|Minimum Stay||2 - 7 nights|
Sunset is a converted barn built from local limestone. It has a secluded walled courtyard with honeysuckle, jasmine and roses trailing through the recently built pergola. There is a private swimming pool which is positioned to get the sun all day long. The views to the west and the woods- over which you can see the birds of prey riding the thermals or the beautiful sunsets- are truly stunning. The gite is cool in summer with traditional stonework and original beams. It has a huge (approx 30ft x 16 ft- 90 sq m) open plan ground floor area with lounge, dining area and kitchen. There are two settees, a coffee table, TV with freeview and DVD. A mini hi-fi is handy- a set of headphones can be provided.
The kitchen has a cooker, washing machine, dishwasher, large fridge/freezer and microwave oven. The dining table seats six-eight comfortably.
Three bedrooms- double, twin and bunks with modern bathroom: shower cubicle, WC hand basin and vanity unit
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!
Wi-fi on site. Signal is now improved through our change of service provider. However, we cannot guarantee a strong signal- this is rural France.
A meal is available on arrival. This has proved useful to those arriving tired and hungry and after 7.00 pm. The shops will not be open after 7.30pm! Details of price, menu etc can be found elsewhere on this site.
There is limited Sunday opening - we will advise.
There will be no hidden extra charges.
We had a lovely holiday in Sunset last year.
The things I liked about it were, there was an area with swings and a slide where we could play, we could play table tennis,we could we could borrow bikes to go on bike rides, we had our own swimming pool which was loads of fun with lots of blow up toys in it. I really loved the view from the out side BBQ area. I had a brilliant holiday and I would love to go again.
Madeleine, aged 9
A perfect and relaxing family holiday. The house was lovely, had everything we needed and was spacious. and we all enjoyed the pool. The meal when we arrived was very welcome and delicious, and so was the wine! The children (especially our 5 year old) loved John and it was lovely to see them cycling around (thank you for the loan of the bikes) in a way they can't at home. The local roads were brilliant for bike rides and the children enjoyed the play area. John and Dorothy were very helpful when we had a passport problem as well.
We have just returned from this property where we stayed in Jasmine.
The whole family have had a wonderful time and a special mention for John & Dorothy who are excellent hosts who allow you to get on things but are always available for advice or a friendly chat.
The property is beautiful countryside and ideal for a rural getaway.
The children have also had a fantastic time playing around the property and tormenting the cats (Boycie & Trigger).
Thanks again, and hopefully the children were not too much bother!!
Just came back from a week in Jasmine. Had a great time, very relaxed. John and Dorothy are excellent hosts. We were there with small children (7, 4 and 15 months), especially the older ones were very fond of John! He arranged bikes for them, even with stablisers if necessary, a trike for the little one and a safe (Hamax) childseat on the grown up bikes. They loved cycling round the property, to the cows and calves or go for an icecream in St Loup.
It is very remote, but free Wifi is available on site. We did some very nice daytrips to Cognac, La Rochelle and Ile de Re, which is all within an 45/60 minute drive and the other days we just stayed around and relaxed.
The swimming pool is fantastic, esp all the inflatables for the kids! Gite is clean and well equipped. Patio, sunbeds, BBQ, everything you need.
If you don't mind a remote area, you won't regret to go here!
We rented both gites as there were 2 families and this was very successful. .
The gites are both well presented although a little dated but gave good value for money. The pools are very clean and lots of sun beds and inflatables. There is a good area for children with table tennis and swings etc. Parking is good and it is very quiet so ideal for relaxing and sitting round the pool followed by a bar b q. The local town of St Jean d'Angeley had some excellent restaurants and La Rochelle is only 40 minutes away. There are lots of things to do nearby. There is a lot of information on the website but the gites themselves lacked any written documentation other than tourist leaflets in french so we did not know when the local market days were etc but the owners were able to help with this. John and Dorothy are good hosts and are approachable and informative about the area.
Just spent a great 10 day break here.... the second time... last time 2005. John and Dorothy as friendly as ever. Nice to spend some time with your friends and family. My wife loved the cats, Boycey and Trigger, a pair of characters.
My wife and I both had a great relaxing break and site seeing trip. Hope to repeat it again next year
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!