La Grange de Guillaume or, if you prefer, William’s Barn, is in the village of Saveilles and is situated deep in the heart of rolling Charente countryside. It is named in honour of a friend and old soldier of the Signals Regiment. Just 20 to 30 metres from La Grange, the Chateau de Saveilles is a 14th to 16th century fortified house, complete with moat and gated walls.
La Grange is perfectly located for miles or even kilometres of pleasant walking and cycling … you don’t even need to use your car, just stroll out of your front door and you’re away, as it is situated on the French National cycle route No. B/C 36. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have bikes or just can’t be bothered to bring them, we can have bikes, expertly serviced and fitted to you, delivered direct to your door and picked up again when you’re finished with them. Need a child bike trailer fitted to the bike or fancy riding tandem? Not a problem! It can be organised for you. From the front door of the property you have cycle tracks that link with the whole French cycle network and mile upon mile of open countryside to walk through, on sleepy roads populated more by birds and dragonflies or wild orchids and dog roses, than people or cars. Vast swathes of sunflowers may be your companions or glorious poppies populating the edges of the nearby cornfields.
There are also several Geocache locations within easy walking distance of La Grange. If you don’t know what Geocaching is (it’s like treasure hunting), have a quick squint on the internet, join up (it’s free) and download the locations for this area. Even set some locations yourself whilst you’re here, maybe?
For lovers of a good bargain hunt, the area is well served with vide-greniers (attic sales/car boot sales), brocantes, and puces (flea-markets) during the summer months, along with many other fairs, festivals and small community events. Have a good rummage, then return home to examine your bargain booty while you sip some wine on the peaceful patio, as you watch the sun go down.
La Grange has three very comfortable bedrooms and sleeps 5 people. All the beds have pocket-sprung mattresses and are very comfortable. The main bedroom has a super king-sized bed, the middle bedroom has a good sized single and the rear bedroom overlooking the pool, has a super king-sized Zip & Link bed that easily splits into two good sized singles. The rest of the house is comfortably furnished and has everything you need for a lovely, relaxing holiday.
The 42”/106 cm plasma flat screen TV is equipped with French TV, English Satellite TV and a Blu-Ray DVD player.
The outside space is equipped with a BBQ (initial supply of charcoal included), a comfortably sized outdoor table and large tilt-able brolly. The brolly is mounted on a wheeled base for ease of use. There are five comfortable sun loungers in the pool area and five comfortable easy chairs in the patio area.
The pool is exclusively for your use and is specially constructed with safety in mind. The depth all around the perimeter of the pool is about 4ft or 1.2m ‘deep’ section of approx. 5ft 3” or 1.6m in the middle. Three full width steps lead into the pool at one end. Maintenance of the pool is carried out throughout your stay by the owners.
Even though La Grange is deep in the French countryside, the area is well serviced with shops and supermarkets are a-plenty: Le Clerc, Super U, Intermarché and Lidl. Villefagnan is our nearest town and is about 10 minutes by car. Ruffec is further afield but is approximately 20 minutes away and Sauzé-Vaussais is about 20 minutes in the opposite direction to Ruffec. Chef-Boutonne is about 10-15 minutes away. All these places have shops, supermarkets and restaurants, along with their own weekly market days.
Saveilles has a local baker (from Loubillé) who calls in his van twice a week. He stops outside our gate on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and normally has a selection of breads and cakes. The bread and cakes can be bought on the day or you can place an order for his following visit. Let me tell you, the fruit tarts and eclairs are especially good and you can always visit his bakery in Loubillé if you wish. If you miss him, you can try a little French quirk - the euro coin bread dispensing machine! They are scattered around but the nearest is in Villefagnan, 10 minutes away.
The area abounds with wildlife. We've already mentioned the birds and dragonflies in the many country lanes but there are also deer and wild boar in the area, though the boar are hard to spot. We have seen lots of deer at a distance (even had one wander into our garden), whilst walking the surrounding lanes, but are yet to see a boar. Birds are plentiful, and we are surrounded by the most wonderful selection of birds of prey - quite a birdwatcher's idyll really and we’ve even had a large bird of prey swoop into our garden and carry off some kind of small animal. We see bats, owls, brilliantly coloured dragonflies that patrol the pool area and more; we are very lucky with the wildlife all around us.