauvage and indulge in some surfing or body-boarding in the perfect Atlantic waves. Closer to home, and possibly for a cloudy day, we have water activity centres at St. Jean d'Angély, Angouleme and Jonzac. Even closer still (7 minutes by car!) is a recreation lake at Thors where you can hire pedalos or enjoy swimming in the lake before enjoying a good and very reasonably priced meal at the restaurant by the lake. Of course you can always go for a swim in the pool right here too!

Holidays for Mums (and Dads!) as well as the kids: For busy Mums a break from the routine of cooking and cleaning can be crucial. So, we provide well-equipped kitchens and a BBQ to encourage the dads to grab the apron while mum chills out with a book by the pool or on the terrace with a glass of wine. Superb fresh produce from local markets suddenly also makes cooking exciting again. Of course with such a wealth of restaurants, in theory, you needn't cook a single meal during your entire stay here! We often have a group BBq for all our guests at the back of the mill too.

As for the children well, we have one very important asset here...11 acres of space with a river! We have bikes for exploring, we have a large Canadian canoe for a paddling adventure right from the millpond. We have badminton and swings in the shade of the wood. We have a stunning saltwater pool (larger than average at 6m x 12m) - floodlit, heated and securely fenced. We have table-tennis and table-football in the barn and a 7 acre field for rounders and cricket.

More Details

Details for holiday home La Principale, 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7, 2 Bathrooms

La Principale is the jewel in the crown a Le Moulin de Chazotte. The whole house has been renovated to exacting standards while retaining the appearance of a traditional Charentais 'belle maison'. The first floor bedrooms are approached by an hand-made curved staircase made in the authentic style of the area. The three bedrooms are well-appointed with lots of exposed beams and stonework. The main bedroom has an ensuite shower room with shower, toilet, bidet and vanity unit. The main bathroom has a bath and shower as well as a toilet and vanity unit. On the ground floor is a lounge with comfortable seating at one end as well as a table and chairs a the other. There is satellite TV, a cd and dvd player and even a video player with a selection of videos. The windows to the side overlook the river and the millpond at the east of the building. The kitchen is fully-fitted with a comprehensive range of equipment and utensils. The south-facing terrace with sun awning and hardwood furniture.
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Bob and Jane Todd (Owner)
Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks English, French
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
17 May, 2015

What makes this house unique

- An ancient water mill dating back to the 16th century at least. Much of the original machinery remains on view.

- A tranquil setting away from the road - amongst the vines and woods with very little traffic at all.

- Large swimming pool

- Only 10k from historic Cognac

- Less than 1hr from the coast (Royan)

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Travel with confidence
Travel with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Trust & Security
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based on 4 holidaymaker reviews

Write a Review
La Principale
average rating of 5.0 based on 4 reviews
West Sussex

Fab property - Fab location - Fab everything!

  • 5 of 5

We have stayed in La Principal twice now (2008 &2009) and have amazing memories of both holidays.

The gite is a real home from home with everything you could want and incredibly well maintained.

The location of the gite is simply breathtaking and so peaceful. We took our bikes with us, although there are bikes on site you can borrow, and spent many afternoons cycling with our 2 young sons along the quiet country lanes spotting birds of prey.

The grounds are perfect for kids - cricket, badminton, table tennis, table football and of course the lovely pool. The river running through the grounds was a total hit with our boys who spent many hours with a cheap fishing rod bought at the local supermarket. We also borrowed the canoe and went on adventures along the river. The river is very shallow though and safe for children.

When we wanted to go further afield we drove to the coast about an hour away and found some fantastic beaches, particularly at St George de Didonne. Cognac is the nearest town and beautiful. Hiring a boat to go along the river there is also worth doing.

Finally, I just have to mention the owners Bob and Jane who are simply perfect hosts. If you are lucky, Bob may even let you have a drive of his tractor!

An amazing holiday and we will return. Last year we thought we would have a change and had a beach holiday in Spain. We spent the whole time reminiscing about La Principal!

  • Review Submitted: Jan 18, 2010
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2008
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thankyou Kate & Alex. One of the real perks of this job is being able to see some of our holidaymakers returning for several years. We get to know most of our visitors pretty well so it's always great to welcome them back after a gap of a year (or more) and to catch up on all that's happened since we saw them last. This is particularly true with youngsters who have often grown up amazingly too - it's a sort of time-lapse friendship!

Blues but no blues!

