If you are in any doubt about booking this wonderful Gite in a rural part of France then do not hesitate to do so!
We booked this holiday back in January 2020 just prior to the coronavirus pandemic changing the world. Throughout the whole booking process the owners Caroline & Darren were nothing but understanding, patient, kind and extremely generous and accommodating. We had to change our booking from 2020 and reschedule for 2021 due to travel restrictions. Nothing was too much bother for them as they genuinely wanted us to be able to come safely and have the very best time.
We stayed in the Gite as a family of 12. With five children between the ages of 3 to 8 years old. We have travelled many places with our children across Europe and found the Gite and grounds to be very child friendly. The chicken run complete with baby chicks was the highlight ! Feeding them everyday with our fruit and veg peelings is an experience our children will never forget. They all now want pet chickens!
The few points below I wish to highlight as i have either read others mention these in their reviews or I can see these being a gripe for some people. Usually the ones who do not read reviews or the details of where they book before they arrive!
- There is a wooden staircase that is steep, however this was not an issue for us. If you have younger children there are two stair gates provided. You can use them if you wish to.
- The bedroom setup despite their being no windows in two of the bedrooms is a non issue. It was very clear on the description prior to booking the property that this was the case. Having no windows were only advantages in our eyes as the bedrooms were lovely and dark (no early rises from the kids yippee!) and when the temperatures were in the high 20s - low 30s, the rooms were lovely and cool. The fans provided were plenty enough for air flow.
- The swimming pool cover. This gave us complete peace of mind when the children weren’t in the pool. It was very safe. The children loved seeing the pool robot doing a fabulous job of keeping the pool lovely and clean, alongside Darren who religiously goes out manually cleaning it, checking the chemical levels and topping the pool up every morning. There was plenty of shade by the pool available.
- Being as it is a self accommodating gite you need to expect to buy things like your own cleaning products, toilet rolls, hand soap etc. Some basics will be provided to get you started but you should be treating the place as your home for the duration of your stay and ensure you are well stocked and this is paid for by yourself. The cleaning is done by you throughout.
- The main road next to the property. Yes you can hear cars and unfortunately tractors carrying heavy loads at times. But they pass by very quickly and like with anywhere new you get used to the sounds and it just blends in. It is what it is and it is a non issue.
- Unfortunately due to being rural France and farmers fields surrounding the Gite there was a lot of flies. You have to be realistic and expect this being in such a rural setting. Yes they are a nuisance and annoying but there is fly tape, spray, fly swots and there is also a wire mesh on the windows to prevent bugs and insects coming in should you wish to have the windows open. These are all provided at the gite along with food nets to cover up your food.
We have never stayed in such a well equipped property before. It really was a home from home feeling. If there was anything we didn’t have Caroline or Darren would be very quick to help. There is one supermarket 15mins away and another in Loudon that is about 25mins away. There is Fresh bread,
Croissants etc in the village up the hill (check opening times).
We did a few outings that are about an hours drive away. Particular highlights were the Zoo and there Japanese Oriental Gardens. Both worth a visit! Unfortunately the Lake near by was no good for water sports this year due to algae in the lake. Just Mother Nature and one of those things! We hope we can do some water sports and go on the manmade beach there next time. It just meant we used the pool multiple times a day, we all played garden games In the gite grounds (badminton, French boule, swing ball, volley ball) and the children had swings and a slide. There is also a brand new table tennis table available which unfortunately we never got out due to their being so much else to do! Plenty of board games also available in the cupboard.
We went to the green in the village up the top of the hill on a Tuesday evening where Darren & Caroline run a food truck where they sell a variety of take away meals. But a particular highlight was the fish and chips. This was as good as, if not better, than a UK fish and chip
Shop! We also pre-ordered a home made curry made by Darren for our final evening meal. What a talented chef and well worth the cost. Do not miss out.
I could continue to write much more about this wonderful place but I will leave you to explore it for yourself. We will be visiting again next Summer and hopefully for many more years to come. Enjoy!
Mon mari et moi sommes ravis d'avoir découvert ce lieu et de nos 3 jours passés dans la maison.
Le lieu est charmant, propre, accueillant, apaisant aussi ! Nous avons bien profité de la piscine chauffée, un bonheur :)
Darren et Caroline sont très accueillants, merci encore pour ce séjour :)
My husband and I are thrilled to have discovered that place for our 3 days in the house.
This location is lovely, clean, welcoming and soothing. We enjoyed a lot the heated pool, such a pleasure :)
Thanks again to the hosts Darren and Caroline for giving us such a warm welcome, we'll be back soon :)
What a fantastic place, the owns Caroline & Darren have really thought of everything.
The place was immaculate, gite, garden & the pool.
The gite was so well equipped, loads of crockery, cooking utensils, quality bedding, towels etc. The pool even had a great selection of inflatable toys.
There was so much space inside & out, even with the 12 in our party
Unfortunately we broke down on the way, Caroline & Darren we’re amazing looking after our family members in our absence. Once we arrived, they even took us to get a hire car. Such genuine kindness.
The local area has loads to do too, all within a short drive. Again Caroline & Darren shared their local knowledge helping us to make the best of our time there.
Definitely recommend this place....we will most certainly be going back.
Caroline and Darren deserve to succeed in their venture the grande Maison Des Tournesols. Their attention to detail leaves you wanting nothing. The whole place is impeccable ... with a private pool too. The location is perfect for touring the area, cycling, walking, or driving. Lots of restaurants around. Perfect place to sample French way of life. Excellent.
My family stayed at La Grande Maison during the recent heatwave in France and couldn't have wished for anywhere better to spend lazy days by the pool. The accommodation is perfect with a fantastic kitchen and plenty of space. All the rooms are well equipped and spotlessly clean. This is a good base for day trips if you can bear to leave the pool. Caroline and Darren are wonderful hosts who were attentive yet left us to enjoy the house and garden as we pleased. They even brought us eggs from their hens. Will definitely be returning.