7 Bedrooms (6 En-suite Bathrooms + 2 additional) Normandy Self Catering Rental
Jeanette & Andrew Heydn
- English, French
About Jeanette & Andrew Heydn
Andrew and I are in our late 50s. We both had hectic and successful City careers, working in an international business environment, but decided that after 30 years we would abandon all the commuting and meetings, to develop our property in the Suisse Normande, and do something completely different. Many of our guests comment that we really are living the dream. We have a passion for doing things very well, and truly are happy to read the wonderful guest feedback, telling us that we are getting it right. We strive to continue to improve what we do, always seeking and listening to guest feedback. Our biggest gratification is when guests return themselves, and when they recommend us to family and friends. It sounds like a cliché, but many large groups, celebrating special events here with family or friends, say that they are surprised and relieved that we delivered on all the things we said we would prior to their arrival. It seemed obvious to us, but apparently for some, it has not always been their experience. We believe that guests put a lot of trust in us delivering on all the things we promise, and we really do strive to do everything we say, and more wherever possible. Providing the background for a special family celebration, or a large group holiday is a big responsibility, which we fully recognise.
Jeanette & Andrew Heydn purchased this House in 2004
Why Jeanette & Andrew Heydn chose La Forêt-Auvray
We chose La Forêt Auvray as we know the region and what it has to offer very well. We have had another house locally - just 5 kilometres away for nearly 30 years. When we decided to purchase something larger, we looked all over France, but came back to the Suisse Normande. We know there is plenty to do - something for everyone, of all ages and tastes. We ourselves still discover new things all the time. Normandy is a truly diverse region. Some visitors say it is like stepping back in time - there is a more relaxed pace of life for sure, and the completely unspoilt surroundings allow wildlife to flourish. In 2010 this region (The Suisse Normande) was declared to be a 'Site Naturel' by the French Government - effectively recognising and preserving its character, wildlife and wonderful hedgerows, rolling fields and forests. Closeby, we have a wealth of pretty small villages to visit - sitting by the river Orne at Pont d'Ouilly on a Sunday afternoon in the summer, listening to the music from the local 'Tea-Dance' known as a Guingette, is a simple but delightful pleasure. Slightly further away (about 14 kilometres) is the lovely town of Falaise - birthplace of William The Conquerer. The chateau has been fully restored, and is a greatly impressive historic visit. All around you will see monuments to those who lost their lives in WW2, particularly during the D-Day Landings. All nationalities are remembered with great respect.
What makes this House unique
The Orangerie firstly appealed to us firstly because it is situated in a fabulous position, with truly magnificent views. Sometimes we almost have to pinch ourselves to realise that we really do wake up here of a morning. It is such a pleasure for us. Secondly it is a building that is hugely spacious and private. We looked at many large letting complexes, but this was the only one we saw that was big enough to have a large group all sit together INSIDE for meals and evening chats. This is not usually the case for smaller groups of properties. Even the best of friends and family may become tense if squashed together for long enough, so our large bedrooms, private bathrooms, and a total of 100sq metres of lounge area are really different from other properties. Atmosphere is also important. As we spent time in the property, we quickly understood that it has a really good, welcoming feel about the building - I call it 'happy bricks' but Andrew says that I am a bit whacky like that. Owning an historic property is a responsibility and a great joy. Planning permission from the Historic Monuments Board to undertake the conversion work was a challenge, but well worth it. Upstairs in the West bedroom, you can see gothic carvings in the window sills - from where they built the property using bits of the old 8th century priory next door. The exposed roof beams tell the story of the building's new roof design, added over 150 years ago when the house was a Nunnery. What we love the most is the wildlife - watching the birds in the garden is fantastic - at ground level there are the blue tits, yellow tits, great tits, nuthatches, woodpeckers etc. Look up in the sky and you will always see a kestrel, red kite, or buzzard making the most of the thermals from the hillside. The red squirrels and pine martens have quickly discovered the peanut supply, and the night chorus from the owls is what I miss the most when we are elsewhere.
Max guests:20 (sleeps up to 20 adults)
Guests must not enter the neighbouring chateau - it is privately owned.
Recharging Electric cars is not permitted at L'Orangerie. There are several recharge points locally in Pont d'Ouilly and in Falaise.
All garden games, bikes and garden cushions to alway be put away of a night, or during the day if not in use please.
100% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if cancelled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Absolutely fell in love with this place, so much space for all 17 of us. Plenty of supplies and towels. The gite was fantastically well equipped and such a fabulous location.
