The SpaceWe have converted this gite from part of a barn, retaining all the original features and as far as possible using traditional materials. It is set in 2 hectares (5 acres) of meadow with only the owners on the same site. The owners’ house is on the opposite side of the large courtyard making the gite very secluded and private. Access is from a lane leading off a quiet road and you can walk for miles without having to do more than cross a metaled road.
The accommodation comprises a large open plan living room of 55m2 with a corner kitchen and fireplace. The kitchen is fitted with a microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator with freezer section, plenty of cupboard space and of course, oven and gas hobs with extractor fan. Upstairs there is one enormous bedroom of 50m2 with large windows and a balconette. The bathroom and toilet is ensuite. There are beams everywhere but plenty of headroom even for tall people.
Outside there is a private terrace with a barbecue. The terrace faces west and gets the sun all afternoon and evening and provides superb views of the sunsets. There are also lots of other areas you can sit, which catch the full sun in the morning, so you can have your breakfast al fresco. If it too hot to sit in the sun there are plenty of shaded areas as well.
There is a large pond well stocked with local carp, frogs and other wild life. The fish are very entertaining fed with stale bread. There is also a large area of grass for playing games. You can amuse yourselves with boules (pétanque) in the gravelled courtyard or even in the covered area if you should be unlucky enough to get some rain during your stay. You can play darts in the barn and 2 adult size all terrain bicycles are provided free of charge, a jogging track, golf practice range (bring your own balls and clubs), badminton and table tennis. Guest AccessGuests are free to wander around any parts of the 5 acres they wish. Interaction with GuestsAdrian & Shamsiah are available at all times to give help and information about the local area, French customs, etc., and to deal with any problems that might arise. We speak English, French and Malay. The NeighborhoodThe surrounding countryside is typical Bourbonais bocage – small meadows with hedgerows, woodland and forest with rivers and lakes. Wonderful for walking, cycling, riding, fishing, and canoeing – yes we can arrange canoeing trips on the Allier River for a charge of 25€ for one canoe (2 people). We drop you with the canoes in Le Veurdre on the banks of the Allier and you drift down stream to Apremont, one of the most beautiful villages in France about 20kms away.
You can be energetic or you can simply drift downstream with current. On the way you can picnic on one of the numerous islands and then have tea in the beautiful garden of the chateau in Apremont while waiting for us to pick you up with the canoes. There are several large lakes with sandy beaches in the area for swimming, sailing and windsurfing. These include the well-known nautical centre of the Etang de Goule.
There are two 18 hole golf courses within 30 and 45 minutes and the stunning courses of Les Volcans, Les Dryads and Sancerre (also famous for its wine) are only 1 hour 30 minutes away. Tennis courts are available in several local villages and there are numerous other activities both sporting and cultural in the area. Every village has a ‘brocante’ or ‘vide grenier’ at some time during the spring and summer. These comprise lots of stalls selling anything from antique furniture, old books, old tools, food and wine to absolute junk. There are also two local medieval festivals, one in the moated chateau of Bannagon, the other, which lasts a whole week in the small medieval town of Souvigny.
There are also many musical and theatrical events including the famous Footsbarn theatre in Hérisson and the Son et Lumière in the ruined chateau of the lovely spa town of Bourbon l’Archambault which is only 16 kms from here. There are also some excellent and inexpensive restaurants locally. There is the Burgundy vineyard of Le Rioussat just across the Allier River which produces some excellent red Pinot Noir, Gamay and white Chardonnay wines at 4 – 6 euros a bottle. Getting AroundYou can get around by car, by bicycle (provided, free of charge) or on foot. There is no public transport. Other Things to NoteThe minimum length of stay is 1 week from Saturday to Friday night inclusive. We charge for electricity at cost - rarely more than 10€ per week. We also ask for a 50€ refundable security deposit payable in cash on arrival.
All the amenities are free except for canoeing on the river Allier. For this we charge 25€ per day to cover the cost of transporting the canoe to the river, and collecting you and the canoe at the end of your downstream trip of around 25kms.