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.
- 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