During the second week of October, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a short break over in France and, through a friend's recommendation, chose Le Jardin, near the small town of Vezins, on the Normandy-Brittany border. Le Jardin is a conveniently short (40 mile, 55 minutes) drive from the ferry port at St. Malo and is a pleasant journey, on lightly-traficked roads.
On arrival, I was greeted by my friendly host and hostess, Steve and Dawn Hill, and shown into a delightful, traditional French farmhouse, with comfortable living area which included a wonderful wood-burning stove as its focal point, a great asset in the cool autumn evenings.
My bedroom was on the first floor, light and airy and tastefully furnished and decorated. The double bed was extremely comfortable and I enjoyed some wonderful nights' sleep. In the mornings, I was served a good continental breakfast of juice, cereal, fresh croissant, fruit and coffee at the large farmhouse dining table, situated in its own area adjoining the living room.
The location of Le Jardin is idyllic, situated as it is, in the heart of the Normandy countryside. Walking in the extensive garden it was, at times, impossible to hear a man-made noise, a treat indeed, after the overcrowded conditions in so many parts of the UK.
Despite its tranquil spot, however, Le Jardin is well-situated for days out and visiting local places of interest, notably, the Mont St Michel (which, on a clear day, is visible from the garden), with its huge abbey church perched high above. Another enjoyable visit (even if it did rain all day!), was to Dinan, a picturesque old town on the River Rance, with lovely old buildings and a large number of excellent eateries!
If one doesn't wish to drive, it is possible to walk out of Le Jardin and down the lane, for a pleasant round walk of about an hour, through the surrounding countryside, taking in the Lac de Vezins, a 19-km long, man-made lake with dam, created in the 1930s for hydro-electric power generation.
The nearest town of any size, is Ducey, about 7 km (4 miles) away, which boasts a spectacular chateau with immaculately kept grounds, as well as a number of pleasant little bars and restaurants. It also has a weekly market on Tuesdays which is worth a visit, though the Wednesday market at St Hilaire, a few miles further away in the opposite direction, is a must for lovers of traditional French foods and ambience. You can even buy a crate of live chickens or ducks for the farm, if you so wish.
All in all then, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in and around Le Jardin and would highly recommend it for other prospective travellers to this part of France.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Entire Place. Bed & Breakfast in rural setting. The ideal location to visit le Mont Saint Michel, 25 minutes by car, and with easy access to the main A84 bringing the Normandy beaches and Bayeux within easy reach. Recently renovated with all ammenities. Open plan Kitchen includes Fridge/Freezer, dishwasher, range style gas cooker, microwave. FreeSat television, French, English and German. DVD Player. Free WiFi. Large double bedded room and space for cot. Second bedroom with two single beds.Bathroom with Spa Bath, Separate Shower, Toilet and wash basin, Hairdryer.Large garden with outdoor shared Swimming Pool(available June to September). Off street parking .A substantial breakfast of fresh orange juice, Croissants & Breads, Home Made Jams, Cereals, Yoghurt and a choice of tea, coffee or chocolate, will be served in the property or on the patio (weather permitting.) ... more less
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