We stayed a week at this rental, l'Aile-de-Ouest ("The Barn") in Le Breuil-Mâllot. It was exactly the romantic get-away we had pictured for an anniversary in the country, with multi-coloured farmlands on all sides and a relaxing view down past rolling hills toward La Châtre in the distance, a twenty-minute drive. Outside the door to our apartment were two well-kept lawns, each with an impeccably trimmed hedge, a patio table, umbrella and chairs. With sun the whole week and fresh strawberries at breakfast, we thoroughly enjoyed the pastoral setting. Our lack of a car was not a problem for we had travelling friends in nearby La Châtre. We made shorter daytrips (an hour`s drive from there) to Bourges and Châteauroux, and a longer trip (two hours) to visit castles in the Loire valley just to the north. Our favourite chateau was Chenonceau, with Blois and Chaumont next, but the powerful cathedral in Bourges (St.-Etienne, not-to-be-missed) towered over everything we saw on these trips. We were in La Châtre most days, a beautiful town with a perfect market on Saturdays, more than enough in itself and nearby to merit a week’s visit. We stayed one whole day in the country, exploring on the bicycles made available to us. Everyone we met in the area was friendly and welcoming, but none more than Bill and Penny Tomlin. Our week in this absolute center of France was everything and more than we expected. Yet what made our stay there most memorable was the friendship we found on arrival. They never imposed, but our proprietors let us know in so many different ways that we should feel at home there. Those berries in the garden by our door were for our picking, the supplies in the fridge were ours, their side of the building (L'Aile-de-l'Est) was at our service at any time. They even offered to drive us to and from La Châtre if we needed (we didn`t), they brought us cherries in the evening, and once, on our anniversary, they showed up at our door with a champagne service. It was fascinating to learn how they gave their barn its make-over. They are justly proud of their exquisite home with the comfortable west wing they open up to travellers. We would like to return to this vacation rental someday, and we will always continue to recommend Bill and Penny Tomlin’s L’Aile-de-l’Ouest to others, friends and family especially.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Friends getaway||A romantic getaway|
|Older travelers||Families with young children|