Set in idyllic surroundings, on a country lane, a stone's throw from the River Vienne - this is our family place.
In a scatter of houses called "Biard" just across the river from the small village of Moussac sur Vienne, this ancient cottage has stood at the corner of the lane for generations. It has not only bags of character and 150 years of history - but also thick stone walls to keep it cool in summer, and two good woodburning stoves (and a healthy log pile) to keep it cosy on spring and autumn evenings.
We love the time we have spent here over decades - it is our sanity-saver, our retreat, our tonic. It is not a house we bought to run as a business - it is very dear to us and our growing family and full of special and happy memories.
It is also ideal for an activity-filled family holiday with walks, canoeing, fishing, barbeques, wonderful river-swimming all on hand - or water-skiing, pedalos, bungee jumping, flume & 3-pool open-air public swimming pool, zip wire and Go-Ape in the town of L'Isle Jourdain nearby.
Masses of days out - Futuroscope, the Monkey Sanctuary, birds of prey displays and no end of castles and other special sights/sites .... OR .... a secluded and restorative break in the slow-lane, lounging in the garden and by (or on) the river watching the wildlife, kingfisher-spotting, and reading books.
With a south facing breakfast patio off the kitchen, and a large private garden and patio to the rear, a field to the front and woodland behind - there's plenty of space for wandering and pottering ! ... and you must feel free to do some weeding, watering or deadheading of the (numerous) roses, if that is what you like. (we'd love it if you put your washing up water on the flower beds from time to time if it is really hot and dry while you're there).
We watch the stars and satellites, the red squirrels and lizards, the buzzards and kites, the bats and the owls. There are deer and wild boar in the woods.
BEDROOMS: There is a double bedroom on the ground floor and two large upstairs oak-beamed bedrooms: master bedroom (1x dbl), & adjoining twin bedroom. There's a travel cot too. All bedding provided (except for travel cot).
KITCHEN/DINING ROOM: The whole house has been refurbished over the years and so there is a new well-equipped large farmhouse kitchen with a lovely handmade African hardwood octagonal family dining table, kitchen dressers and lots of cooking space: (oven, hob, washing machine, diswasher, microwave etc) . This room opens onto the south-facing breakfast patio.
LIVING ROOM: There is a large living room with original terracotta floor tiles and rugs and comfy sofas, a music system and a CD collection, a TV for DVDs (no TV signal) with DVD collection, free WiFi, masses of holiday reading. French-windows open to the second terrace & spacious garden with sun-loungers and everything you need.
BATHROOMS Two bathrooms: a bathroom/w.c. upstairs off the twin room, and a shower/w.c. downstairs.
Two wood-burning stoves & other heaters as needed. Extensive enclosed grassy garden, land and hillside woodlot to explore.
OTHERS A daily Bakery van swings by with your fresh croissants and baguettes etc.
WALKING DISTANCE .... just over the bridge to the canoe hire centre (which does drop-off & pick-up for you May-Sept) & small riverside campsite (toddler pool, jungle gym, table tennis); and the village (with its new bar /restaurant; a post office; tennis court; small shop for basics, etc).
THE BRIGHT LIGHTS .... It's only 10 mins by car to the local market town of L'Isle Jourdain (banks, bakeries, café/bars, supermarket, restaurants, etc).
GETTING THERE Easy to get to: Ferry Portsmouth to Caen (+4.5hr drive) or cheaper to Le Havre (+5hr drive); Dover-Calais (+7.5hr drive); RyanAir to Poitiers/Limoges/Tours, & FlyBe and BA in the summer, & then hire car (45/60/90 mins drive); EuroStar/TGV London-Poitiers & hire car.
A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND
Our jobs have often taken us to the disaster zones of the world, or to terribly tough places where poor people lead hard and unjust lives .... Moussac has been a quiet retreat and a huge priviledge for us for so many years ... where we can recharge depleted batteries, and restore our tired bodies and minds. We hope it will have the same soothing and relaxing effect on you. It has done so for many many of the people (largely friends and family) who have stayed here over the years.
It was a neglected ruin when we bought it, being slowly reclaimed by nature ... but over the years we have gradually turned it back into a glorious haven - and now we feel ready to let it commercially. It has had a new roof, new staircase, new floors, new ceilings, new bathrooms, new kitchen .... pretty much new everything ... and a garden we have created out of what was once a farmyard filled with old tractor sheds and agricultural debris and rubbish - now nurtured and filled with shrubs and fruit trees - and benches to sit about on and soak up nature.
We have been letting friends use our house for some years. Here is some of their feedback:
"The fish counter at the supermarket is great - fresh sardines on the BBQ was our real treat. One week was not enough."
"Beautiful place, full of ease and quietness - and no sense of the busy world beyond. My nephew and I sent bug hunting everynight and found the biggest stag beetle ever. Love the garden the most - so perfect to escape into. A secret space. We will return."
"How lovely to witness spring in all its glory in a place like this. Riverside walks rich in wildflowers - and also just sitting on the garden bench gazing up into the periwinkle carpetted woods spotting birds and red squirrels. We've enjoyed the simple pleasures that lFrench country life affords."
"Love so many things about this place - the QUIET, birdsong, owls calling to each other,, the river, the wine, beautiful medieval towns, etc. FABULOUS BREAK ! Thank you so much."
"Found crayfish in the river and glow worms in the garden + the girls spent hours 'catching' frogs. Lots of river swimming and pizzas in the square at L'Isle Jourdain. Thank you for our fourth great family holiday here - it was very hot and we have the tans to prove it."