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Cognac distillery beautifully renovated to provide 2 spacious holiday gites - Le Chai

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights

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Minimum Stay
3 - 7 nights


Le Chai

Le Chai is a 2 bedroomed ground floor gite thoughtfully converted from the original wine store and cognac distillery. The bright kitchen and dining area lead on to the lounge which features the original “swan’s neck” alembic, here the wine was distilled into cognac and with the exposed beams and stone walls it makes an amazing atmosphere! A hallway leads from the kitchen to the shower room and toilet and to the bedrooms, one with a double bed the other with twin beds. There is also a private patio area with barbeque, ideal for watching the glorious sunsets. There is a walkway to the enclosed parking area and access to the pool and children's play area. 12 x 6 m pool, with safety alarm, is surrounded by raised decking, ideal for lazing on a sunlounger or watching the children. Roman steps lead to the 1m depth and a gentle slope leads to the 2m depth.

About the property

Les Tilleuls

Les Tilleuls is a lovely old Charentaise farmhouse and distillery set in 3.5 acres of meadow-land surrounded by rolling hills and cognac vineyards, ideal for holidays. The old barn has been renovated to provide a spacious 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom self catering gite. The ancient cognac distillery, which still retains the original alembic, has been converted into a cosy 2 bedroom gite. Each gite has its own private patio area, access to the meadow-land and stunning views over the surrounding countryside. Les Tilleuls is situated in the rural hamlet of Echebrune in the Charente Maritime region of south west France renowned for its exceptionally sunny climate and is only 10 minutes from junction 36 of the A10 motorway making for easy access from northern ports and the airports at Bordeaux and La Rochelle. The 12 X 6m pool, with safety alarm, is surrounded by raised decking ideal for relaxing on a sunlounger or watching the children play.

Explore the Charente Maritime: A holiday at Les Tilleuls offers a huge variety of choices from lazing by the pool, relaxing with a cooling glass of the local wine or reading that best seller under the shady walnut tree to, when more action is needed, a cycle along the chalk lanes through the vineyards and sunflower fields, visiting the many local Roman churches and pretty villages. Or, visiting the local town of Cognac and making a tour of one of the many famous distilleries. Or, a visit to Saintes seeing the Roman amphitheatre, the Abbaye des Dames, taking a boat along the Charente. Or, taking the Green Route along the Gironde estuary, stopping off at one of the many little ports for lunch by the quay and then on to the beaches of Royan and on to the miles of pine forest and sand dunes for some windsurfing. Or, improve your golf at one of the superb local 18 hole courses. The choice is yours!!

Welcome Pack: A French Welcome Pack is provided to all guests on arrival when a 3 course meal can be served. Please contact us for further details.

Family Bookings: Les Tilleuls can also be let as whole with inter connecting doors between the gites and offering accommodation for up to 12 people.

More Details

Bob and Andy
Member since: 2005
Speaks English, French
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
20 February, 2017

About Bob and Andy

About Bob and Andy

Bob and Andy first bought holiday home in the Charente 12 years ago, as a haven from their busy careers in the UK (Bob as a company director in IT and Andy as a TV executive with the BBC). They soon fell under the spell of the region, and in 2016 the opportunity arose for them both to take early retirement and relocate to France. They had always dreamed of running a holiday business and after a year of searching the region, found their perfect property in Les Tilleuls which they bought at the start of 2017.

Why is Les Tilleuls the perfect holiday venue?

La Grange (sleeps 8) and Le Chai (sleeps 4) can be rented separately or together (with an interconnecting double door) offering great flexibility for couples, families and larger groups. Both properties have been tastefully renovated to retain original features but to incorporate all modern conveniences. Les Tilleuls is surrounded by 3.5 acres of landscaped gardens and meadow-land. Here you will find a stunning 12mx6m floodlit pool, boules pitch, badminton court and several shaded/covered terraces to enjoy.

Bob and Andy purchased this cottage in 2017

Why Bob and Andy chose Charente-Maritime

Location, location, location!!!! Set in a stunning position, no neighbours, complete privacy but close to towns and villages. Bob and Andy think Les Tilleuls is the perfect location for your holiday- perfect for lazing by the pool or in the grounds, but just a 5 minute drive into the beautiful ancient town of Pons, with its cobbled streets, Donjon and Chateau, lively bars and restaurants and local markets and supermarkets. 20 mins by car will get you to both Jonzac and Cognac and the fishing villages of the Gironde can be reached in under 30 minutes. The beach resorts at Saint Georges-de-Didonne is just 28 miles away

What makes this cottage unique

Central for airports, motorway connections, close to the coast, towns and easy to find.

Available Rentals

Enter dates for accurate pricing


Out of High Season mid-week bookings can be accommodated so that advantage can be taken of cheaper flights, ferries etc.
A 25% non-refundable deposit is requested on booking with the balance due 6 weeks prior to the holiday, payment may be made by cheque in sterling or by bank transfer. A refundable Damage/Cleaning Deposit of £100 per gite is required with final payment.
Prices include all uti


5/5 -
(4 traveller reviews)


Wonderfully relaxing

  • 5 of 5

The accommodation is better than in the photos and the pool is fabulous. Derek and Lesley are wonderful hosts.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 4, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your comments much appreciated!
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0 0

Excellent family accommodation and location!

  • 5 of 5

We traveled with our two young children (3 and 6) and found the gite to be perfect for our needs. With a good-sized master bedroom and a lovely twin bedroom for the kids, we all had the space we needed.

The living room was spacious and well-equipped with UK freeview TV, plenty of games, books and even a large box of toys!

