Le Vieux Fournil is a converted bakehouse, still with the original oven opening into the living space, providing that extra piece of interest and history to this wonderfully quirky building. The kitchen and bathroom are housed in the original woodstore and pig sty. The bedroom is converted from the hayloft although now the high ceiling is grandly adorned with its own chandelier! The cottage is located in the region of the Pays de la Loire with its spectacular landscapes in the north and vast vineyards to the south. The house is 2 km’s from the historic town of Lassay-les-Châteaux which boasts one of the finest examples in France of a fortified medieval chateau. The town has many winding streets amongst which can be found examples of medieval living all situated just off the main Market Square where you will find shops, bars and restaurants. This is an ideal base for those seeking walking or cycling holidays in wonderful countryside or alternatively just a relaxing break from city life!
Converted Bread Oven Nr. Lassay-les-Chateaux, Mayenne, Pays de la Loire, France - Set In Beautiful French Countryside
- english, french
- Calendar last updated:
- 2 Jan 2019
About Sandra Hughes
Paul and I both had busy lives, too much stress, unhealthy lifestyles and not enough 'together' time. We would longingly watch all those TV programs about changing your life, moving to the country, renovating a dilapidated barn into a designers dream, all whilst Kevin McCloud peered into the camera wringing his hands in despair - if only that could be us! In 2007, just as my son left home to go to University I found myself made redundant and always one to look on the bright side decided to have some 'me' time. That quickly turned into a 'seize the day' mentality so Paul quit his job, we put our furniture in storage, rented out our property, packed our Clio with all our essential worldly belongings and set off for France with a map and a gite booked for 7 weeks. Ten years later we are still here and loving the french life! We (meaning Paul) have gained many skills along the way - plumbing, electrics, stonemasonry, joinery, roofing and landscaping to name but a few! We can also now speak reasonable French (starting from a baseline of no french at all), Paul is a member of our village council and we taught English for 4 years to the children in the local school - although to be honest I think we learnt more French from them than they learnt English from us! We have a lovely laid back dog called Barnabé, an inherited cat called Kiki, three egg laying (when they feel like it) chickens and one big barn still to one day when we win the lottery!
Sandra Hughes purchased this Cottage in 2008
Why Sandra Hughes chose Chantrigné
We started our search for a property further south towards Saumur and Tours but on a day trip north we chanced upon the department and river of Mayenne and absolutely fell in love with the area - like a huge Devon but without the people!! Family, friends, eating and socialising are the main focus for everyone here so there's never any hurry and nothing is ever too busy or too much trouble. It's great to just relax, unwind and enjoy the everyday beauty of the surrounding landscape, the abundance of fantastic wildlife and to listen to the quietness. Although we live on a hilltop with great views all our local amenities are just down the road including one of our favourite restaurants where a five course meal with wine and coffee costs just €12.50! It is a traditional workers cafe but if you want to experience a slice of real country cooking with real french workers then this is the place to go! The river Mayenne is just 7kms away with great walks and cycle tracks, its never busy and parking, unlike in the UK, is free! In addition the coast is only an hour and a half away for those days when we fancy some sea air, a run on the beach with our dog and a plate of really fresh shellfish.
What makes this Cottage unique
Knowing how important holidays are when your time is precious we wanted to create a holiday cottage that we would have wanted to stay in when we were on holiday - big soft pillows, white linen on the bed and a great big shower with lots of hot water, (not just a luke warm trickle whilst crouching in a small smelly cubicle). A pretty private outdoor space to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, read a book or just lie back and relax. Most of all a place that could feel like a home not just a holiday let. We also wanted to take the hassle out of trying to find out about local places to visit or eateries that are good value and great food rather than discovering it all on the last day when your holiday is almost over. We have put together a comprehensive book with all the local attractions, restaurant recommendations and information leaflets, along with books on the local area, cycling and walking routes and trips further afield if you are feeling adventurous. We also have our own web site so you can find all the information on our links when you are in the cottage or out and about for the day. We look forward to welcoming you at La Gautrie and seeing you soon - A bientôt Sandra, Paul et Barnabé.
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
Immaculate presentation of accommodation
Great location in beautiful countryside where Sandra and Paul had considered every aspect of customer requirements. Their advice on restaurants, places to visit etc was extremely helpful and added to the holiday experience. I can really recommend their property for a Frence rural holiday plus Lassay les Chateaux is an interesting town.
French Love Affair
The cottage was everything you hope for when visiting rural France. Sandra and Paul had paid great attention to all aspects when furnishing the cottage and all was in perfect working order. They were very helpful with advice on visiting towns, restaurants etc and Lassay les Chateaux was a delightful town. The tour of the Chateau proved very interesting which ended with a demonstration of dressing with medieval armouring on one of the guides. It was a nice change to wake up to bird song instead of traffic.
Fabulous property in a beautiful area of France.
We stayed for a week in this fabulous property. It was beautifully furnished , exceptionally well equipped , spotlessly clean and had a stunning garden. The hosts were lovely and did everything they could to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable.
There was a welcome pack waiting for us on our arrival , including the most delicious home made jam . There were lots of little touches around the place which were thoughtful and delightful . Even the dog was super friendly. The surrounding area was beautiful and there were lots of things to do and places to visit. The property has a fabulous huge garden with plenty of places to sit, eat and lie in the sun. We really enjoyed it and would recommend it for perfect holiday.
Perfect! We loved it
Everything was perfect - totally relaxing.
