|Minimum Stay||7 - 28 nights|
Welcome to our restored 16th century maison de bourg sleeping 6 guests. This family gîte occupies a prominent riverside position in the delightful historic quarter of Availles-Limouzine, a pretty medieval village with all necessary amenities. La Poste des Gardes is nestled on the banks of the beautiful River Vienne in rural sunny Poitou-Charentes, midway between the beautiful Romanesque cities of Poitiers and Limoges.
The séjour centres around the wood burning stove in the original feature fireplace. There is a comfortable leather sofa and armchairs and plenty of side tables. We provide a Sky satellite system receiving UK TV, a VCR with a good selection of films, a DVD and a Hi-Fi system. You can also receive all the main French television channels. Games, books and magazines on French décor, antiques and furnishings are provided. You will have a large oak dining table with seating for six. This is a delightful open and airy room featuring original beamed walls and ceilings, exposed stonework and a stunning tiled floor. The full-height French doors to the south let the sun stream into the room, making this a most enjoyable dining experience. The kitchen is located in the corner of the open-plan living area. It has an electric double oven cooker with ceramic hob and full-sized grill. There is a large oak chef's buffet with inset granite worktop and storage and a further tiled top free-standing buffet. There is a sink unit and a small freezer. Rustic French wall units provide extra storage. A door from the kitchen leads into the separate utility room which has plenty of storage shelves, a large original French butcher's table, fridge, microwave, toaster and washing machine.
The middle floor of the house features a galleried area which forms a delightful salon. Under the south facing window you will find the original stone seat used by the guards. A television is provided with a decoder that receives the main French TV channels. This is a relaxing seating area with comfy chairs and a futon that can also be used as a double bed. Double French doors facing eastwards lead onto the private covered river terrace.
THE HEARTH ROOM
The main double bedroom on the middle floor faces west and is beautifully warm and bright in the evenings. It has a panelled ceiling, exposed stonework and the original feature fireplace with tiled hearth. A niche houses shelving and the original stone washbasin. There is a traditional French double bateau lit bed, bedside tables with lamps, a useful chaise longue and a vintage chest of drawers.
THE GUARDS' ROOM
Two further double bedrooms can be found on the top floor. The south facing bedroom has wonderful south-facing views up the River Vienne with the original guard post stone window seat still in place. This room has a double bed, triple wardrobe, two bedside tables with lamps, a large chest of drawers and occasional seating. The rough walls, exposed stonework and beams give this room a very traditional feel.
THE CHIMBLEY ROOM
The west facing bedroom is bathed in light in the evenings with views over the village up to the church. There are bunk beds in this room, a chest of drawers, a storage unit and a large table and chairs. A television is also available and a games console is provided with a large selection of games. An assortment of books and toys are also available in this room and it would be perfect for any children in the party.
SHOWER ROOM AND WET ROOM
The downstairs shower room is accessed from the utility room. It has fully tiled white walls and a quarry tiled floor. There is a large shower cubicle with double doors, a WC and a wash basin over a vanity unit offering ample storage. A large mirror and hanging space is provided. There is a further 'wet room' on the top floor to service the two bedrooms. It provides a WC, a wash hand basin, hanging space and further storage units.
SOUTH SEATING AREA
The house was used as a guard post in centuries gone by due to its prominent location by the river and its views to three sides. The south side offers a small area under the wisteria and vines that can be used for seating. Beyond this is a parking area for several vehicles. For guests who prefer more privacy the fully covered river terrace on the middle floor is ideal. This is a spacious terrace with both easterly and southerly aspects overlooking the beautiful River Vienne.
PRIVATE RIVER TERRACE
The terrace has a fully tiled floor and is completely covered so that it can be enjoyed even in inclement weather. It offers a dining table and chairs as well as comfy bench seating. The stone walls have been restored to reveal several intriguing niches! Between you and me, this is my favourite spot in the whole world - a leisurely evening with a glass or two of wine watching the river go by........
'Le matin, le voile d’une brume vient blancher la vallée. Et vers la fin du jour, le rire des enfants qui jouent dans l’eau tiède de la piscine. Mais le soir venu, estompant les contours, la rivère qui s’agite tend à s’apaiser. Plus rien, que les miniscules ronds des ables qui moucheronnent.
Puis la nuit, et le calme s’étend. Cependant, un très léger murmure, c’est la Vienne amoureuse caressant le ravage qui voudrait s’attarder tant le pays lui plait. On dirait qu’elle pleure de devoir le quitter. Impudique, la lune prend son bain de minuit et semble frissonner dans la fraîcheur de l’onde. Mais le brouillard montant de la vallée, couvre la nudité reflétée par les eaux.'
