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Saturday 6 December 2008

Sites of La Rochelle

Nestled in the old port of La Rochelle is what must be the smallest bar I've have ever seen called 'Le Petit Pavois'.

Thursday 6 November 2008

Customer Review for the Pigeonnier near La Rochelle

3-6 November 08

Le Pigeonnier has been a lovely place to stay en route to Andalucia, we don't want to leave!
Such a cosy little place, a very comfy bed and a fab shower. You have made us feel so welcome and we will be recommending you to all our friends and family.
Hope to see you on the way back next year.

Emma & David & Jeddy

Thursday 23 October 2008

Customer Review for the Pigeonnier

11-18th October 2008

This has been a lovely place to stay and you have made us feel very welcome. We wish you all the best with your future projects and hope you will reap the benefits soon.
All the best for the future, perhaps we'll see you again soon (hope so!).
Urzula & Ian

Monday 29 September 2008

Walking the bridge to Ile de Ré

A beautiful Sunday afternoon (no wind) so we thought we would walk the bridge to Il de Ré near La Rochelle, it's about 3 kilometers long. There were'nt many walkers, but there were loads of cyclists all carrying their picnic's to spend the afternoon on the beach.
On the way back we all thought it would be better to catch the bus (we're not as fit as we should be!) after all it was only 2 stops. What we did'nt realise was that the bus fare has gone up in price and was very expensive, we will definately walk back next time!

Sunday 28 September 2008

A taste of France in the local Restaurant in Landrais

Last night we all went down to our local restaurant in Landrais. It's a table d'hôtes which means there is no choice of menu, you have what they cook on the night and it's usually regional Charentaise specialities cooked on the premises, the menu changes from week to week. We were the first to arrive (being English) at 7.30 and by 8 the restaurant was full. It's usually a 5 course menu, so I suggest not to eat anything before you go. The owner/chef is a real character, he usually comes out of the kitchen and explains what's on the menu of the evening. Last night we started off with aperatif and nibbles, then they bring a two tier tray of 3 types of homemade patès (one vegetable) with a confit of onion (type of relish). On the top tier there are several dishes of fried fish, snails, pastries filled with cod, little pots of tomatoe soup and salad. For the main course we had a large dish of Mojettes (white beans) with ham and sausage in a delicious sauce and the waitress said if we require a top up just let her know! By which time we could hardly move! Next came the selection of 3 types of cheese, one was a fresh goats cheese that you eat with honey and Cognac. Last but not least came dessert which was a Caramel cream flan with raspberries and creme Anglais. Washed down with an excellent bottle of Red wine.

You get all this (wine extra) for just 18euro's per person, children half price. If that's not enough he makes jars of pates, soups, etc...... to take away for presents.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Journées Patrimoine La Rochelle 2008

Along a nondescript looking road by the market place a single door opens to steps descending down into an underground labyrinth of concrete tunnels and rooms, This is the German operations bunker for the u-boat operations running out of La Rochelle during the second world war, this bunker is always opened up on the Patrimoine weekend every September by the enthusiastic owner and collector of wartime memorabilia, with its own air supply if needed its design is similar to a U-boat and I found the photographs and news paper clippings fascinating. Walking back into the streets after a visit you could almost hear the sound of jackboots on the cobbles.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Grand Pavois Boat Show, La Rochelle.

The Grand Pavois Boat Show at La Rochelle, finished again until this time next year.
Its a spectacular show set in the large port of Minimes, every conceivable water transport is on show from kite surfing, canoes, engines and accessory's to wandering around the multi million pound yachts.
A great day out.

Sunday 14 September 2008

Fireworks at the Grand Pavois in La Rochelle

Last night we all went to La Rochelle to watch the fireworks courtesy of the Grand Pavois boat show, the biggest show on water in Europe. We arrived at 7 and sat on the entrance to the port, and ate our picnic with a bottle of rosé on the grass. There were Irish dancers on a large boat, water skiing, as the sun went down into the sea and the show commenced with a row of old sailing ships passing by under a few small fireworks, the towers changed colour to music. The story began and the night was filled with lights, loud bangs and loads of smoke.

Sunday 7 September 2008

Customer Review

30/8/08- 6/9/08

The week has flown and we still hav'nt managed to visit Ile d'oleron..... a great excuse to return here. Not that we need an excuse, it's such a lovely place to stay.
Many thanks,
Vicky & David

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Forte Vauban, Fouras

The weather was'nt too good on Sunday, so I decided to go and have a look around Forte Vauban in Fouras, it stands proud overlooking the sea near the Grande plage. As you climb the forte the museum inside has lots of interesting artefacts of Fouras in the past, costumes, maps and local information and near the windows there are carvings in the stone, names and dates etc. When you reach the top you can see for miles!

