Welcome to our beautiful holiday home in Charente Maritime, France. La Retraite is a traditional Charentaise farmhouse sympathetically renovated to an exceptionally high standard. It retains original features and stonework and has been beautifully decorated and furnished in a contemporary manner. It has its own private heated pool and is located in the hamlet of Simoussais which is surrounded by fields of sunflowers during the summer months. Simoussais is just north of the picturesque market town of Surgeres with its choice of bars and restaurants offering everything from good local food to gourmet dining.
The outstanding beaches of the Atlantic Coast are only a short drive away as are the beautiful Ile de Re and Ile d’Oleron. The totally unspoilt town of La Rochelle with its medieval streets, harbour side restaurants and bars, marina and aquarium is less than 30 minutes away.
Sandy beaches, fields of sunflowers, historic towns and excellent restaurants, welcome to La Retraite.
La Retraite can be cosy for two but can easily sleep up to ten plus two infants. The house has full central heating making it ideal for winter breaks. La Retraite has a large lounge with leather sofas and chairs arranged around an original working fireplace (logs provided for winter lets). This room has a quality CD Stereo system and numerous board games.Next door, the separate TV room has a DVD player and Playstation (with a good choice of DVDs and games). English HD TV and radio are available through the Satellite system on the 42inch flatscreen TV.The kitchen/breakfast room incorporates a fully fitted fridge and separate freezer, a glass induction hob, sizeable oven and dishwasher. The kitchen can seat up to seven people if desired.The independent dining room contains a bespoke table which seats ten, there is also a comfortable lounger here overlooking the garden. Upstairs La Retraite has four large bedrooms, two of which contain king size beds. There is a twin bedded room and a room containing up to 4 single beds. All the bedrooms have shutters and blinds and due to the thick walls are cool even in the height of summer. There are also two cots and two highchairs at the property free for your use. Also upstairs is a large bathroom incorporating a freestanding bath with separate walk in shower. Two sinks are set into the tiled unit opposite. There are two further shower rooms/WCs, one upstairs and another situated downstairs next to the laundry room which contains a washing machine, separate tumble dryer and ironing board/iron for your use.
The front and rear gardens are laid to lawn and fully enclosed, and are therefore extremely safe for young children. Outdoor tables and chairs are available in both gardens. La Retraite has a 10m x 5m private heated swimming pool. The pool is in its own walled garden area with lockable gated access for safety reasons. The pool has a large terrace with sun loungers and a decked area with pergola for shade. Behind the electric gates there is secure parking for two or three cars. In the barn there is a large barbecue and a number of bicycles for guests use. If additional bicycles are needed these can be hired in Surgeres.
La Retraite is available on the basis of a Saturday to Saturday changeover with a 4pm arrival time and 10am departure time. This allows the house to be fully cleaned and tidied before your arrival. A welcome pack of provisions will await you offering: bread, butter, cheese, tea, coffee, milk, water, beer and a bottle of wine. Local supermarkets in Mauze and Surgeres are open until 7pm Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9am to 12.30pm. There are a number of shops including boulangeries, charcuterie and a newsagent selling English newspapers in Mauze just a few minutes drive away. All pillows, duvets, bed linen, bath towels, hand towels and tea towels are provided and there are hairdryers available. The laundry room contains a washing machine, separate tumble dryer and ironing board/iron for your use. There are two cots and two highchairs at the property. Cool bags, ice packs and plastic picnic ware are available for your use. A barbecue and a number of bicycles are located in the garage. There are guide books/tourist information and restaurant recommendations underneath the coffee table in the lounge. All utility bills and cleaning are included in the rental price, there are no extras. A babysitting/child minding service can be available, please contact the owners for details.
The Poitou-Charentes region.
The Charente Maritime boasts the second longest hours of sunshine in France after the Cote D’Azur and summer here seems to stretch from April to October. With over 70 beaches to enjoy you will rarely feel crowded and you can almost have the place to yourself out of high season. The local seafood (oysters, mussels, crab and fish) is always fresh and plentiful and there are many good local wines, pineau and cognac to accompany your meal.
Surgeres is a picturesque market town just to the south of La Retraite. It has a wide choice of restaurants, supermarkets, shops and banks. It has a beautifully restored and preserved old walled town rich in architectural heritage and boasts a manor house and XV1c chateau.
The colourful covered market (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) offers a plentiful supply of local produce including the butter for which Surgeres is famous.
The town has a cinema, sports centre with tennis courts, and open air swimming pool.
La Rochelle is a beautiful old town less than half hour away. It is an excellent place to visit, either for a day, an afternoon, or just an evening at any time of the year. It has hundreds of restaurants to choose from ranging from quayside bistros offering moules and frites to the Michelin** restaurant Coutanceau recognised as one of the best restaurants on the Atlantic Coast.
La Rochelle comes in two equally alluring halves. The old port is full with yachts and guarded by medieval defensive towers, while the town centre has delicatessens and classy boutiques under the covered arcades of Renaissance houses and a colourful morning fish market.
During the summer months there is street theatre every day and a craft market alongside the port most evenings, when the roads are closed to traffic to make space for performers, craftspeople and artists.
La Rochelle houses Europe's largest marina on the Atlantic Coast and a fabulous aquarium. Its beautiful parks are worth a visit and the famous yellow cycles can be hired free of charge for the first 2 hours all year round. Boat trips are available from the Old Harbour, lasting a few hours, half a day or a full day to the islands of Re, Aix and Oleron.
Please ask the owner for an information sheet giving more detail on the local area and activities.
Please see our many 5* reviews on TripAdvisor.