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Restored Early19thC Schoolhouse, Ste Christine, Fontenay Le Comte, Vendee,France



Updated: 17-Oct-2016
House in Sainte Christine, Nr Fontenay le Comte, Vendee, Pays de la Loire, France - Peaceful Location In Waterside Hamlet On The 'Green Venice' Circuit Touristique

Villa Micheline is a 3 bedroom former schoolhouse on 3 floors lovingly restored to provide a charming, welcoming and comfortable French holiday home. Exposed beams, quarry tiled floors, painted floorboards, original windows and hand-built reclaimed oak units blend with new stone flooring, granite worktops and latest appliances. The large 24'x16' kitchen is the hub of the house with a generous island unit and oak dining table seating 8. The ground floor has a large double bedroom with open-plan but screened shower and separate bath set in the old wine press, and private wc. The 2nd floor houses 2 more double bedrooms with views over the garden and beyond, and a bathroom. The covered play area is fantastic for candlelit suppers and owl-watching on rose-scented summer evenings and the children love the swing. Barbecue, books, table tennis, paddling pool, garden furniture provided. There are many cafes, creperies and restaurants in nearby waterside villages which all have summer festivals.

DON'T MISS STE CHRISTINE'S HORSE FESTIVAL ON 15 AUGUST 2015. Experience true French entertainment all day including mechanical horse rides, craft and food stalls, animals for the children to pet and pony rides, traditional French artisans demonstrating their trades and musical entertainment. Evening meal available and great fun for all the family.

More Details
  • Sleeps 7
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms, 1 Separate Toilet
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Pets considered
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

We live in sunny France restoring our old barn tucked away unobtrusively next door to our farmhouse. After years of French family holidays searching for suitable gites we aimed to one day have our own French haven suiting everyone's individual needs. We wanted comfortable good quality surroundings with a bit of "boutique" style to share and enjoy. In 2006 we found our special French home set in beautiful Vendee parklands, completing the farmhouse refurbishment in 2008. Then in 2009 we fell for and updated a little 200 year-old 2 bedroom cottage yards from the beach in S.Ireland. Both are regularly tested by critical family/friends. We feel if they're happy our guests will be too and so far our testimonials bear this out. We just feel lucky to get to enjoy them both.

Call Owner
Speaks English, French

3 Reviews

based on 3 holidaymaker reviews


A little piece of heaven!

  • 5 of 5

The photos do not do justice to this wonderful property! Simon & Lina have thought of everything to ensure a truly relaxing holiday. The house is beautiful & traditionally furnished except for the very modern & fabulous kitchen. It was a pleasure to return to after a day's exploring & there's a lot to explore!! We cannot recommend this house enough, we will certainly be returning!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 20, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your wonderful review. You were perfect guests and we can't wait to welcome you back!
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Charming, spacious & restful

  • 4 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our week's stay at Villa Micheline. The huge and extremely well equipped kitchen/dining/family room was superb and the large covered outdoor patio area a great place to read, relax or have a candlelit dinner.

The property has an excellent position in the heart of the gorgeous Marais Poitevin and is easy to get to being only 10 minutes drive from the motorway to Paris and the channel ports.

The river walks in the village were a special bonus enjoyed by both us and our dogs (who were made very welcome). It is an all weather property - great in summer and with lots of wood heaters for the colder months. Highly Recommended.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 20, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Lovely relaxing holiday

  • 4 of 5

Lina and Simon made us very welcome at their lovely old school house, Villa Micheline. We all agreed that the internal modernisation of the gite had been done to a high standard particularly the kitchen and bathrooms and it was beautifully clean. The place has lots of character, enhanced by traditional style furnishings. The kitchen is very well equipped. The surrounding area has lots to offer for every age group. We explored on foot, on bikes, in boats and in cars. Even our dog, Jack, had a great time.

If there are any "buts" it would be to say that the advertised BBQ was far too small and the garden furniture inadequate and tired.