  • 5 of 5

If you'd had the fabulous two holidays that we had in 2008 and 2009 the title of our review would be obvious. From the moment we arrived (in 2008) Bob and Jane were the most fantastic hosts you could wish for, and when we discovered that our stay coincided with the famous 'Blues Passion' event held in Cognac, the holiday turned into a real experience. It was so good we returned in 2009! We stayed in La Principale which is really lovely and has everything you need. Every part of the site was immaculate and well laid out. (Bob even gave us a tour of the old part of the mill - his enthusiasm is so infectious!) There's a great pool, areas to relax, even a chance to do a bit of canoeing, and lovely walks. There is lots of space for the kids to run around too. We took a couple of trips to the beach at St Georges de Didonne - a lovely place. We barbecued a lot of the time, or went into Cognac and there's a fabulous restaurant in Mesnac where they serve the most wonderful food. The Blues Festival was something else. It was organised so that you could tell who was playing where, so most nights and during the last Saturday, we saw loads of bands, and all absolutely free! (You paid to see the main acts.) Our lasting memory is of walking back to the car around midnight one night passing one of the main arenas, and hearing BB King going full blast - brilliant! We would definitely recommend the Moulin Chazotte to friends because, as we discovered, it's a place that offers everything. The owners, Bob and Jane are to be congratulated for all their hard work in helping to make our holiday something special.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 4, 2010
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: What a great review! Thankyou so much. There are masses of things to do in this part of France during the summer and if you have a particular hobby or passion then you might find an event or two to really make your holiday extra-special. The Cognac Blues Festival each July is amazing and yet it is only one of dozens of musical festivals going on in different towns in Poitou-Charentes. What about the Classic Car tour of the ramparts at nearby Angouleme each year for veteran/vintage car buffs? What about the Tour de France? Every year we get a stage of this world-famous cycle race going on in the vicinity. All this and wonderful weather too!!

Holiday at Moulin de Chazotte Summer 2008

  • 5 of 5

Great place to spend a holiday and to make friends with fellow guests. Property very clean and well maintained.

Lot of evenings spent playing ball games on the large field. We also enjoyed the swimming pool and made good use of the bikes which were available.

Plenty of places to visit - Cognac, Royan, Saints, Ile de Re, to name but a few; make sure you visit the local distilleries!

Our eldest son's favourite moment was the tractor ride.

Will always remember the wonderful sight of the sunflowers!!

Make sure you get directions from the owners beforehand for the last part of the journey, who were always helpful and available.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 13, 2009
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks for your review. Ahh....the tractor rides! It appears that Hector (the tractor) is a firm favourite with not only the children but the mums and dads too. I can't promise that Hector will be out working in the grounds but, if he is, there will be tractor driving lessons for young and old alike at some point. With 11 acres of "estate" to maintain there is usually some work for the tractor to do around the place and before now I've been helped with the chore of mowing the 7 acre playfield by enthusiastic newly-trained holiday tractor drivers!

La Principal, Moulin de Chazotte

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in the Principal which was beautifully decorated and furnished and far exceeded our expectations. The property was clean and well maintained. Bob and Jane were excellent hosts. They organised a barbecue at the beginning of our stay, allowing us to get to know other guests. They were also available to answer any questions or offer advice. We enjoyed rowing upstream in their canoe, playing table tennis and table football in the barn and swimming in the pool. We also borrowed bikes to cycle around the lanes locally. The mill is set in beautiful surroundings and is probably one of the most peaceful places we've visited. However Cognac is only a short drive away for supermarkets, shopping and attractions. We visited with our three children the youngest was ten and the oldest fifteen. We also stayed in Paris and the Loire during our holiday, but our stay in the Moulin de Chazotte was their favourite part of our visit. I would have no hesitation in recommending the mill to friends or family.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 27, 2009
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks for your kind comments. Some of our guests stay with us for one rather than two weeks because they are slightly doubtful that there will be enough to do at one site, especially for youngsters. Others plan ahead with a detailed week of excursions to keep everyone busy. Our advice, based on five years of welcoming holidaymakers is that wherever you decide to stay, if your budget will allow, stay there for two weeks. A two week holiday allows everyone to really unwind properly yet gives you plenty of time for trips to the seaside or markets or whatever takes your fancy. We're fortunate enough to have folks coming back on two or three sucessive years and still not running out of interesting (or relaxing!) things to do!


