House in Saint-Sigismond, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, France - Peaceful rural idyll, in "venise verte" - area criss crossed by leafy canals in farmland setting
About Katharine Gordon
Roddy and Kate Gordon have owned La Maison Rose for over 10 years.
Katharine Gordon purchased this House in 2001
Why Katharine Gordon chose Saint-Sigismond
We wanted a house to make into a comfortable and stylish holiday home for us to enjoy and for our children to grow up to remember with fondness. We have added to the house and garden with each passing season so it is hardly recognisable from the original house. Coming from the North East of England convenience of travel really matters so we were looking for a place where we could travel to easily. Travel to Sud Vendée is convenient from anywhere in the UK - North or South- as it is served by so many airlines and regional airports. It is also far enough South to be warm and sunny. We were told before we bought the house that the Vendée has its own micro-climate with more hours sunshine per year than anywhere else in France except the French Riviera. That suited us - hope it suits you too.
What makes this House unique
La Maison Rose is surrounded by glorious nature. What we love best about the house is the garden with its gorgeous flowers, shrubs and trees and the birdsong. When the water of the pool is calm, swifts can often be seen swooping down for a drink. It is a beautiful sight. Dining on the patio late into a warm summer evening lazing over a glass of wine is a relaxing experience. The canals are dreamy when the sun dapples through the overhead branches making the water sparkle. The word "dreamy" sums up a great deal about the house. What is not dreamy is the sight of a buzzard dropping out of the sky and then flying off with a live mouse clutched in its talons. Dreamy no but amazing yes. Every year when we go we look out for a buzzard who sits on a telephone wire at the entrance to Le Coudreau. Sometimes he is there, sometimes he is not. We call him Boris. If you see him, say hello to him from us. Do not expect a reply.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
When you leave, please leave house reasonably clean. Please empty bins and wash dishes. Please leave outdoor bins out for collection on relevant day. The bin men come very early so please leave bins outside front gate the night before. There will be a bin collection calendar in kitchen. Bottles should be taken to bottle bank and paper to a communal bin for disposal of paper (should NOT be put in any bin for collection as bin men will not take it). Thanks
Canceled bookings will not receive a refund
La Maison Rose
A lovely relaxed stay in this beautiful area of France.
We have just returned from 2 weeks staying in this beautiful house. We are a family of 5, including a baby. The house is huge! Beautifully furnished, good quality bedding. There was even a lovely wooden cot all made up for the baby when we arrived. The downstairs is lovely and airy, loads of room and the kitchen has every thing you could possibly need. The bedrooms were huge! The pool was lovely, it was a bit chilly but fine once you were in and we used it every day.
Very rural location, but lovely for evening walks and absorbing French life. Boulangerie about 2 mins drive up the road. We enjoyed getting canoes and exploring the local canals. Would definitely recommend this property.
Peace and tranquility
Lovely house, clean and tidy. Would dearly loved to have sorted garden but no tools available.
Issues with kitchen equipment, most plates had chipped surfaces, saucepans very poor, handle fell off one when full of boiling water. Stairlift not available for disabled guest.
The area itself is something most people would not associate with France. Beautiful waterways to spend lazy afternoons on and by. Vibrant village markets, offering a large selection of goods. Local villages and towns have some stunning architecture - you just have to look for it!!
We have travelled to many areas in France and would recommend this area to anyone who likes walking, shopping for and preparing local dishes and enjoys tranquility with the odd activities of our forefathers thrown in for good measure.
Thank you for your helpful comments.
The stairlift is available to anyone who asks to use it. The key is removed to avoid being broken.
As regards the plates there is another perfect set in the cupboard by the stairs.
Regarding garden tools, we do not want guests to feel they are required to garden - but they are available on request.
Pans are due for upgrade!
Very relaxing holiday at La Maison Rose in the Vendee
Our family enjoyed 14 days of sun and relaxation at this comfortable and well-equipped house in the very quiet hamlet of Le Coudreau.The excellent pool was invaluable in the very hot weather we experienced and our grandson learned to swim without armbands during the holiday.The garden was secure so our dog could roam free and it was not overlooked---nor was the pool.The supermarket at Benet was a few minutes drive and there were plenty of restaurants within striking distance--we found TripAdvisor useful for suggesting restaurants in any town or village visited.The broadband/WiFi was first-class and noticeably quicker in this rural location than in our home in West Surrey.The coast was about 50 minutes drive and the Marais Poitevin countryside with its many rivers and canals was beautiful.
