Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 447: La Barauderie, La Ferme du Petit Souper
2bed/1bath house on a farm near Montrichard, Loire Valley
October 1998, 10 days
I normally would not review a place without a web site, but this is such a delightful place in such a perfect location for exploring the Loire valley that other slow travelers should be aware of it. La Barauderie is a group of three stone cottages restored practically from the ground up by two native San Franciscans -- Karen and Craig live in one cottage and rent the other two. It's located between Pontlevoy and Montrichard, a few miles from Amboise. The cottages are set in farmland -- open fields backing up to a forest -- and offer complete peace and quiet.
A car is necessary, since La Barauderie is in the country. The nearest shopping/restaurants are a 5-minute drive away, in Pontlevoy and the larger town of Montrichard (about 4,000, large enough to have a wonderful market).
The cottages were originally 18th-century farm builings and have been renovated -- essentailly rebuilt -- in excellent taste.
There are private outside sitting areas but no pool.
There is one large room including living area, dining area and kitchen. The living area has a cast-iron fireplace, a comfortable sofa and chairs, and good reading lights. The decor is a simple yet stylish mix of French country antique and clean California contemporary, with an emphasis on the French. There are watercolors on the exposed stone walls and a good selection of books and travel information about the Loire Valley as well as novels that other guests leave behind.
The master bedroom in our cottage is large and has a queen bed with comfortable mattress, crisp white linens, and a snuggly comforter. The second bedroom is upstairs and has twin beds. The bathroom is ENORMOUS, larger than some hotel bedrooms I've seen, with a walk-in tiled shower big enough for two (or more, for that matter).
The kitchen is well-equipped with dishes and pots and pans of good quality. The working counter space is not abundant but ample enough to cook a full meal.
Problems or Bonuses
A blissful retreat in the middle of one of France's most historic, interesting regions!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
There is no owner web site, but Karen and Craig have a classified on SlowTravel (see link above) and will also send photos of the cottages via mail. The reality of the cottages matches the photos. They can be contacted via email -- firstname.lastname@example.org. -- or by phone: from the US dial 011-33-254-325-944.
Or contact through agency website above.
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 stay here again in a flash and have recommended it to friends. The only reason we haven't already returned is that we still have a couple of other areas in France to explore, but we will certainly come back in the next couple of years.
Things to do in this area
Where to begin??? Amboise, Blois, Chenonceau, Chambord, Cheverny, Saumur, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry -- you could stay here a month and not run out of places to explore. Our favorite restaurant "close to home" was the restaurant of the Hotel de l'Ecole in Pontlevoy, a family organization with good food and a warm welcome.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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