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Le Hibou: Magnificent French Watermill with Swimming Pool and only 10 mins from Cognac 3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars

 Le Moulin de Chazotte
  • ID: 43
  • 3 Stars Gite ( 120 sq. m. )
  • Weekly £ 340 - £ 900
  • Bedroom(s) 2
  • Sleeps 4
  • Bathroom(s) 1
Average guests rating:      0 / 5 ( 0 Reviews )
Highlights: Watermill on River Chazotte, Swimming Pool, Large garden / grounds, Very close to historic Cognac, Sleeps 2 - 4, Wonderful views

Summary

Le Hibou: An exclusive gite in a magnificent French watermill dating back to the 15th century. Superb grounds, large swimming pool & lots of activities. Sleeps 2 - 4 and available all year round.

Description

La Maison de Hibou (The owl House) forms half of the grand, main building which was built in the mid 1890s. The gite was named after a magnificent barn owl which was roosting in the roof beams before there were any windows in the building. This gite is finished to a very high standard complete with an oak front door and double-glazed hardwood windows.

While redesigning the interior of the building, as many of the original architectural features as possible have been retained. In the lounge is the traditional Charentais timber ceiling with a massive supporting beam. At first floor level there are exposed roof beams and beautiful exposed stonework. The exterior is built from huge blocks of creamy-coloured limestone which is typical of this part of the Charente. The impressive balustraded terrace is south-facing with glorious views across the vineyards.

Le Hibou in Detail
The Terrace
There are three shallow flagged steps leading up to the terrace in front of this gîte. The balustraded terrace is south-facing and has a table with a parasol and chairs. There is a barbecue immediately in front of the terrace.

Entrance Hallway
The hall leads on to a toilet and also into the lounge.

The Lounge
The open-plan lounge area has a three-piece suite and two additional easy chairs plus a coffee table. There is a tv with french terrestrial channels and free-to-view satellite channels. In addition there is a CD player and a range of reading books and games.

Dining area
There is a table and chairs in the dining area.

The Kitchen
The kitchen is fully-fitted with an electric cooker and oven, a microwave, a fridge!freezer, a washing machine, a dish-washer, a toaster and a coffee-machine. There is a comprehensive selection of cutlery, utensils and crockery.

Landing
On the first floor is a landing which leads to the two bedrooms and the bathroom. The ceilings are high which makes everything light and airy. The whole of the first floor features exposed floorboards with rugs by the beds.

Double Bedroom
This bedroom has glorious views to the south through the large hardwood window. There is a comfortable double bed and a fold-down single bed. In one corner is a shower and wash-basin. There is a large wardrobe with ample storage space.

Twin Room
Bedroom two has views to the north over the mill-races at the rear of the mill and into the woods beyond. There are two comfortable single beds.

The Bathroom
The bathroom has a beautiful tiled finish and contains a large shower, a vanity unit and a toilet.

Also
For off-season or long-term lets there are electric panel radiators . There is a large wallet containing leaflets and information about the area and things to do.

The Swimming Pool
The pool is without a doubt our biggest "attraction" for young and old alike but particularly for children. We are told regularly by our holiday makers that our adverts don't do the pool justice! Well, at 12 metres by 6 metres, it's larger than average and has fancy semi-circular roman steps at the shallow end. It has a toilet and changing room plus a solar shower. It has large sun-bathing terraces all around and sits in its own secure enclosure with a lockable gate. There are ample sun-loungers as well as tables and chairs. The pool is about 50 metres from the house. It is completely private and has a wonderful view to the south across the vineyards to the village of Cherves-Richemont on the hillside.

Le Moulin de Chazotte
Le Hibou is part of the watermill Le Moulin de Chazotte. The mill sits astride the small river Chazotte and, with no near neighbours, we are privileged to be surrounded by what is, in effect, a nature reserve with masses of animal and bird wildlife including deer and wild boar. The grounds extend to 11 acres with no restrictive boundary fences. The only other buildings are dotted on the hillside at Cherves Richemont 2 kilometres away.

Formerly uninhabited within living memory, the mill has been lovingly restored to create four exclusive and high quality gites for self-catering holiday accommodation in a wonderful setting. The gites each have their own private terrace with barbecue, and all have access to the grounds and facilities.

These include the large heated and floodlit swimming pool (12m x 6m) and both an indoor and outdoor games area. Activities on site include badminton, canoeing, swings, table-tennis, table-football, and boules. In addition there is a 7 acre play field which is ideal for cricket, football, kites, rounders and golf practice.

