A five double-bedroomed character property set within its own gardens surrounded by sunflower fields and the best that nature has to offer. It retains many original features but has been modernised to include creature comforts such as WiFi, UK television, dishwasher, washing machine and microwave. It has 3 bathrooms. The garden has a barn which is a shady play den for older and younger children, with table tennis, table football, bikes, a sandpit and swing. We also have an 11m x 5m pool with greenhouse style domed cover to ensure warm water temperatures from Spring to Autumn. Thus, you can swim with the cover on or off. The local lanes have very little traffic and are extremely safe for family walks or bike rides. The characterful market towns of St Jean D'Angely and Aulnay are only a short drive away, as is the beautiful city of Saintes. It is also well placed to discover the vineyards of the Cognac region and Bordeaux. The famous city of La Rochelle and its nearby beaches are a 45 minute drive away, with the fabulous island of Ile de Re just beyond.
- Farmhouse2432 sq. ft.
- Half Baths0
- Min Stay2 - 7 nights
Farmhouse in Petit Malveau, Nr. St Jean d'Angely, Charente Maritime - Very Peaceful Setting, 10 Minutes From Local Amenities, 45 Minutes From La Rochelle And The Coast
Mr and Mrs Hartley
- english, french
- Calendar last updated:
- Nov 15, 2018
About Mr and Mrs Hartley
I live in England with my husband and 3 children. My husband and I both work, but spend most of our holidays in France, where we have made many friends and have a store of endless happy memories of time spent at our holiday home.
Mr and Mrs Hartley purchased this Farmhouse in 2004
Why Mr and Mrs Hartley chose Bernay-Saint-Martin
Since childhood I have holidayed and worked in this area of France and returned year after year until I was lucky enough in 2004 to be able to buy a property of my own in sunny Charente Maritime. Over the last few years, my husband and I have extended and restored this 200 year old farmhouse into a comfortable family home. It is easy to become hooked on all that the south west of France has to offer - sunshine, culture, vineyards, sandy beaches and quiet countryside. But most of all, it is an absolute haven of rest and relaxation. The Charente Maritime is easily accessible from the ferry terminals in southern England or by air - local airports are only 45 minutes away.
What makes this Farmhouse unique
Our property is an extremely roomy old farmhouse which is in a peaceful hamlet, where traffic consists mostly of the occasional tractor! It is a haven of tranquility and yet local amenities are only a ten minute drive or short cycle ride away. Having used it exclusively ourselves for many years it has the feel of a family home with all the home comforts and quirks! Its' size ensures two families could live easily alongside each other and still feel they had time and space to themselves - for instance, there are three downstairs reception rooms as well as the kitchen and three terraces. We are not overlooked and the garden is securely enclosed. There are many outdoor and indoor entertainments to occupy children and adults alike, and the beaches, towns, vineyards and markets are all within short driving distances.
Pool / Spa
Beautiful property, not brilliantly maintained.
The house overall is lovely and has huge potential. It may be that we just came at the end of a summer of lettings (end Aug/Sept) but we found a huge number of small frustrations and one or two larger concerns.
Firstly, we were hugely frustrated with the lack of internet access. One of the reasons we chose the property was because it offered internet access. The fact that we only discovered that the internet was not working when we arrived was most frustrating. It made things very difficult for my family who were in need of internet access during the time away.
Secondly, the swimming pool turned green for the final 4 days and we were unable to swim. The pool man said it was fine, but both the colour of the water and the amount of chemicals he was putting in meant none of us wanted to swim. Very disappointing.
As to the minor issues:
The top rack of dishwasher did not work / clean
Playstation didn't work
The bedroom doors don’t close properly and lacked privacy due to being part glass. The thin material over the glass panels were totally inadequate.
Many of the bulbs around the house did not work and there were no spares.
There were a number of basic repairs needed to doors/drawers etc.
The Fridge / freezer is very small and inadequate for a house sleeping 9 or 10.
The kitchen was dirty (especially at the sides of the fridge)
Due to internet access not working, we decided to wait until we returned to contact the hosts with our concerns. On arriving home we found an email waiting for us informing us that they have withheld part of our deposit due to us not dealing properly with our rubbish. Admittedly we had overslept on rubbish day and had failed to properly sort recycling and so on one level the deduction was justifiable. However despite the property not living up to it's advertised spec and inspire of all the problems we had, all we got was a vacuous apology. We thought at the very least our full deposit should have been returned to us. No such luck. Money first, customer service less important. Not worth the cost of rental. Avoid.
Thank you for your review - we appreciate negative as well as positive reviews.
I acknowledge your frustration with the internet in the French countryside - it had been dropping in and out at the beginning of July throughout all the local villages. I apologise for not having warned you beforehand, but as none of the previous summer guests brought it to our attention we were unaware it was an ongoing issue.
Our pool man did his best immediately to rectify the problem of the water changing colour - I apologise for this also. It was a combination of the warm but wet weather at the end of August.
Regarding all your other concerns, if you had contacted me or my handyman during your two week stay, instead of waiting until you returned, we would have endeavoured to put things right. Unfortunately, you did not give us the opportunity.
Regarding the rubbish, my handyman showed photos of two weeks worth of rubbish, including glass, which was crawling with maggots which he then had to sort by hand, despite having reminded you earlier during your stay to put the bins out. Hence we deducted a small amount from your deposit. Recycling rules in our village are quite precise and the instructions and bins are clearly labelled to make it a straightforward process.
To reiterate, we are sorry that your holiday was also disappointing, particularly as given the opportunity we would have done as much as possible to ameliorate the situation, had we been aware you were so unhappy.
