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Charmingly Restored, Stone-Built Cottage Near Cognac



Updated: 12-Jun-2016
Cottage near Cognac and Matha, Charente-Maritime, in Peaceful Hamlet Location Among The Vines And Woodland In Gently Rolling Countryside

This charming cottage (c 1760) is in the small hamlet of Le Rôty, near Gibourne, in the department of the Charente-Maritime. Set within an old farmyard and lovingly restored, it retains many original features including an extraordinary early 18th century fireplace. The cottage provides the typical one-room living of the period: large room of 45m2, but with the addition of a bathroom. It has additional sleeping facility of a small double bed in an alcove off the main room. It has been delightfully furnished by the owner, a dedicated antique and curio hunter, and has an eclectic variety of tableware, glasses, etc.

The surrounding vineyards, woodland and fields of sunflowers provide lovely local walks and cycle rides (bicycles available) on the little-used roads and tracks criss-crossing the spectacular countryside, with its huge sky and stunning sunsets. The region is the sunniest in France, after the Côte d’Azur, and Le Rôty is within easy reach of the chic resorts of La Rochelle and Royan, the Atlantic beaches, Ile de Ré and Ile d’Oléron, as well as the historic towns of Saintes, Angoulême, Rochefort and, of course, Cognac. The city of Bordeaux and its vineyards are only an hour or so away.

  • Sleeps 3
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Pets considered
  • Internet
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

Before I settled in the Charente-Maritime, I lived in Berlin, but spent every summer holiday on the Ile d'Oléron. One day, I thought why not change my life and spend all my time here? I did it. I found a big place with outbuildings, with large gardens surrounded by old stone walls. I started to restore my house and planted the gardens with fig trees, rosemary, lavender, oleanders and all the southern plants which grow so wonderfully in the micro-climate. Also, I had room to create a studio for my art and jewellery-making, as well as restoring two cottages, one of which I let and the other to which I welcome my friends from around the world.

Call Owner
Speaks English, French, German

Guestbook comments from the owner

"What a wonderful place. We don't want to leave our friend Barbara and go home, but we have to!" Lisa and Michel (Frankfurt).

"Your hospitality, all your help, just being there, did us such good in the sunny, tranquil south, far away from our stressful lives in the north. We spent two wonderful weeks together in this romantic home" Nora and Luder (Hamburg).

"If I had to find the perfect image of a country cottage, then this is where I would come. No phones, no radio, no TV, just tranquillity and perfection. Keep it so dear Barbara - we will be back!" Kevin and Denise (Egypt).
Oct 2011
  • 1 of 1

3 Reviews

based on 3 holidaymaker reviews


C´est magnifique!

  • 5 of 5

Where do I start ? This rustic, stone built cottage is situated about 40km from Cognac in the village of Le Roty surrounded by fields of sunflowers and vineyards.

The house itself is completely charming with a large fireplace, (not that we needed it,) a large double bed and a single in the next room. It´s a joy. The garden at the rear is an ecological paradise with fig and walnut trees, butterfly bushes,(buddleia), and lavender. The fruit bats were out at sunset when we stayed and every day birds of prey were on the fields. Who needs a TV?

Barbara, your host, is the most charming, funny, helpful, delightful wonderful person you could ever wish to meet, and her house and gardens are her love and joy. There are nooks and crannies everywhere with all manner of bits and bobs collected over many years.

Within a 75 minute drive, or less, the towns and cities of Cognac, Bourdeaux, La Rochelle, Rochefort, Saintes can be eaily reached by car plus the Ile de Re and the beaches at Royan and Ile d`Oleron. The local vineyards all sell their wares and the local Pineau des Charentes; and the number of medieval churches and monasteries are far too many to mention but well worth visiting.

