This was our second trip to this region and we picked La Vendage on a recommendation. We stayed in the largest Gite here and it is great accommodation. It has a big spacious kitchen that's well equipped (including a sharp knife which is a rarity) a sitting lounge with flat screen TV and DVD player (that actually work unlike some other places). My two kids shared a room upstairs and the master bedroom has a lovely four poster bed.
Downstairs has two other bedrooms plus a bathroom with spa bath that the kids loved.
The outside areas are brilliant - you have the choice of the communal garden that you can mix with everyone else or a nice little private zen garden at the back. Richard (the owner) is around a lot and is very helpful for info on the surrounding area and things to do (the welcome pack is also great and informative). You even get a bottle of wine and a couple of beers for when you arrive after a long journey. The play barn is good for the kids as are the chickens (they like to keep checking for the eggs). On Tuesday's Richard does a pizza night and everyone sits together with a complimentary 5 litre vat of local wine! Great fun making your own Pizza's and a good way to get to know your neighbours. There is also pottery painting and scuba diving available which the children loved. The pool area is great to relax around and its a nice safe and clean environment for your children.
That's the review of the property done - but I have to make a special mention to the help Richard gave us. We had a car related disaster which put us in a pretty difficult circumstance. Richard helped us with local discussions and he let us stay an two extra nights (initially he didn't want to even be paid for this until we insisted). This meant I didn't have to uproot the children to some grotty hotel that the RAC offered to provide. Its not often these days you get goodwill that isn't driven by finacial gain.
I wouldn't hesitate in recommending you to stay here. We will be going back but hopefully without the car problems......
This was our first gite holiday, having previously gone for villa / apartments in Turkey and Portugal. When we just had one toddler, a private villa was lovely (and no school holidays to worry about) but with an 8 yr old and nearly 3 yr old, we needed somewhere they could play and make friends, but I didn't want to be squashed into a hotel room just to get access to a kids club. So we though we would try here, based on the reviews.
I had some reservations about having to do most of the cooking, being not too near resturants, but in all honesty, resturants with (my) 3 yr old are not much fun anyway! As it happens, it was more than worth it. The kids had the kind of fun and freedom I remember from my childhood: we never locked the door, and in the morning, all of the children would run outside in their pj's to check if the chickens had laid any eggs and to see who else was up. Because it is small, with only 5 families, it is easy for the kids to make friends.
There is plenty to do in the surrounding area, but the kids didn't want to do much as they were having fun with new friends, riding the bikes provided, making loom bands in the barn or swimming. The younger ones loved the trampoline.
My highlights were our family bike ride (on the bikes provided by Richard) to Nere to the English bistro for lunch (but they don't do lunch on Saturdays, so we had to fill the kids with ice cream and get baguettes to take back!), seeing my son do his try dive in the pool, waking up at 8.30am and my kids all still asleep most mornings (all the fresh air I think!), sitting in the shade with my book listening to my children having fun, seeing my sons eyes light up when I cooked him a double yoked egg that he had collected from the hens, the pizza night, the pottery painting, where I did handprints of the kids on plates.
My son said, Mum, we have to come back here: not somewhere like here, HERE.
We may just have been lucky, but all the families we met were really friendly, we all kept an eye out for each others kids. I think we all just really enjoyed seeing our kids so happy!
So for the first time ever, we are retuning to the same place for a holiday, two weeks next August booked.
We were in Syrah and I loved it: it is comfortable, quite dark, which means it stays cool, loads of space and the four poster bed provides a touch of luxury for the grown ups. The rest of the accomodation is comfortable but basic, with pretty much everything you could need. And if you think something is missing, just ask Richard and he will do his best to sort it out for you. There is a very good supermarket in Matha, a 10 drive away, so the gites are not as isolated as we first thought.
A relaxing holiday with children: a miracle I wish we had discovered earlier!
Well we came back for our third year and will no doubt soon be booking again.
The houses are all built around the main play garden and the children love to play together in the sunshine and see the chicken and quail.
The swimming pool is always a lot of fun and this year the paving round the pool had been replaced - it looked very smart.
Whilst there is WIfi, it is not in all houses and actually not having it in ours meant we stopped checking continually for email and messages and so got a real rest for the 23 hours a day we gave ourselves.
Another fab communal pizza party and with real friendships made - we love our holidays here. Richard and family make you feel so welcome and nothing is too much trouble. Highly recommended.
If you want luxury, or new build this is not the place for you - but if you are relaxed and want clean beds and a chance for the whole family to slow down and relax - then book!
Simply perfect for a family holiday!
I can't believe how relaxed and enjoyable it was - kids love playing in courtyard when not swimming
Very sociable too - and pizza night and BBQ nights were a real highlight - thanks Richard!