The kitchen had all of the major appliances including a washing machine and a dishwasher. I was overjoyed to discover a selection of mugs (as opposed to those silly little cups you get abroad!)

Outside there was plenty of garden to explore, a generous swimming pool, swings and plenty of sun-loungers. In addition, Le Chai has its own private terrace outside the front door and this was lovely to sit outside in the evenings when the children were in bed.

Derek and Lesley, the owners of the gite, were very helpful and always on hand if we needed anything. That said, they were very respectful of our privacy and, despite living in the adjoining house, were never intrusive. They provided a lovely welcome pack which included, amongst other things, some local wine, cheese and fresh bread.

Location-wise, the gite is well positioned to take in the local sites. Pons has a beautiful castle and gardens, and we took in the beaches of Royan on a number of occasions. We took a slightly longer trip out to La Rochelle which was gorgeous, and would have liked to take in Cognac and Bordeaux however too much to do and so little time!

We would highly recommend this property and would probably stay here again if we were visiting the area.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 13, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

1000 out of 10

  • 5 of 5

It's the little things that make a holiday special and Derek & Lesley demonstrate that nicely. From our first email they have provided local advice, knowledge and help to ensure that our holiday was perfect. Things like letting us know about local vets for our dog’s pet passport, ensuring the fridge has the basics in it when you arrive, arranging for fresh bread & Croissant to be delivered to your door daily to a personal tour of the local farm & vineyard. Even extended to Derek being the referee for the ‘inter gite’ football match! They have created a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where nothing is too much trouble.

Les Tilleuls has been restored to a high standard providing all the French character that you could wish for from a converted Chai with exposed beams and original features, but at the same time offering you the modern comforts of things like dishwashers and a good shower. The swimming pool and grounds are perfect for family being very well looked after and a good size. The little court yard with BBQ around at the Chai was a real sun trap in the evening overlooking the sun flowers. Just perfect with some local wine!

In terms of location Les Tilleuls has a nice balance of being near Cognac with its vineyards but in striking distance to some good beaches at Royan and St Georges. Pons is just next door and provides a good supply of local restaurants and supermarkets. Derek & Lesley provide lots of good advice about what is going on in the local area so that you can take advantage. For us that gave us the opportunity to visit an open air concert on the beach in Royan which was very nice. Even when the weather turned there was plenty to do and we were only 1.5 hour away from Futuroscope, which is highly recommended for kids and even bigger kids;-)

I guess you are wondering about the 1000 out of 10. Well, that’s our 12 year niece’s marks for Derek & Lesley’s welcoming meal but for us it summed up nicely everything about our holiday at Le Tilleuls. Highly recommended as I'm sure we will be back.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 24, 2011
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
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5 0
Sandbach Cheshire

A Perfect 3 weeks in France

  • 5 of 5

We wanted our break in France to be a very special holiday as it coincided with our silver wedding anniversary.

We had stayed in northern France on many previous occasions with the children and had ventured into the Loire in our Motorhome in recent years. However, we decided to head further south into the Charente Maritime for this special holiday so that we could hopefully enjoy more sunshine and explore a new area.

Our holiday exceeded our expectations !

We flew into La Rochelle and hired a car for the relatively short drive down to Echebrune. We were greeted by Lesley and Derek and were soon sampling the local wine and enjoying a tasty evening meal prepared for us.

We stayed in the Chai, the smaller of the two gites; the one with the fabulous alambic in the lounge and the view of the stars through the large velux window in the master bedroom.

The gite is ideally placed for exploring the area. We visited Cognac, the beautiful little village of Talmont on the estuary and the golden sandy beaches of Meschers and Royan. We also travelled south to Bordeaux to view the architecture and of course the many shops.

We were also fortunate that our stay coincided with the Cognac Blues festival in Cognac and also the ‘Violins on the sand’ at Royan. The latter being 3 nights of free classical concerts on the beach with a firework finale – great !!

Local shopping for food etc. is available from nearby Pons or the larger Auchan hypermarket in Cognac. Bread & Croissants however were delivered to the door every morning by the mobile baker.

Our hosts could not have been more helpful. On one day Lesley accompanied us to a local vineyard where we were given a personal tour by the owners and sampled their local produce. Derek was always on hand to help with any practical matters relating to the gite.

And finally the weather…. Three weeks of ‘wall to wall’ sunshine ! We couldn’t have wished for better weather. We still treasure the photographs taken of the sun setting behind the fields of sunflowers next to our patio !

I would highly recommend this accommodation and location for either a peaceful break for a couple or as an ideal holiday for the family.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 13, 2010
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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5 1




Accommodation and facilities for Le Chai in Échebrune in Poitou-Charentes

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 81 m²
Location Type:
  • beach
  • near the sea
  • rural
  • town
  • village
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Sunbed
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • Shower room with shower cublicle, toilet and basin vanity unit
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed , 1 Cot
  • 1 large double, 1 twin, 1 cot
  • Books
  • Books - Fiction / Non-fiction
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Player
  • Video Library
  • Deck Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles
  • Child's Swing
  • Golf Clubs
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Patio
  • Sand Pit
  • Wood Decking
  • 4 garden chairs
  • 10 deck chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • pets considered
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • marina
  • museums
  • naturist beach
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Le Chai is attached to La Grange, a larger 4 bedroom gite and the property can be let as a whole sleeping up to 12 people if required. All linen, bedding and towels are supplied - pool towels are available. A welcome pack is provided on arrival. We would prefer no smoking inside the cottage.

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