|Minimum Stay||2 - 7 nights|
Jasmine, our most recently renovated stone barn, has spectacular views of rolling countryside from its private terrace, complete with climbing vines and the heady scent of jasmine. It has its own large 11m pool. The cool, stone built gite has a large open plan ground floor with lounge area with 2 comfortable settees, a coffee table, TV (including freeview box) and DVD player.
The kitchen is well equipped with cooker, dishwasher, large fridge/freezer and microwave oven. The dining table seats eight comfortably.
There are 3 bedrooms - double, twin and triple and a downstairs shower room with WC and hand basin. The private terrace has a large vine covered pergola, with garden furniture and BBQ.
The wood burner gives a cosy feel- and is brilliant for autumn or winter use!
Jasmine has its own private parking area.
Bed linen, towels (other than beach towels) and suchlike are provided free- there is no cleaning fee on departure!
Inflatables, bikes, table tennis, baby gear- free.
Welcome to Les Ribaudieres, our gite complex in the sunny Charente Maritime. Whether you’re looking for a holiday where you can relax and unwind in beautiful surroundings or perhaps something a little more energetic, then this is the place for you!
Watch the world go by in this sleepy hamlet under your own shady pergola, retreat into the cool interior of your gite or take a dip in your private pool. We are sure you'll feel truly relaxed after a short while here.
There are two private pools, birdsong in spring, long summer days, starry, starry nights, the food, the wine, the sun, the calm, the autumn colours, even the crisp winter days. Spring comes earlier than in the UK and we do get Indian summers which can extend until November!
Discount golf can be pre-booked- Saintes, Royan and Cognac are nearby courses.
The atmosphere here is calm, clean, clear and blue. A world away from the grey skies we remember in the UK.
We live here and are willing to help. However, if you prefer to do your own thing then so be it.
The television is through an outdoor aerial- therefore, the picture is good. There is a freeview box in each gite. They are French- but some people do like French TV! A DVD player allows you play your own favourite films- or to keep the kids amused with their preferred stuff. We have some DVD's but you might prefer to watch things of your own choice.
Bicycles and clobber: We have a stable of thirteen bikes which you are welcome to use if you're feeling energetic. The local roads are little used, picturesque and hills can easily be avoided. The countryside is rolling- there are some more challenging rides if you insist. We have provided a couple of children's bikes. There are now two smaller ones ready and waiting! Stabilisers can easily be fitted or removed to suit the rider's needs. Two baby seats- mum and dad could do the pedalling for the non-riders!
The table tennis table is up and awaiting use! John usually fancies his chances- so be prepared to be challenged!
The inflatables- boat, killer whale etc think they are indestructible. OK accidents happen: this is not a challenge! Football, basketball, volleyball, boules and various other bits of games gear is available free of charge.
Free to use golf clubs- left or right handed- are itching to be used! Advice on the use of these would be appreciated. There are a number of good golf courses in the area. We will arrange the tee offs if the language is a problem.
And, the swings, mini-trampolines and slide are always available for the younger ones.
Flights and changeovers: We prefer to have Saturday as changeover day for convenience and for continuity. However, we are offering a service, and we are very conscious of budget flights flights being cheaper mid-week. La Rochelle, Poitiers and Bordeaux are within easy reach. Nantes is now an improved option from Shannon!
We are prepared to be flexible- outside of peak season! This may not be possible in peak season but early or late season is normally possible.
We offer 3 day (or weekend) deals outside of peak season. We have found that a weekend in or around La Rochelle, or three days on the golf courses are now possibilities.
We moved here from Newcastle/ Tyne. We were both secondary school teachers for many years in the Tyneside area. Our children were old enough to be independent and we sold up and moved to France.
Many friends said that we were brave and looked at us enviously....we had escaped the pressures and rush of the UK. Instead, we had a rural idyll with two swimming pools, wall to wall sunshine and a stress-free existence!
It really isn't quite like that. Our present house is tiny in comparison with the family home we sold. The temperature in winter can be (amazingly) much colder than that of Newcastle: last year it got down to -15C in February. And, of course, we no longer have income of two teachers.
There are times in winter when it can be a it too isolated in Les Ribaudieres. It isn't a shopper's paradise- Dorothy does sometimes miss the life and bustle of the citylife. In any case France is no longer as cheap as once was as sterling has weakened against the euro. After a revival in sterling..BREXIT!
Since arriving in France we have gained 3 grandchildren and they have obviously strengthened the ties to the UK. BUT, thanks to the budget airlines in particular we (normally Dorothy!) can get back to the UK quickly and cheaply.
