Category Archives: France

The Simple Things – week 34

The end of the holiday – good to be together; not all plain sailing, but moving in the right direction I hope.

Outside our final stop at the fabulous Le Manoir de Bonningues, swallowtail butterfly, fun at the nearby beach & lake, Littlest with her daddy, our stunning pool, another holiday ‘pet’, another family lunch.

The Simple Things – week 32

Time to escape the return of the British summer as we head south for a much needed family holiday.

On our own ‘pilgrimage’ to Lourdes, we did drive a very, very long way!, the Littlest with friend on the south coast before heading to France, returning to the blissfully beautiful Domaine de Lassalle, lunch, the Littlest, my Tribe.

Exploring by bike and finding a beach

Having invested in a new bike rack to bring all our bikes to France. we decide that we must ‘get on our bikes’ and explore the French countryside.  With the skies overcast, the day looks perfect for us to set off and having bought a map with cycle routes mapped out, we head to the village of Colombier just north of Usseau, to start our ‘facile’ ride of 17.8km. Continue reading Exploring by bike and finding a beach

Another (slightly exhausting) history lesson at the beautiful old city of Chinon

With slightly overcast skies and the possible threat of rain we decide to head north to the medieval city of Chinon, situated on the borders of Anjou and Poitou alongside the Vienne river.  My fabulously ancient guidebook (that I still have from when I last visited the Loire Valley in my distant single life – the date of publishing is 1993!) describes the castle as ‘ruined’.  Today it is far from ruined and after six years (2003-2010) of archeological digs, restoration and construction work and a budget of 17 million euros, it is a magnificent and stunning fortress dominating the chalk cliffs on which it was originally built back in the Middle Ages.    Continue reading Another (slightly exhausting) history lesson at the beautiful old city of Chinon

Settling into the Farm Guest House at Chateau de la Motte

Having unpacked bags, unloaded all the bikes, bought up what feels like half of the local InterMarche, we can finally relax and enjoy our surroundings.

The main room of the Farm Guest House
The main room of the Farm Guest House

The main part of the Farm House that makes up our gite consists of a lovely, atmospheric, big room with a large, circular dining table and a couple of sofas.  The front door leads out from here into a private garden area

The Farm Guest House's private dining garden
The Farm Guest House’s private dining garden

with a dining table and chairs.  This in turn leads onto a large grassed area looking across to Usseau under the gaze of the chateau above.  The kitchen has a table and everything you need to cook, eat and drink!  Upstairs are two very large bedrooms and a third smaller twin – plenty of room for the six of us.  There are also three bathrooms. Continue reading Settling into the Farm Guest House at Chateau de la Motte

The Tribe have a French history lesson

As the UK gets ready to batten down the hatches with the imminent arrival of Hurricane Bertha, we head for the Channel Tunnel and our summer French affair.  Driving towards Paris however, it feels as though we’ve found the epicentre of the hurricane as the sky turns black, the rain turns torrential and visibility is almost zero – the traffic on the autoroute stops due to weather rather than volume.  Despite this (and the usual horrendous traffic around Paris) as we drive into Usseau, a small village just outside of Chattelerault, we are surrounded by glorious French countryside – small fields of sunflowers and sweetcorn stretch as far as the eye can see and there, in the distance, is the most perfect princess’ castle any child (or adult, come to that!), could ever dream of.  Chateau de la Motte. Continue reading The Tribe have a French history lesson