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“A peaceful base to explore from”

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Le Clos de la Garenne
Ranked #1 of 1 Puyravault B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 27 September 2010

We stayed in the Tournesol apartment for a week in early September and had a wonderfully restful holiday.
We had taken the TGV from Paris to Surgeres and then hired a car and drove to Puyravault. Having read some previous reviews, I warned my husband that the dogs had a reputation for friendliness, but he was still surprised when he opened the car door and an enormous boxer dog scrambled in and tried to climb onto his knee. Fortunately the dog was extremely good-natured and didn't mind being shoved out of the way.
Brigitte appeared to greet us, managed to understand my garbled French but was happy to explain the facilities etc in English.
The apartment was ideal for us because it allowed us to be completely flexible. Brigitte left us some milk, fruit juice, butter and home-made jam and there were canisters of tea and coffee. We also had 2 evening meals in the house with Brigitte, Patrick and the other guests - no mean feat as it involved Brigitte cooking wheat-free food, which she did with consummate ease and no fuss. As well as cooking and serving the meal (assisted by Patrick, with his sardonic sense of humour), Brigitte interpreted between the English and French speakers and made everyone feel welcome.
Brigitte also recommended restaurants for the evenings when we wanted to eat out and was happy to phone up to book tables.
The grounds are beautiful (deckchairs supplied) and there are plenty of games and books in the main house if you need them.
The apartment was ideally situated to get to La Rochelle, Saintes, Rochefort, Niort, Saint Jean d'Angely and, of course, Surgeres. We could have gone further afield, but chose to limit our driving to a maximum of around an hour each way.
The week passed very quickly and we were soon back in Paris and confronted by traffic and crowds, which was when we realised how truly peaceful our stay had been.
I would recommend Brigitte & Patrick's lovely home to anyone. Several of the other guests we met would have liked to stay for longer but were unable to because there were no vacancies, which speaks for itself.
Thank you Brigitte & Patrick.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank CuriousTravellerYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 - 31 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 9 September 2010

We spent a lovely and tranquil week here when we were on our honeymoon and it's a very special place! There is all sorts of wildlife here including hummingbird hawkmoths, which are wonderful to watch flitting around the hollyhocks.

Brigitte and Patrick are brilliant hosts and really go the extra mile in looking after their guests - their dinners are traditional French fare and the local wine flows and flows, which makes for quite a lively evening! Lovely breakfasts too! There are lots of games and we spent a fair amount of time playing frisbee, pool and scrabble, and there are also some amazing collections of quite random objects (scales, antique bike pumps etc!) for you to mooch around.

The flatness of the landscape is a massive contrast to the mountains and valleys of other parts of France, but it makes for great bike rides through fields of sunflowers (bike hire is very cheap from Surgeres tourist information centre, and Brigitte booked everything for us) and you can hire canoes to take yourselves round the marshes to the northeast, which is a glorious and very relaxing way to spend an afternoon - again not overly expensive, and with the extra bonus of not being too touristy.

Surgeres, just a few miles down the road from le Clos de la Garenne, is a sweet little town with a few eateries - we're vegetarian so weren't that adventurous with the more traditional French restaurants but we'd definitely recommend La Roma pizzeria where the food is amazing and the staff are lovely. Other places to visit include Chatelaillon-Plage, which has a lovely beach (with free beach library so you can borrow a book to read as you sunbathe!) and a massive market on Fridays. Rather than join the massive queues of people flocking over to Ile d'Aix on the ferry from Fouras (you need to get to Fouras very early if you want to stay ahead of the crowds, folks!) we went further south and drove over to Ile d'Oleron on the viaduct - there are lots of places to explore over there, including the old citadelle which is now inhabited by local artists selling their wares and - when we were there at least - small groups of musicians hiding in unexpected places, ready to start playing when you go past!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jenf_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

Excellent standard of spacious accomodation, plenty of character and wonderful breakfast. Our stay was too short, great base to visit La Rochelle, Marais Poitevin and the surrounding areas. Happy memories, best wishes to Brigitte and Patrick.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank An_Sliothar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2010

We stayed here again this year and Brigitte and Patrick were as usual the perfect hosts. Quiet, clean and friendly, I do not know why we stayed only for one night! My wife and I are quite "fussy" where we stay and this B & B ticks all the boxes.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank DavidMPlymouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2010

Stayed two nights , had wonderful food ,service and quietness. Arrived late on first night but Patrick and Brigitte still fed us very well. The grounds are a delight with plenty of wildlife, just the job for a pre breakfast stroll. We will be going back and use it as a base to visit La Rochelle, the Marais de Poitevain and the southern Vendee. Can't wait!!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank eastwoods47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2010

If you find yourself in this corner of France make a beeline to this wonderful B&B. The hosts are truly welcoming, the food is homemade and you feel as if you're living on a farm in the countryside. An excellent value. I hope to return.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Isabelinha55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2010

We stayed here for a long weekend with our three kids (7, 9, and 10).

As a family of five, we stayed in the “cottage”, which is a two bedroom suite. The kids room had a bunk bed and single, and was well stocked with toys and reading materials (in French and English). The master bedroom was nice, and the bed comfortable. The bathroom was certainly satisfactory, and the water pressure in the shower was strong (this has been an issue for me in when staying in renovated old buildings elsewhere in Europe)

The breakfast was fresh coffee and juices, breads, and about a dozen homemade jams that were absolutely delicious. Two unusual ones – rhubarb / vanilla and melon / anise (licorice) – were delightful, and the kids all loved the raspberry. There were also a few other items offered like yogurt.

The animals here were great, both those that the family keeps and those just “visiting”. The dogs, which they call French Bulldogs but I think are French Bullmastiffs, are very friendly with kids, the younger one on the border of “too friendly” at times but not certainly not angered when pushed away. They also have two mules, a flock of free-range chickens, and a small herd of sheep. But the most numerous animals are the many, many birds that visit and keep the place awash in bird song, especially in the morning.

The grounds are very nice, and we enjoyed walking around the yard. They have some play equipment for kids which our kids liked a lot, and the younger dog seems trained to push the kids around one of the spinning pieces of equipment.

We spent an afternoon at the beach, which was only 30 minutes away by car, as well as went to a bird sanctuary 20 minutes away. They are also just a few minutes from several quaint towns that have wonderful restaurants.

Overall, this was a great stay. Patrick & Brigitte treated us like family. We’d recommend highly, and plan to return ourselves.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Krotz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Clos de la Garenne

Address: 9 Rue de la Garenne, 17700 Puyravault, France
Region: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Charente-Maritime > Puyravault
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Puyravault
Price Range: $99 - $113 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Between La Rochelle, Rochefort and the Green Venice, in a peaceful village, Le Clos de la Garenne is a 10 acres property. Formely hunting lodge for the village Lord, then wine estate, this outstanding manor house has opened its doors to guests since 1998. The numerous and spacious rooms tell the story of a family home, so old but so lively. Each window opens on nature, each door opens on the terraces. The enclosed parkland is huge : gardens, a field for sheep and donkeys, a wood, a place for a future pond… Birds are singing everywhere. Old oak trees are offering generous shade.4 times a week, guests' dinners propose a healthy family cooking using local fresh products.Couples & families are positively welcome (2 rooms, 2 family accommodations, 1 studio). Many games & entertainments. Baby equipment & little kitchen corner. Quality advice and documents to discover the region. Disabled access. ... more   less 

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