Very relaxing week
Very comfortable house, lots of space.
A great place for a family holiday
Les Romains certainly lives up to its description in that in itself it is an extremely comfortable and spacious property where you can relax and read quietly in one lounge whilst the children play in another. The pool is superb and is kept very clean with the new system for covering it not only helping in this but keeping the temperature up as well. The setting itself is quiet but you only have to travel a few miles for the shops and restaurants of St Jean D'Angely or Surgeres. The restaurants in St Jean are very good with a variable choice of cuisine but if you like fish then try Le Mareyeur in Place Lemoyne. The 1/2 hour drive to Coulon is well worth the experience "boating around the marshes". If you start to miss home a little then book a table on Friday night at Le Mouton Noir in Loulay (a ten minute drive). For 40 odd Euros two of you will enjoy an aperitif, a 3 course meal with plenty of wine and musical entertainment whilst many of the local "ex pats" will try to convince you to come and join them!
All in all Les Romains is a superb place for a family vacation (ours was 6 adults and 6 children age 3 to 11)
Have just come back after a fabulous 2 week stay at the Farmhouse in Petit Malveau. The house is typically quirky French, the house was especially clean with everything that you need to make your stay homely. The swimming pool was magic, with the cover making it especially good for the night time swims. The location itself is quiet, however just a short car journey to find good shops/restaurants etc. We had 6 adults and 6 children 2.5 years to 12 years old and the space and with everything to do made us enjoy every minute. Well recommended for a family or group of friends.
Thank you very much for your generous, kind review of our holiday home. It is much appreciated.
Fantastic Family Holiday
A fantastic property for a family holiday, with all that you need to keep everyone entertained and content inc. table tennis, bikes, games, t.v, video, table football and more; the swimming pool was particularly great fun at night. The garden is secure and safe for the children to play freely.
The house is tastefully decorated and fitted out with comfortable beds, linen and furniture. There was also a vast range of equipment to ensure we had all we needed to facilitate our enjoyable stay with BBQs and eating al fresco.
The owners were very welcoming and gave plenty of ideas of great places to visit in the area, we especially enjoyed visiting Coulon; a very enjoyable lunch at one of the lovely restaurants and boating in the river.
We are looking forward to returning again.
Thank you very much for your extremely positive review. We're delighted you has such a great holiday and look forward to you returning soon
Had 2 weeks of bliss at the end of May. Wanted a rural setting for a flavour of real French Life, with beaches not too far away. Loved the markets in St-Jean d 'Angely. Also, the nearby town of Surgeres has a fine selection of restaurants. The converted farmhouse is a mixture of "cottage and chic", very clean, airy and light---tres confortable! Definitely going again.
The nearest beach resort is the town of Fouras which is a 40 minute drive away. Fouras is a bustling holiday resort with three beaches, cafes, restaurants, tourist shops and sailing activities. Slightly further afield, but less than one hour away by car are the beaches around La Rochelle and Chataillon. The toll bridge to Ile de Re is a gateway to some idyllic island beaches (one hour).
Venturing further south (one to two hours by car) are the magnificent surf beaches of the 'cote sauvage'.
Use of a car is essential.
The nearest airports to the property are:
La Rochelle 45 minutes.
Bordeaux 1.5 hours.
Nantes/Poitiers 2 hours.
Approximate driving distances from main ferry ports are as follows:
St Malo: 270 miles.
Caen: 320 miles.
Cherbourg: 320 miles.
Calais: 500 miles.
Le Havre: 380 miles.
Our property is situated about 20 minutes from the A10 motorway, leaving at Junction 34.
The nearest village with amenities is 10 minute drive away. The nearest large town with outdoor markets, shops, leisure centre and supermarkets is St Jean d'Angely, which is a fifteen minute drive. Cognac is about a half hour drive, with the historic Gallo Romain city of Saintes about 45 minutes away. The famous city of La Rochelle, with its magnificent harbour, aquarium, boutiques and restaurants is less than an hours drive. Rochefort and Coulon (La Venise Verte) are also within an hour away.
For country walks and cycle rides, or simply watching the herons, buzzards and hoopoes, the country lanes around our property and the surrounding villages cannot be beaten. The paucity of traffic ensures the safety of children, and the allotments and vegetable patches of our neighbours are a joy to behold.
The nearest proper amenities are found in the little town of Loulay (10 minutes drive), which boasts three boulangeries, a small co-op supermarket, banks, tennis courts and a quiet friendly public swimming pool. It has a bar and restaurant popular with British tourists.
A short bike ride away is a bar and restaurant next to an enclosed trout stream. Rods and bait can be hired. This is great fun and the fish are easy to catch - not for serious fishermen.
Another quick bike ride away to a neighbouring village and you will find a free tennis court - the net has seen better days!
Many of the larger surrounding towns have weekly markets - St Jean D'Angely or Aulnay are especially good and the weekly enormous street market at Saintes is worth a visit.
Additional information about rental rates
Booking Notes: Reservations can be made by completing and signing the booking form with a non refundable deposit of 25% of the total cost made at the time of booking. The remaining 75% of the total cost and a £300 breakage deposit are required 8 weeks prior to arrival. Reservations made within 8 weeks of arrival should be paid in full at time of booking. Payments can be made on line or by cheque. The owners reserve the right to enforce cancellation fees. Changeover Day: Changeover day is Saturday, with guests required to depart by 10 am and new guests not to arrive before 4 pm. This is to enable the property to be perfectly ready for each party. Changeover day is negotiable outside the main summer season. Notes on prices: The property is available for rental over Christmas and New Year - prices are negotiable. Rental for the property can be paid in sterling or euros.