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Customer Review for the Pigeonnier

23rd to 26th August 2008

We really enjoyed our stay here. The location is great and it is so peaceful. Thank you for your kind hospitality the Pigeonnier is a great base and cosy on a night time.
We couldn't have asked for anything more. Good luck with the rest of the renovation Nigel & Suzanne. We will tell friends back home about your great place.
Thank you
John & Annette, Northumberland

Saturday 23 August 2008

Customer review

An amazing weekin your fabulous property. Michelle and I love your style. Edward has had the time of his life here and really enjoyed the garden, the wendy house, and playing with Louis.
I have enjoyed Ile de Ré, Saint Martin, Le Bois Plage en Ré, La Rochelle, The aquarium, Fouras beach, Châtellaillion beach, Rochefort town. So much to see that a week can't even cover all of it, Will definitely be back.
Craig, Michelle and Edward
Glasgow, Scotland

Saturday 16 August 2008

Sites of La Rochelle

Hotel de ville (mairie) of La Rochelle and the other is one of the towers guarding the port entrance.

French dogs on holiday

Spot the poodle sunbathing in the deck chair!
The other photo is a lady taking her dog for a walk.

Saturday 9 August 2008

Customer review

26/07- 9/08

Two wonderful weeks, property beautiful and weather great even enjoyed spectacular lighting storm in the early hours, lighting up surronding countryside!
Good places to visit: Fouras good beaches and free parking! La Rochelle go on a sunday pedestrianised, and aquarium fab but go at evening. Zoo at La Palmyre very good.Also Ile de Ré (St Martin) and Ile d'Oleron.
Thank you Louis, Ellie, Rosie for making the children feel welcome and for the use of the outdoor toys!
Keep up the hard work Suzie and Nigel and hope to see you again soon!
Best wishes
Yvette, Will

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Customer review

june 22/08
"Had forgotton what quiet really sounded like! Very relaxing and comfortable. Nigel and Suzie couldn't have been more helpful, Nigel a dab hand at changing car fuses, nearly got stressed over cig lighter fuse blowing (no more TomTom!) Countryside beautiful, beaches fantastic, though wish we had thought more about the tide times (a long walk to the sea). Setting was in a impressive setting, what a place to live. Enjoyed most La Rochelle, Oleron and Isle de Re.Plenty to do or see, will go back with grandchildren one day, children well catered for and lots of space to run around. Recommended. A pool will make all the difference. We stopped over night to break the journey at Falaise (going) and Albert (on the return). "

Customer review, Excellent place to stay

july 19/08
Dave and faith, North Yorkshire
"A very peaceful countryside location, somewhere tranquil and relaxing after a day spent sightseeing or on the beach.The farmhouse and garden are very tastefully restored and decorated being clean and well maintained.A great base from which to explore the local area. A car is required (bring a road map) and there is plenty to see and do within easy reach (beach 20mins by car). Our favourites were;Ile de Re (pay once going onto island at start of bridge)- especially La Flotte for its restaurants by the sea and St-Martin around the harbour area.La Rochelle.Fouras for its village and beaches.Brouage, a fortified village between Rochefort and Marennes (time your visit for when the shops are open!).Surgeres for its supermarkets, market, a snack/drink and a wander around the gardens.Many things we did not have time for.We loved the garden at the gite (especially our daughter), a great place to play or relax with a drink and book. At the time of our stay we were surrounded by beautiful sunflowers.We were made to feel welcome and found the owners to be very friendly and helpful.We had a great time, finding the farmhouse gite to be everything we expected and more, and would definitely recommend it. We would love to stay again."

Saturday 26 July 2008

2 Customer reviews for the farmhouse

july 2008

A wonderful relaxing week in your beautiful gîte. Many thanks for your hospitality and kindness special thanks to Rosie and Ellie for their baby sitting skills!
Hope to see you all again soon/ next year!
A bientôt!
Chris & Jaqueline & family

26 july 2008

A fantastic week, the weather has been great and the farmhouse was all we hoped it would be. There is so much to do in the area and the house is so tranquil and relaxing. Thanks for a smashing week, keep on rockin' Nigel.
Dave & Faith & Emma
West Yorkshire

Friday 25 July 2008

Customer Review for the Pigeonnier

12th July - 25th July Pigeonnier

We have had a great holiday, it was exactly what we wanted. Really quiet, great weather, great beaches and lovely surrounding country side here near La Rochelle.
All the best to all of you, we may visit again some time in the future.
Jan & Alan
Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Saturday 19 July 2008

