Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3074: La Barauderie, Le Ferme du Petit Souper
2bed/1bath house on a farm near Montrichard, Loire Valley
September 2007, 4 days
La Barauderie is definitely in the country. We stayed in Le Petit Souper, one of two rentals at La Barauderie. The charming, ivy covered stone cottage is on a quiet one lane road surrounded by corn fields and flowers, with forests very close by. We liked living in the country, then we grew to LOVE it. It was a wonderful and peaceful spot and so quiet!
You have to drive into town for groceries or any town life. The town of Pontlevoy is a few minutes away, but there is nothing going on there. Montrichard, a "big small town" is about ten minutes away and has a few restaurants, a great farmers market twice a week, and a somewhat dodgy supermarket, plus some very interesting bars full of local color.
I'm not sure how historical, but definitely older, dating to the 18th century. The owners take very good care of their property - it is clean and well kept. They do not allow non-biodegradable soaps into their septic system, but supply everything you need - that sort of thing.
Our cottage had an open plan living space with seating and a kitchen, a loft overhead with twin beds, and another bedroom. There is another rental cottage on the property, but we could not see it from our cottage. We saw it later, though - it is very cute and would be good for a couple.
There are a couple of outside sitting areas - one in front of the house and one in the back - both private. The back sitting area included a Weber grill and coals. There is a pool at the other cottage on the property - I am not sure if it is for both cottages to use, though.
Everything is in good shape in this apartment and it was clean and comfortable. There were only two of us, and we had plenty of space to move around and kick back wherever.
The beds are very comfortable, but the place gets COLD at night so don't forget to turn on the heat or get out extra blankets (which were supplied). I froze the first two nights, but that is due to my own wimpiness (I live in San Diego) and laziness (to get up for more blankets or turn up the heat). It is a stone farmhouse - of course it gets cold!
The bathroom was huge with a big shower, heated towel rack, a vanity and a very beautiful view out the window. There was an armoire in the bathroom that stored extra toiletries, and held two soft and cozy bathrobes that we put to good use!
I cooked for three nights in the kitchen and it is fine. There is a toaster, electric kettle, and plenty of pots and pans. The only thing I found lacking, and I am a snob this way, was decent wine glasses. All they have are these two ounce cheapie wine glasses. Of course, this was the one trip when I did not bring my own. Next time, I will bring my own and leave some there.
There is a phone in the kitchen, and Karen made sure we saw the local phone list which included her and Craig's telephone number.
Problems or Bonuses
No surprises, really. Craig and Karen are right there and could not have been more accommodating or helpful. I guess the one surprise was when we passed them on our little road on their scooter and when we stopped to talk another car pulled up behind us, and Craig and Karen got into this sort of yelling match with them. Actually, that was kind of awesome.
The cottage included hand-written descriptive mini-reviews of Karen and Craig's favorite local restaurants and markets, as well as the name of the closest grocery store and the best place to find gas. Karen took the time to talk about the kinds of things we liked, and then told us about some she thought we'd particularly enjoy.
BONUS: All the windows have screens! We didn't see or feel ;) too many mosquitos, but it was nice to be able to open the windows without fear of letting critters inside.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners are American and very helpful, and the reality was definitely better than the published info. We paid about $160 per night - well worth it.
Note from SlowTrav: Le Barauderie no longer represents this property. We are leaving this review published though as a testament to their service. They still represent Le Havre, a cottage that sleeps two.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely stay here again and recommend it to anyone who doesn't totally freak out at country living. It was such a great place to come home to at the end of the day, and I really got the feeling that if we needed something, all we had to do was call the owners down the street.
Things to do in this area
We spent many an hour driving around much of the Loire Valley visiting chateaux and towns. I really loved the town of Chinon but it is a bit of a trek ... there are many places to visit but don't underestimate the time it will take to get to some of them.
In Montrichard, we liked the wine and vegetable shop at the end of the main street at 1, Rue Nationale. One side of the shop has veggies and fruits and the other, cheeses and wines. We bought several different cheeses there, including a delicious soft cheese with a middle layer of nuts, and some very reasonably priced red wine. And the town farmers market is truly fabulous - Friday morning and Monday afternoon, I believe.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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