Like many rentals, it is hard to get an impression of a gite before arriving; photos don't tell the full story, so we had a pleasant surprise when we arrived when we found it spacious, clean and well laid out. The house is a typical vintage gite, probably renovated in the 1980s. The furniture and fittings are in keeping with the house's age, and complimented its character. The bedrooms felt fresh. The owners lived in the house for a number of years, and have left much of their property there; the house is a cornucopia of interesting knick-knacks.
The kitchen is well equipped; there is a gas hob and an electric fan oven. A microwave (hard to figure out), a full size fridge freezer, dishwasher and top loader washing machine (which were really easy to use) were provided, and were in good condition. A multitude of pots, pans, delph, glasses, cutlery, etc. were supplied.
There is a bedroom downstairs and two upstairs, and an additional single bed is provided in an area off the landing. The stairs, typical for period houses, is steep and requires careful negotiation. There is a separated toilet and bathroom downstairs; note that there is no shower, only a half sized bath.
The pool is wonderful. It was at 28degC for us, and in great condition. The gardens are relatively mature with a variety of shrubs and flowers and enclosed by walls and trees - privacy is good, however it means that there is no real view. A very large barn is in front of the house. Part of this is open, and a large car can easily be driven in to keep it cool on hot days.
The house is in a cluster of five properties. There are minor, narrow roads around it, but the only traffic are farm vehicles! Surrounding land is a mixture of grass, crop and cattle. Relative to other parts of France, I found the countryside a little “closed in” – there are many trees and bushes used to demarcate fields and rivers. This has the effect of restricting the view – not a major issue in a car, but may be a factor for walkers.
Montmorillon, the nearest town, is about 10 minutes away in the car. It is well worth a ramble, especially the Cite de l’Ecrit. There are various other spots within 30-40 minute – we enjoyed Portes d’Enfer, Le Blanc and various places in the Brenne natural park.
The owners were very pleasant, great for communications and had sufficiently good English to talk to! If you want a countryside retreat in a characterful house with no hassles, then I can’t recommend Courazeau enough.