'Chêne' is the smallest of three pretty 19th century farm cottages set around a spacious, south-facing, courtyard garden with adjoining play barn and surrounded by beautiful Loire Valley countryside. Set down a quiet country lane, Les Limornieres is wonderfully tranquil yet only 3km, walking distance in fact, from historic Le Grand Pressigny, with its chateaux, shops, bars and restaurants.
Owners Alex and Nicole Crawford and their two young daughters, left the UK and settled here a few years ago and are clearly passionate not just about the area they've made their home, but about looking after their guests too. A generous welcome pack filled with local goodies and an optional arrival night 'heat & eat@ 2-course supper (see Fast Facts) greets guests on arrival. Mini guests tend to be most impressed by the huge array of in and outdoor toys, although the resident chickens often steal the show at feeding and egg collecting times!
A useful list of nursery equipment is provided including stairgates, which are useful since the stairs are open-tread. However, little guests tend to spend most of their time pottering about on the lawned courtyard garden in front of the cottages overseen by parents soaking up the sunshine or scenery and chatting with other guests.
'Chêne' is a 60m2 one-bedroom detached gîte with a spacious double bedroom (also has a single bed screened from the double by a corner) and a lovely a private enclosed patio with seating and BBQ. Outside its all Hansel and Gretel-style 19th century cottage with pretty shutters and creamy stone but inside its light, bright and a lovely blend of modern comfortable furnishings with original character. The pretty stone fireplace, romantic log-burner, exposed stone walls and original tiled floors are combined with contemporary leather sofas, TV (UK channels), DVD, CD player and well-equipped kitchen complete with microwave dishwasher, oven, hob and fridge. Upstairs, the spacious double bedroom is flooded with light from its south-facing patio doors leading to Juliet balcony (safely enclosed) and benefits from an additional single bed, in an alcove, screened from the double. The adjacent bathroom is newly refurbished with a reassuringly modern power shower (baby bath available). All in all it’s a wonderfully romantic retreat for a couple with a baby and/or toddler in tow.
The pretty and historic town of le Grand Pressigny with its charming shops, bistros, bars and chateaux is only 3kms from Les Limornieres and easily reached as Alex & Nicole are happy loan guest bikes on which they can explore the quiet, relatively traffic free lanes around cottages - a pre-breakfast trip to the local boulangerie is always tempting incentive!
For non-cyclists, there are many marked walking routes (randonnee), one of the most child friendly of which takes walkers around the back of the chateau at le Grand Pressigny, through the woods and wild flower meadows and back into town for a reward in the form of ice-cream and coffee stop. Alternatively, from June -August, cool off in the town's heated outdoor pool, which has paddling areas for babies and toddlers.
The multi pool, multi slide complex at nearby Descartes (10mins drive) will prove even more tempting for older children and can be combined with a visit to the town's Sunday morning market. Soak up the atmosphere from the one of the cafe's with outdoor seating. Delicious pastries can be scoffed from the neighbouring patisserie while you watch the world go by. The market is a great place to stock up with local produce or buy a picnic and head to the river and the fantastic public gardens with animals, play park, crazy golf, outdoor pool, rose garden, herb garden all laid out in a pushchair friendly way allowing children freedom to run ahead.
There are plenty of good traditional French bistros in the villages surrounding Les Limornieres, most are at their most animated best during lunchtime service starting at midday - perfect for a meal with young children. Kiddie favourites are Grand’ma in le Grand Pressigny and Café de la Poste in nearby Barrou both serve great local food and are quite happy for little cherubs to be crayoning on the paper table mats between courses! Even more casual and just as delicious is 'Forza Pizza' night in le Grand Pressigny (Sats). A very unassuming mobile van arrives in the village square and offers hand-made, cooked to order pizza’s. Place an order, then sit back with your aperitif outside the bar opposite and wait to be called whilst the children play with the table-football in the bar or outside on the wide paved area.
Alex & Nicole can also advise on and book various other activities from local cookery workshops, golf, spa treatments at la Roche Posay (or on site), horse riding, canoeing, and even hot air ballooning over the Loire Valley chateaux. Alex himself offers fishing guiding and has over 25years Angling experinece. For an adult a full-day’s fishing including transport, equipment (if necessary), bait, permit & picnic costs 70 euros, Special rates for accompanying children can be arranged.
NEAREST AIRPORTS: Tours & Poiters are within an hours drive. Location Map