|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
One hundred years ago 'l'Aperitif' was a quarryman's cottage - now it's a pretty gite, with a pool, set in a beautiful garden in the heart of the lovely 'Saintonge' region of South-West France. Within easy reach of the Roman town of Saintes, the fascinating ports of La Rochelle and Rochefort, the wide sandy beaches of Royan and the cote Sauvage. Close to the beautiful River Charente with its excellent fishing and boating (take a trip along the river in the owner's traditional sailing boat - Le Rat d'Eau).
The Saintonge region.: The Saintonge is a beautiful region of sunflower fields and vineyards crossed by the waters of the Charente River. l'Aperitif is just a few minutes drive or a relaxing fifteen minute walk from the river with its excellent fishing and boating. The cottage is in a small village - Clere - within the commune of Crazannes. Local bakers, village stores and bar/restaurant are just a five minute drive or a short bike ride away - with a supermarket and other shops in the charming riverside town of St. Savinien about 10 minutes drive away.
Local attractions.: Visit the Roman amphitheatre in Saintes, the distilleries of Cognac or the fascinating port of La Rochelle. There are several impressive chateaux to visit nearby including La Roche Courbon (Sleeping Beauty's Castle) five minutes away. The well-known resorts of Royan and St.Palais sur Mer are only 40km. drive away or you can visit the beautiful islands of Oleron and Re (by bridge) or the Ile d'Aix (by ferry). The owner will be pleased to take you for a half day trip on the River Charente in his traditional sailing boat 'Le Rat d'Eau' - at no extra charge.
Activities.: As well as the boating and fishing which are available locally it is a wonderful area for cycling and walking with hundreds of quiet lanes, tracks and well-marked footpaths. The area between the house and the river is a bird-watcher's paradise with kites, buzzards, storks (in 2006 and 2007 we had a storks' nest visible from our garden - we hope they will return in 2008), kingfishers and hoopoes and, if you're lucky, a golden oriole. There is a good golf course at Fontcouvert (about 12 km. away) and several more within a 50km. drive. You can visit the local markets and inexpensive restaurants and enjoy all the local produce, fresh seafood and local wines...... or just relax in the garden with a good book.
Miles and Lyn. We welcome you to share our slice of rustic French paradise.
We have lived in France since 1998 after early retirement from the rat race and in this house since 2003 which we chose for it's position and large garden.
Miles and Lyn Dent purchased this cottage in 2003
It's so quiet and peaceful here with a beautiful view over open countryside down to the river valley with it's abundant wild flowers and birdlife.
We renovated the gite, an old quarryman's cottage, in 2003-4 and have enjoyed welcoming Summer visitors ever since.
Relax with a book in the garden or by the private pool or visit the local markets, restaurants and cafés. Five minutes away is the beautiful Riverside village of Port d'Envaux where you can hire boats or canoes or just enjoy a quiet picnic. If you prefer, Miles will be happy to take you for a river trip in his boat Le Rat d'Eau.
The huge Atlantic beaches are not far away with bike and surf hire and delicious local oysters and mussels.
We have fallen in love with l'Aperitif. The peace and quiet, the pool, the bikes, the boat, the beautiful countryside, horse riding, swimming in the river.....one week has not been enough.
The listing for the property was spot on - there were no disappointments. We felt at home immediately.
L'Aperitif was a charming property and beautifully presented and clean.
Miles & Lyn were the perfect hosts and were very helpful and knowledgeable about the area and beyond.
We would definitely recommend the property to our friends & family.
We loved the tranquility of the whole region and the fact that our pet cocker spaniel could enjoy the holiday as well with plenty of lovely walks and cycle rides.
We loved the swimming pool area located a few metres away from our gite - it was completely private and we had sole use of the pool during our 1 week stay.
We visited many attractions both locally and further afield - the Isle de Re and the Charente River itself were memorable. All the restaurants we visited in the region were excellent and we loved the local supermarket - Super U, with all its fresh produce, just a short drive away in the next village (and no traffic jams!)
Thank you Miles and Lyn and apologies for this late posting.
Tina & John (from The New Forest)
The Gite's is reasonably isolated, although it is easy to find and within a short driving distance of several small villages. Also it is only a 40 min drive to coast.
All of the main attractions were within a reasonable driving distance. We visited Fort Boyard and La Rochelle. We also visited a couple of chateaus and hired a boat and cruised down the Charante river.
Our host Miles Lyne were friendly and helpful. They were kind enough to buy some basic foodstuffs on our behalf ready for our arrival and provided us with a free bottle of wine.
