Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 676: Owner, La Nesquiere
4 bedrooms, sleeps 9 near Pernes les Fontaines, Provence
October 2002, 1 week
This house was located in the country, about a 5 minute drive to Pernes les Fontaines, which was central to the day trips we took around the Luberon, Avignon and St. Remy.
The surroundings were beautiful. There are horses and fruit orchards out front and a vineyard out back and they make their own jams, wine and delicious grape juice.
You have to drive to restaurants and grocery stores in Pernes les Fontaines.
The main house is about 400 years old. It was in great condition and updated wonderfully. Our accomodations were comfortable, not luxurious.
There are 2 guest houses that are attached to the main house. Although it was attached, it could not be any quieter. We stayed in Maison Bleu, which technically sleeps 9 but for the four of us, we were able to spread out and have our own room and bathrooms. It was simple and had most what we could ask for, although it would be perfect if it had a swimming pool and a dryer for laundry (air drying takes forever when it's cold).
There are also B&B accomodations in the main house as well.
There are several places outside where you can lounge. There are private tables right outside the door, as well as the shared tables in the main garden area. There is also a ping pong table, if you wish to play. There is no swimming pool (may be nice in the summer, but in October, it was a bit too cool to take a dip!)
We were sorry we didn't really spend much time sitting outside. It was relaxing just basking in the sun, enjoying some afternoon wine and cheese and being harassed by the occasional chicken and dogs running around. :-)
There was plenty of furniture for the 4 of us. It may be more cramped if there were more than 6 people, I think. Otherwise, it was quite comfortable.
The beds were comfortable and we were kept warm with the electric radiators in each room. There were ensuite bathrooms in all the rooms but one room (that room got the hall bath), which was very convenient. All had showers, no bath tubs. The showers are tiny though, kinda claustrophobic. Seemed like most showers in France were like this... But there was enough hot water to go around, so no complaints.
The house has a very simple kitchen with plenty of dishes and pots and pans. We had breakfast here every morning (mostly coffee, yogurt, bread, eggs) and an occasional afternoon snack. We didn't cook full meals, but the kitchen had most what you would need to have a nice simple meal. There was a sparse pantry available with staples, but we bought everything we needed at the local grocery store. Isabelle has wonderful jams and grape juice, which we added to our pantry. Also her wine is a pretty good table wine.
Problems or Bonuses
The owner, Isabelle (who speaks perfect English) was a wonderful hostess who lent us her Michelin map for touring around and made wonderful suggestions for sightseeing. Make sure you have dinner at the house too - her mother is a wonderful cook! It was country cooking at its best. Tips for eating at the house: Do not snack before dinner and wear elastic pants!
Unlike most gites where you are charged a weekly rate, she charged per person per night. This included all linens, heat and even room servicing every day (which was a big surprise).
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked directly with the owner, Isabelle. She was very nice and is fluent in English, which made things easier. Their website is accurate in its descriptions. We found the house charming and comfortable.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely stay here again, although I would spend more time relaxing and exploring the property more if the weather is good. I found the area to be very convenient and peaceful.
Things to do in this area
Pernes les Fontaines is a wonderful town with beautiful trompe l'oeil facades and true to its name, it has lots of fountains! The tourist office offers a self guided tour of the city with an easy to follow map. A wonderful pattisserie there is JL Battu in the old section.
The best shopping was had at the Sunday market at Isle sur la Sorgue. Make sure you get there early (we got there around 8:30a and scored good parking)! It becomes a zoo around 10a when the tour buses get there. The market in St. Remy on Wednesday is also very good. The same rule applies there for parking...
One of my favorite souvenirs is from Roussillon, a town known for its ochre. At a market, I bought a tube of different color pigment powders, which I'll use when picking out paint colors for my walls one day...
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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