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“The hosts with the most!”
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15 reviews
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Overview
Farmhouse -
3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8
Blaye, Gironde, Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 15 reviews
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Reviews from our community

polly596
Shropshire, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The hosts with the most!”
Reviewed 16 August 2017 for a stay in July 2017

We stayed at Ben and Gill’s vineyard gite for a week in late July 2017 as a party of five with three older teenage girls. We have holidayed in a fair few gites in France over the years and we would say without hesitation that Ben and Gill’s wins over all of the others both in terms of the facilities offered and how comfortable we were made to feel.
The house itself has a real country farmhouse feel and the renovations have been thoughtfully completed so that the place feels warm, clean, nicely lit and is tastefully decorated and furnished. The result is a property that feels very spacious (even if you are a bit untidy, as we are) and offers many different places to relax. With five occupants, it’s possible to find your own space in the living room (whose doors open for a cool breeze onto the garden), the large kitchen, shady garden, sunny lawn and pool area. Equally, there is enough room in each of these spaces for everyone comfortably to eat, drink, play catch or swim. I think there is quite a lot of bats-and-ball stuff that we didn’t use, as we were happy with our tennis ball. Gill and Ben gave us four bikes and offered to rustle up a fifth if we all wanted to take a trip out together.
Specifically, the pool is pristine and offers a shaded area as well as lots of recliners around the pool. The ping-pong table was a hit as was the lawn for improving our ball skills. The plums from the garden made a lovely pie. The barbeque is spotless and Ben took the trouble to coach our girls in the use of the gas burner.
We do a lot of cooking and one usually expects to have to improvise when you go away, as most places have a few things missing that you would have at home, but here there is just about anything you would find at home and in abundance.
Gill and Ben are the most natural of hosts. Everything feels personal. Gill knew that we would be going to the supermarket en route, so decided to complement our shopping with some fresh bread and cheese and some of the Garagiste wine from their own vineyard – the perfect choice. (Ben also later gave us a freshly bottled rosé – quite delicious.) Wherever you look in the house there are signs of thoughtfulness: there is a whole rack of spices and ingredients to make dressings with; there is shampoo, shower gel and loo roll in every bathroom in case you forget to buy any or take something with you; there are dishwasher tablets and washing powder by the machine; and milk and tea till you can get to the shops; loads of books, videos and box sets of all different kinds (and I’m really picky about books) if it rains. Gill even offered our girls robes to keep warm round the pool one time when they’d left their towels in the house!
We asked Ben to show us round the vineyard, which was a real pleasure. We asked lots of daft questions and got lots of sensible answers, as you might expect. We recommend you do the same.
Although you need a car to make the most of the area, we like walking and very much enjoyed wandering the lanes nearby, popping into Berson for odd provisions (though do check the opening times) and chatting to the neighbours. We had planned to do quite a lot in the surrounding area, but mostly we just relaxed around the house and garden, as it was a nice place to be. One evening we joined Ben and Gill in the Bar du Sport in Blaye for a very pleasant hour, during which Ben and some friends play songs and we soaked up the atmosphere and that was in fact the only evening we went out at all!
Before booking our holiday, like most people, we read the reviews and couldn’t find a single negative comment among them – having now stayed, that does not surprise us, as I cannot think of a single thing Ben and Gill might have done differently and improved our experience.

Date of stay: July 2017
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
22 Aug 2017
Wow, what a fabulous review Polly, we are so thrilled you enjoyed your holiday here. Your review is so very helpful and detailed for other potential guests, we really appreciate the time and effort you have put into it. It's true we do think about each and every group of guests individually, everyone seems to have different requirements.It's our hope that all of our guests to get the best of what they want from this area. Some guests like to discover things themselves - others like to chat and hear about what's available. We just hope everyone goes away with the best memories possible from their holiday with us. Lots of guests arrive "as guests" and more often than not, like yourselves, we part as friends. We really enjoyed our talks around the pool in the mornings. I'm smiling now, as I remember the surprise of discovering a mutual friend. Who would have thought that! We are so very pleased you mention coming back to visit us again, we'd loved to welcome you all here again. We're hoping to create a quarterly news letter about our wine adventure and so we can keep in touch a few times a year in the meantime. We wish you and your lovely family a wonderful second half of 2017.
Salut Polly, jusqu'a la prochaine fois xx.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnnC2041
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
“Living as God in France @ La Grande Etouble with Gill & Ben!”
Reviewed 15 August 2017 for a stay in August 2017

This wonderful place Gill & Ben created is the most fantastic place in the 4 years we've rent a house for our family holiday where we all felt like coming at home as from the very first moment. Every thing you could wish or need is there. Great rooms, adorable kitchen, the pool with his environment, the Vineyard just next to you where Ben's splendid wine is coming from, space enough for everyone, . And last but not least the perfect hosts! This if for sure not a 1 time stay although we are not used to this, and can only advise to make a booking here.
We all loved it!

