12 December 2014 by Jess Boston
Meet the Owners: Le Manoir de la Pataudiere, Calvados
They had reached a point where the decision to change their lifestyle was a ‘now or never’, and taken a leap into the unknown to try and find the perfect upbringing for their daughter Mailys who was then just two years old.
“We love meeting new people and wanted to share a more authentic, simpler life with our daughter” says Anne-Véronique.
A successful track record with gites
“Olivier had already successfully developed three self-catering gites in Landes in South West France and I am passionate about French cookery and hospitality, so holiday letting seemed like a great idea for us. After a career in advertising and business that I still continue as a freelancer I was ready to spend more time at home with family. I so enjoy being able to share the joy and pleasures of living in this part of France with our guests”.
Deciding on a location for their new life was simple; it should either be Anne-Véronique’s childhood home of Calvados, or Bayonne in the Pays Basque where Olivier had been born. In the end Calvados won when the family went to view the property they went on to buy. “We fell in love with it, not only is it a beautiful, impressive house but it also felt like home. It had a peaceful atmosphere and was remarkably similar to a former family property – it was easy to imagine living there and our plans for the holiday gites were already taking shape!”
Attention to detail
Anne-Véronique’s attention to detail in decorating, furnishing and equipping the holiday accommodation is part of what makes the properties so special.
“We chose things we loved, things we would choose for our own home that give a luxurious but homely feel. It’s not easy to relax on holiday with small children so we’ve used our own experience with our daughter to provide the extras that make life easier; we offer all the usual baby and toddler equipment as well as toys and games to save people having to bring everything with them.
We have an indoor playbarn with soft play, slides, ride on toys and a trampoline as well as safe outdoor space with a large sandpit, swings and slide – it’s paradise for the little ones and lets parents relax while they play. We even offer babysitting in the evening to give parents a break to go out to dinner!”
Converted coaching inn and apple press room
Le Manoir de la Pataudiere property includes three B&B suites and two gites, ‘Le Relais’ a three bedroom gite converted from part of a former coaching inn and ‘Le Pressoir’ a character apartment above the traditional apple store. The apple press room has been sensitively restored with the traditional wooden press still in place. “It was abandoned when we first came here, just a huge, messy, dirty space. Now it’s a lovely area for entertaining guests, we’ve renamed it ‘Aux tapas basco-normandes’ to reflect both our regional backgrounds, our visitors are welcome to join us here to try some local wines, cider or Pommeau.
We’re always happy to show off the wonderful produce here, and of course we love to experience the culture of our guests too! A couple from Germany once stayed with us bringing a basket of German food to share, it was a lovely way to spend an evening discovering new things and making new friends”.
Olivier, Anne-Véronique and even their 5 year old daughter Mailys really are the most welcoming hosts; “It’s wonderful to see Mailys meeting children from all over the world; she’s made friends with children from Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Argentina… all over! At her age speaking a different language is not a barrier to imaginative play and having fun together at all”.
History and adventure
With such relaxing, comfortable surroundings you could forgive guests for simply staying close to home enjoying the private gardens, wildlife, food and children’s facilities, but the area is full of exciting opportunities to explore.
Adventurous types can try bungee jumping, hiking, kayaking or horseriding – perfect ways to explore the Calvados countryside. The region is also steeped in history with sites including the D-Day landing beaches, the Bayeux tapestry, William the Conqueror’s castle at Falaise and the world famous Mont Saint Michel all within reach.
However long you stay at Le Manoir de la Pataudiere, you’ll wish you had more time. The customer reviews speak for themselves and guests often turn a short stay designed to break up a journey into a full length holiday the following year.
Happy guests, great reviews
“We’re really proud our guests are so complimentary, we always listen to feedback and are dedicated to making everything perfect. Whatever you need to make your stay special, just ask! We can recommend activities and trips, book spa treatments and introduce you to all the delicious food and drink of the region. We love our way of life here and part of the enjoyment is in being able to share it with others”.
Anne-Véronique’s top three things to do when visiting Le Manoir de la Pataudiere:
- Let Anne-Véronique cook you a delicious meal. Anne-Véronique comes from a family of ‘cordon bleu’ cooks and is a generous and talented cook who can offer tailored menus using local ingredients and traditional French recipes. Choose a sociable dinner with your hosts, a private family celebration (complete with cake if required) or a romantic dinner à deux. Olivier will select the perfect wine to make your evening complete. Children’s meals and pre-prepared picnics can also be provided.
- Visit Le Pin National Stud. A fascinating day out for all ages this equestrian attraction is known as the ‘Versailles for horses’. Visit the stud farm, castle, stables and paddocks and see the horses. For a special treat go on a Thursday and see the extravagant 3pm display that includes riders, horses and carriages on parade.
- Explore the Forest of Grimbosq. This 475 hectare forest near Caen is a magical place to visit. Get back to nature walking the well-signed routes or trying out mountain bike trails. You can also visit the animal park, pond, arboretums and archeological sites. Take a picnic for a relaxing day out the whole family will enjoy.