Le Moulin du Tail                         http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/Flag_of_Vend%C3%A9e.svg/100px-Flag_of_Vend%C3%A9e.svg.png

Breuil-Barret

   85120

  Vendee

 

 

The House

The house is a large ex-mill house, built in 1697, on the meeting point of two very old rights-of-way.

It has four bedrooms, plus a large study/games room upstairs, a large kitchen, a small snug and a storage room,

with the old mill machinery still intact, a large dining room-come-sitting room and a small room at the back,

which we have no idea what to do with yet.


More photos

 

The Garden

The house has 3 acres of land, mostly mature woodland or steep hillside.

There are several hundred trees, both scrubby elder and mature trees, three ponds and a small stream

flowing through the grounds, with three bridges across it and what might well be a roman ford.

Flowers are very beautiful, including a quite unusual and widespread carpet of purple toothwort in the spring.

Some spring flowers

 

Amongst the wildlife we’ve seen are red squirrels, a hedgehog, a coypu, lot of butterflies, hummingbird moths,

damselflies and dragonflies. Pictures of various insects

 

Admin for Visitors

Please click here for admin stuff

 

There and back again

 

Flying:

 

The house is 1-11/2 hours distant from three airports

 

Nantes has the best service. There are direct flights from the UK, Ireland and Schipol (though Schipol costs a fortune).

Ryanair flies from Stansted to La Rochelle and Poiters. KLM/Air France flies from City airport to Nantes.

Car hire at Nantes is quick and easy

 

Train:

 

You can also travel by TGV. TVG Map of France: http://www.tgv.co.uk/FlashMaps/france.html

 

The closest and most convenient station is Niort. You can take the train from Paris or (morning and evening) from Charles de Gaulle.

Routing through Paris is slow, as you need to change from Gare du Nord to Gare Montparnasse, which cannot be done in less than 45 minutes.

The Paris-Niort trains take 2.10-2.30 hours; alternatively, there are Poitiers trains which take only 1.30-2 hours, and aren’t that much

further away if you are being picked up or hiring a car.

 

The Region

 

We are in the Vendee in Pays de la Loire, close to the border with Deux Sevres in Poitou-Charentes.

Vendee:                                                                                   Deux Sevres:

Deux-Sèvres carte departement"°

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Multimap link direct to the house: http://www.multimap.com/our house

 

Niort is the closest large town, with Poitiers a bit further away and a bit bigger. Fontenay-le-Comte is 20 minutes away. The Vendee has no big towns.

 

A good intro guide to the Vendee: http://www.the-vendee.co.uk/intro.htm

Wikipedia’s history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vend%C3%A9e

 

Climate and Weather

The climate is warm in summer but pretty chilly in Dec-Feb. It’s in a ‘sun pocket’

and claims to have nearly as much sun as the Cote d’Azur (though it’s nothing like as hot). Spring and summer both come early. June-August is the classic summer.

By March everything is blooming and the raspberries are ripe by June.

 

The nearest Yahoo site: http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/FRXX0166_c.html.

 

Some Child-friendly attractions:

Futuroscope                                                       http://www.futuroscope.com/

(not been yet, to be honest)

The extraordinary Puy du Fou:                            http://www.puydufou.com/uk/

(which is open in the summer only but must not be missed if you are a newcomer).

The Parc de Pierre Brun in Mervent forest             http://www.mervent-foret.com/

(which is aged and rickety but still pretty good if you have younger kids)

 

Some Stuff to Do:

 

Sitting drinking wine and listening to the river. My personal favourite.

Its an agriculrual area of rolling farmland, a bit like Oxfordhire or parts of irelabd, very strong aming community, not particularly exciting geographically.

Cycling

Ballooning

Golf - There are at least five courses in the Vendee and three in Deux Sevres.

Vendee:

Golf des Fontenelles -  http://www.golfethotel.com/golf-france-detail.cfm?idGolf=44

Golf de St Jean de Monts,

Golf des Olonnes,

Golf de la Domangere - http://www.golfethotel.com/golf-france-detail.cfm?idGolf=428

Golf de Port-Bourgenay -http://www.formule-golf.com/fr/visitez_les_golfs/Port-Bourgenay-Golf/Accueil.aspx

 

Deux-Sevres:

See http://www.golfniort.fr/golfniort/

Les Forges - Golf Club Chateau des Forges, off the D524 between Vasles and Coutieres (east from Parthenay).

See www.golfdesforges.com.

Mazieres-en-Gatine, just south of the town on the D743 between Parthenay and Niort, has a Formule Golf chateau hotel.

See http://www.formule-golf.com/fr/visitez_les_golfs/Mazieres-en-Gatine-Golf/Accueil.aspx

 

Horse riding

 

The Tank Museum. We went to the tank museum at Saumur and thought it was outstanding for boys and older boys.

All sorts of tanks from WW1 on .

It is the Musee des Blindees, 1043 Route de Fontevraud, 49400 Saumur. Opening hours are on www.musee-des-blindes.asso.fr

 

Restaurants

There are several restaurants in villages around 10-20 Km away. In La Chateraignerie, there is

The blue restaurant at the end of the road (Walking distance)

S very nice pizza place in St Hilaire de Viost

L’Auberge de la Terrace in Le Chataigneraie (Fancy)

Hotel de la Poste (nice and simple) in le Chataeigneraie.

We have’t really done this justice though (children).

 

Shopping

Farmers’ markets etc. Oysters are plentiful as most are local; lots of local produce, including quite a bit of small game, rabbit etc.

Lots of seafood.

Wine and cheese obviously very good. Well, better than that. Truly outstanding.

For practical shopping, Fontenay or Niort are best. For fashion, best just not.

 

Fishing

Extraordinarily popular in the area. We are close to the very large Pescalis: http://www.pescalis.com/.

Its pricy and practices catch and release, both rather spoiling the point in my book.

 

Surfing 

Very popular and seems pretty good but haven’t tried yet.

http://www.sciences.univ-nantes.fr/info/perso/permanents/trichet/source-surfGB.html

 

Seaside

A little too far away for a day trip unless you make an early start.

The big centre is: http://www.lessablesdolonne.fr/, but La Rochelle is closer, prettier and has excellent cafes and seafood.

 

Bungee Jumping

Yep, just round the corner. Only runs a few times a year. Le Grand Sot is its name. Hmmm…..

 

Wine

We are an hour from the Loire valley

loire-map

 

And two from Bordeaux:

http://www.greatwinecapitals.com/gifs/g_bor_map.gif

Local Vendee Wines ("Fiefs Vendéens) are not particularly well known. The main ones arer around Brem, Mareuil, Vix, and Pissotte.

-       Brem Fiefs,

-       At Beaulieu sous la Roche, the Cave de l'Atrie,

-       Mercier Frères - http://www.mercier-groupe.com/Anglais/AGroupeMercier/Avignoblesmercier.htm,

-       closest vinyard to us is La Pissotte: http://www.welcome-vendee.com/vendee/vins-pissotte-coirier.htm

 

Sightseeing

-       Fontenay-le-Comte and the nearby region is worth a visit. http://www.ville-fontenaylecomte.fr/

-       The Marais Poitevin is close by, south of Fontenay, and is said to have great bird watching

-       The Châteaux of the Loire valley are an hour and a half away and some are truly amazing.

-       Vendee Revolutionary battlefields seem to abound also.