Passage by the late Henri Gritton
THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF AVAILLES-LIMOUZINE
Availles-Limouzine is a pretty medieval village on the banks of the beautiful River Vienne. It offers all the charm of living in old rural France whilst still providing all necessary amenities such as supermarkets, newsagent, bakeries, butchers, pharmacy, restaurant, bar, bank, post office and tourist information office. There is a farmers' market every Sunday morning selling the freshest produce you can imagine at great prices. The municipal park just over the river has a small swimming pool and you can hire canoes, water bikes, electric boats, and go-karts. There is also a mini-golf course, boules pitch, basketball pitch, a well-equipped playground and several picnic areas. Availles is a fisherman's paradise. International fishing takes place here due to the easy access and the good river bank length. Bolognaise, English, feeder and cane fishing are very popular. The newsagent sells equipment and licences. The Villate Equestrian farm is 5 minutes' walk from the house. It is a ranch on 50 hectares on the edge of the river and has two certified instructors who can take you on relaxing horseback rides in the 'Little Switzerland' area on the edge of the river. The team at Les Beaupinières can offer you a fantastic experience at Deval Karts and it's only 10 minutes' walk from the house. This is a privately-owned facility on 500 hectares where instructors will introduce you to 4x4, quad, via ferata, Tyrolean cable slide, dog teaming and bivouacking. You are guaranteed to have fun-filled adventure here.
LE PARADIS DES FLEURS ET DES OISEAUX - AVAILLES
The English Garden was created recently and can be found in the north of the village. It is a veritable paradise surrounded by hedges, trees and flower beds. There are over 600 varieties of roses, perennials and shrubs. It is a haven for nesting birds and provides a pond for all the frogs!
CIRCUIT VAL DI VIENNE - LE VIGEANT
This race track at Le Vigeant is accredited by the Motor Sports Federation of France. It is 3757 metres long and one of the best in the country. The track, its equipment and services are available for private or shared use. Instructors are happy to give you an hour's training session, a weekend meeting or a whole week event! They can offer you an introduction to racing and provide courses for all abilities and budgets. Just visit the Circuit-Valdevienne website and look at 'manifestations' for all the upcoming race meetings and events.
LA FERME DE LA VALLÉE DES CERFS - LUCHAPT
This 54 hectare farm in La Vallée des Cerfs is 10 minute drive from the village and is home to 250 deer. You will also find donkeys, horses and ponies so this is ideal for all the family. You can reserve farm produce tastings, dog cart tours and horse rides. Horse rides will take you through the countryside, helping you to discover the valleys, the history and the cuisine of the region. The horses and ponies are used exclusively for trail rides and are matched to each person's riding ability. Trips range from half a day to a full week. Call in at the Draught Horse Museum onsite.
ABBAYE SAINT SAUVEUR - CHARROUX
Not only is Charroux a charming village with 16th century markets and ancient houses; it also boasts the Abbey of St Saviour, which was one of the most powerful Benedictine abbeys in the Middle Ages. It was ruined during the Wars of Religion and finally destroyed in the Revolution. Its famous octagonal tower (known as Charlemagne's Tower) has remarkable Gothic sculptures and is now classified among the major Poitevin sites of the Middle Ages. Visit the Lapidaire Museum while you are there.
THE MEDIEVAL TOWN OF CONFOLENS
This beautiful town lies directly between Angouleme, Limoges and Poitiers and is only 20 minutes from the house. It takes its name from its position at the confluence of the Vienne and Goire rivers. It is also at the point where the Charente region meets the Limousin region, hence the name Charente Limousine, sometimes used to describe the area. This picturesque medieval town grew up on the right bank of the Vienne at the foot of an 11th century fortress. Confolens still has an abundance of timber-framed houses from the 15th century, the most imposing of which is the house of the Duc d'Epernon on the Rue du Soleil. The left bank began as an area where tanners honed their craft. The Pont Vieux is said to have originated in Roman times but what you can see today dates from the 14th century. The bridge is an imposing feature of the town. It originally boasted three towers, which are represented on the town's coat of arms and had a drawbridge to the Quartier de la Fontorse. In 1615 the drawbridge was swept away by flooding and several arches had to be rebuilt. The bridge is 126 metres long and has nine arches plus a tenth that was added when the drawbridge was lost.
|Refundable damage deposit||$376|
Bookings of two weeks or more are eligible for a discount on the advertised price of up to 15%. This will be reflected in the quote sent to you.
Bookings are taken in multiples of one week.
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* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.