17 September 2015 by Jane Mercer
Rossignol and Chardonneret, Two Restored Cottages in Charente Maritime
For those of you who haven’t yet visited the Charente Maritime area of France maybe this is the time to give it a try? One of the sunniest regions in France, this is the Poitou-Charentes region’s window onto the Atlantic coast and a time-honoured holiday destination.
Picture-perfect seaside villages and countryside
Just over 400 km drive from the port of St Malo this region is a rich mix of soft sandy beaches, towns of art and history such as Saintes and Rochefort and some of the most beautiful villages in France including Mornac-sur-Seudre and St Martin de Ré with their pretty harbours and tiny narrow streets.
Being mainly a flat area it is ideal for cycling with some long distance routes and is a walkers’ paradise with paths along the ocean, across the marshes and skirting vineyards through a world of unique landscapes.
Self-contained cottages perfect for families or groups
Nestled in 35 acres in the heart of this stunning region on the banks of the river Boutonne is the recently restored farmhouse belonging to Catherine and Graham Wilson. The farmhouse is divided into two comfortable cottages, which can be hired separately or together for groups of around 14 people.
Chardonneret and Rossignol both have four bedrooms sleeping up to 8 and both offer very comfortable and child-friendly accommodation. Rossignol also has a downstairs wheelchair-friendly twin en suite bedroom which is very popular with grandparents and visually impaired guests and those hard of hearing are very welcome.
The cottages have fully equipped kitchens, spacious dining areas and open plan living rooms with good quality furniture, satellite tv and free wi-fi. There are plenty of shower/bathrooms; three en suites in Rossignol and three separate in Chardonneret.
Outdoor activities and local attractions
Outdoors, the children can have fun in in the gardens and the heated swimming pool, not to mention playing ‘Swallows and Amazons’ in the boat on the river! On cooler days there is a games barn with table tennis, table football and darts and both cottages benefit from oil-fired central heating.
The village of Aulnay is close by and the medieval town of St Jean d’Angely, situated on the pilgrims’ route to St Jacques de Compostelle is just a short drive away. Here you will find a choice of some very good restaurants and shops. A little further afield is the Roman town of Saintes with its arenas, hot springs and triumphal arch and La Rochelle, the historic trade port and one-time Huguenot capital is only an hour away.
A happy, healthy experience
The Wilsons are on hand to help visitors when necessary, and when asked what brought them to this area say it’s the ‘friendly people, far from the madding crowds, excellent quality of life, healthy life and lovely architecture’.
Perhaps you would like to share this experience?