L’Huillerie is a pretty Chanteuse farm house and converted barn. With spacious accommodation up to 9, it has four bedrooms (two of which are en suite) and has four living areas with a newly fitted dining kitchen and good Wi-Fi. This is the first year of letting. More photos to be added!
This beautiful farmhouse is located in a sleepy hamlet located in the popular area of Charente Maritime. Within 10 minutes walk of a bakery and 15 minutes walk from a Bistro, both in Nere, more facilities can be found 10 minutes drive in Aulnay, with its UNESCO heritage church, open air swimming complex, busy square, market and intermarche.
Accommodation is split between two rooms in the old farm house (one double and 3 singles) which share a family bathroom, and two further bedrooms (a double and two singles which are both en suite) in the converted barn.
The reception rooms consist of a dining room, a large sitting room, a small sitting room with TV, games console and DVD player and a large communal sitting area, with a stereo system, that opens onto the garden. The ‘huillerie’ or oil making area is also available as a curiosity, where the farm used to make walnut oil.
The garden is split into two sections, with an enclosed back garden and an additional field. There is a range of equipment aimed at small children to teenangers/ adults. Patio seating is available in the garden, as are some outdoor games a small temporary pool and children’s bikes.
Local amenities include a butcher, baker and local bistro within walking distance and a small super market and petrol station in Aulnay. There is an open air swimming pool with a slide in Aulnay open daily throughout July and August. Other nearby towns of interest include Dampierre sur Boutonne, Matha and Saint Jean D’Angely. A little further a field (within 30 minutes to an hour) you can reach Cognac, Saintes, Pons, Saint Savinien, Île d’Oleron, Royan, Rochefort, Île de Ré, La Rochelle and Niort. (See other information below for some additional details)
The nearest airports are in Bordeaux (1.30 hours away and many flights) and La Rochelle, with other flights available from Poitiers, Nantes and Bergerac. The house is 4.5 hours from Caen and Saint Malo ports and 6.5 to 7 hours from Calais.
When you do want to get out and about locally you can take advantage of the fairly flat terrain walking or hire bikes. There are many exciting destinations just a short drive from the property:
Les Pommiers is located in a rural setting allowing you to get away from it all, forget what time it is and relax with a glass of local wine. St Jean d'Angely
A classic French market Town, Saint Jean d’Angély is found in the triangle between Cognac, Saintes and Rochefort. With its centre of cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and small shops, it is a charming and interesting town. The town is a good place to spend a morning when the market is in full flow and has a number of attractions.
Market: St Jean d’Angély’s market days are Wednesday and Saturday and it’s one of the best local markets. Inside the indoor market building that dates back to the 19th century, are a number of stalls selling locally sourced meat, fish and seafood as well as an organic stall selling fruit, vegetables and local honey. Outside are stalls selling clothes, plants, flowers, oysters, fruit and vegetables and freshly cooked chicken. The market is full of colour and delicious smells that entice you to try new local produce. It’s also an excellent place to give your language skills a try!
Plan d’Eau at Saint Jean: on the edge of the town, this picturesque lake adjacent to the river Boutonne is the centre for many different activities during the summer months. There are pedalos and canoes for hire, a mini-golf course and high quality childrens playground. In summer the local canoe club hold evenings known as Fil de la Lune – join them in an evening canoe ride, ending the evening with an informal dinner at the canoe club. Ask at the tourist office for details.
There is also a large indoor swimming complex nearby which is an excellent rainy day activity for families.
There are many very good restaurants within the local area. Of particular note are:-
Le Scorlion - One of St Jean's best this little place is number one on trip advisor for a good reason - the food and atmosphere are both fantastic!
La Goule Beneze - also highly rated on trip advisor for its food and service.
Hotel/Restaurant de La Place - excellent food and an extensive wine list. No. 4 on trip advisor.
