The first impressions of a holiday location are often the most accurate. In this case, the experience just kept getting better! The gite is a beautifully equipped private house set in lovely grounds, with Karen (the owner) nicely close by if anything is needed. (Bless her, she came round with candles and matches and extra firewood for the log-burner, when a wandering mini-tornado caused a power cut towards the end of our stay).
Downstairs is a large open plan dining room / sitting room, a kitchen with everything you need (even a washing up machine and a baguette bag). A washing machine is just by the kitchen, then - tucked away - is a large double bedroom with en-suite and walk-in shower.
The luxury continues upstairs, via a solid oak staircase and mini-gallery, to a well-sized bathroom with another (bigger!) walk-in shower - I loved this: no stubbed toes! There is a second large and beautifully decorated double bedroom just along the wide hallway; there is also a twin bed available, in case you want to sleep eight people in the gite. The hallway also has a small staircase, which takes you up into the tower (see photos of the gite from outside) where there is bunk-beddage for little ones.
These paragraphs really don't do justice to the overall feel of the place though, which is one of easy familiarity, relaxation and comfort. During the tornado, there were 60-70 mph winds and lightning crashing spectacularly every minute or so, but our little candle-lit log-fired oasis was cosy and warm. For sunny days (most of our stay was blessed with temperatures of 22 to 28 degrees C; our UK return was greeted by grey skies, rain and 11 degrees. Pah!). When the sun was shining, I had a couple of splashes around in the swimming-pool, which is about a dozen yards from the gite's 'terrasse' and provides a very welcome cool off after a hot day.
The pictures may provide something of the feel of the gite, but not all, so the best thing to do is go there yourself. The value was excellent and the self-catering probably saved us 100-150 euros (Intermarche, Lidl and Aldi, plus boulangers and patissiers are all within an 8 minute drive, in Confolens).
Oh yes, Confolens - such a beautiful town. Go on the 'velorail', hire a boat, wander round the antique shops, sit and relax by the old bridge with a coffee and a snack. We'll be coming back soon for more.
Huge thanks to Karen, Sam, Blue and Heidi (arf arf!) for the wonderful week.
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