Chambre d’hôtes – we love you!

I love being in the country, I miss the fresh air when I am in a town or a built up area, I love the sound of nature and I love to see the open sky, morning light and the evening sunsets.

I find most hotels are often bland, you know the room layout will nearly always be the same and it could be gaspingly hot and dry at night. The hotel staff welcome you on arrival, but the next morning there is a different person there.

There’s lots of chambre d’hôtes in beautiful parts of the country, yet I was a little apprehensive about booking a chambre d’hôte, not quite knowing what it would be like.

Two recent journeys have convinced me that chambres d’hôtes are a better choice. The internet has made life so easy and changed things dramatically, even the smallest chambre d’hôte has a website which gives you an instant feel for the place and makes contacting the owner so easy. Whilst travelling recently, we searched the internet the night before departure and quickly arranged accommodation for the following night.

If you want to learn about the locality of where you are staying, what better than asking a local and that is the opportunity you get with a chambre d’hôte. Real live information rather than a brochure from a stand in the hotel.

We are novices as far as chambre d’hôtes go, but here are two we have enjoyed and a third which I visited last week – a new friend from Facebook just a few kilometres from our home.

Normandy – Basse Copette

Tucked away in a pretty valley in Normandy, yet convenient for our trips back to the UK and Northern Europe. Basse Copette is situated a comfortable distance from the autoroute, easy to find and a calm situation. A warm, relaxed welcome, excellent food and a host with a wealth of knowledge about the area and farther afield too.  Thomas provides a superb breakfast, a perfect start to a day at Giverny to visit Monet’s Garden or a day trip to Paris. We love it here.

Jura – Saint Ligier, Baums Les Bains

We took a detour recently on our way back from Germany to see the River Doubs, famed for its fly-fishing and for us a ‘must do’ as we make fly fishing lines in pure silk.  The scenery was stunning, sparkling streams, green valleys and high mountains. We stayed in Baumes Les Bains at the Ferme Auberge St. Ligier. We ate on the terrace in the evening looking across at the mountains and down to the town below us. We started with an aperitif and warm choux filled with Cantal cheese, then we worked our way through terrine de lapin, veau, rosti et champignons, local Cantal cheese and a delicious hazlenut gateau. There was a good list of local wines too. The milk from the farm went to the local co-operative to make the cheese we ate, the eggs and meat came from the farm too.

Pays de la Loire – L’Epronnière

Sometimes you do not realised how good things are close to home, in fact only 10 minutes away.  I went to meet the delightful Joëlle Dachelet who found me on Facebook. Joëlle and Patrice run L’Epronnière which is situated on the banks of Lac Rillé. Their property is tucked away in a protected zone for ornithology and offers amazing views over the lake. They even have built a bird hide high up in the trees on the edge of the lake which you can use. If you love nature and country life, this is a wonderful place to stay.

You may know of other little gems? I’ve already thought of several more I would like to visit.

Please post your link so others can find them too.


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