Nearest Airport
60 Kilometres
La Rochelle
Nearest Barpub
3 Kilometres
Cherves Richemont
Nearest Ferry
240 Kilometres
St. Malo
Nearest Golf
15 Kilometres
Golf du Cognac
Nearest Train
9 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
25 Kilometres
St Jean d'Angély on the A10
Nearest Restaurant
1 Kilometres
Chateau Mesnac
Nearest Ski
250 Kilometres
La Mongie (Barèges, Pyrenees)
Nearest Beach
50 Kilometres
Car: necessary

The peaceful and gently rolling terrain of this beautiful area of vineyards and woodlands is perfect for exploring on foot or by bike and it's a bird-spotters paradise. Restaurants of all types are abundant but the local Charentais cuisine is exquisite and nowhere more so than at our local Chateau Mesnac which is within walking distance from the mill. Several theme parks (eg Futuroscope) are great for a day out but there are also aquariums, zoos, historic chateaux, many roman sites, ancient churches and abbeys all within reach by car. Local towns have excellent food markets and brocantes (flea markets) are common in the summer. Canoeing on the Charente and pedalling on the Velorail near Cofolens are great for working up an appetite! A day out to the beach at Royan or Ile d'Oléron is a must combined with a meal at one of the fresh-fish retaurants. Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Saintes and Angouleme all make a fascinating day trip - we'll provide details of many more such outings in your gite.

Other Activities: Please check out the many, many activities via our website link

Golf: The Poitou Charentes region of France has yet to market itself properly to the world golfing fraternity. There are dozens of well-regarded golf courses in this area not the least of which is the superb Cognac golf course at St. Brice. In recent years we have hosted numerous golfers who have combined their love of the game with an opportunity to chill out here at the pool as well as to explore the area. We have a section on our website specifically devoted to golfing which you can get to via our link on this website.

Ski: Skiing is not something that goes on much in this part of France largely because we rarely get any snow! However we have a direct connection with a ski and activity holiday company based in the Pyrenees which may well be of interest if you're into skiing or, for that matter, any other activity-based holiday. Mountainbug is run by our daughter and son-in-law and they operate out of Barèges near Lourdes. They offer full board and lodging with tuition and mountain-guiding as well as airport collection etc (from Pau or Toulouse airports usually). You can find a link to them on our website or we'd be pleased to give you more details ourselves. In recent years we have arranged a number of 'two-centre' holidays for families wanting an avtive week or so in the mountains followed (or preceded) by a week or two in the tranquility of the Charente here at the mill.


Prices & Availability

From €1,100 Weekly

Prices for this holiday house in Cognac, Charente

Rental Basis:
per property
Prices quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Very High
18 Jul 2015 - 22 Aug 2015
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
High Season
23 Aug 2015 - 29 Aug 2015
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit €400.00
Stay tax €0.80 per night, per person. This amount will be due to the owner upon arrival. Does not apply to children under 13 years.
Notes Breakage & cleaning deposit: This deposit will be refunded within 2 weeks of the end of your stay once any breakages or damage has been paid for.
Extra cleaning: All cleaning materials are provided to allow the gite to be left as clean as it was found on arrival. A final clean can be arranged at an additional cost of 40€ if required.
Full details can be found on our website www.cognacvacances.com
A non-refundable booking deposit of 25% is payable to secure your reservation. The balance of 75% is then due 8 weeks before the start date. Payments can be in Euros or Sterling at the conversion rate on the day. Online payment transfers are preferred although cheques or cash may be an option.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Cognac in Charente

Property Type:
  • house (semi-detached)
Accommodation Type:
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 130 m²
Location Type:
  • rural
  • Away From It All
  • Sports & Activities
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Safe
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Grill
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 7 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Ensuite shower room - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Bidet , Ensuite to main bedroom
    Bathroom - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Ensuite to main bedroom
  • For those that like a real bath as opposed to a shower, the main bathroom features the only bath anywhere on the site!
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7
  • Main bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed , Fold up bed or cot available
    Middle bedroom - 1 Double Bed
    Twin bedroom - 2 Single Bed
  • The fold up bed or cot can be set up in either the main bedroom or the twin bedroom.
  • Books
  • Books - Fiction / Non-fiction
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Table Football
  • Game Room
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Player
  • Video Library
  • Barbecue
  • Bicycles
  • Boat
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Canoe
  • Child's Swing
  • Garden
  • Terrace
  • Walkway to Water
  • 7 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool
  • Heated Pool
  • Outdoor Pool
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting big game
  • hunting small game
  • ice skating
  • swimming
  • tennis

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website:

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