We live in South West France, my husband, our 5-year-old daughter Maya, Dante the Cockerpoo and Alma, our 6-month-old spaniel/dachs rescue pup. I am from London, my husband and I renovated a 4 bed Victorian London townhouse there, and moved to France to renovate a Maison Maitre and a longere. I own and run a boutique creative talent agency which I manage remotely from France. We love fine wine and tasting menus, which there are in plenty of in nearby Angouleme! We are both keen divers and love to get away to warm waters when we can. PLEASE NOTE, WHILST OUR HOUSE IS ONLY 20 MINS FROM THE VIBRANT CITY AND CAPITOL OF ANGOULEME, IT IS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AND A CAR IS ESSENTIAL FOR FLEXIBILITY AND INDEPENDENCE.
Babysitting and creative play
Help around the house
We are in the Charente countryside but just 20 mins drive from the capital Angouleme and on the doorstep of the Dordogne. An ideal base for exploring the beautiful local towns and villages or visiting one of Angouleme’s many festivals.
The amazing boulangerie Chez Francoise is a 2-minute drive away, serving fresh and home-baked bread and patisseries and is very popular for its excellent lunches.
Mouthier-sur-Boeme, the local village on the Boeme river is 5km away where you will find Maison Maurice, an exceptional butcher and charcutier who is also a regular presence at the local food markets.
Villebois Lavalette is less than a 10 mins drive, located on a prominent hill impressively showing off the Roman chateau. Guided tours are available May to September. Villebois hosts a small produce fair on Saturday mornings inside the 16th Century wooden covered market, an historic monument.
En route to Villebois is another impressive Chateau - (Website hidden by Airbnb)
Angouleme is an amazing city, explore the 20 famous comic-strip authors’ wall paintings (Website hidden by Airbnb) check out the incredible paper museum or wander the old streets’ boutiques cafes, bars and restaurants.
Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, 30mins away, is officially listed as "One of the most beautiful villages in France" (Website hidden by Airbnb) a very picturesque medieval village with steep lanes, boutiques, market square with shops and restaurants. The subterranean monolithic church of Saint-Jean is an underground church carved into a cliff overlooking the Dronne river dating back to the 7th Century. The original chapel contains nearly 80 medieval sarcophagi (audio commentary is available). Down by the Dronne is a manmade beach and pretty swimming river with a children's play area. Canoes can be hired in July and August.
Brantome-sur-Dronne is another picturesque medieval village nearby known as the Venice of the Perigord on the river Dronne in the Dordogne. Shops, boutiques, market, history, restaurants and cafés, canoe hire. A popular place well worth spending a day there......market day Fridays and river jousting on the Dronne every Friday during July and August, starting at 9.15 p.m. Nearby, the Grotte de Villars has stalactites/stalagmites and drawings dating back 17,000 years.
Bourdeilles is also very beautiful; a lovely village on the river Dronne that boasts a chateau, a moulin, a medieval centre and a panoramic viewpoint.
There are many walks, lakes and activities in the surrounding areas, for example, Le plan d'eau de Saint Yrieix, a 40 hectare lake 20 mins away with fishing, boating, sailing, wind-surfing, tennis courts and beach swimming (life-guarded), a huge playground, good restaurant, children's’ carousel and bike trails.
Cognac, Jarnac, Bordeaux and St Emilion are easy day trips, as are La Rochelle, Royan, Ile de Re and the sandy Atlantic coast beaches such as Meschers-sur-Girande and St. George de Didonne. Labeled ‘the most beautiful village in France’, the charming, pedestrian-only Talmont-sur-Girande has winding streets, white houses with blue shutters and many boutiques and eateries.
Don’t miss La Vallee des Singes! (an hour’s drive north but totally worth it for kids and adults alike) An incredible monkey safari park without cages, arguably the closest encounters possible.
Futuroscope, Poitiers – a leisure park with a difference for all the family.
Totally spoilt for choice, here are just a few recommendations within a 10-30 min drive:
Mas Charentaise (St Simeux), open terraces with amazing river and valley views. Live music in summer.
Graines et Garenne (Chateauneuf) a grade above Mas Charentaise but worth the extra expense.
Le Lavallette (Villebois), especially in the warmer months, al-fresco in the 16th Century market place.
L'Ecole (Vendoire) great menu, superb location, summer live blues in the garden, real fire in winter, but the best thing is the hosts.
La Ruelle (Angouleme) Michelin style fine dining without the price tag, easily the best in Angouleme.
La Cigogne (Soyaux, Angouleme) really top notch, degustation available.
Restaurant Les Artisits (Vieux Angouleme) limited menu but extraordinarily good food and great wine list.
St Andre (Angouleme) pretty backdrop and excellent cooking and service. Superb steaks but all options available.
Chez Paul (Angouleme) bistro style, a safe bet and consistent quality, lots of variety, excellent for large groups, fussy eaters and kids! Huge garden to the rear.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Our key priority is the garden, we have about a hectare of land, the house takes up a large part! We have a garden at the front and a garden and orchard at the back. the land is enclosed with a fence and double tree-line. We want to blitz the ivy from the trees and between the tree line, remove the debris and tidy it all up. General gardening everywhere. Occasional, light duty help elsewhere and with the dogs and Maya could be useful but the gardening is our priority.
We live in a 4-bed Maison-Maitre with an attached self-contained two-bed gîte in one of two turrets, which would be the accomodation provided. There are two bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, and a living room downstairs with a kitchen (microwave oven, not a full oven), dishwasher etc. There is also a toilet and laundry room downstairs, as well as a sofa-bed. Direct access from the gite to both front and back gardens. We do not provide food.
Bordeaux, Poitiers, Limoges and Bergerac and are within 1- 1.5 hours’ drive. La Rochelle is 2 hrs away.
Easyjet: Flights to La Rochelle and Bordeaux.
Ryanair: Flights to Limoges, Poitiers, Bergerac and Bordeaux
Flybe: Flights to Bergerac, Bordeaux, Limoges, La Rochelle
British Airways: Flights to Bordeaux
Calais – 7 hrs, St Malo - 5h30 hrs, Caen - 5h45 hrs
Angoulême Railway Station is 20 mins drive
TGV to Paris Montparnasse (in 2h15), and Lille (3hrs). Paris Eurostar Paris Gare du Nord to St Pancras International (2hrs20).
New for 2019 - a direct train from London Kings Cross to Angoulême
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week