Franco Folie

on wednesday night in La Rochelle, the Franco Folies hosted "Mika"for the last act of the festival. It was a great atmosphere around the port and in the town center. There were live bands playing in the streets, and street entertainers. The whole place was rocking with music.
Franco Folies is on every year in July, it lasts a week and its like a street music festival, there is a couple of stages set up where you have to pay to go in although you can hear the music any way, these are different prices depending on the bands playing, another couple of stages which are free to view and many of the bars and restaurants have indoor and outdoor bands playing, all withen walking distance while being entertained by street performers.

customer review

Steve and Marilin 19th july 2008

Thank you for a lovely stay, the house is beautiful and we have enjoyed the peace and quiet.
The weather has been fantasic and we have enjoyed going to Ile de Ré, La Rochelle and Rochefort.
We particulary enjoyed the fireworks in Landrais on "Bastille Day" and the band was good too.
Hope to be back again soon.

Monday 14 July 2008


Here in sunny France, near La Rochelle the Sunflowers have just opened. This year they completely surround us. Absolutely beautiful!

The other photo is taken from the bedroom window in the Farmhouse.

Thursday 10 July 2008

Indian Festival at Chatelaillon

Not long ago we decided to take ourselves off to the Indian festival at Chatelaillon just south of La Rochelle, it was great, the atmosphere felt authentic with an Indian band playing live, jossticks burning. The main street was decorated with overhead garlands and large life size elephants were brightly decorated down both sides of the road. We were really looking forward to tasteing a nice spicy curry or samosas and onion bhajies etc..... Unfortunatly all that was on offer was moules & frites (mussels & chips) or kebabe & chips! A curryless Indian festival!

Saturday 21 June 2008

Châtelaillon beach

So hot here today, so this evening we decided to cool off at Châtelaillon beach and have a pic-nic tea on the sand. This photo was taken at 9 o'clock at night.

Customer comment for the Pigeonnier

21st June 2008

The end of a lovely week in this delightful Pigeonnier & area of La Rochelle here in France. Reluctantly leaving to head south, but would love to re-visit again, especially with such welcoming hosts.
Would recommend eating at La Fumeé in Fouras for great fish dishes.
The Bateau Lavoir in the village of Landrais made a magnificent end to the week.
Many thanks & best wishes

Thursday 19 June 2008

For all our guest who visited us here near La Rochelle last year that saw the beginning of my re-building of the Barn, At last here it is (hurrah) just finished putting the roof on before the arrival of our summer guests this year. We have now received planning permission to make the barn into a gite so I will keep you posted on my progress as we will be offering it next year as a single bedroom gite with a sofa bed in the lounge and windows overlooking the fields on the other side, We are calling it the Pressoir (note the photo's before and after) as our neighbour the local farmer across the field lived here as a child and his father used the barn to press his grapes and ferment his wine, there is still an old stone vat in the ground.

Saturday 14 June 2008

Custormer review

Wir hatter 10 wunder schöne tage hier in Landrais, mit viel Sonnenschein, schönen ausflüger und leckeren wein!!
In der Charente- Martime gibt es vides zh entdecken schöne strände und kleine städte und es war schön sicle abends hier von der ausflüger zh eshoren!
Es war ein selr esholsamer urlaub!!!
Vielen dank für der schönen abend bei ench, Nigel Suzanne!

We think it's a good review!

Sunday 8 June 2008

Tides out

Beautiful day here again so we decided to go off to the beach at Fouras near La Rochelle. The tide was so far out today when we arrived at the beach you could barely see the sea. Lukily we were on center beach, there is a large salt water pool for swimming and to cool off!

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Customer review "Beautiful Farmhouse"

"This is just what a gite should be, beautifully restored without losing any of it's "Frenchness" but with all mod.cons. Rural enough to be able to relax in the garden with a book and a glass of wine, but within easy reach of our favourites, Chatelaillon Plage and La Rochelle. David and I had a very happy stay there in 2006, left it too late to book in 2007, so made sure to book early for 2008! Would recommend this property with it's helpful owners to anyone".

Reviewer Location: Cornwall England
Date of Arrival : Aug 30, 2006
Name on Contact : Victoria
Review Rating: 5/5
Review Title "beautiful farmhouse"

Sunday 1 June 2008

Family fun day out

We had a great day out today, we decided to go north of La Rochelle for a change, to the South of the Vendée which is the next department to the Mervent Forest it's about 45mins from here. A complete change of scenery. We visited the small zoo which was very well run and kind to the animals they had plenty of space. In some of the enclosures we were allowed to walk freely with the animals and feed them popcorn, it was great.

