La Chapelle is a renovated stone farmhouse with heated pool, tennis court and six adult bikes. You are only 40 mins from the famous Loire chateaux but you will find plenty of chateaux, vineyards, gardens, troglodyte caves and other attractions around Montoire and Vendome. The house sits in a large private garden, part of 4.5 acres of orchards and woods. The 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms can easily accommodate 6 adults and 4-5 children. It works well for two families plus grandparents or other relatives. The house is very family friendly with lots of things to do outside.
Our children and grandchildren have been going there every summer for the last 30 years and we have also been renting the house for many years. 2018 was our first year renting through Homeaway but we have already had five excellent reviews see later
As you can see from the photos, La Chapelle is a long low building (80 by 20 ft). Originally only one third of the building was habitable. The other parts were for storage and animals. We converted the building to make a family-friendly holiday house.
Before conversion the spacious living room (450 sq ft) was the old hay barn so it has a high ceiling with wonderful exposed beams. Luckily we found stone and matching windows to fill in the barn door and collected old quarry tiles to redo the flooring throughout the house. We also installed a large stone fireplace, so that with a coffee table, two sofas and two armchairs we have a comfy space around the fire. You are welcome to light the fire with logs from by the garden shed. This is especially nice if you are having an evening meal at the magnificent 9 ft oak table which can seat 12. The table is also used by the children for the many games and toys we keep. You will also find lots of books. WiFi and a music CD are available, but, despite no TV, we have never had any complaints.
Bedroom Layout Suits Two Families. Because of the high ceiling there are no bedrooms above the living space. As you can see from the photo of the floor plan that neatly divides the house into two parts, so it can be enjoyed by two families. There is a double bedroom, a twin room, bathroom and toilet upstairs at the west end of the house. Equally, at the other end, there is a double bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, and three single beds upstairs. All the bedrooms upstairs have oak parquet flooring. Finally, if grandparents, or other friends, are staying there is en suite twin bedroom on the ground floor at the west end. The two main bathrooms each have a shower over the bath. The ensuite bathroom just has a shower enclosure.
As you will see there is a converted barn beside the main house. It has a twin and a double bed room and is fully equipped with central heating. However, it can only be booked out of season, by special arrangement, and no-one stays there when there are guests in the main house.
Our children and grandchildren and their friends come to La Chapelle every summer so we know the importance of an efficient and well equipped kitchen. New cupboards with more storage were installed in 2014 as well as new equipment – electric oven with five ring gas hob, fridge/freezer, dishwasher and microwave. The stone BBQ sits outside conveniently close to the backdoor into the kitchen. There is a small laundry room off the kitchen which includes an extra fridge as well as clothes washing machine, tumble dryer, iron/ironing board, cool boxes for picnics and a raclette set.
Eating well is important in France. Unfortunately many village boulangeries are closing but not the one in Authon and Prunay has a small épicier. We also have Patrick just 10 minutes away who does home cooking. He will bring meals to the house and we take advantage of this at least twice every holiday. There is also a restaurant/pizzzeria at the camping site in Prunay just 3 km away and they will also do take out meals. Bigger restaurants can be found in Montoire and Chateau Renault.
Best Outdoor Facilities – Pool, Tennis Court and Bikes
But of course families come to rural France to do things outside and we have excellent outdoor features. First the heated swimming pool – you will see from the photos that it is close to the house and surrounded by a hedge. The secure fence is embedded in the hedge with gates for the safety of children.
As you go through the hedge it feels as though you are stepping into a large garden room. This feeling is heightened as the level of the pool, in the centre of the space, is slightly lower than ground level. Also there are trees and shrubs around the edge of the ‘room’ and the paved terrace is indented with flower beds and grass verges. The children are happy to spend hours there and parents can watch over them from the shade of the trees or the plentiful chairs and loungers. On warm nights we dine out by the pool and turn on the pool lights as it gets dark. Magic!
The garden captures the sun all day long and the house is set back from the single track road which has very little traffic. All the four acres are looked after by Albert our caretaker. His house is just a 50 yards away on the other side of the road. We are lucky that he is a retired gardener. As a result the whole landscape is well maintained. It’s a pleasure to stay at La Chapelle for the whole day! Rushing off to visit another crowded chateau can be tiring!
The second outdoor feature is our new hard tennis court just 60 yards from the house. Like the pool it has its own attractive space surrounded by hedges and planted with shrubs. The court is proving very popular and, you need a tennis coach do contact Stephane Lequimbre (00 33 6 5087 3592). Our two children found Stephane excellent both for themselves and their young children.
Third, we keep six quality bikes in the shed behind the house which you are welcome to use. They are fully equipped with kids’ seats so you can all bike to visit a neighbouring farm or wood. The bikes were bought through our caretaker Albert. He and his son are keen cyclists, so he can help if required. Apart from biking to fetch the bread in the morning another short trip for children is to the ‘plan d’eau’ at Prunay. It has playpark equipment, a mini skate park, pedal boats for hire and a new restaurant/pizzeria, mentioned above.
In the cupboard under the stairs you will also find a croquet set, a set of boules, a small tent and two hammocks. There are also some inflatable pool items (hopefully not punctured by the families before you) and an inflatable paddling pool for the very young.