Date of stay: August 2017
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
16 Aug 2017
Thank you for your very kind review and in English too! We really appreciate you taking the time and effort to submit a report. We too, have wonderful memories of you and your thoughtful, happy and interesting family. We really enjoyed our "evening of aperitifs and chatting". We're so pleased to hear we will get an opportunity to welcome you here again and look forward to seeing you all again at sometime in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kw6202
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Perfect!”
Reviewed 4 October 2016 for a stay in September 2016

The gite is situated on a beautiful vineyard, run by Gill and Ben, who are the most wonderful hosts. There is a pretty village within easy walking/ cycling distance , where we bought delicious bread and croissants every morning. The gite was finished to the highest spec, with every attention to detail, and we wanted for nothing. The pool is glorious, and there are plentiful sunloungers,and a lovely shady area . We borrowed bikes, played tabletennis and boules and relaxed by the pool - recharging our batteries.
Our holiday could not have been better, and we will always be grateful to Gill and Ben for sharing their beautiful home with us.

Date of stay: September 2016
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
6 Oct 2016
Hello Penny and Family
Thank you so very much for taking some time out of your busy day to review your holiday. We really appreciate your kind and positive comments. Likewise , we really enjoyed meeting you and your family and helping to you to get the most out of your holiday and time spent here. Hopefully one day you will come and re-visit us.
Kindest Regards
Gill and Ben
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nicolaist...
Stavanger, Norway
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A fantastic place - we enjoyed this so much”
Reviewed 7 September 2016 for a stay in August 2016
2
people found this review helpful

We stayed 10 days in August 2016; 2 adults and 4 youngsters around 20 years of age. We had a fantastic time. The place is in the middle of the wine yeards with a very nice swimingpool and a good opportunity to cook you own food if you like (both inside and outside). And there are also good possibility to explore the surrounding - many things to do. And not to forget Gill and Ben, who rent out the house: They was so helpful and kind that it was clearly far above expectations. And they helped to make our stay unforgettable. Thank you so much.

Date of stay: August 2016
How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
4 Oct 2016
Hello Stov-Brit and Nicolai
Thank you so very much for taking the time to post a review of your stay with us, it was a real pleasure to meet your family. We have some wonderful memories of your stay - especially the delicious meal you kindly cooked for us. It was a real treat!
We enjoyed our chats on those warm evenings and we hope our paths will cross again in the future. We have now closed French Vineyard Vacations in readiness for this year's grape harvest.
It's a very exciting time for us, the wine chai is all ready and been approved by the Bordeaux wine making organisation. All we need now a perfectly ripened and balanced grapes :-)
We wish you and your children good health, much success and happiness. Kindest Regards
Gill and Ben xx
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AgentAJ
Moulton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The Hosts with the most”
Reviewed 31 July 2016 for a stay in July 2016

As said by many other reviewers Ben and Gill are the most wonderful hosts. They have created a lovely oasis within the wonderful wine growing region of Bourg. There is plenty to see and do. We loved our visit to the market of Blaye and our trip to the wine shops of St Emillion. Ben is an accomplished guitar player and can be encouraged to get it out of an evening for some impromptu music under the stars!! I hear the Grande Etouble wine may be making an appearance soon!

Date of stay: July 2016
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
3 Aug 2016
Hello AJ,
Ben and I are so pleased you enjoyed our oasis retreat. It was a very enjoyable week. As hosts here, we're very fortunate that often our guests become good friends and return the next year. We hope you have plans for a reunion with us in 2017, if not sooner. The musical evenings have already become very fond memories. We hope to see you and your wonderful wife and friends here again. Kindest wishes for the rest 2016 and any other holidays for have planned.
We toast your good health too
Gill and Ben
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul20196...
Gdansk, Poland
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“a lovely gite anf great hosts”
Reviewed 14 July 2016 for a stay in June 2016

The gite is in a lovely setting amidst the vineyards. It is very well refurbished, modern with an authentic feel. Ben and Gill are great hosts being responsive, friendly and extremely helpful but also hppy to leave you totally alone if that's what you prefer. We had a lovely week and would happily reccomend

Date of stay: June 2016
How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: the comfy beds and big outside areas and the boutique hotel style finishes
Liked least: thin ceiling
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
3 Aug 2016
Hi Paul,
We really enjoyed welcoming you and your family to French Vineyard Vacations. It's very rewarding to here you would happily recommend us. We do aim to happy our guests enjoy their holidays with as much or as little input from us as requested by them. It's great you found our input helpful. Kindest regards
Gill and Ben
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton, United Kingdom
Reviewed 19 November 2015 for a stay in July 2015

Date of stay: July 2015
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
20 Nov 2015
Hi Lisa
It's touching to read your kind words, we really appreciate the time you've taken to review our holiday retreat. It was a privilege to welcome you all here to our holiday retreat. I'm smiling now at the pleasure of meeting you, your sister and her two delightful daughters. We're looking forward to seeing you again next year - the pool will be ready and waiting, together with a glass of chilled white wine. Warmest wishes Gill and Ben
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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