Having been drawn to the Poitou-Charentes region and the ‘undiscovered’ Deux-Sèvres, we came to live permanently in the rural farming hamlet of Mandegault with our two young children in 1995, loving it for it’s unpretentious rurality, peace and tranquility.
Leaving behind careers in Art & Design, a major change in lifestyle began. We threw ourselves into clearing land for growing vegetables, planting fruit trees and establishing safe areas for poultry. Aspiring to self sufficiency but knowing that we would need another source of income, we embarked on a three year project to convert the stable and bread oven buildings into our two gîtes, now known as ‘Le Four du Boulanger’ and ‘Les Ecuries’. Most of the work was carried out by ourselves, right from the re-roofing and digging out of the beaten earth floors to the stencilling on the reclaimed linen curtains.
Since then, our passion in restoring old buildings has developed as has our motivation and enjoyment in offering hospitality. Our latest project was to restore a sad ruin in a beautiful setting nearby by using or re-using only natural materials in the restoration and rebuilding. With a major input from local artisans in the early stages, this ‘maison de campagne’ is now available to rent. Le Ruisseau Perdu
We take a real pride in what we do; considering ourselves, strangely enough, ‘ambassadors’ of rural France! We get a huge sense of satisfaction from welcoming guests from all over the world and inviting them to share in our lifestyle of fresh, organic garden produce, local traditions, home made jams, basil wine, free range eggs and occasional shared evening meals under the lime tree…... Our recent labour of love apart from ongoing improvements to the comfort and charm of both the gîtes and their gardens, was to restore an overgrown orchard and forgotten stone wall, extend the ‘potager’ and to plant more trees and hedging. Since 2012, we’ve been working on our ‘final project’ to restore a house and outbuilding by the beautiful lake of Lambon near Celles sur Belle. This unfurnished house is now available for long term rental.
After several years experience of rural France, we have quite an extensive knowledge to share with our guests. We’re always happy to help with anything we can from the best places to visit for local produce, markets, fairs, ‘brocantes’, gardens, galleries and concerts to local recipes, help with drawing & painting, restoring ruins ….
We look forward to welcoming you to one of our rural retreats for a relaxing taste of ‘real’ France, where a respect and forethought for the environment and local traditions are embedded in what we try to do.
- Oct 26, 2018 We forgot the guest book... Oct 26, 2018
Le Four du Boulanger
- Apr 7, 2018 We are almost losing count of our visits now, is it four or five ? Apr 7, 2018
- Jun 7, 2018 ...your reputation for hospitality is very well founded ! Jun 7, 2018
- Jun 23, 2018 ...wonderful adventures, including cherry picking, collecting eggs and feeding the sheep... Jun 23, 2018
- Jul 14, 2018 ...a wonderful gîte, fantastic surroundings and unsurpassed hospitality. Jul 14, 2018
- Jul 21, 2018 ...lots of cool places, including Zoodyssée and kayaking at Condac. Jul 21, 2018
- Aug 4, 2018 ...our second time at Le Clos des Jardins and it was even more wonderful! Aug 4, 2018
- Aug 18, 2018 ...great food and lots of wine, bike rides, stargazing! Aug 18, 2018
- Aug 27, 2018 'Such an abundance of memories we're taking home from 'Le Four du Boulanger'' Aug 27, 2018
- Sep 29, 2018 Time doesn’t stand still here - it actively refreshes and regenerates life. Sep 29, 2018
- Aug 21, 2016 'We've had a wonderful week in 'Les Ecuries'' Aug 21, 2016
- Sep 20, 2016 'We have had a wonderful two tranquil weeks in your delightful 'ecuries'' Sep 20, 2016
- Jun 22, 2018 You have created a paradise here... Jun 22, 2018
- Aug 27, 2018 'Our 8 year old, Holly, has had a great time ‘helping’ Francis around the garden and Alison to make her superb raspberry jam' Aug 27, 2018
- Sep 25, 2018 The meal you provided was excellent... Sep 25, 2018
- Sep 25, 2018 The pool is stunning and a real sun trap... Sep 25, 2018
- Oct 21, 2018 A truly magical and wonderful holiday... Oct 21, 2018
- Oct 23, 2018 ...once again I am here with you in France! Oct 23, 2018