A thoroughly fantastic eight days in the warmth of France with the most fantastic lady in her little hide away. We are going again.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 15, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I have been so lucky with all the lovely guests I have had this Summer - the memories are cheering me as Autumn turns a bit grey and chilly! My only remark about this generous review is to say that I am situated a little nearer to Cognac than 40Km. It is only a twenty or so minutes' drive.
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2 0

A slower pace of life

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at La Belle Etoile for one week at the end of August 2013 when we were blessed with wonderful sun. We would thoroughly recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a relaxing and peaceful ?get away from it all?. The gite is charming and just as described and seen in the pictures, very clean and comfortable. During our stay we reflected on how we clutter and complicate our own lives with so many costly and material things and how we become caught up in it all - we welcomed the simplicity of living that this delightful place provided us. Our senses were filled with the calming scent of lavender and rosemary and we spent our time, reading, walking, sightseeing and cooking sardines fresh from the market on the bbq and of course drinking lots of wine too! The bed was comfortable and we slept in complete stillness until the birds woke us up in the morning.

Barbara has been most welcoming and helpful host with suggestions of places of interest and kindly offering us the use of her bikes ? although my out of practice meant a scuffed knee on our last day of our holiday!! followed by our car breaking down later that day, although thanks to road assistance, everything was dealt with most efficiently and although our journey home was altered, we got home without any problems. Our holiday at Le Roty has been memorable and we have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who wishes to experience a slower pace of life. We would like to thank Barbara so much for all her support, for the use of her phone, and for the generous bouquet of lavender she gave us to bring home with us.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 3, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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5 0
East Yorkshire

Truly Peaceful: Maison des Romarins

  • 5 of 5

This is a unique property which provided us with a memorable holiday experience. If you really like to get away from it all, this gite is a good choice. Barbara is a very welcoming and tactful host and she has made this little enclave an extremely charming place to spend some time.

The gite has everything you need in terms of facilities - we loved the fact that there was no TV, no distraction and we could just sit in the lovely garden and listen to the bees, occasionally getting up to try and scare the starlings out of the fig tree (not with much success though). We loved the sense of history in the gite and all the simple furnishings enhanced this. This was our second week in France and we really had wound down by the end of our time in Romarins. Just what the doctor ordered!

Le Roty is a very peaceful village amidst rolling fields. It's great cycling country and has lovely 'big skies'.

We enjoyed our visits to La Rochelle and Saintes - a good day in each place and lots of lovely restaurants to choose from.

Definitely recommended to those who like to get away from it all. thank you Barbara.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 16, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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4 0


From the Owner

I love the Charente-Maritime for its climate and for its people, who have all the time in the world to chat; for the wonderful architecture of the Romanesque churches with their extraordinary carvings; the wonderful markets; and for bicycle riding on my own through the gently undulating countryside, where the endless sky kisses the Earth. However peaceful and tranquil I feel in Le Rôty, I am only a few minutes away from everything I could need.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : La Rochelle at 85 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : Matha at 6.5 Kilometres Nearest Ferry : St Mâlo at 390 Kilometres Nearest Golf : Cognac at 35 Kilometres Nearest Train : Angoulême at 54 Kilometres Nearest Motorway : A10 at St Jean d'Angély at 22 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Matha at 6.5 Kilometres Nearest Beach : Chatelellaion-Plage at 76 Kilometres Car: necessary

In Matha, the nearby town, a new swimming pool with a waterslide has opened this year. It is heated and open in the afternoons in July and August (N.B. "slips", e.g. Speedos, are essential. Longer swimming shorts, what the French call "bermudas", are not allowed in public swimming pools).

Royan, the most famous seaside resort on the Atlantic coast, is about an hour away. It has a large beach, shops, and restaurants, although we prefer the charm of nearby St-Georges-de-Didonne. If you like dunes, pine forests and 40km of sandy beach, you will love the Côte Sauvage (the wild coast). The Vieux Port (old port) of beautiful La Rochelle is a great day out for sight-seeing, shopping and eating. Charming Ile de Ré and Ile d'Oléron are just over an hour away.


Airports: Bordeaux (1.5 hours); La Rochelle (1.5 hours); Poitiers (1.5 hours). Rail: St Pancras to Angoulême via Lille or Paris (6-7 hours) or to Niort via Paris (5-6 hours) Car from: Caen (5.5 hours), Calais (7-8 hours), St Mâlo (4.5 hours). Half an hour from Exit 34 of the A10. A car is essential and can be hired at any of the airports, in Cognac, and at Angoulême and Niort stations.


