This is everything you would want from a family holiday in France; particularly if you have young children. Five of us (2 adults and our children 4, 3 and 1) stayed for a week in June in the lovely Chez Coco. The cottage was well equipped with plenty to interest the children, but also with very comfy beds, a great kitchen.
The setting is fantastic with a great pool and play area; within a very safe courtyard surrounded by sunflower fields and vinyards.
However, the real "sell" is the outstanding hospitality from Steph and Charlie. Both in respect of the food on offer - which was delicious (and words do not seem to do it justice - but if you go on their website you will see what i mean) but also in respect of the suggestions, advice, interaction about what to do locally / where to go etc. Our eldest two enjoyed craft, feeding the hens and swimming every day!
There is plenty to do locally - our highlights were the river beach in Chateauneuf and the park in Cognac. We also enjoyed the chocolate factory and a swift visit to a local vinyard. All arranged (with directions given) by Steph.
This is the sort of place that you would return to again and again.
I am known for been hard to please with high standards, this was my third year in a row at this fantastic venue and have booked for a further 2 years, say no more !!
If you want a place that feels like visiting friends in a beautifully restored former priory in rolling countryside and great facilities for children, look no further. Start your day by feeding the chickens and tortoises then walking the gentle dogs around the vineyards. Enjoy coffee in the sun while the kids play with the biggest tub of Lego in the world. Maybe drive the short distance to an activity like lake-swimming, pony- riding, accrobranche (like Go Ape but cheaper). After a spot of lunch laze around the lovely deep pool in the sun or shade on comfy loungers and beanbags. Then either fire up the BBQ or better still, indulge in the table d'hote: kids' version first with communal dining on gourmet spag bol and massive bowls of ice cream; then kids are whisked off to do football training or whacky art projects and the adults sit under the fairy lit pergola with blankets for the advancing evening chill and eat Steph's heavenly three course meal and enjoy getting to know one another.
After reading the reviews it was great to see this place lived up to the comments from previous guests. I'll try to add to them but really this place is a must visit - we will be back I'm sure!
The gite was perfect for us, family of 3 with a 9mth old. Clean and tidy and most importantly very comfortable. Bedsheets etc all lovely quality and we all slept there well. Some BBC channels so we could even watch Wimbledon!
All baby equipment requested was provided, and more, and was great quality. The wee one loved the cot. The kiddies play area was great for energy sapping the baby, and the pool (perfectly heated) is clean and relaxing.
A lot of reviews talk about the food - rightly so, Steph the host clearly has a love for cooking and we took advantage of that 4/5 times! Varied menus and she clearly takes into account requests - go for the white chocolate cheesecake and thank me afterwards. Take expandable waistline clothes.
Steph and her family are all very welcoming and great company and they gave me the impression that whatever we wanted day or night they would do their best for us. Exactly what you want to hear when you arrive.
All in all, I'd recommend this to anyone, travelling with kids is not always easy but when this is waiting for you it's totally worth it.
Location is good, hire car or own car is a must for exploring, I'd advise visiting Cognac (30 mins) and Ille de Re (2hrs but easy drive).
I'm only just getting over my post holiday blues....
Thanks Steph and all, hope F is enjoying the phone!
Dom and Fi and M.
ps Having the BBQ ready and waiting to go with one stroke of a match was a great touch!
My husband and I stayed in the beautiful Chez Coco gite for the second time this year. Still faultless! We had a wonderful relaxing stay. The May family are just the best hosts, very welcoming & helpful. We took advantage of the home cooked 3 course dinners on offer which were second to none. Why would you want to eat out when you can have such superb food hand delivered to your table. The weather was lovely as was the pool which is now open for the season. We don't have any young children now but would highly recommend a stay during the summer months for anyone with a young family. The Courtyard is all very secure and very safe with the opportunity to be sociable or as private as you wish. We will certainly be returning later in the year to explore more of the lovely Charente region.
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We all thoroughly enjoyed our week at The Courtyard. It was very relaxing and private. Stephanie is very friendly and helpful and was there to make sure we all had a great time. Excellent serene location to get away from the busy everyday life we lead. Our accommodation was very well equipped offering a very homely luxury stay. Definitely would recommend to friends and family to stay here and we will be back too.