L’Ecurie has been recently renovated, and retains much of its original character, with solid oak beams, exposed stonework and plenty of rural architectural features. The private driveway and entrance are alongside the fruit garden of the main house (help yourself to whatever's in season). The kitchen/living/dining area is open plan, and double doors lead directly onto a private terrace and the beautifully landscaped pool area beyond. Upstairs are 2 loft bedrooms, one with a double bed, one with twin beds and both with fitted cupboards and shelves. A French day bed, situated in a mezzanine level upstairs, can also be converted into a night bed to accommodate a fifth and sixth person if required.
Facilities at L'Ecurie include satellite TV (including BBC); French terrestrial TV, DVD player, stereo CD mini hi-fi, full-sized dishwasher and washing machine.
20% discount available on travel with Brittany Ferries.
Thouvenin and L'Ecurie are situated in the peaceful, ancient village of Migron, the heart of the Cognac/Pineau producing area, surrounded by acres of vineyards and sunflowers. Excellently furnished and equipped throughout, with large, airy living rooms which stay cool even on hottest of days. The pool is completely fenced and was recently refurbished. It has a plentiful supply of sun beds and its paved area is surrounded by flowers and herbs.
The gardens of both properties are well tended and a mass of colour in summer. L'Ecurie also has its own private orchard and guests are encouraged to harvest the cherries and pears.
Thouvenin has a stylish formal dining room, comfortably seating ten and a spacious living room with a traditional Charentaise fireplace. The house is centrally heated.
Upstairs there are four bedrooms shower room and a family bathroom with an additional toilet on the ground floor.
The house gets its name from when it was Hotel Thouvenin, the station hotel. Before that, it was a typical Charentaise farmhouse dating back to the 18th century. The railway has long since gone and quiet has returned to the village. In 2015 the mezannine area, fully undercover and accessible from the ground and first floors, was converted into a private café/bar, capturing the feel of a stylish, but lost era. Its louvred wall provides dappled shade even at the height of summer.
The village Pretre’s cassock hangs on the hatstand alongside the Gendarme’s cap, beside thirsty travellers’ luggage awaiting their departure. It is furnished with tables and sofas and the hand crafted zinc bar has both a fridge and a freezer hidden within it. It’s a fabulous spot for breakfast, or leisurely enjoying a good book out of the sun and the perfect place for a late night drink at the end of a relaxing day. We can even arrange to stock the bar before you arrive!
Thouvenin has a covered dining terrace which also includes a full-sized table tennis table, overlooking the pool. Adjacent is the brick-built barbecue and the boule area, hedged by lavender bushes and ornamental grasses.
The pool is 9x4m and recently refurbished. Its open from April to October. The pool is fully fenced and has a good supply of loungers with a large paved area surrounded by flower beds and a rosemary hedge.
L'Ecurie is a charming, beautifully refurbished two/three bedroom gite situated in the old stables of the house with a separate entrance. Recently renovated with great care, L'Ecurie enjoys a beautiful, planted terrace leading directly onto the pool - perfect for breakfast in the sunshine - as well as an orchard for guests' exclusive use.
Its two bedrooms - one twin, one double - are in what would once have been the attic. Adjacent and enclosed on three sides is a mezzanine providing an additional shady lounge area with TV. It includes a daybed that can be used by additional guests.
The village of Migron is truly historic and has at it heart the Romanesque church and a natural spring and a communal washing station. It has its own baker within five minutes walk from the property, butcher, even closer, post office and hairdresser. Pizza and fresh fish vans make scheduled visits and there are weekly food stalls.
The village is surrounded by vineyards and sunflower field and all roads lead to further sleepy villages, vineyards, abbeys and historic sites. The properties are within 20 minutes of the beautiful historic towns of Cognac, Saintes and St Jean D'Angely. Each is worth several days of your time with elegant squares, parks, good shopping, great food, lovely bars... and the largest supermarkets. Even closer are the villages of Burie (5 minutes) and Matha (10 minutes) with supermarkets, cafes and a range of shops.
The properties are just 40 from from the beautiful sandy beaches of Royan and an hour to Bordeaux, La Rochelle and the fantastic islands of Ile de Re and Ile D'Oleron. Near the coast are massive areas of sea marshes, nature reserves with egrets, storks and coypu, a true wildlife haven.
Near the coast too are the huge oyster and mussel beds that serve the restaurants of France. Every village and town has a local market, inevitably with fresh seafood - and vegetables and cheeses - piled high. Each village too will have a summer festival weekend and Cognac has an international music festival which attracts the biggest names, but also has music in every cafe and the pedestrianised streets.
Migron and the surrounding area is excellent for cycling - miles and miles of level countryside with virtually traffic-free routes through vineyards, fields, woodland and villages. Other activities include river trips, antiques markets (large brocantes held in surrounding villages regularly throughout the summer), visits to chateaux, churches and museums, walking, cycling and birdwatching.
Sport and leisure in the area include golf (18-hole courses in both Cognac and Saintes which are 20 minutes away), horseriding, all types of fishing, tennis (including a court in the village), canoe-kayaking (boats to hire at various places along the Charente in Cognac and Saintes), and plenty of space in and around the village to kick a football.
