Scenically set among vineyards and sunflower fields, yet within easy reach of Bordeaux, Cognac and the beautiful beach resorts of Meschers, Royan and La Rochelle, La Maison Bleue is a fantastic find and a great base from which to explore the beautiful Charente Maritime.
This cluster of two pretty gites is set alongside the home of the friendly young British family owners, Tanya and Paul Nicholson, who made the move from the North of England to this beautiful part of France in 2016 bringing their two young daughters with them. Their insight into travelling with little ones is evident in the abundant baby equipment, toys and outdoor play gear, which can make it a challenge to drag little ones away from when the need to sight-see calls, but when there's a lovely heated pool, cushioned loungers and a bottle of local tipple chilling in your gite fridge, perhaps its not such a hardship to stay close to your holiday home!
The relaxation might start with packing light but it will continue with the option of long lazy days enjoying the grounds, safely enclosed pool and beautiful scenery. Guests usually find they quickly settle into a routine combining exploration of the many pretty towns, cities and coastal areas nearby with chilled-out days spent stretching out on one of the poolside loungers, enjoying BBQs and sundowners on the terraces and easily keeping little ones entertained by splashing about in the fabulous heated pool or playing with the playhouse, swings and enormous trampoline, whilst there's table tennis, ball games and boules for older kids and grown ups.
The gite interiors are designed with comfort in mind, providing a relaxing home from home feel for the whole family although, with the extensive play gear on offer outside it may be a struggle to get little ones to spend longer than meal times and bed time inside! When all the day’s activities have taken their toll, weary mini guests can enjoy quiet evenings inside with a good film thanks to the family themed DVD selection, wide screen TV, and DVD player. Leaving parents free to enjoy quiet dinners and drinks on their private terrace.
Accommodation Overview - La Fleur:
Guests enter the newly renovated gite from the shared courtyard at the front into an airy open plan living area with TV, DVD player and dining area. The separate, modern, fitted kitchen has an oven, hob, toaster, kettle, microwave and coffee maker. There's a downstairs shower room with basin, WC and large shower cubicle plus baby bath for shower-shy mini guests. A washing machine is available in a communal courtyard utility room.
Upstairs, there's a double and a twin bedroom, each with room for a cot/toddler bed, and a separate toilet with basin.
Outside, there's private patio area which has a BBQ and dining furniture - perfect for guests to enjoy an al fresco meal or simply a glass of wine over sunset while the little ones are tucked up in bed. The patio also has a view of the pool so parents can keep an eye on tots in the water whilst enjoying long, French-style lunch.
La Maison Bleue enjoys a lovely rural setting around an hour’s drive from Bordeaux airport in the heart of the Charente Maritime region of France just 1.5kms from the local village of Soubran with a restaurant, boulangerie, nature reserve bar and tabac and 30 minutes’ drive from the coast.
Beach lovers will find a variety to explore within 30 minutes to an hour’s drive in the car. The owners recommend The Front de Mer beach at Royan which is both child friendly and flanked with restaurants, making it perfect for filling up after a busy day sandcastle building! That said, mini guests may attempt to drag grown-ups to the neighbouring funfair topped off by an ice cream. Parents can recover with a quick visit to one of the best markets in the area in Royan with an array of pretty boutiques to explore.
For keen walkers and families with a penchant for picnics, the house is surrounded by sunflower fields and vineyards, whilst those looking for historical towns and a spot of shopping are spoilt for choice with a range of places within 30 minutes. Highly recommended is the bustling town of Saintes with traditional narrow streets lined with medieval houses where Roman ruins are still visible or Jonzac which has a great selection of pretty pavement cafes and an interesting covered market. If mini guests get bored of trailing round the shops a visit to Les Antilles de Jonzac is in order which has a huge swimming lagoon complete with slides, fountains, a wave pool, restaurant, gardens and sandy beach. The pool is partially covered so proves a great day trip even if the weather is playing up.
Getting There: 70 minutes’ drive from Bordeaux airport and 90 minutes from La Rochelle.