The Gite was clean and spacious. It will easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 children.
One of the highlights of the holiday was having access to a large and clean pool which we particularly enjoyed using on hotter days. The garden is also very spacious with lots of fruit bushes / trees. We enjoyed playing hide and seek and 45 home here!
One of the other main highlights was visiting some of the numerous Boulangeries!!
Wifi is available but only really in the main bedroom – good if you want a digital detox.
We enjoyed our holiday in France and would consider returning in due course.
What a magnificent holiday!
Our children enjoyed swimming in the magnificent full-size gated pool and playing in the gardens which seemed to stretch forever. The owners, Myles and Lyn were unobtrusively attentive and were on hand to offer any advice and assistance if needed (such as immediately repairing a punctured bicycle tyre - thank you again for that!)
The cottage itself had a kitchen/living area, with upstairs, a bathroom and two large bedrooms and it was perfect for our family of four. We used the BBQ (with a generous supply of coal) several times, eating out in the wonderful grounds by the cottage (no problems with mosquitoes either when we were there).
During our stay we made day excursions to the two large islands off the Atlantic coast - Ile de Re and Ile d'Oleron, as well as to the city of La Rochelle (the aquarium there is a must-see). We also visited the nearby 'La Roche Courbon' (a chateau with beautifully landscaped grounds which we had almost to ourselves, don’t forget to take the path to the prehistoric cave dwellings in the grounds. The artifacts found there are on display in a museum at the Chateau’s keep). We also hired boats on the river at Saint Savinien one afternoon. During our stay it was 'Bastille Day', and we attended an amazing firework display nearby at Saint Savinien. We did not have time to see anything else, and wished we had booked for at least two weeks!
'L'Aperitif' is amazing value and we are so glad that we chose this cottage for our summer holiday in 2013. We have stayed at many properties in France and it was a relief to find a holiday rental home in good repair with such friendly owners (Myles is an exceptional craftsman as well).
Our best regards,
David, Monique, Caitlin and Amy
(Anglo-Dutch family from the Netherlands)
Thankyou for our lovely stay. We all enjoyed the beautiful garden and pool. Children had a great time in the pool which is secured with a gate. The gites is in a great location, close to the Charente River and the coast so plenty to visit. On our arrival we were welcomed with a bottle of wine and biscuits of the region and homegrown vegetables. The Gites is very well equipped and clean. Again thankyou for a very relaxing stay.
A beautiful and peaceful place to spend a holidays. The house is comfortable and the environment magnificent. Lot of places to visit and things to do around. But if you prefer, you can just enjoy the swimming pool and the wonderful garden. It's adapted for all ages.
Leaving rain and windswept UK for the south of France, particularly in this lovely corner of it, was utter heaven. The weather was nothing short of spectacular, Miles and Lyn are great hosts - nothing is too much trouble to ensure you have a good stay, the region is awash with attractions, great cafes and restaurants and the beaches are within easy reach.
The gite is compact, attractively furnished and well-equipped (don't forget to take your own towels though - we did, and had to rush off to the local Super-U to get some .... silly us!) The gardens are just lovely - viewed from the Terrace where we spent many happy sunlit hours (and if you're lucky, as we were, our hosts shared some of their plentiful produce ... tomatoes, figs, raspberries, apples, pears), the pool is fabulous and oh, so private and the lilo (if you ever master getting on the damn thing) is heaven to float lazily around on ... or fall off copiously, to the sounds of hysterical laughter from your other half.
We never did get to use the bikes, but we so enjoyed firing up the barbeque .. oddly the cats made a very rapid appearance whenever meat hit grill!
Overall a fantastic holiday. Thanks Miles and Lyn for your generosity and kindness. See you again soon (if we can ever find a free spot in the bookings!)
Hazel and Richard Luetchford
Clere is a tiny village - part of the commune of Crazannes - just a few minutes to the bakers and less than 10 minutes to the attractive riverside town of St.Savinien for supermarket shopping.
Crazannes is ideally situated between the towns of La Rochelle and Rochefort to the North, Saintes and Royan to the South and Cognac to the East.
Easy access to the beautiful beaches of the Cote Sauvage and the islands of Oleron, Re and Aix.
'An exceptionally well connected location with plenty to see and do.' - Ruth and Matthew 2009.
Other Activities: bird watching
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
These rates INCLUDE the cost of electricity and heating and bed linen and towels - there are no extra/hidden costs.Deposit of 25% of total with booking. Balance 6 weeks before arrival.