All in all an excellent base for a holiday in a very nice part of France.
Gorgeous large house- total peace
This is the sort of place that makes you want to buy your own! The rooms are big and have everything you might need. The pool and grounds are also lovely. We had a glorious week, the kids barely left the pool. There is also a large table tennis table and indoors, table football. Plus of course the tv, dvd. I couldnt get the wifi to connect but thats not an issue for me. We loved it and would return.
Wonderful peaceful and relaxing family holiday
My wife and I stayed here with our (adult) children and son in law. We were astonished when we arrived it is a simply superb home, spacious with every requirement covered. The comfort in the living area and bedrooms was just right and the peace and quite of the garden and pool area suited us perfectly.
It is not in a busy place and this is what we wanted, we went boating on the canals and visited La Rochelle and even managed to cycle 24 miles on the Isle De Rei.
I cannot praise Katherine enough for letting us stay here and we will certainly look to return one day.
Neil, Kim, Ellie, Harry, Jake & Jody July 2018
Beaches South of La Rochelle, e.g. Chatelaillon. Sandy beach with promenade and restaurants, shops etc. This classy French beach resort has interesting architecture and amenities creating the atmosphere of a small town, not just a beach resort. Also sandy beaches at les Sables D'Olonne a favourite with children and teenagers, Ile de Ré, an island connected to La Rochelle by a long suspension bridge, all between 45 mins - 1 hr drive. Canals minutes walk from house.
Nearest airports - La Rochelle (35 mins), Poitiers (approx 1 hour), Limoges (approx 1.5 hour), Tours (approx 2.5 hours), Bordeaux (approx 2.5 hours), Paris (approx 4 hours).
Drive from St Malo Ferry Crossing (approx 3.5 hours), Cherbourg (5 hours), Calais (approx 10 hours)
Use of car recommended but keen cyclists can manage locally because the area is flat with beautiful canals, hence name Venise Verte (Green Venice).
Nearest village 1.5 miles, nearest town 8 miles, 3 nearby cities (La Rochelle - 45 mins by car, Niort (25 mins) and Fontenay Le Compte (20 mins).
La Rochelle has beautiful shops, markets, museums and an aquarium. Fontenay is ancient city with Country House. Lots of interesting and attractive places nearby e.g. Rochefort, Poitiers with Futuroscope - 1 hour drive, Valée des Singes (Monkey park) 2 hours drive, Maillezais ruined abbey 10 mins , children's adventure park - 20 mins. Woodlands 20 mins
The whole area is called Venise Verte (Green Venice) because it is criss crossed with green canals (no concrete). There are dozens of landing places where boats can be hired. Punting is a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours. Punt yourself or hire a boatman - either way it is not expensive. Canals are all natural dug from the earth by monks in 16th century. The whole area is flat so perfect for cyclists to cycle alongside the canals.
It is a farming community - the farming is lazy, birdlife is plentiful and it is not unusual to see buzzards and other birds of prey. Otters live in the canals. Dragonflies hover above the water and shimmer shades of green and turquoise. Flowers are phenomenal and amazing colours. Dreamy! Horses trotting along the roads complete the rural picture. There is very little traffic so children (and cyclists!) are safe on the roads.
You don't have far to go to get to the sea or to lively and vibrant cities, museums, art galleries, restaurants, riverboats, children's parks, an aquarium and even a zoo! The sights are very French and very rural. Men and women on bicycles with their daily baguettes in panniers are a common sight. Wizened old men out on a day's shoot are also a common sight. You even see games of Boules.
You will not be confused about what country you are in. No apologies are made for being French. Fetes and celebrations (including a festival of garlic bread!) take place throughout the summer months. There are boulangeries in every village (often more than one). You will quickly get to know your favourite. Most shops are shut on Sundays (some - not all- supermarkets open for a half day on Sundays). Shops usually shut at lunchtime (even the big supermarkets) but stay open later in the day -although there are no 24 hour shops. The French have the work/life balance about right.
French people love to hear people trying their French especially children. It is probably a French equivalent of "'Allo, 'Allo".