With the help of local artisans, we have beautifully restored a spacious traditional five bedroom Charentaise house, together with a three bedroom stone barn dating back from the 18th century, to create a perfect holiday getaway. Set within a small hamlet, it has all the character of old stone walls and original wooden beams, combined with the comforts and mod cons that will make your stay here all the more pleasurable. We are situated in a peaceful rural setting - close to the villages of Retaud and Pisany, only 20 minutes from the beaches of St Georges and Royan and the famous Cognac region, 10 minutes from Saintes and less than an hour from La Rochelle and the premier vineyards of Bordeaux. There is a wide range of activities available locally, including golf, horse riding, cycling and tennis. The properties lie within 2 acres of fully enclosed gardens, which include a play area as well as a large heated swimming pool/sunbathing area.
- Half Baths1
- Min Stay7 nights
House near Retaud, Nr Saintes, Charente Maritime, France - Peaceful Setting 20 Mins From The Beach
- english, french
- Calendar last updated:
- Nov 7, 2018
About Peter Hounsham
We bought and lived in the property until 2011, where we brought up our two young children - they attended the local schools and we still have many friends locally with lovely memories of our years in France. We returned to France in 2011 having chosen to educate our children from secondary school in the UK.
Peter Hounsham purchased this House in 2004
Why Peter Hounsham chose Varzay
The hamlet of La Petite Romade is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful part of France. We completely fell in love with the ambience of the location, which is very relaxing yet still so near many places for sight-seeing - Saintes is still so undiscovered by many - as well as near fantastic beaches.
What makes this House unique
Our property enjoys the benefits of rural France with gorgeous countryside views - it's absolutely stunning in July with fields of sunflowers - numerous walks, local villages and nearby so many activities, sight seeing and beaches to visit. But equally perfect if you're after complete rest and relaxation or idyllic family time - the pool area and large gardens provide everything you need outside (once you've got all the fabulous French food and drinks you can enjoy!) and we find the pool and the pool table should even keep teenagers amused.
Pool / Spa
The place was ideal for our big lively family. Not too perfect so we didn’t have to worry too much
We had a lovely relaxing time. The swimming pool kept the children happy for hours and space for football also. Bikes were a great bonus. Beds comfortable! First few days rather hot but fans all worked except one. Wonderful arriving to find all the beds made up and not having to worry about cleaning at the end.
Wonderful holiday BUT......!!!!
Three generations of one family met here to celebrate a Golden Wedding Anniversary; a group of fifteen using both the main house and the cottage.
We were surprised and disappointed by the following issues.
1. The kitchens were poorly equipped to cater for a party our size. There were no large saucepans or casseroles. We had to buy two large pyrex casseroles and baking dishes and use umpteen saucepans. There was plenty of crockery and cutlery apart from sharp knives.
2. The dishwasher drain flooded the main kitchen on the first evening and the sink blocked - neither were not fit for purpose for the duration of our stay.
3. Consequently all dishes and utensils had to be carried to the sink in the Utility Room to be hand washed after every meal all week, dried and carried back to the kitchen/dining area. There was no other dishwasher.
4. We were unable to eat outside because of a persistent, unpleasant smell of drains/sewage/septic tank which lingered around the area of the garden with a garden table and chairs and also the ground floor of the cottage.
5. We were told when we arrived that the washing machine in the main house did not work and was due to be replaced. This did not happen during the course of our stay but at least we had the use of the machine in the cottage.
However we all had a wonderful and very memorable time. The pool was a joy; the accommodation comfortable and spacious and the grounds safe and private - had it not been for the issues raised we would have given this property a four/five star rating as it met the needs of every one of our party from the youngest, aged two to the eldest seventy plus.
We were really disappointed to learn of the problems you experienced whilst staying at our house.
The problem with the dishwasher was caused by a severe blockage that occurred in the fosse ( the septic tank). It is an occupational hazard of having septic tanks that they can get blocked, especially if guests accidently put anything down the drains that shouldn’t be (we do leave signs to try to avoid this, for example) but this may have been the cause in this instance. This blockage meant that the sink and dishwasher were rendered out of action as they share a common waste pipe. To make matters worse, we had a bank holiday on the week of your sty which made finding a plumber even harder. We finally did find the problem and it was reported by the plumber being due to produce and fat being poured down the kitchen sink. We do appreciate that it was not ideal to have the use of the dishwasher and can only apologise for this.
