We have stayed in this magical area of France on many occasions and this is the best place we have found, by far, be it for a romantic weekend as a couple, or for a fortnight of family fun.
Les Claveaux is one of a pair of beautiful, stone-built, three-storey properties, with an enclosed courtyard. The house is majestic and sits proudly amongst the vineyards, with spectacular views over the vines and crops towards the Charente river.
Les Claveaux offers a good mix of accommodation for adults and children, with all the amenities expected. The heated pool is safely enclosed and very private. Having spent every season in this house, we can vouch that it is a perfect place for each and every one of them, be it roaring fires in the Winter, to alfresco dining and sundowners in the Summer.
Moulidars is convenient to reach. Via car from the UK, turning off the autoroute at Angoulemes and a short cross-country drive. From the airports in a hire car, about 90 minutes comfortably to all three nearest: La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Poitiers. Being moments from Jarnac and Cognac, it is naturally handy for the Cognac Blues Festival, Fete de Cognac or just visiting any of the beautiful, history-laden towns and villages along this majestic river.
There is tennis nearby, canoeing on the river, bicycles for hire which can be delivered and collected, in the sizes to suit all ages plus plenty of walks through the fields and along the river. Bars and restaurants aplenty.
What more can you ask for in a beautiful, rural environment, that is steeped in typical French traditions?
Les Claveaux is a charming farmhouse type accommodation full of old world character and original features as well as decent double glazing. Where to start? The beds are really comfortable and all four bedrooms are of a very good size. My family of four travelled with friends who also have two boys and Les Claveaux easily accommodated all of us. The ground floor lounge had three sofas, a flat screen TV, DVD player and Wii games console (there is also free wi-fi in the house which came in very handy) . Also on the ground floor was a double bedroom with four poster bed. You will find a downstairs wc and shower/wet room with decent water pressure !! At the back of the house and leading out into the courtyard (more of that later) was a very spacious kitchen with a large dining table that easily seated all 8 of us. Appliances included a cooker, large modern fridge freezer, washing machine and a Bosch Dishwasher. There is ample storage and worksurface space. Despite the modern appliances the kitchen decor is very much of an old french farmhouse style with a large original fireplace against one wall. The kitchen leads out onto a huge courtyard where you will find a good sized trampoline and badminton area. The courtyard is surrounded on all sides by the large outbuildings which whilst out of bounds to visitors add so much character to this property. Sitting outside in the early evening you can see the bats leaving the roofspace of the biggest barn to start their evening hunt for food. Their is large dining table in the courtyard for al fresco dining as well as a smaller table for those early morning coffees. Also in the courtyard is a lovely (12x5 metres I think) sized heated pool which we spent a lot of time in, even at night as the pool has it own lighting. There are ample sun loungers by the pool and it really is a sun trap during the day. The kids and adults loved the pool. On the first floor are another three double bedrooms, two facing the front with excellent views over the vineyards and one at the back overlooking the courtyard. The boys all shared the room overlooking the courtyard as this contained sleeping for four in two bunk beds. They all commented on how comfy their beds were. Also on the first floor is another bathroom of a very good size with double sinks. The house itself is set back slightly from the road, not that that makes any difference as their is hardly any traffic anyway. It is the courtyard buildings that back on the road and the house itself has a southerly aspect with great views. There is also a large garden to the front and side of the house. Jarnac, Cognac and Angouleme are all within half an hour away and the River Charente is due south from the house and is either a two minute car journey or 10 minute bike ride away at Vibrac where you can hire canoes or kayaks to explore the river (which we did and it was fantastic fun at a reasonable price).
To summarise I would say that if you want a taste of old France in a quiet location this would be ideal for you. The house has been deliberately left as original as possible and this is what makes it so wonderful and full of character. Don't expect highly polished tiled floors, carpets or wallpaper on the walls or modern decoration. Do expect original features, character, plenty of space, peace and quiet, comfy beds and late nights, dining outside and drinking the local wine or cognac watching the starlit sky and listening to the sound of silence. We loved it.
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