The gite was very spacious both inside and out and I would recommend it to anyone seeking a quiet, peaceful,relaxing holiday.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 14, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your comments, they are very valuable to us. Barbecue will be enlarged and more new garden furniture added for next season!
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From the Owner

We chose the Vendee first for its sunny micro-climate and, as Simon has a soft spot for boats, its proximity to the waterway network. When we saw the stunning scenery of "Green Venice" with its pretty waterside villages studded with walking and cycling routes, gliding boats and local fishermen relaxing at the water's edge we knew this was where we wanted to be. We desperately needed to explore this unspoilt place! Our other priority was easy access to the UK and with La Rochelle airport 35 minutes drive and St Malo and Caen ferries to Portsmouth within 3-4 hours drive respectively this area is perfectly placed. We have lavished care on Villa Micheline and enjoyed scouring local brocantes to furnish it, though often sidetracked to the beach on the way! We love it and hope others will too.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : La Rochelle at 65 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : Le Mazeau at 4 Kilometres Nearest Ferry : St Malo at 310 Kilometres Nearest Golf : Niort at 18 Kilometres Nearest Train : Niort at 18 Kilometres Nearest Motorway : A83 at 8 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Le Trou Vendeen, Port Cordault at 5 Kilometres Nearest Beach : Le Lac de Chassenon at 30 Kilometres Car: recommended


20 mins drive from a fresh water lake with beach, safe swimming, pedalos, bar restaurant and watersports school. 45 mins drive to the beaches of La Tranche, Jard and Chatelaillon, the harbour side town of La Rochelle, and the unforgettable Ile de Re with its beaches, small ports, shops and cafes perfect for enjoying the Vendee's 2,400 hours of sunshine per year - equivalent to the French Riviera. Charron is renowned for its mussels and is the place to go if you like seafood!


La Rochelle airport is 45 minutes drive, Nantes 1 hour and Poitiers 1¼ hours all with a selection of car hire companies. St Malo is 3 hours by car, Caen 4 hours, Cherbourg 5 hours and the Cross Channel Tunnel approx 6 hours plus. The TGV is also available with a station in Niort 12km away. With its close proximity to air and ferry ports the Vendee microclimate could even be enjoyed for a long weekend treat but use of a car is essential.


Horse hire next door. 3 mins walk to the canal and picnic area. 5 mins drive to Benet with quiet open air swimming pool and Monday market, St Sigismond and Le Mazeau (also baker and "cave" with large wine selection and local produce) for boat hire. 10 mins drive to Coulon on the banks of River Sevre, museum and restaurants. 15 mins drive to pretty Arcais in the Venise Verte, Maillezais Abbey, go kart hire, Fontenay le Comte ‘ville d'art et d'histoire’ with its shops and Niort. 30 mins Vouvant.

Further Details:

The baker's van calls at the the house and nearby Benet has a supermarket, range of shops, banks and a cafe. There is a further choice of local village cafes and restaurants but the closest and most reasonable is in the tiny port of Cordault, 5 mins' drive from the house, (or take the very pretty bike route there along the canal or go by canoe) which serves an incredible 5-course lunch-time Menu du Jour for 11 Euros including wine and coffee!

Ste Christine itself has a large Festival in mid August with craft and food stalls, sheep shearing and local horse owners racing each other around the park - not to be missed! Locals are seen regularly fishing for crayfish in the streams in Ste Christine and the Venise Verte is studded with fisherman each weekend- perch is abundant in these waterways.

The area is renowned for its waterways, and the best way to see the region and its wildlife is by boat (or bicycle). There are many embarcaderes where the barques can be hired with or without a guide and there are picnic spots at the water's edge; some hirers offer nocturnal trips.

Maillezais Abbey hosts ‘son et lumiere’ productions in the summer with fantastic firework displays and Cordault has an open-air cinema screening in the summer. Niort is a large town 20 mins drive away and is set on the river, has a market each Saturday and has a large selection of good shops as well as the usual hypermarkets and chain stores. Mervent is 30 mins by car where there is a forest, dam and lake, and neighbouring Vouvant is known as the Village of Painters with its many galleries and superb views.