Your party has been the first we have had to report a lack of utensils and pans and we have since purchased more for the kitchen to ensure there is plenty of larger crockery for guests to use.
A typical French farmhouse, constructed of white stone, fronted with large wooden shutters.
We were a party of three families and had plenty of space to stretch out, relax and play. It has a good, securely fenced swimming pool. A large well equipped kitchen, wifi, TV and pool table. Most of the surrounding places are a short and easy drive away. We had a great time at the seaside: Le palmyra and in Saintes town. There is a friendly chap on site who keeps an eye on the property and fixes any problems you might have with the house.
We loved the house, the pool and all the facilities
The house was lovely, clean and spacious. The children loved all the toys and play equipment and the pool table was popular with all age groups. The house is in a lovely setting and Karim, the caretaker was helpful at all times. The only thing that wasn't kind to us was the weather!
An amazing holiday
We have been travelling, as a group, to France for the past 7 years and each place has been better than the previous year. However this time our vacation to this property outshone all the other holidays we have had in more ways than one. Arriving at the gate one evening we waited eagerly anticipating what was on the other side. Once the gates opened it was like driving into a picturesque scene. The winding driveway led to the main house and we all rushed out of the cars to see what surprise would come next.
The pictures really don't do this property justice as it cannot capture the ambiance of the place from the homely feeling, the spacious rooms and surroundings, the cleanliness of the place or the friendly and helpfulness of the gentlemen who takes so much care and pride in looking after the place.
If you want to venture out there are so many things to entertain both the young and old in the surrounding towns and villages. From beautiful sandy beaches to historical places of interest. That is if you can tear the kids away from the pool! 😜
If you want to find out more book a week or two here. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.
We can't wait to go back next year.
We have just returned from a wonderful stay at this beautiful house and cottage. The gardens are well maintained and the pool was a great size for our party of 15. The surrounding area is just superb with great beaches nearby too.
The beautiful sandy beaches of St Georges de Didonne and Royan are 20 minutes by car. La Palmyre Beaches and Zoo 30 minutes away. Ile de Re and Ile d'Oleron are about 1 hour.
We are almost equidistant between La Rochelle and Bordeaux airports. The drive from these airports are fairly straightforward and will take you approx 1 hour.
The Historic Roman town of Saintes is a 10 minute drive with Cognac about 30 minutes by car. Retaud and Pisany offer boulangeries,charcuterie, local shops, post offices, restaurants and a pharmacy and are minutes away.
There is so much to do in the Charente Maritime, ‘The second sunniest department in France. It is a beautiful region with wonderful countryside, fields full of sunflowers and grape vines.
There are long white sandy beaches backed by fragrant pine forests for those wanting to relax and recuperate. Local cognac and wine tasting can also help you unwind from the stresses of working life. For the more active, there is walking, cycling and horse riding available locally. There are nearby outdoor pools with water slides and play areas.
For the more adventurous, there are plenty of historic towns and villages, markets, châteaux and forests to visit – and of course seaside resorts such as La Rochelle, Royan and the islands of Oléron, Aix and Ré. The towns of Cognac and Angouleme are 30-40 minutes drive away. There is also the famous Futuroscope theme park - makes a great day-out..
Additional information about rental rates
Booking Notes: A non-returnable booking deposit of 20% is required. Please also send the balance of your payment together with a returnable Breakage deposit of £150 at least 8 weeks before the start of your holiday. Outside of peak season, it is possible to book the gites for part weeks/long weekends a maximum of 4 weeks before the arrival date (prices are pro-rated vs full weekly rate). Changeover Day: Changeover day is Saturday, starting on Saturday at 4pm and finishing the following Saturday at 10.00am. If you arrive early you are very welcome to relax by the pool. Notes on prices: Outside of the summer period, it may be possible to rent the Cottage only. Please contact us for prices.