Swimming
In addition to the pool, there is a large lake with a beach at Thors which is 10 minutes drive away. This is a superb site with safe-swimming area for children and pedaloes too. The facilities are free for all to use and there is an nice terraced restaurant offering good food and excellent value for money.

Cycling
We have a few bikes of mixed size which we make available to our guests however we've found that it is much better to bring your own bikes which can be stored in the barn or shed. The terrain around the mill is perfect for gentle cycling and the roads are usually virtually traffic free although you might need to overtake a tractor or two! Cycling is a national obsession with the French especially while the Tour de France is underway! Generally you'll find that French drivers are generally more courteous towards and aware of anyone on two wheels.

Rambling
From the mill you can explore up or downstream along the river. If you're adventurous you can boldly venture into the wild forest at the back of the property or, if not, take a leisurely stroll out of the front gate and go left or right along the lanes through the vineyards and sunflower fields. The tiny village of Mesnac is 1km away and there is an interesting church to see as well as an ancient "laverie" where the ladies formerly washed clothes in the river Chazotte. In the opposite direction, the village of Cherves Richemont is about 3km away. Cherves is a relatively busy place with a couple of bakeries and a butchers shop as well as a small Spar supermarket, a chemist, a post office and a brand new library. There are tennis courts, a tree-shaded boules arena (bouledrome) and a nice bar/restaurant. On the way towards Cherves you cross a track which used to be the railway line and you can follow this to the site of the Tile works where all that remains is the immense brick-built furnace chimney (Fred Dibner would have loved it!). Whichever way you you walk from the mill you'll probably pass some derelict but still delightful stone houses which cry out for some brave soul to restore them to their former beauty.

Canoeing
We have an excellent canadian canoe complete with coolbox for essential supplies! There aren't many of our guests, especially those with children who can resist an outing. The mill sits astride the river Chazotte so the canoe is usually moored in the millpond ready for action. In recent years the river levels have fallen throughout this region and canoeing on the Chazotte has become more of an adventure than a leisurely cruise! However much fun this sounds though, please be prepared for such obstacles as low bridges, fallen trees and overhanging branches en route - a sort of mild Indiana Jones experience! Several groups of visitors to the mill have brought their own canoes in recent years but I suspect our little river is a bit tame for experienced canoeists. You can hire canoes at most towns along the Charente, including Cognac and Jarnac.

Barbecues
Each gite has its own barbecue but we often have a 'group barbecue' for all the guests at the beginning of their holiday. Apart from being great fun, this is a great chance for everyone to get to know each other and usually enables the children to form a social 'gang' for the rest of their stay here.

Outdoor sports
Early morning jogging through our wood or into the village of Cherves is very popular with our more athletic guests. The huge play-field at the front can be used for kite-flying, football, cricket, rounders, frisbee, golfing etc. etc. In our shady poplar wood you can play badminton or boules (equipment provided) and there are both kiddies swings and a huge tree-swing.

Photography and Painting
Our ancient mill is extremely photogenic and because of our secluded location we are surrounded by a wonderful array of wild animals and birds. We regularly have deer and hares in our grounds and it is rare not to see kingfishers, egrets, redstarts, buzzards, kites, herons, hoopoes and even parakeets around the place. If you're lucky you may get to see the wild boar and coypu at dusk too.

Fishing
The river Chazotte has a wide variety of fish despite it's small size. Regular sightings in the millpond are pike, chub, roach, eels and superb green tench as well as tiddlers. Rod and line fishing is very difficult in the Chazotte because of the overhanging branches and shallowness of the water in summer. Serious fishermen use the local lakes which are well-stocked and, of course, the river Charente itself.

Tractor tuition
One of the biggest hits with most of the families staying here has been the chance to have a go on the tractor (Hector)! Depending on the weather, we usually manage to get Hector out onto the field so guests can have a lesson in tractor driving followed by a circuit or two of the field.

Indoor activities
In our large open-fronted barn there is a table-tennis table and a table-football machine. This is also a great meeting point for both adults and children in the evenings or if the sun is extra-hot!

Car Parking and Access
The mill is approached via a long driveway through the grounds and there is a parking area 30m from Le Hibou. Loading and unloading is easily done by parking temporarily right in front of the gîte.

Larger Groups
There is also a connecting doorway (generally blocked off) which leads to the neighbouring gîte, L’Abricotier, if a larger party required more space to make one holiday home.