The Futuroscope is just over one hour's drive away at Poitiers, a futuristic theme park with such activities as ‘dancing with robots’. One hour's drive away Le Puy du Fou near La Roche sur Yon, on the other hand, features villages from different eras, gladiators doing battle and Vikings launching attacks on fortified castles.


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Rate 2
25 Mar 2017 - 19 May 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Rate 3
20 May 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Rate 4
1 Jul 2017 - 7 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
8 Sep 2017 - 14 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
25% deposit required on booking. Balance required no later than 4 weeks before arrival. Security payment of £350 / 500 Euros required with balance to be returned on completion of the holiday.

Changeover Day:
Friday changeover day.
Arrival after 4pm, departure before 10am.

Notes on prices:
25% deposit required on booking. Balance required no later than 4 weeks before arrival. Security payment of £350 / 500 euros required with balance to be returned on completion of the holiday.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Total amount
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Updated: 17-Oct-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

Villa Micheline was our home during its restoration and is sunny, airy and private. The beds are comfy,the kitchen a joy to use,the bathrooms modern. It is a house with a history and a warm friendly atmosphere. It is in a peaceful and beautiful location and has stood up well to family demands. We lend maps for walking, cycle and boat routes starting from the house, there's so much to do and see. Local food is mostly organic with tender Parthenay beef, Surgeles butter, regional cheeses, fresh oyster stalls on Sundays and a nearby vineyard has just produced a wine tipped to win medals. Nearby restaurants are high in quality and value. Discover a secret authentic and unique watery world long enjoyed by French holidaymakers! Visitors regularly return.

Property Type

  • house


  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions


  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove ...


  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster


  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area


  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library


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

Location Type

  • river
  • rural
  • village


  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • zoo

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • tennis


  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure
  • Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure
  • Toilet 1 - Toilet
  • En-suite bathroom open-plan with antique screen to bedroom 1 with bath, separate shower, hand-basin with vanity unit and separate wc Bathroom on 2nd floor with bath/shower over, twin hand-basins and wc WC with hand-basin on 1st floor


  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Cot
  • Bedroom 2
  • Bedroom 3
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 7 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 double/triple with king-size bed plus 1 single if required Bedroom 2 with twin beds Bedroom 3 with double bed Cot available


  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • Tennis ...


  • Self-catering


  • Notes on accommodation: DVD's, games, jigsaws and plenty of books are all provided and part of the garden is totally enclosed so is safe for children and pets. Outdoor dining furniture and barbecue are provided. The undercover 'summer lounge' is used as an open-air extension to the house for dining, playing and leisure time and becomes magical lit by fairy lights in the long warm summer evenings. For babies we have a sterilising kit, travel cot (please bring your own cot linen) and changing mat. The ground floor bath is extra large and brilliant for family bathing. During its restoration Villa Micheline provided a welcoming home to our family of 3 generations and is not 'just a gite'. It has been tested, loved, shared and enjoyed and offers comfortable, practical and fun living with an authentic French flavour. From the moment our visitors arrive and uncork the wine provided in our welcome pack we hope that they too will relax and enjoy their holiday in a sunny home from home. Outside: There are three garden areas. Steps lead down from the kitchen to paving and lawn with borders, climbing roses, clematis, magnolia, and camelia where guests can sit in the sun. The former open-air playground has a large old vine-clad door which opens onto a lawned garden of over 100ft boundaried by fig, cherry and plum trees where children can let off steam and adults can sunbathe. There is a paddling pool, hammock,full-sized table tennis table and games equipment. Marked bicycle and walking routes pass the house and steps away beautiful tow-path walks meander through the Park conservation areas over little boardwalk bridges. Take a picnic to a hidden lagoon in the woods to experience real peace! Some bikes available including 2 child-sized. 2 canoes provided for exploring the vast network of amazing waterways from the village. Horse riding is available next door where children are also welcomed on farm visits (in French) to see rare breed sheep and Poitou donkeys. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: All bedlinen provided changed fortnightly. Bath towels provided. Other: The original covered playground provides a huge extra leisure area with lighting, outside dining furniture for 8, cane seating for relaxing, a rafter-hung swing, space for table tennis or childrens' games with door to over 100' lawn.

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