21 January 2016 by Jane Mercer
Le Pommier luxury hay barn conversion, Charente
Not everyone is looking for the high life of the French Riviera for their holidays! There are those who seek a quieter place where they can escape from the crowds whilst still enjoying a warm, sunny climate and a largely unspoilt rural area.
The Charente department in the southern Poitou-Charentes region of Western France is one such place and the Henderson family discovered it many years ago when they decided to move to France. They immediately fell in love with the quintessentially slow pace of life which has been lost in other more populated areas of France.
Stunning open plan gite accommodation
Le Pommier was once a hay barn and has been tastefully converted into stunning open-plan accommodation with exposed beams and walls and a vaulted ceiling. The living area is on the first floor with lovely views from the balcony and the three bedrooms (one king, one double and one twin) are on the ground floor, making them very cool in the summer.
First-class furnishings, facilities and mod cons
The gite is furnished to a very high standard; as Mr Henderson says, ‘the days when a gite holiday meant roughing it in sub-standard accommodation are long gone,’ and guests really appreciate the quality beds, linen and kitchen equipment.
The Hendersons have certainly thought of everything to ensure that guests have a great stay, from the large heated pool, gym and table tennis table to the smaller items such as USB and electrical adaptors. The summer terrace is a perfect place to relax on the hammock or sofa in the shade whilst watching the children in the pool. There is even an outdoor fridge and iPod docking station so outdoor fun is guaranteed!
Fine dining with a great atmosphere
Although there is more than enough to do without leaving the property, the surrounding area has much to offer. There are a number of great local restaurants to suit everyone, the Hendersons’ favourite being ‘Chez Steph’ at nearby La Rochefoucauld which is popular with locals and holidaymakers alike so there is always a buzzing atmosphere particularly at weekends in the summer.
For the more traditional diners there is the Ferme de Panivol, an auberge where only food produced on their own farm is served. Lunch usually takes up to three hours – six courses – and is superb value at around 30 euros!
Attractions for activity lovers & culture vultures…
For the adventurous there is a tree-top adventure park only ten minutes away from Le Tilleul with four ‘high wire’ courses and a zip wire over the lake as well as a bungee jumping tower for the really daring!
A little further afield in Poitiers is the amazing Futuroscope where there is something for all ages and a great day out. But if you are looking for a more cultured experience, the historic towns of Cognac and Angoulême are definitely worth a visit.
To sum up, a stay at Le Pommier will be everything you wish for a perfect holiday. The climate is superb and the long, balmy summer evenings are a joy.