4 Bedroom 3 Bathroom La Pernelle, Normandy. Stunning Hillside Location Overlooking The Fortified Harbour Town St Vaast La Hougue
- English, French
About Jill Saxton
Anthony and Jill Saxton and their two young daughters fell in love with the area (the Val de Saire corner of the Cotentin/Cherbourg Peninsula) on their first visit way back in 1985. They liked it so much they bought a derelict granite farm house and converted it into what has become "Hibou Blanc". Anthony was a doyen of the international head hunting scene - he still works for some old clients - and Jill was creative director of Mary Quant cosmetics before becoming a mother and mature student of English Literature. When Anthony was bought out of his old firm they commissioned a remarkable local architect and even more remarkable builder to restore the ruins of an old farm overlooking the sea.
Jill Saxton purchased this House in 1998
Why Jill Saxton chose La Pernelle
The views over the sea and port of Saint Vaast are exceptional - as are the views inland of the "bocage". We love the way you have the whole day - never unbearably hot, even in a heatwave -and rarely very cold. Our days used to consist of windsurfing at the Pointe de Saire, lunch in Saint Vaast and tennis on the Hougue. Now we are older we play golf near Quineville before lunch (moules) in beautiful Barfleur. When the weather is right we take out our boat for fishing or water skiing. And playing on the beaches (with or without grandchildren) has never lost its charm. Even in winter we love long walks by the sea or in the lanes, followed by a leisurely lunch with visiting friends. The standard of cooking (especially at Hibou Blanc) is high - particularly of fish.
What makes this House unique
Getting there from UK is normally a doddle - particularly via Cherbourg in season from Poole or Portsmouth. Or via Portsmouth-Caen. Or cross the Channel from Kent and drive down - lovely roads all the way. Meanwhile there is an impeccable train service from Paris St Lazare to Valognes. Hibou Blanc is literally private and tranquil. But the first-rate supermarket is only five minutes' drive - and a restaurant (with more views) and bistro is ten minutes' walk. The layout of the house is imaginatively user friendly. For example it's a joy to be cooking whilst still socialising. And the beautiful (heated) slate floors and 3 bathrooms mean you never worry about bringing in sand or mud. The separate laundry room is a boon with wet sandy people (of all ages). And there's an ice machine!
Prior approval from owner first
Max guests:10 (sleeps up to 10 adults)
Breakages must be paid for. Please read inventory. Take care NOT to let food waste down the kitchen sink. It can block the drain. Plug: please leave.
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Charming Christmas -New Year Stay
Having just enjoyed a serene winter escape I can imagine that this much loved house will be a delight in summer. It has a lovely elegant ambiance and the house layout ensures easy privacy as well as relaxing communal spaces. It must be lovely when full with extended family or friends who will adore the huge garden. If you cherish peace but want very easy access to lovely beaches and small towns it will delight you.
Ideal D-Day Retreat!
We (big family, three generations, 10 total) stayed here for a week during the 75th D-Day commemoration events. The house was amazing and could not have been a more perfect fit for our group. There was plenty of space – actually five bedrooms if you include the annex – and each is ideally situated to maximize privacy. The kitchen is well equipped and accommodated big family meals every night. The location ended up being ideal for the occasion – it was just far enough away from the main D-Day attractions (Omaha, Utah, St Mere Eglise, etc) to keep us out of road closures and traffic but close enough that most were no more than 30 minutes by car on less busy days. The seafood markets in Saint-Vaast la-Hougue kept us fed all week (you MUST try the oysters) and there was a fantastic upscale restaurant walking distance from the house on nights we didn’t feel like cooking. Our two youngest (5 and 2) had a blast chasing balls around the extensive garden and there were plenty of toys the keep them occupied. Jill, the owner, could not have been more friendly or accommodating. We booked so far in advance that we had to shift our dates once the final D-Day schedule of events was published. Jill worked with us every step of the way and made us feel like extended family. WORTH SIX STARS! Would absolutely come back here if ever in Normandy again!
Lovely house with plenty of space in a beautifully quiet spot.
We spent fives days over new year at Jill's lovely house in La Pernelle. It is very much a family home as opposed to 'just a holiday house' and as a result feels very cosy. It has a very well equipped kitchen (oven slightly tired but gets the job done with some tlc and patience). Plenty of wood for the wood burners although heating very efficient so a fire was not needed for warmth. Plenty of space for all 9 of us - and the dog! Do not go expecting hi speed wifi or flat screen tv - the wifi is a bit patchy although there is decent 4G in most rooms, and the kids thought the 'big fat' tv was a museum piece! That said we did enjoy watching a couple of the many dvds at the house on it. Saving Private Ryan was perfect after a day spent at Omaha beach and cemetery, and visiting the Overlord Museum. Overall a lovely stay - we had plenty of downtime at the house as well as enjoying walks on the local beaches, Particularly enjoyed walking from Barfleur harbor (where William set sail in 1066) to the lighthouse and back, visiting the tapestry at Bayeux, the Mulberry harbors at Arromanche and a New Year's Day swim just above St Vaast . And really appreciated a large Intermarche five minutes drive away! Would definitely recommend the area and the house.
We really enjoyed our recent stay at Hibou Blanc. The property is truly stunning and extremely homely. Located in beautiful surroundings with an excellent garden for the kids and dog to play in. The property is very spacious and gives a true reflection of the relaxed lifestyle Normandy offers. The surrounding area is fantastic and very scenic and the local beaches are ideal for families to enjoy. We are very grateful to Jill with all her help and the property is a great credit to her and her family. We would have no hesitation in recommending this property as it is a truly wonderful place. Excellent holiday all round.
Fabulous property in a very tranquil setting with great view to the coast. The house contains all the things you need for a true home from home experience, kitchen equipment, glassware,games, etc.
Very comfortable beds added to a memorable holiday.
Convenient to WW 2 sites.
Many fine, unspoiled sandy beaches on both East and West Coasts. Nearest is 10 minutes drive at Pointe de Saire. West coast is one hour's drive. A Coastguard's path runs along most of the coastline all round the peninsula. The beaches are extremely varied and accessible. Detail maps provided.
Easiest access from UK is via Cherbourg (from Poole or Porstmouth) 15 miles away or Caen/Ouistreham from Portsmouth (70 minutes drive) - both provided by Brittany Ferries. Caen has Carpiquet Airport. The Channel Tunnel is 6 autoroute hours away. Fast trains from Paris to nearby Valognes.
St Vaast-la-Houge and Barfleur sailing and fishing ports are 15 minutes drive. Nearest town is Quettehou - 5 minute drive. Valognes is a big market town, with historical interest and open air swimming pool - 20 minutes drive. Cherbourg has many shops, museums, theatre, cinema, casino, etc, etc - 15 + miles.
In Quettehou there is a good, big supermarket, excellent butcher and bakers, a bank and a post office, restaurants and cafes. Covered tennis court. In St Vaast-la-Hougue there is a good choice of restaurants, bars and cafes - mostly on the harbourside. The famous oysters can be taken away or eaten in situ. Gosselins, with excellent food and a wonderful cellar, is the Cotentin's answer to Fortnum and Mason. Trawlers sell their catch on the quayside in both Barfleur and St Vaast. Both towns have excellent fishmongers.
The nearby island of Tatihou, where you can climb the unusual 17th century Vauban tower, can be reached on foot at low tide or by amphibian craft. Maritime museum, cafe and Bird reserve. Weekly street markets in both towns.
St Vaast has a pay-and-play tennis club on the 'Hougue' with sea on two sides - good for your wind-play.