We had a great stay with Sandra and Paul and spent as much time in their beautiful garden as we did in the cottage. Nothing was too much trouble and we really appreciated Sandra booking the vet appointment for our dog. It was so peaceful and relaxing and we would definitely recommend it.
My only regret is that I didn't check the time of our ferry more carefully and we wouldn't have had to leave in the middle of the night after all!
Best wishes to you both (and Barnabe). Sharon, Tony & Floyd
Beautiful gite and lovely hosts
Small but really clean and well presented with every facility you could want: comfortable bed, great shower, lovely garden and, if the weather is bad (yes, that did happen, sadly), a dvd library to rival Netflix. Sandra and Paul are really friendly and helpful if required and Barney's cheerful wag always put a smile on our faces when we got back.
Special interest holidays:
Le Mans Moto 21st/22nd April
Le Mans 24 hour 16th/17th June
Le Mans Classic 6th - 8th July
Tour De France 13th July Fougères to Chartres passing through Mayenne town
Lassay les Chateaux Annual Fete Tuesday 14th July - live music, vide grenier, and free street entertainment all day!
Sille-le-Guillaume, 50 mins - lake and artificial beach set in over 3000 ha forest. Normandy Beaches, 2 hrs - must visit for those interested in WWII. Mont-Saint-Michel, 2 hrs - second most visited place in France after the Eifel Tower. Stunning walled port of St Malo and the holiday resort of Dinard, 2 hrs both with fabulous restaurants and shops. Concale, 2hrs - Pretty fishing village, world renowned for its fresh oysters that can be eaten on the beach (or in a restaurant if preferred!).
Own transport essential for this countryside location.
Eurotunnel - Dover to Calais 35 mins. 4 hr drive, mostly motorway.
Ferries - Dover to Calais approx 4 hour drive, mostly motorway. Dover to Boulogne approx 4 hour drive, mostly motorway. Newhaven to Dieppe 3 hours drive from Dieppe but longer crossing. Portsmouth to either Caen or Le Havre 2 hour drive.
Airports - Cheapest - Usually Ryanair to Dinard.
Rennes 1 hr 20 mins hours drive. Dinard, Nantes, Tours 2 hour drive.
2 kms from the cottage, Chantrigné is a thriving village with a local shop, boulangerie, hairdresser, mobile local butcher, pizza van and one of the best local restaurants in the area for real traditional food. Both Lassay Les Chateaux, 2kms and Ambrières, 6kms have all of the above with the addition of local weekday markets, bank with cash point, post office, vets practice, tourist information office, restaurants and supermarkets. A medical centre and dental practice is also located in Lassay.
Within a 30 minute drive. Lassay-les-Châteaux, 5 mins one of the Mayenne Departments six 'Petites Cités de Caractere' with its stunning medieval chateau, winding streets and pretty market square. Mellary Cider Museum, 10 mins, see (and more importantly taste) how traditional cider is made from the apple to the bottle. Ambrières-les-Vallées 10 mins, all year round activities include an equestrian center, sailing, walks/cycle routes of all abilities. Summer months – open air swimming pool, archery, mini golf, kayaking, canoeing, tennis. Mayenne, 20 mins superb Musee du Chateau . Fontaine-Daniel, 20 mins beautifully preserved village set around a lake with a traditional textile mill and fabric outlet. Bagnoles de l'Orne, 20-25 mins spa resort reminiscent of a Swiss mountain village, enjoy the high life at the casino and horse track or maybe just relax at the spa before dining out in the many restaurants in this little piece of café society set in the forest of the Parc de Normandie. Ferté Macé Forest, 25-30 mins lake and artificial beach - many cycling and walking routes plus watersports in the summer.
Within a 1 hour drive. Falaise, 40 mins magnificent castle home of William The Conquerer. Jublains, 40 mins Roman encampment discovered in and around the town , now preserved. Carrouges castle, 50 mins austere but captivating, the castle of is like a summary of history from the 11th to the 20th century. Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, 50 min described as 'one of the prettiest villages in France'. St Suzanne - Beautiful medieval hilltop village and fortress.
Within a 2 hours drive. Rennes, 1 hr 20. For those looking for sophistication, shopping and culture Rennes has it all. Bayeux, 1hr 50 visit this lovely town of canals and winding streets, visit the museum housing the famous Bayeux Tapestry depicting scenes from the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Anger, 1hr 55 for wine lovers visit the vineyards of the Loire and maybe even tour a chateau before purchasing a case of wine!
Additional pricing information
Booking Notes: Changeover Day: Changeover day flexible.. Arrival after 4pm. Departure by 10am. Notes on prices: Prices shown are for the property per week in euros. If the dates you require are unavailable please take a look at our other gite (2 bedrooms Owners Direct ref 8062935) where we offer a discount of €50 for one bedroom occupancy. Dogs - We are very happy to accept well behaved, social dogs at La Gautrie. One small to medium sized do will be considered on request, there is an additional charge of €25 per stay. Please see the following Dog Guidance Note Visiting dogs receive their very own ‘Pooch Pack’ to use whilst on holiday with us: dog blanket, food and water bowls and a treat on arrival. In order to ensure that you and the other guests enjoy their stay we would ask that you follow the few simple steps below: Please keep your dog off all furniture, bedspreads and bed linen for hygiene reasons. We would kindly ask that you do not leave your dog in the house on its own for long periods of time as a strange place can be stressful for your dog who might cause damage (for which we might have to charge) or cause a disturbance to other guests. It is your responsibility to clear away any mess made by your dog in the garden and grounds of La Gautrie. Please keep your dog supervised at all times and be aware and respectful of other guests and their premises at La Gautrie.