La Grande Orangerie is set within the private walled estate of Chateau de Charras, which was built for the Marquis de Charras in the 18th Century. The property was originally built for fruit ripening and has been sympathetically renovated with many original features retained including exposed stone work and wooden beams.
La Grande Orangerie has four bedrooms (sleeps 9) and offers spacious open plan accommodation with fantastic panoramic views across the Charente/Dordogne countryside. The property has French doors which open onto a patio area, ideal for those relaxing lunches and long summer evenings of 'alfresco' dining. See an aerial view and a virtual tour of the grounds and La Grande Orangerie.
The 13 hectares of grounds include tree lined avenues, stone staircases and balustrades, providing a very unique setting and sense of history. Within the grounds there is an enclosed heated swimming pool with terrace and sun loungers, a table tennis table, and an orchard which is ripe for picking in the summer months. The grounds are a great environment for children to play and explore and for adults to enjoy the tranquility of the gardens and panoramic views
This region, renowned for its fields of sunflowers, offers rolling countryside in a rural setting, with the village of Charras offering a grocery shop and boulangerie for fresh morning croissants, all within a five minute walk. The Forêt d'Horte, with mapped walks, is a ten minute walk from the Chateau, and is ideal for ramblers or adventurous off road cyclists.
The interior of La Grande Orangerie is spacious, light and airy. On the ground floor the fully fitted open-plan kitchen has a half size dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, toaster, fridge-freezer, separate drinks fridge, and a stovetop and oven.
The dining area has a large wooden dining table, with a sideboard and dresser. The separate living area has comfortable sofas, a TV (with UK satalite stations), an iPod docking station, which opens out onto a patio area with outside garden furniture. La Grande Orangerie is adjacent to La Petite Orangerie (sleeps four), which both have private patio areas, separated by a fence and bush.
There is outside dining furniture and a large modern barbecue supplied for those lunches and long summer evenings of alfresco dining. Sun loungers are also provided for those lazy days at the Chateau.
The four bedrooms upstairs are all furnished with high quality French wooden furniture with wood floors and exposed beams in the ceilings. Two of the double bedrooms have twin beds; the triple room has a double and a single bed. These three bedooms share a family bathroom. The master bedroom has an emperor size bed (2m x 2m) and an ensuite bathroom. The bedrooms offer panoramic views across the beautiful Charente/Dordogne countryside. The swimming pool, table tennis table, and grounds are shared with all the guests staying within the Chateau estate, which when at full capacity is approximately 80 people.
Charras and the surrounding villages offer many scenic places to ramble among woodlands and forests. The area is renowned for its sunflowers in the summer months and offers the opportunity to cycle on quiet country roads or, for the more adventurous, off road cycling through the Forêt d’Horte.
There is something for everyone close at hand with lots of interesting places to visit. For children, there are the beautiful lakes of the Upper Charente which offers canoeing, rowing or peddling on the lake, 18 holes of crazy golf, a small play area, beach volley ball net and beach side restaurant (38km); Nautilius, a large leisure centre, which has an Olympic size pool, lazy river, water slides (indoor and out) wave pool and rapids for a great day out (28km); Adventure Parc with tree top adventures such as rope bridges, rope ladders and monkey bridges (38km); a Go-Karting track (20km); a flat cycle path through the rural countryside (10km) or cycling on the quiet country roads.
For adults, there are endless chateaux, museums, caves, cognac distilleries and churches, not forgetting the great food and wine to be sampled. Local markets can be found every day which offer local produce and tasty gastronomic delights. A golf course can be found within an hour's drive at Montbron.
There are an abundance of pretty towns and villages to visit. Brantome, known as 'The Venice of Perigord' is a riverside town with a mill and a weir. Boat trips and canoeing are available, and jousting exhibitions can be seen in the summer months. Several cafes and restaurants make this town very welcoming (32km). Boudeilles is a picturesque village with its own Chateau (40km) and Grottes de Villas are spectacular caves which are a popular attraction (47km).
The nearest large town is Angoulême, surrounded by stone walls, which stands high above the Charente valley and is famous for its international comic strip festival. The town boasts many architectural buildings and is bustling with markets, shops, bars and restaurants (28km).
The region has a micro-climate and benefits from 2,400 sunshine hours a year and is the hottest and sunniest place of the whole Atlantic coast. Wake up early in the morning to see the most beautiful sunrise from your window and look up at night to see an amazing star filled sky.
The property is situated on the Charente/Dordogne border which provides the opportunity to venture into the Dordogne. Riberac has a fabulous Friday morning market (39km) and Grand Etang de la Jemaye is a beautiful lake and beach resort (16km south of Riberac).
The coastal town of Royan features a large sandy beach and variety of restaurants (135km), and the beautiful port town of La Rochelle has an old harbour, medieval towers, beach and seafood restaurants (175km). Bordeaux is the centre of the wine industry and has a finely-preserved 18th century old city (145km).
The region is home to the town of Cognac which is situated on the River Charente and has been the centre of the brandy industry since the 18th Century. Both Remy Martin and Hennessy have distilleries in Cognac and offer tours of their facilities.
La Rochefoucauld is a town which is dominated by a 12th century chateau, with its fairytale-style turrets, elegant cloisters and a sweeping spiral staircase, some parts of which date back to 980.
After a day of sightseeing or activities, you can return to the tranquillity of the La Grande Orangerie for a dip in the pool, game of table tennis, or unwind with a chilled glass of wine in one hand and a good book in the other.
“We had an absolutely wonderful holiday at La Grande Orangerie, the house was without fault and there was nothing that any of us felt we were without or was missing. The grounds of the Chateau are amazing and allow for a truly wonderful holiday for families and couples alike. It’s safe and extremely friendly with lots to do without leaving the chateau grounds. Charlotte was lovely and very very helpful, I spoke to her on the phone and via the email and she is quick to respond and offers lots of advice and information. We will definitely be back!!”
Andrea B. - Bedford, Bedfordshire, England