On the plus side, as far as family goes, our children and grandchildren don't mind coming out here in summer and spending a week or two or three and taking advantage of the pools and the calm surroundings of Charente Maritime.
All in all moving out here has been the best thing I have ever done in my life. I am a country boy (old bloke) at heart and this place suits me very well. I don't necessarily want to be going back to England on a regular basis- there are things to keep me busy most of the time here. I've noticed that the weeds grow when they are not watched closely.
Really, the beauty Les Ribaudieres for me is that there is enough to do most days to keep me gainfully occupied..... but not so much that it is hard labour
John and Dorothy Lamb purchased this cottage in 2005
A long story! I spent a few weeks looking in this region for suitable properties and came up with a short list of about five. We agreed on the top two- but Dorothy's number one was my number two and vice versa.
In the meantime, selling our house took longer than we expected and it was only then that Les Ribaudieres entered the frame. A friend pointed out the advert to us and we came to view on a bitterly cold January morning.
The location was good- being to the west of the A10 autoroute. There were 2 gites, 2 pools (something we had not really considered before) and a very nice workshop. The land was self-contained and big enough for a vegetable plot and play area for the gites.....but NOT too much.
By then we had sold in Newcastle and we were soon to become homeless. So we jumped in as spring was springing. That was April 2004- why does time pass more quickly as one gets older?
Coming to Les Ribaudieres was like taking a couple of steps back in time. It reminded me of my childhood village in rural Northamptonshire- or, more likely, a rose tinted version of it. We have a open views of arable countryside- birds of prey, hares, deer, partridge and so on. We arrived in April to the sound of the cuckoo: I hadn't heard one for years in the UK.
There is next to no traffic apart from the bread van, the post and farm vehicles- though, to be fair, some are bigger than I remember them. The summers are generally good: plenty of sun without being overpowering. September and October usually give us extended Indian summers, too.
I am told that I am a good potterer! This is a huge misunderstanding or rural myth! In fact, I work long hours- normally, outdoors. I rarely stop working between April and the of October of beginning of November.
Rachel, Richard and Libby (HALIFAX )
Fantastic holiday, fantastic, people. Thankyou for a memorable holiday. Hopefully, see you all again in Sept.
Anna and Steve (BIRMINGHAM) and Pat and Peter (ARKLOW Co WICKLOW)
Had a wonderful two weeks in Jasmine. John and Dorothy lovely hosts . John will test the pool at any time. Plenty to do in the local area. See the storks nesting in Brouage. (NB** John may not be ever available as pool tester!- John Lamb).
Pat, Geraldine, Tara, Niall, Jack and Siocha Woulfe (DONERAILE, Co CORK)
The pool, flowers, BBQ, hospitality, scenery, weather, golf, bikes, TV, etc. Just loved it all!
Chris, Carole, Matthew, Owain,Amy and baby Euan Walsh (HARROGATE) and Andy, Helen, Pat, Callum and baby Nuala Darley (SHEFFIELD)
Lovely holiday, super setting in peaceful and tranquil countryside. Some great coastline too- favourite for the boys with the spectacular surf was the Cote Sauvage. The fortnight has flown by and there's still so much to see!
We do offer a meal on arrival if requested.
There is wi-fi internet on site. The signal at present is not strong. The house walls are 2 ft thick and the signal is not guaranteed. We have an internet radio- it works!
PLEASE be aware that the PEAK SEASON price (English school holiday period) is £1150 per wek.
We changed provider to France Telecom and Livefbox. This has improved reception.
We had a fantastic time only it was too short John & Dorothy were lovely hosts also very helpfull when we needed them Thanks
The boys loved the pool we loved the BBQ.Weather & Peaceful Countryside We hope to come back soon again
What you see on the website is what you get. A restored stone-built dormer bungalow with old-world character and all mod-cons. The owners could not be more helpful, with tips on the weather, short-cuts, events etc. On-site pool and playground keep kids and teenagers amused. Local roads are safe for walking and cycling. Happy to strongly recommend
This was our families second visit to stay with John & Dorothy and we will be returning again next summer.
Accomodation comfortable and full of character and charm. Stunning location surrounded by fields of sunflowers and quiet country lanes. The perfect get away for everyone that wants to spend quality time away from the rat race. Although, within an easy drive there are plenty of places to visit.
With the luxury of your own pool, table tennis, small play area and bikes for the whole family to use.
