|Minimum Stay||4 nights|
La Vieille Maison (which has Wifi) has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a large sitting room with a stone fireplace for open fires and a traditional wooden ceiling - cosy in the winter and cool in the summer heat. The kitchen/dining room also has a traditional wooden ceiling and a stone fireplace with a wood burning stove. It is fully equipped with electric oven, gas hob, microwave, food processor, toaster, fridge, cafetière and dish washer. The ground floor bathroom also houses the washing machine. The ground floor double bedroom has a double bed, chest of drawers and hanging space. The upstairs main bedroom with its magnificent original beams has a double bed and a single bed, a wardrobe and antique chest of drawers. The second upstairs bedroom has two single beds, a chest of drawers and hanging space. The third upstairs bedroom has a double bed, chest of drawers and hanging space. The upstairs bathroom is tiled with tommettes and has a shower, basin, loo and bidet.
Le Verger is a beautifully renovated complex of historic farm buildings (the earliest building dates from 1741). It is located in the peaceful little village of Coutarnoux in the heart of the Burgundian countryside. The courtyard entrance to Le Verger is opposite the village church while the orchard garden side of the property has uninterrupted views across fields and woodlands. The sunsets can be spectacular. Le Verger includes two farm houses, La Vieille Maison and La Maison Bleue, a bread house and two barns.The property is an L shape, with the two houses facing away from each other at different ends of the L and with a barn in between, so there is plenty of privacy. It is five hours drive from Calais and an hour from Paris by train. The battlefield of Alesia, the hilltop abbey church of Vezelay, the prehistoric caves of Arcy-sur-Cure and many chateaux and vineyards are within easy reach, as are the nearby rock climbing centre, miniature railway, cafe and tennis courts.
We are Alan Ravenscroft and Rosemary Stones. Alan is a television producer who makes music programmes and other documentaries. Rosemary is a writer. While we have busy lives in London and adore the city with all its vitality, we now also love the richness of the Burgundy countryside and think of Coutarnoux as home and ourselves as Arnulphiens (inhabitants of Coutarnoux)! While we are in London we leave Le Verger in the very capable hands of Hubert and his family who live nearby. They look after the property for us and prepare the houses to welcome our guests. They are so helpful and friendly and you will feel very well looked after.
Rosemary Stones purchased this farmhouse in 1996
We bought Le Verger 19 years ago and found Coutarnoux both welcoming and friendly. Alan already knew Burgundy well as his brother has a house in nearby Talcy. We also have Parisian friends with houses in the area so it seemed the ideal location.We spent two years looking for a property we both liked. After many fruitless visits to near ruins and deserted, wildly remote farmhouses, some friends from Paris told us that a property in Coutarnoux had become available which they thought would be of interest. Rosemary liked it at once but Alan (who had done the driving from London after a long week at the office!) was not so sure. However, after a good dinner and warm night in the local hotel he agreed in the morning that it was indeed the place we had been looking for.
Although the property needed a lot of work we could see its potential. We were particularly drawn to the original features (beams, arches, stone fireplaces, traditional tiles) and the mature fruit trees (old varieties!) and vines in the garden. We also liked the fact that one side is firmly in the village while the other side looks out across beautiful countryside. One unexpected outcome of buying Le Verger was the idea to make a television series about English people buying property in France.While it’s hard to believe now, the series, ‘A House in France’ was the first made on the subject. We still occasionally meet people who were inspired to come and live in France after seeing ‘A House in France’. We hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Burgundy and we welcome you to Le Verger!
Nous avons été très bien accueillis pas nos hôtes, qui avaient préparés tous les lits. Un bon feu nous attendait également dans la pièce principale du gite. Cette pièce au dimensions exceptionnelles, avec sa très grande hauteur sous plafond, est très agréable et nous avons passé un séjour parfait avec mes parents et nos trois enfants. Le gite est très spacieux, avec toutes les commodités.
We very much enjoyed our stay despite a collapse in the weather. Our intrepid. 88 year old appreciated the lovely downstairs bedroom and bathroom and having her daughter on call in the room above. The sitting room and the garden seating area were great places to sit and read and chat. Despite the inclement weather some of us managed to swim in the lovely pool and really appreciated its warm and sunny microclimate even on a windy day.. We savoured the peace and calm, enjoyed exploring the fascinating village as well as further afield and enjoyed the little local shops in Isle sur Serein. The house was comfortable, clean and we'll equipped and as described - quite a feat given its complicated layout. Hubert was helpful in solving various small problems and we felt well looked after. We would recommend to family and friends.
