14 December 2012 by Jessica Boston
Meet the Owner: La Four a Pain, La Cave and L’Etable, Brittany
Cathy and Dave Pierce bought their property near Redon in Ille-et-Vilaine in the 1990s to pursue a dream of living in France and creating holiday homes to let out.
It took a while to find the perfect place, “We knew exactly what we were looking for” says Cathy “somewhere with plenty of space, an opportunity to live on-site and have a couple of holiday lets too. We love France and after scouring areas further south without finding anything suitable we visited this rural farmhouse with traditional barns in the Loire and saw the potential it had”.
Renovating the Farmhouse into Gites
There was a lot of work needed and it took several years before they were ready to welcome the first guests. The traditional longere farmhouse was split into two properties that made the most of traditional features including the original beams and stone walls.
“The renovations were more expensive and time consuming than I had thought they would be… having said that ,we don’t regret a thing!
All the hard work and investment have been well worth it – it’s a wonderful place to live and playing host to all our guests is great fun. We get a lot of repeat visitors who become our friends; there are some who have come every year for nine years so we must be doing something right!”
The Local Culture and Environment
Local produce is second to none with lots of excellent restaurants to choose from, fantastic bakeries and weekly markets in most of the pretty villages in the area. Cathy recommends a trip to La Roche Bernard . “It’s one of our favourites, there’s a beautiful waterfront marina along the river and an excellent Thursday market – definitely worth a visit”.
The area around Redon is very rural and peaceful; there is no noise from traffic and no light pollution so the night is truly dark allowing you to see the stars clearly – an amazing sight.
Activities near Redon
The local landscape is not too hilly and there are many routes for rambling or bike riding that allow you to discover the scenery and wildlife in the area.
“Some holidaymakers bring bikes and we welcome them to join us on our weekly cycle club excursion, it’s a great way to explore and meet some local people,” says Cathy. “There are also two rivers within a 15 minute walk of the property so go down for a paddle and see if you can spot a kingfisher.”
For those who like a more active holiday, there is canoeing and other water sports offered at Lake Plesse which also has a man-made beach. Day trips to the Brittany coast or to see the famous mechanical elephant at Nantes are also popular with children.
“Brittany really is the friendliest part of France!” Cathy comments “We are so pleased we moved here and look forward to spending our retirement in this beautiful area enjoying the relaxed rural French life. We don’t even have to miss out on family as our son lives locally and our daughter is based in the French Alps – we really are very lucky”.
Cathy & Dave’s top tips when visiting the Loire:
- Go wine-tasting at Domaine de Galloires vineyard: We often invite guests to join us on a trip to our favourite vineyard, Domaine de Galloires. We usually stop en route for lunch at a great little Routiers restaurant we know before going on to the vineyard for a guided tasting session to help choose which wines to buy, it’s great fun and a lovely day out whether you are a wine buff or a complete beginner.
- Visit the beaches at La Baule: Spend a day at the beautiful sandy beaches at La Baule, soak up the atmosphere and try the local mussels at one of the many beach side seafood restaurants.
- Take to the skies: For the more daring visitors microlight flights can be arranged from Plesse – a unique way to appreciate the beautiful local landscape.
- Visit La Roche Bernard A lovely place to spend the day, with the beautiful waterfront marina along the river and an excellent market each Thursday.