We will supply details of all the local attractions, markets and beaches. Our caretaker will research your special interests, book tickets and restaurant tables if you so require.... an optional, but entirely free service.
Top Traveller Review
About the Owner
About The Owner
Linda and I have busy lives in England, both working from home, and with two grown up children. Our house in France has become a part of family life: a place we treasure and where we come together and where we know we will eventually live.
Its also a place where we've been delighted to welcome guests for over 11 years..
The Owner purchased this house in 2005
Why The Owner chose Saintes area
We spent more than five years looking for the perfect location. It had to be in beautiful countryside, within striking distance of the coast, close enough to get to comfortably and far enough south to have a long, warm sunny summer. In fact, the area is within a micro climate that is the 2nd sunniest in France. We first visited it on a wet January day. Even then we knew we had found the place. The huge rooms of the house, the careful restoration that created a fantastic atmosphere and its quirky character made it irresistible. And then we discovered the towns.. Saintes, Cognac, Angouleme, each brilliant but with a distinctive character. And Oleron, France's 2nd largest island, but hardly mentioned in England, with huge unspoilt sandy beaches. We were absolutely sold.
What makes this house unique
We holiday at the house each year ourselves. We never tire of the countryside and villages, the local walks and just soaking up the atmosphere of the towns. In truth, we spend most of our time at the house. It just seems to fit our mood. There's the shade of L'Ecurie's orchard and herb garden. And Thouvenin with its quiet, almost hidden spaces, to sit, read, think, snooze.. And the pools big enough for a real family swim or the competitiveness of winning at boules or table tennis. Eating outdoors is for us an essential part of summer and there's nothing better than walking down the road to buy fresh bread to have with cheese and wine.
Thouvenin's new bar has just added another wonderful space to relax. And as the evening finally falls, seeing the stars without extraneous light, brighter than I've ever seen.
Discounts available on longer bookings. 25% deposit required at the time of booking. £100 breakages deposit required at time of balance payment, 8 weeks before the commencement of the holiday. Linen, bath and hand towels included, but not beach/pool towels. Highchair, cot and babybath available at no cost. Cleaning not included and charged if property not "left as found". Minimum charge £50.
Changeover day is Saturday in high season (June-September). Other days may be possible out of season. Arrival time from 4pm and departure time by 10am.
Minimum Booking Period:
Is 7 days in high season (June-September).
Notes on prices:
20% off Brittany Ferries travel is available on all bookings
(3 traveller reviews)
Exactly as described and what we wanted
We originally booked to stay in the gite (l'ecurie) but due to a cancellation were upgraded to the main house (thouvenin), the house was lovely, clean, full of character and very homey. Everything we needed was there including lots of useful local information, Julie who looks after the house popped in a couple of times to clean the pool and let us have a look in the gite too (as we're nosy!) which was small but nicely appointed. The village was nice and quiet, we were only 5mins walk from the local shops which we used daily. Our 9yr old spent almost all week in the pool and we had the best of the weather too. All in all a lovely, relaxing week and really good value. Will definitely be back
Lovely property in a fantastic location
Fantastic break in a beautiful location. The Gite was everything we hoped for. We spent hours relaxing by the super pool and enjoyed the Al fresco dining. We were impressed by the amount of places to visit nearby. We will definitely be returning.
From the Owner
“We spent more than five years looking for the perfect location. It had to be in beautiful countryside, within striking distance of the coast, close enough to get to comfortably and far enough south to have a long, warm sunny summer. In fact, the area is within a micro climate that is the 2nd sunniest in France. We first visited it on a wet January day. Even then we knew we had found the place. The huge rooms of the house, the careful restoration that created a fantastic atmosphere and its quirky character made it irresistible. And then we discovered the towns.. Saintes, Cognac, Angouleme, each brilliant but with a distinctive character. And Oleron, France's 2nd largest island, but hardly mentioned in England, with huge unspoilt sandy beaches. We were absolutely sold.”
Activity and Interests
The small village of Migron, with its pretty, 11th-century stone church, is perfect for those who want a quite village surrounded by vineyards and sunflower fields, but don't want to be too remote.
Migron has a well-stocked mini-market complete with a tiny coffee bar. Its a 5 minute walk and almost next door is the village bakers. The bakery is exceptional and actually supplies most of the bakery shops in the surrounding area. The shop is simply a counter within the bakery itself. A pizza van with a wood burning oven calls on Monday evenings and Oysters and mussel stalls appear on Saturday morning
The village also has a post office and hairdresser and a vegetable van calls during the week.
The beautiful sandy beaches of Royan are just forty minutes drive away. Also within an hour's drive are Rochefort, Ile d'Oleron, La Rochelle and - just a bit further - the beautiful Ile de Re, dubbed the Cote d'Azur of the Atlantic Coast. The Atlantis waterpark in St Jean d’Angely (20 minutes drive), has water slides, but the biggest and best is Les Antilles at Jonzac. The sea marshes around Rochefort contain a sanctuary which plays home to egrets, storks, warblers and kites.