Surgeres is a quiet town on the banks of the Geres river and has an open central square and a couple of streets with all the usual 'small town' shops such as bakers, butchers and cafes. The southern area of the Town has castle grounds which can be entered through the large tower called the Porche - originally there was a drawbridge here, and was the main access to the castle. Behind the old fortified wall of the castle there is an attractive 'garden park' area, which contains several interesting historic buildings and makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll.
The Town is most famous for it's distilleries (all provide tours during the Summer months) but it also has a great park (with a huge childrens playground) on the banks of the Charente river. Cognac also has a large cobbled pedestrian area with shops, cafes and restaurants from the river right up to the town centre and is a lovely day or half day trip.
St Savinien is also on the River Charente and has a park with a famous boating lake where you can hire electric boats, each boat takes one adult and one child and every one is unique. Near to St Savinien is Chateau LaRoche-Corbonne which is open daily during the summer months and runs guided tours along with a cafe serving decent hot and cold lunch options.
Saintes was originally a Roman settlement and is steeped in history. The roman ampitheatre holds free "spectacles" during the summer and there are Roman thermal baths nearby. Saintes has a large market and is a centre for boat trips up the Charente river. Some trips go to the wonderful "Moulin de Bains" restaurant; a picturesque 17th centuary mill which straddles the river.
Rochefort is less than 45 minutes from us and is a town rich with maritime history and museums. It also has a lovely main square with a number of good outdoor eating opportunities.
The Second largest wetland in France, the Marais Poitevin is often referred to as France’s 'Green Venice', a unique landscape that has been created, shaped and maintained by water across the centuries. Once covered by the ocean, the marshes were first drained in the Middle Ages.
The small Town of Coulon is the best place from which to access the waterways and consists of a number of pretty streets of shops and restaurants culminating in a promenade along one of the main waterways. Here you can rent traditional flat bottomed boats, canoes or even have a guide do the paddling for you!
One of the key areas in France for birdwatching and nature holidays, it’s a magical location in any season for a day trip.
Within one hours drive of the property
Is the Charente Maritime coast: La Rochelle, Isle d'Oleron, Isle de Ré, Royan, St. Georges de Didonne.
Beaches - Chatelaillon Plage
It is on the way to La Rochelle so can be a good place to divert to on the way to or from La Rochelle. It should take about 45 minutes. It is good for young children and is normally fairly easy to park but the beach is very tidal and the sea can sometimes be far out when you arrive.
St Georges de Didonne
St Georges de Didonne is easy to get to, it has a wide promenade with plenty of parking and the beach is very close. There are no problems with the tide and although it is further the roads are faster. It should take about 45 minutes.
There are other beaches travelling up and down the coast. Towards Royan it is harder to park but there are many restaurants and expensive distractions for the kids. Further down Mescher and beyond the beaches are quieter.
The zoo at La Palmyre (near Royan) has won many awards and is very popular with children of all ages.
The aquarium at La Rochelle is also very popular with young children.
The oysters of the area around Isle d'Oleron are world famous and remarkably inexpensive (see "local area" section.
Angouleme is a historic town with a dramatic situation. The town is popular for it's many festivals (including a gourmet food festival, comic book festival and vintage car festival). There is also a good weekly market ad a popular chocolate factory nearby.
Futuroscope, is located on junction 28 of the A10, about an hour away. It is a large cinematic theme park with more than twenty buildings housing different cinematic experiences including the equivalent of white knuckle rides. The best part is the show at the end of the day, often very late in early summer and therefore too late for young children but it is worth planning your stay around this. Set around a lake, water is sprayed into the air and images are projected onto it giving the impression that beasts are rising from the water. Fireworks and sound add to the excitement. The park is just over an hours drive and makes a wonderful family day out if you get up early.
Bordeaux, St.Emillion and the surrounding chateaux and vineyards are approx.. 1.5hrs drive.
For further information about attractions and places to visit in Charente Maritime, please visit the http://www.visit-poitou-charentes.com website which has a wealth of information.