Matha (5 mins), Cognac (20 mins), St Jean d'Angély (20 mins), Angoulême (40 mins), La Rochelle (1 hour), Saintes (30 mins).

Further Details:

Matha, Cognac and St Jean d'Angély all have covered markets and a good selection of shops, banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, etc. There are at least two English-speaking doctors in the vicinity. A boulanger comes to the village around mid-morning with fresh bread but in Matha (5 mins) there are two boulangeries. A mobile butcher comes once a week, and he also has excellent home-made pâté and sausages.

We have restaurants within a few minutes' drive and more interesting options are to be found in Cognac and St Jean d'Angély. At nearby Thors there is a fishing lake with pedalos, mini-golf, play area for children, etc, and a friendly bar/restaurant overlooking the lake with tables on the terrace.

Every village has its own fête with fleamarket, dinner and dancing and a brocante (antiques and car boot sale) is held at a different location every weekend in the summer.

For music lovers, there are open-air music festivals, such as: 'Bluespassions' in Cognac in July; Un Violon sur le Sable in Royan and classical and jazz concerts in the 12th century Abbaye de Fontdouce. Concerts are also held in the local Romanesque churches and at the Abbaye des Dames in Saintes.

The gastronomy is varied: in this clement and mild climate the famous Charentais melons grow, as well as all sorts of vegetables and fruit. At the weekly markets you will find specialities such as goats cheese, cakes with cognac, pâté and sausages. The nearby Atlantic Ocean offers a great variety of seafood, such as mussels and oysters from Marennes-Oléron.

There are public tennis courts in Matha and riding, fishing, go-karting and horse-drawn carriage rides are all available locally. I have several bicycles you may use, but please bring your own safety equipment - helmets, etc.

I have guides and lots of information about activities and facilities in the area. I can also arrange private visits to local Cognac and Pineau producers.

Dogs are allowed but you may prefer to keep them on a lead or long line when outside in the garden for security reasons.


Rental rates

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Changeover day is usually Saturday: arrival after 16.00; departure by 10.00. These times may be flexible - please just ask. Please also contact me if you would like to come at other times during the year.

All towels and bedlinen are provided.

I invite you to a welcoming aperitif on arrival, and to a typical Charentais dinner during your stay, on a day of your choice. I can also cook for you at other times, if you are so relaxed, you can't be bothered!

25% deposit is taken at the time of booking. Full payment is required 6 weeks prior to the start of your holiday and all payments must made in Euros, by transfer to French bank account.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Updated: 12-Jun-2016
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From the Owner

The absolute quiet and tranquillity.

Property Type

  • cottage


  • Away From It All


  • Fireplace ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...


  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...


  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area


  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Location Type

  • rural
  • village


  • churches
  • restaurants

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • tennis

Floor Area

  • 45 m²


  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Shower-room with WC and basin.


  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom 1
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 3 (1 Bedroom) Notes on bedrooms: This is traditional one-room cottage living, so the principal double bed is in this large room. There is a charming additional room with a small double bed and extra accommodation may be available on the property.


  • Bicycles ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 2 bicycles


  • Self-catering


  • Notes on accommodation: This beautiful property is full of hidden gardens and corners and has often hosted writers and artists. My aim is to provide a simple haven from the noise and stress of modern life. In the unlikely need of heating, logs can be supplied for the wonderful old fireplaces. Please note there is no washing machine, but I can take care of your laundry. I am also available for any advice or information you need and can arrange private visits to small Cognac and Pineau des Charentes producers. Outside: The cottage has its own secluded garden with appropriate furniture. There is also access throughout the grounds with its charming features and wonderful, informal planting. A further, large, semi-wild, secret garden provides opportunity for strolling under the trees, listening to birdsong. A barbecue is available in the large garden. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: The cottage will have been cleaned for your arrival and all bedlinen and towels are included.

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