Map

Address: Cherves-Richemont, Charente, France
Post Code (Zip): 16370
Latitude / Longitude: 45.76895465887901 / -0.36096748168938575
Airport La Rochelle 90 minutes
Beach Royan 60 minutes
Ferry Port St. Malo 250 km
Market Cognac covred market 10 minutes
Metro Station Paris 200 km
Restaurant Le Grizzly, Cherves Richemont 5 minutes
Train Station Cognac (SNCF) 10 km

Directions

We will send you detailed directions as we get closer to your holiday dat

Area description

For the most part, the countryside around us is gently rolling and characterised by vineyards, sunflower fields and woodlands. We are located in the river Antenne Valley which runs down towards Cognac and into the majestic river Charente.

Cognac and the surrounding towns, such as Angoulême and Saintes are steeped in Roman and Mediaeval history with fascinating architecture and markets. The sandy beaches and wonderful sea-food restaurants of Royan are only an hour's drive away.

Whether you want an active, adventurous holiday or to simply relax in the serene surroundings of the mill, there is something for everyone.

Restaurants
There is a superb restaurant serving real French cuisine at our local Chateau de Mesnac. It's about 3 minutes away by car. In Cognac and other local towns there are numerous excellent restaurants of all types and pavement cafés where you can soak up the atmosphere and watch the world go by.

For excellent value meals there is a good restaurant at Thors which is only 10 minutes drive away. The restaurant is situated at the edge of a lake so you can have a swim beforehand if you want to work up an appetite.

Our local village of Cherves-Richemont will shortly have a brand new bar and restaurant which is being built right next to the shady boules arena.


THINGS TO DO IN THE COGNAC AREA
Sight seeing - energetic outings - historical buildings and sites - the beauty of nature - the arts....his area of France has got it all!

Cognac Country
Most of us have heard of the alcoholic drink which takes it's name from the town of Cognac. In fact most of the grapes grown in the vineyards throughout the area are used in the making of this world-famous spirit. There are dozens of Cognac producers but the most well-known (Courvoisier, Martell, Hennessy etc.) all provide fascinating tours of their distilleries during the summer season. The apperitif, Pineau is a blend of cognac and grape juice for which this region is also famous. Many of the small, family-run Pineau producers offer organised tours with tastings.

Futuroscope
Except for Disneyland at Paris, this theme park at Poitiers is probably the largest of it's kind in France.

Puy du Fou
An amazing experience for all the family made even better with the special reductions which are available to our visitors (please ask for details).

Paleosite
A theme park at Saint Césaire which is only a short drive away. This is an educational and entertaining outing based on the discovery of the remains of a Neolithic female skeleton.

Les Antilles
A water-based outing near Jonzac for active holidaymakers and well worth combining with vists to the fortress at Pons or the picturesque chateau in the heart of Jonzac itself.

Adventure Parc
A high-level adventure outing amongst the trees for energetic folk!

Hermione
Located in Rochefort this is a must for anyone interested in maritime history. For the past few years the new "Hermione" has been under construction in a covered dry-dock in Rochefort. The first Hermione was a 17th century frigate and the traditional techniques and original plans are now being used to reconstruct a fully sail-rigged frigate which will eventually reneact the journey by Lafayette to America.

La Palmyre Zoo
A very well respected zoo regarded as one of the best in Europe.

La Rochelle Aquarium
A very nice aquarium with a good restaurant and makes a great day out when combined with a shopping trip to bustling La Rochelle.

Oradour
Scene of the horrific massacre of virtually an entire town's inhabitants by the Gestapo during the war. This town has been preserved as it was on that fateful day. Many of our visiting families have reported that it is both educational for youngsters and a genuinely moving reminder of the terrible price the French paid during the war.

Velo-rail
Here's a chance to work off some calories and then put them back on again with a picnic! At the Velo-rail you pedal aong a section of railway line on special carriages to a nice picnic spot before pedalling back again! The Velo-rail is near Confolens which is also a very interesting town with Roman historical sites.

La Vallée des Singes
This is a theme park where you can get close to many types of monkey, including gorillas.

The dune of Pyla:
At around 107 metres high, this is the biggest sand-dune in Europe. You can climb to the top to enjoy panoramic views before sand-surfing down again (if you're young enough!). There are cafes and souvenir shops on the approach to the dune from the carpark (paying).

Chateau des Enigmes
An interesting day out for the family.

Aqualand Theme Park
You'll need a full day to travel to and then wear out the kids for this one.

Atlantic Toboggan Theme Park
Another full day required at this exciting water activities site.

Cognac Blues Festival
Every third weekend in July, Cognac hosts a huge Blues Festival with artists from all over the world. No less a giant bluesman than BB King was top billing last year and previuosly we've had Status Quo, Massive Attack and Joe Cocker. Also many, many other great acts from France, the USA and the UK. Well worth a visit, especially for old jazz and blues-addicts like me! This year's acts will be announced on the official website www.bluespassions.com

Circuit-des-Remparts
The legendary classic car rally in Angouleme takes place around the 20th September each year.