Afterwards we went down to the Vendée river and hired a pedal boat and sat on the river bank under the warm rays of the sun. A fantastic family Sunday outing.

Saturday 31 May 2008

Meet the natives

I've just bought a delicious freshly baked pain aux raisins, pain au chococlats, and a baguette from Gérard our bread man, he comes everyday except Mondays. He bakes the bread during the early hours of the morning and then delivers to the local villages in this area near La Rochelle. What a lovely start to the day here in the Charente Maritime!

Monday 26 May 2008

Sylvie and Kevins Images of our place

On Saturday we escaped to the country side, half an hour drive away from la Rochelle to visit our friends Nigel and Suzie. I love the place, it oozes serenity and beauty. They moved here in Landrais a few years ago with their three children. We stayed there once on holiday before we made the move to France ourselves and have become friends ever since. They have renovated their house and gites totally on their own . I have nothing but admiration for the standard of their work and sheer dedication. A swimming pool is next on the cards no doubt Nigel will be building that too.

Sunday 25 May 2008

Saintes and île d'Oléron by Rosie

The other week I went to Saintes with my latin class. We went to the roman ampitheater and the remains of the roman bridge that used to cross the river charente, after we visted a museum in Saintes. We all had a great day out.
And last week I went to île d'Oléron, with my class, to learn to sail for 3 days with my school (André Dulin in Aigrefeuille near La Rochelle). We stayed in Boyardville on the island of Oléron. It was really fun, we did cycling, a treasure hunt in the forest and sport. On the 3rd day we sailed around Fort Boyard, it was amazing to get so close, it's really big. I really enjoyed learning to sail. I had a great 3 days with my friends.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

review, the sound of silence

The Netherlands
date of arrival: May 1,2008
"During the first ten days of May 2008 my wife and I stayed in the Pigeonnier of La Metairie de Monlieu (near La Rochelle). The cottagy gite, set in a lovely rural area, has been beautifully done up by Nigel and Suzanne. It provides everything you need for a holiday to explore the lovely surroundings of the Charente - Maritime. Both Suzanne and Nigel are perfect hosts. For an escape to the country, away from all the noise and stress of busy citylife, this is the place to be. Thanks again for a wonderful stay !

NB: All comments left by our guests regarding our gite near La Rochelle will be added with permission here on our blog.

Monday 12 May 2008

Fouras Grand plage

This is the Grand plage at Fouras (30 min from La Rochelle) You can see one of the old Forts named fort Vauban, also if you look out to the sea from this beach you can see fort Boyard. Fouras is a quaint french sea-side resort, it has three main beaches and some lovely shops and restaurants. You can also buy fresh oysters from la Fumée in Fouras.

Vergeroux near Rochefort

For Pentecôte bank holiday monday here in the Charente Maritime, we went to to one of the biggest vide grenier (car boot)/brocante (antique fair). There was around 500 exposants, we must have walked miles and miles! We bought a lovely shopping basket and he gave us a small one free for a present.
After the brocante we decided to go to Fouras beach (30 mins from La Rochelle) because again the weather was fantastic. The tide was out today, but it was ok because on the Grand Plage (beach) there is a sea water swimming pool, which is great for swimming.

Sunday 11 May 2008

Show jumping competition

Today we spent all afternoon at a local show jumping competition at Toucherit near La Rochelle. Rosie entered the competition and came 6th, and won a brush, a pen and a rosette. The weather was really hot and all the horses were really sweating and tired. It was a great afternoon and I think everyone got sun burnt!

Thursday 8 May 2008

Guests this week

This week we have a lovely couple from Holland, staying in the gite called the Pigeonnier. Last Tuesday night we enjoyed their company and also our friend Valérie and her daughter Alice, instead of bringing a bottle of wine or a dessert Valérie brought an unloved guinea pig! It was a beautiful sunny evening here near La Rochelle so we decided to have a BBQ and several bottles of good local wine and a drop or two of pinot. After watching the sun go down, the sky became full of stars as there is no light pollution here.

Our new lodger, Sushi the guinea pig.

Saturday 3 May 2008

New Website

Today we have launched our new website you can click and visit here. We'll be updating our blog at least twice per week from now and hopefully our guests won't mind us adding their photo's to this blog.

La Rochelle is roasting hot this weekend and the beach is calling. We have still some availability in our gites so feel free to take a look around and ask us any questions.