We have just spent a wonderful week in this beautifully restored old farmhouse, tucked away in the tiny Burgundian village of Coutarnoux. We were a group of four retired couples getting together for an annual reunion. This was a second visit here for three of the couples. The house is handsomely furnished with furniture chosen to suit the age and feeling of the house. The kitchen is well equipped with all the equipment, utensils, china and crockery needed to feel at home preparing meals and clearing up! The huge orchard garden is well tended. There is plenty of space for a large group to spread around the house, garden and barn. The weather was amazing so we ate out on the patio most evenings, after some of our party had had a dip in the pool. However we did allow ourselves one stately meal in the cavernous ‘Grand Salon’. There is plenty to do in this area of Burgundy, apart from sampling lovely French food and drink. We paid a fascinating visit to the small chateau at Epoisses, where we booked a guided tour. We also visited the Abbe de Fontenay. a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Vezelay Abbey, an 11th century Romanesque basilica, now heavily restored, also a World Heritage site. We visited the walled city of Semur and the medieval village of Noyers where we had a meal prepared by a Dutchman. We even bought some of the pottery used in the restaurant in the village pottery, run by an Englishman! We were aware of the opportunites for more active occupations like cycling. but found that we were content to relax in these beautiful surroundings! Altogether to be highly recommended. No doubt we shall be returning!
Coutarnoux is a village hidden in Burgundy and all the better for that!
It is home to an idylic rambling couple of houses lovingly restored and extended by the owners. The Vieille Maison is pack full of books, DVDs, comfy sofas, a huge fireplace with logs supplied and a myriad of books on the area. The conversion of the adjoining barn into a majestic "Grand Salon" has increased the potential for very special and elegant events. It has a large dining table, a sitting area gathered around a huge wood burning stove and a gallery in the high roof above.
The grounds are carefully planted with fruit trees and flower beds. There is a terrace for lunches and evening meals close to the tiny but efficient kitchen. Beyond, hidden by subtle hedges and trees is a swimming pool safely fenced to keep very small children away unless in adult company.
We spent a wonderful week in La Vielle Maison this October (Half term) and I can't recommend it highly enough. Although we were only a group of four the size of the place means that we could comfortably have been a party of 12. The house is huge and very impressive with two sitting rooms (one the size of a tennis court) and beautiful bedrooms. The garden is great for eating out and the pool is fabulous and was warm enough to use in late October - a very unexpected bonus.
La Vielle Maison is well equipped and works well for people who like cooking (we do). It is also full of interesting furniture and pictures - the owners are obviously collectors and is a lovely place to chill out if you don't want to get back into the car and start visiting things. We have been to a number of gives which are pretty spartan, but this feels like someone's home - distinctly preferable in my view.
Another big plus is the area. We did not know this part of Burgundy well before we came, but there is a great deal to do. For art and architecture fans there a number of stunning towns and villages to visit (Vezelay being the jewel in the crown). Markets and restaurants are very good (Avallon market is a must). But the area works well for younger people too. We went with my 13 year old son and a friend and found some excellent mountain biking and climbing to keep them happy. There is a disused quarry with thrilling (or terrifying) zip wires about a mile from the house. And there is a public football field next the house which the boys spend many hours in and had to themselves.
Finally directions and instructions about how things work were excellent and comprehensive. So five stars all round.
We have just spent a lovely week at La Vieille Maison which is situated in a delightful rural hamlet. The house provided everything that we could have wanted right down to cling film and dishwasher tablets, we didn't have to worry about supplying anything. The house is fascinating and beautifully decorated and the selection of books was terrific (as was the Monopoly which we played throughout the week)! I would highly recommend La Vieille Maison if you are looking for a peaceful spacious house with lots of room for everyone. Thank you for a most enjoyable experience.
There are no shops in our tiny village although a bread van comes by most mornings. But pas de panique! Our nearest large village L'Isle sur Serein (a 5 minutes drive away) has a bank, post office, grocer, newsagent, cafe, restaurant, butcher, baker and tourist office. Our nearest big town Avallon, (20 minutes drive away) has excellent specialist food shops, a wonderful Saturday market and several large supermarkets. There are antique shops, cafes and restaurants and an old quarter with cobbled streets and a Romanesque cathedral. Great views across the valley from the high ramparts.
Nearby attractions (10-40 minute drive) include the battlefield of Alesia where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls; the miniature train at Dissangis; the exquisite Abbey Church of Vezelay, one of the starting points for the pilgrimage to Santiago; Romanesque churches; the chateaux of Epoisses, Bazoches,Tanlay and Ancy-le Franc; the historic hilltop town of Montreal; the prehistoric caves of Arcy-sur-Cure with wall paintings that predate those of Lascaux and, of course, the wine growing areas around Chablis and Irancy and in the Cote d'Or. There are tennis courts, good fishing spots, a thrilling rock climing centre and a riding stables in the area as well as nearby forest walks.
Further afield (40 minutes to 2 hours) are Fontenay Abbey, the 'medieval' castle of Guedelon, the chateaux of Tanlay, Meaulnes, Bussy-Rabutin and Aiguilley.
For children a ‘prehistoric’ park at Cardoland (40 minutes) offers a journey through the land of the dinosaurs. You can also make a day trip to Disneyland, Paris by train from Montbard direct to Marne-la-Vallée - the station for the theme park.
Apart from our heated pool (exclusive to the property) there are lakes with swimming beaches in the nearby Morvan National Park which also offers white water rafting and canoeing.