The Royal Corderie
Rochefort is an ancient fortified town which was the centre for ship-building and rope-making in the era of sailing ships.

The caverns at Matata
The estuarine caves at Matata have always been inhabited by man. A historical day out to the seaside with a museum trip included

Steam train excursions: A steam train runs between La Tremblade and Saujon. There is also two small scale railways on L'Ile d'Oleron.

The Cognac riding centre
Only ten minutes away is the principal riding school in the Cognac area. The prices are very reasonable at about 15 euros per hour.

Beaches
The popular beaches of the Atlantic coast, at La Rochelle and Royan, are an hour away by car.

The Dordogne, Limoges potteries and Bordeaux wine chateaux all within 2hrs drive

Architecture
Throughout the area there are many fascinating examples of Roman architecture, particularly at the nearby town of Saintes where you can visit the "arc de triomphe" and a spectacular amphitheatre. The history of the Charente region can also be discovered in local museums, potteries, churches and abbeys.

Historic Towns
The towns of Pons, Angouleme and Rochefort are also well worth a visit for their historical sites. In neighbouring villages during the Summer, there are weekly markets, fetes and "brocantes" (bric-a-brac fairs), which are a great way to experience the French way of life. You can of course, try the delicious local cuisine at numerous restaurants dotted throughout the areaThe traditional Charentais houses are built from the local soft creamy-coloured limestone under red pan-tiled roofs. The grander buildings and chateaux tend to have walls made from huge cut blocks of stone and, if they're really posh, expensive slate roofs. You will often see that the stonework on the older houses is discoloured. This is caused by the distillation bi-products of millions of litres of fermenting cognac!

Roman History
The Romans occupied this part of France for about 700 years. In those days a Roman villa would have it's own supporting community around it so that it was virtually self-sufficient. This community would provide man-power to run the villa and grow the crops to supply food and wine. Many of these villas would be named with a title ending in "ac". You only have to glance at a local map to see the hundreds of place names ending in these two letters. A prime example of course is Cognac itself and even our own local village is called Mesnac. As you might expect there are ample historic Roman remains in the area including some superb Roman buildings and ruins (notably at Saintes).

Golf
Here in the Poitou-Charentes region we have a wealth of golf courses and a wonderful climate which allows a very long playing season. There are at least 10 well-appointed golf courses within easy driving distance and eight of these are 18 hole courses. Many of the golf courses have their own websites and some offer an English, Dutch or German translation.

Accommodation, Facilities and Services

Property type: 3 Stars Gite

Board: Self Catering

Bedroom(s): 2 ( 4 Sleeps )
  • Cot: 1
  • Double Room: 1
  • Put-up: 1
  • Twin Room: 1
Bathroom(s): 1
  • Separate Toilet: 1
  • Showers: 2
  • Wash basins: 3

Suitability

  • Long term rentals: No
  • Pets: No
  • Smoke: No smoking
  • Children: Yes, great for kids
  • Wheelchair: No
  • Eldery or infirm: Not suitable

Holiday type

  • Couples
  • Family
  • Group
  • Romantic
  • Rural

Views

  • Countryside
  • Garden
  • River

General facilities

  • Electricity
  • Garden
  • Parking
  • Table Football
  • Table Tennis
  • Terrace
  • Water Supply
  • WiFi

Indoor facilities

  • Books
  • CD Player
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooker
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Fridge
  • Games
  • Highchair
  • Iron and Board
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Satellite TV
  • Television
  • Toaster
  • Washing Machine

Outdoor facilities

  • Badminton
  • Barbecue
  • Boule / Pentanque
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Garden Furniture
  • Rounders
  • Swings

Services

  • Cleaning extra
  • Laundry Extra
  • Linen Provided

Access

Car is essential
  • Off-road Parking
  • Private Car Park

Activities

Local activities:

  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Horse riding
  • Ice Skating
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Wine Tasting

Other activities:

  • Beaches (60 minutes)
  • Golf (30 minutes)
  • Historic Houses / Chateau (15 minutes)
  • Horse riding (10 minutes)
  • Vineyards (90 minutes)

Availability

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  • Booked
  • Pending
  • Available
  • Unknown

Rates

-Nightly rateWeeklyMonthlyMin. StayChange-over
WeekWeekend
Rate summary - £ 340 - £ 900 - 7 Nights -
No rates available

Add-ons

 PriceCharge type
No addons available

Policies

Check in: 16:00, Check out: 10:00

Please see details on our website www.cognacvacances.com

Terms and conditions

Please see details on our website www.cognacvacances.com

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