Up to 25% off Brittany Ferries is available on all bookings
We are surrounded by airports with budget flights to many parts of the UK, including Angouleme (45mins),La Rochelle (1 hour) and Bordeaux (1 hour). The nearest ferry port is St Malo, around 4 hours drive on very good roads, which with a breakfast stop means you can be at the house for lunch. Alternatives include Caen, Roscoff and Cherbourg. The short channel crossings from Dover are possible with a long day's drive. TGV service to Angouleme.
Nearby large villages include Matha (10 minutes drive) and Burie (5 minutes). Attractions nearby include an excellent aquarium at La Rochelle, two waterslide parks and a world class zoo. In Cognac, 20 minutes drive away, there's a chance to visit some of the world-famous distilleries and the beautiful old Roman town of Saintes, also 20 minutes away, has good shopping, good museums, a Roman amphitheatre and two cathedrals. La Rochelle, Rochefort and Bordeaux around an hour away.
Migron and the surrounding area is excellent for cycling - miles and miles of level countryside with virtually traffic-free routes through vineyards, fields, woodland and villages. There's even an otter colony at the edge of the village. Other activities include river trips, antiques markets (large brocantes held in surrounding villages regularly throughout the Summer), visits to chateaux, churches and museums, walking, cycling and birdwatching (74 hectares of lagoon nature reserves in the area). Sport and leisure in the area include golf (18-hole courses in both Cognac and Saintes which are 20 minutes away), horse riding, all types of fishing, tennis (including a court in the village), canoe-kayaking (boats to hire at various places along the Charente in Cognac and Saintes), and plenty of space in and around the village to kick a football. There is a market to go to practically every day of the week, in Saintes, Cognac, Matha, St Jean d'Angely among others, and there are many excellent local restaurants and auberges to suit every budget.
Cognac and Pineau des Charentes - a local aperitif - are available to taste and buy direct from local producers. A nearby village has its own micro brewery with mini-kegs and bottles to take away. Other local specialities include goats cheeses, oysters from the Marennes, mussels, and other wonderful seafood from the Atlantic coast. The best 'local' wine is Bordeaux - most grapes grown here are for Cognac or Pineau - and there are caves (wine co-operatives) in several local towns.
From the Owner
“We holiday at the house each year ourselves. We never tire of the countryside and villages, the local walks and just soaking up the atmosphere of the towns. In truth, we spend most of our time at the house. It just seems to fit our mood. There's the shade of L'Ecurie's orchard and herb garden. And Thouvenin with its quiet, almost hidden spaces, to sit, read, think, snooze.. And the pools big enough for a real family swim or the competitiveness of winning at boules or table tennis. Eating outdoors is for us an essential part of summer and there's nothing better than walking down the road to buy fresh bread to have with cheese and wine. Thouvenin's new bar has just added another wonderful space to relax. And as the evening finally falls, seeing the stars without extraneous light, brighter than I've ever seen.”
- Away From It All
- Tourist Attractions
- Hair Dryer
- Iron & Board
- Linens Provided
- Parking ...
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine
- Dishes & Utensils
- Pantry Items
- Child's Highchair
- Dining Area
- DVD Player
- Satellite / Cable
Pool / Spa
- Communal Pool ...
- Outdoor Pool
- children welcome
- non smoking only
- pets not allowed
- autumn foliage
- theme parks
- water parks
- winery tours
- bird watching
- eco tourism
- horse riding
- paddle boating
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses
- medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities
- equestrian events
- freshwater fishing
- Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
- 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
- Bedroom 1
- Bedroom 2
- Golf ...
- Kayak / Canoe ...
- Garden ...
- Tennis ...
Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website
- Notes on accommodation: Price includes bedlinen, bath and hand towels. Highchair, cot and babybath available at no extra charge. Safety gates on internal stairs. The pool is fully fenced to the latest safety specification with a childproof gate. It is heated by solar power and fully maintained. The properties are connected via a hidden door and can be booked as one, comfortably sleeping 12. Thouvenin has both open fires and central heating, with a plentiful supply of logs (no charge). Wireless broadband internet connection available at no cost. Outside: The large garden has lawned, gravelled and private terraced areas - one for each property. Both have plenty of seating. Thouvenin's covered terrace has a dining table, bar area, table tennis and a stone-built BBQ with chimney. The house has an additional outside, covered mezzanine with further tables, chairs and a swinging seat. Thouvenin's boules area, surrounded by a lavender hedge is the perfect location, next to the barbecue for drinks as the sun goes down. L'Ecurie's own terrace has tables, chairs and a BBQ and is planted with olive bushes and lavender. Separately it has a private orchard with cherries, peaches and almond trees, please help yourself. The 9 x 4m pool is 1.5m deep, open from April - November, and fully fenced with poolside loungers. The plant room for chlorination is housed in the former pigsty! Thovenin has a large drive with parking for 2+ cars. L'Ecurie's separate drive can accommodate a single car. There is ample additional street parking.