Chez Freddie is a traditional stone Charentaise farmstead dating from the late 18th century. The two-storey main house has been extended and modernised to a high standard, and is now classified as a 3-star rental accommodation by Charente Maritime Tourisme. The buildings surround a central courtyard, now a shady garden with mature trees.
The owner lives on site in a cottage attached to an old bread oven. There is a large stone barn opposite the two-storey main house. Up to 13 guests can sleep in Chez Freddie’s six en-suite bedrooms, with three cots also available.
The house is set in an acre and a half (half a hectare) of level garden in a quiet corner of the village Cherigne. The Boutonne, a class 1 trout-fishing river, runs past the orchard at the far end of the garden. Guests can take a boat, "Freddie", out on the river.
Nearer the house is a large heated salt-water swimming pool and a level play area. Equipment is provided for games such as football, volleyball and badminton. A separate games terrace offers table tennis and darts.
Mature lime and willow trees provide shade throughout the garden. There is a barbecue in the open barn, and a selection of bicycles that guests are welcome to borrow.
Inside, the ground level of the old part of the house has wooden beamed ceilings and fine wooden floors. The large dining room, with French doors opening onto the garden, seats 12 comfortably, and two high chairs are also available. There is a large wood burning stove for winter use. A bookcase houses a large collection of holiday reading, indoor games and children's toys. Off the dining room is a quiet living room with TV (French and English channels), DVD player, and a large collection of DVDs. An Internet connexion is available via satellite. In the extension is a spacious, well equipped kitchen with another table seating four to six, an electric oven and a large gas burning stove. There is a separate utility room for facilities such as the dishwasher and washing machine, and a small downstairs bathroom.
The six bedrooms are on the upper floor. There are two bedrooms with twin beds, two with double beds, a king size and one with one king size and one single bed. Two cots are also provided. Three bedrooms have full en-suite bathrooms; the remaining three have en-suite shower rooms with basins, and there are two separate toilets.
The three bedrooms in the old part of the house face south over the garden. The remaining three are at the back of the house, facing east and west.
The nearest shops and facilities are in the village of Brioux-sur-Boutonne, four kilometres from Chez Freddie. Bread is delivered daily, and a range of mobile shops come to the village.
The undulating countryside is ideal for cyclists who prefer gentle bike rides, and there are pleasant local walks. This is the best way to observe the varied local birdlife, which includes golden orioles, hoopoes, and buzzards. Fishing is available on site on the river Boutonne, which is stocked with trout and other freshwater fish. A holiday permit can be obtained at Brioux-sur-Boutonne.
At the nearby town of Chef-Boutonne, the chateau at Javarzay is one of the most important Renaissance châteaux in Poitou, with a park and a fishing lake.
About 20 minutes away is Melle, where one can visit the 9th century silver mines, the ‘triad’ of Romanesque churches, or the themed arboretum.
Poitou-Charentes, one of the sunniest regions in France, is rich in culture and history. One of the main pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela passes right through the area, and as a result there is an abundance of superb churches and monasteries dating from the 11th and 12th centuries.
The numerous regional markets provide great opportunities to enjoy the region’s speciality foods. Within 30 minutes’ drive there are a number of historic sites, zoological parks, museums, and golf courses. The Atlantic Coast, with its sandy beaches, is about an hour by car. The major tourist attractions in the area include the seaside town of La Rochelle, the theme park Futuroscope, and the Marais Poitevin or 'Green Venice', all within an hour's drive.
“It would be impossible for us to list all the attributes of this idyllic holiday. ‘Chezfreddie’ will always have a special place in our memories! Thank you for making your property our home for a very special two weeks” ”
Roger G. - Leeds, Yorkshire, UK
“Fantastic, extremely well equipped house with wonderful pool. Our children enjoyed all the land for treasure hunts and blackberry picking. ”
Kathryn P. - Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK
“The house was ideal and all the games were very thoughtful and lots of fun.”
Fiona P. - Lancaster, Lancashire, UK
“Be prepared to be seduced! Warning – will change your perception of holidays. We came, we saw…we want!”
The G. family - Ireland
“The property was everything we expected and more! The pool is fantastic. The house accommodated the ten of us in every way – space, facilities, character, games, books, etc.”
Paula R. - Co. Down, N. Ireland