Jeanette and Andrew were amazing, so accommodating and gave us plenty of advice as to the places to go. The children loved the treasure hunt Andrew made for them.
Both Andrew and Jeanette cooked an amazing meal one night, my husband is still talking about it!! There was so much to do in close distance and the children never once said 'Im bored'. Nothing was too much trouble, we were all so close to staying an extra week as we did not want to leave. It was truly a memorable holiday.
Williams’ August 2019
Excellent property - extremely well equipped. Spotlessly clean and well presented - plenty of towels for all 13 of us and the linen was spotless. I have rented many properties over a number of years and this was the best by far. It was exactly what was advertised and more. Jeanette and Andrew were extremely helpful and informative about the area. It was a thoroughly enjoyable stay.
UNION mc TORQUAY
We had such a wonderful stay, the property was nice and clean and all the rooms were very roomy, it was a very peaceful location. The owners made us feel very welcoming, and it was a joy to stay there.
Some might say that a group of 20 men, away from their wives, motorbikes in hand, would be a challenge for a gite. We would wholeheartedly recommend this group to you. During the very hot spell, when everywhere was super warm, they tell us they slept like logs, and thoroughly enjoyed the house, gardens, and all the places to visit. Bravo Union mc - we hope to welcome you all again soon.
Peaceful couples get-a-way in La Normandie
Jeanette and Andrew were ready for us when we arrived and continued to be the most delightful and helpful hosts throughout our entire stay. This is the perfect place for numerous couples or a large family. A great peaceful week in a beautiful corner of La Suisse Normande!
This was my first experience with HomeAway. But it won’t be my last ! The owners were wonderful. I recommend this property to anyone visiting Normandy
A wonderful huge house with the perfect hosts.
Jeanette and Andrew could not be more helpful or kind, they are there within seconds if need be but never obtrusive. They cooked us a fabulous meal and arranged a treasure hunt for the kids which they loved. They go well over and above what is normally provided - we had lots of treats as well as tea, coffee etc.
The house and gardens are huge and magnificent, there was more than enough room for 12 of us, just so much space. The house is spotlessly clean, has everything you need and more.
I cannot think of anything that wasn’t perfect, I highly recommend it.
Thanks again Jeanette and Andrew, hope to see you again.
This lovely group were our first of our 2019 season, and we could not have been happier. It was a delight to meet them all, and it is great to read (and be told by them) that they had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and appreciated our efforts.
Horse-riding, kayaking and climbing through the ‘go-ape’ acrobranche park close by, were just some of the activities undertaken.
We thank them for taking the time to leave this review, and for being lovely guests. We hope to welcome them back in the future
We are in the SUISSE NORMANDE - famous for its pretty woods, rolling verdant landscapes, mature trees and varied abundant wildlife. Badgers; red-kites; kestrels; buzzards; pine martens; red squirrels; owls all visit our gardens.
Many pretty walks are possible from our property - if you don't want to see a car for hours, we can point you in the right direction, behind the chateau along the riverside, and then wind your way gently up the forest behind us, coming back via another pretty forest path. As an alternative, you could go up to La Foret Auvray, via 'Spooky Alley' - a tree lined old road, that is not only open to vehicles in one direction (there is now a new road that meanders up to the village).
For spectacular views, an informative visitor centre, more stunning walking routes, and also a 'Go Ape' high wire activity centre in the pine trees, the Roches d'Oetre is less than 2 kilometres away (go by complimentary bike from L'Orangerie).
Visit nearby Falaise Castle, birthplace of William The Conquerer; Bayeux and the tapestry and all the World War 2 D-Day Normandy Landing Beaches and museums. Stroll along Gold, Omaha, Sword, Juno and Utah beaches, Point du Hoc, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Pegasus Bridge, Monet's Gardens, Le Mont St. Michel. There are so many visitor destinations and historic trails to follow all around this area. Paris is easily accessible for the day - even Disneyland.
Alternatively we intersect the Grand Randonnee GR 36 famous rambers footpath. Follow our detailed walking maps - have a guided walk with Andrew - take out one of our many bikes.
Other Activities: Canoeing; Velo-Rail; rock-climbing; Spa treatments
Golf: There are a number of Golf courses in the region. In particular, our guests like to play at the course at Clecy, which is about 15 kilometres away from L'Orangerie, but is hilly. Bagnoles de l'Orne and Flers are also reasonably local. Caen Sequeville is 30 kilometres (but a fast direct route, so accessible in 30 minutes).