Typical day was a relaxed french breakfast fresh from the local bakery follwed by a day round the pool, possibly a bike ride and ending with a bbq on your own terrace with a glass or two of wine in complete peace!
John and Dorothy are the perfect hosts and there if you need them, Dorothy provides a lovely meal for you arrival if you require. John works very hard to ensure everybody has a great time nothing is too much trouble.
Can't wait to be back there again.
Really lovely gite with a large swimming pool. Owners, John and Dorothy, were very accommodating and nothing was ever too much bother for them. Kids had lots of fun with the inflatable pool toys, table tennis and bikes provided for our use. Weather was really good during our stay. Good access to supermarkets (either Intermarche or E L'Eclerc in St Jean D'Angely) and a local boulangerie that delivered fresh bread every morning to the gite.
Overall, really impressed with the location, the gite and John and Dorothy. Definitely would consider staying here again.
We have just returned from a very restful 3 weeks at Les Ribaudieres.
And yes, we would have stayed longer had we been able to.
Our family of 5 (3 daughters of 9,11,13) fitted comfortably in Jasmine, and the gîte was able to accommodate the addition of the 2 grandfathers for a spell in the middle of our stay.
John and Dorothy have equipped their gîtes very well internally, and also provide a fabulous array of equipment and toys outside for their guests - bikes, pingpong, inflatables in the pool - to name but a few. And of course the pool....simply wonderful, in particular as we were blessed with unusually hot weather.
With just one small nearby restaurant/bar, the excellent barbecue got a lot of use.
John and Dorothy were also always on hand to provide advice and help if needed, on places to visit, local markets, etc.
My husband also took advantage of the relatively flat landscape and explored much of the region on his bike.
We would recommend this place to anyone who is getting away from a busy life, who wants to rest, who likes to eat simple food at home and who wants to choose whether or not to take phone calls or read emails....it is a peaceful place, deep in the countryside, truly away from it all whilst within day trip access of Île de Ré, La Rochelle, Cognac and so on.
Thank you John and Dorothy for a very memorable time.
The Carton family, Dublin
John and Dorothy were really great in catering to our needs with a 4 year old and 1 year old in tow. Even before we had fully paid up John was providing helpful information ahead of our long drive to Les Ribaudieres which was above and beyond.
When there we had the use of the pools and the playground was just perfect for our two. The bikes have two kids seats so we could go out as a family and the provisions for our youngest (cot/highchair/stairgates/safety to pool) were there.
The description on the website was accurate on all points, but John and Dorothy made it even better than described by taking the time to help identify best drive routes to activities, restaurants etc.
Great and quiet location within 1-2 hours of key family activities. We would recommend!
We are in the heart of the countryside, criss-crossed by quiet lanes which are perfect for walking and cycling or just watching birds of prey soaring on the thermals. If you're energetic, there are tennis courts, boating lakes and fishing close by. Just 30 minutes away is the lovely Atlantic beach resort of Fouras. La Rochelle, Cognac, Futuroscope and Royan are all within easy reach. Charente Maritime is second only to the Cote d'Azur for sunshine and is a totally unspoiled region with acres of sunflowers- and tranquillity! Having said that, there are plenty of things to do! You should venture out! The Marais Poitevin is nearby with a network of canals to explore, alone or steered by an 'embarquedero'. The area is steeped in history with many Roman features, such as the amphitheatre and arch in Saintes. 18 hole golf courses at Saintes, Cognac, Royan and La Rochelle- quality courses at reasonable prices. Pineau, cognac and Bourdeaux wines are local drinks of choice. Seafood, surfing and sun are on tap, too.
Other Activities: Bird watching. Birds of prey+ cuckoo+nightingale
Golf: The nearby 18 hole courses are La Rochelle, Niort, Saintes, Cognac and Royan. John is a member at Saintes and preferential rates are easily arranged.
Royan, Cognac and La Rochelle are excellent and arrangements can be made by phone (we would do the phoning if necessary!). Saintes is cheaper and is much improved in the last two seasons!
Golf is warmer and less crowded here than in UK or Ireland. It is, also, less hot and prettier than in Spain!
Also, there are several 9 hole courses in the region. We have sets of clubs (left hand and right hand) here, waiting to be used- free of charge.
At the last count, there were 13 bikes of various sizes on site. These are free to use. (Please note that we do not provide safety helmets- the bikes are used at your own risk!)
The roads round here are virtually traffic free and flat but we cannot offer guarantees!
The locals are friendly and willing to help- despite being rural and tranquil- tourism is a big deal. Shop assistants do try to be helpful- your custom and your money will be welcomed!