Holiday Homes In France
Converted Barn with pool in the Drome Provence
Pont de Barret, 20 minutes from Montelimar, an hour from Avignon
3 ensuite double bedrooms, comfortable for up to 6 people
Rural without feeling remote, La Grange was originally a tractor barn. It has recently been completely restored and refurbished to provide high standard accommodation while retaining its traditional character. It is set in its own grounds of about one acre, half of which comprise landscaped gardens sloping up gently from the house. It is totally private and not overlooked. The 360 degree views from the pool area are stunning, looking to the mountains in one direction and across the Rhone valley to the Ardeche in the other (a view of some 40 miles on a clear day). This is a forgotten corner of France so be prepared for quiet roads and few tourists.
We love the simplicity and spaciousness of this house and gardens. Full of character yet with up to date facilities, this is the perfect place for friends and/or family to relax in comfort and privacy. With four daughters and a growing number of grandchildren, it is here that we meet up annually as a family.
The house is situated between 3 villages, all about 5 minutes drive away (or 15 mins cycle). There are boulangeries and patisseries a few kilometres away in Pont-de-Barret and Charols, and small supermarkets in Cleon d’Andran and Puy St Martin. Montelimar is your largest major town with a large LeClerc supermarket easily accessible on its northern outskirts. Far more fun are the local markets (Pierrelatte, Dieulefit, Vaison-la-Romaine, Nyons).
The main living room dominates the house: up to 20 foot high with a beamed ceiling and a tiled floor, this room provides immense cool space in the heat of the day. French doors lead onto a patio and uninterrupted view to the mountains: an exterior table and 6 chairs are provided. At one end of this room, there is a country cuisine area with induction hob and food preparation area plus a dining area for 6, with an open archway through to the kitchen, where the utilities are located: fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave, oven and second sink.
At the other end is the comfortable lounge area and steps to a small mezzanine with flatscreen TV and DVD player: a perfect 'hideaway' for children. The three double bedrooms lead off from the living room, two downstairs and one upstairs. Each has en-suite bathroom facilities and its own country character.
A utility room contains washing machines and extra fridge space. Attached but totally separate from the main house is a studio where the owners occasionally stay. This has its own seating area tucked away out of sight from the main house.
Steps lead up through the formal gardens from the main patio, and then beneath an archway in the hedge to the generous pool area. The pool is 11 metres by 5 metres and has gentle steps in from one end...you can dive from the other. It is equipped with 6 sun loungers and cushions and an umbrella. The pool-house provides an extra a shaded area. There is also a covered BBQ area near the main house and parking for up to 4 cars near to the front gate. In total there is an acre of private grounds.
Eating out is inexpensive and a great way of exploring provençale cuisine. We provide a list of recommended restaurants, including the classy Les Hospitaliers in the medieval hill-top town of Le Poet Laval and the eccentric and unforgettable L’oiseau Sur Sa Branche nestling in the mountains of the Saou national park, a region of outstanding natural beauty.
Sporting activities within 20 minutes drive : Apart from swimming in the pool, you may want to explore local hills where you can hike gently or climb more strenuously. Canoeing and kayaking on the Drome (20 mins) or in the Ardeche (45 mins) is popular; there are two touring bikes at the property which you are welcome to use. The local terrain is ideal for cycling. There are bookable tennis courts at Charols and Pont-de-Barret (both 5 mins drive). Locals are very friendly, but me having won the informal family-friendly tennis tournament in Charols three years running, this bonhomie is wearing thin!
Only 20 minutes drive from Charols (3 km from Montelimar) is Golf de la Valdaine, an 18 hole championship course with driving range and good practice facilities. Very informal (clothing and etiquette) and good value (by British standards) the greens are excellent.
The front nine are within sight of the chateau/club house and being close to the A7 can be noisy. The back nine are away from the motorway and tucked away with tree-lined fairways and lots of water. Toughest hole is the ninth where you have to cross water twice to successfully reach the green. The course is as challenging to the experienced golfer as it is welcoming to the beginner.
The immediate area is a mix of rugged foothills,leading eventually to the Alps proper, and the plain of Marsanne where various tributaries lead down to the Rhone at Montelimar. Within easy striking distance are a number of pretty hilltop villages like Mirmande, Marsanne, Poet Laval each with restaurants and or bars to reward you after exploring. Slightly further afield are the towns of Crest to the north and the chateau- dominated Grignan to the south. Both are well worth a visit to catch up on local history and past dignataries.
For vineyards head further south. Before you have travelled 20 kms you will be spoilt for choice. Our favourites are Domaine Mazurd at Tullette, Emmanuel Bouchard at Valreas and M.Chapoutier near les Granges Gontardes off the Grignan-Montelimar road. We have participated in the grape-picking at Emmanuel's vineyard for several years running, an unforgettable experience, especially when you taste the vintage you helped pick a couple of years before!
If you are intrigued by history then you’ll want to visit the ancient theatre at Orange, built in the first century AD or the magnificent Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard spanning the gorge near Remoulins or the ancient town of Avignon. In case you canot do without the sea, the beaches of the Mediterranean are also within striking distance at Montpelier and beyond to the Côte d'Azur.
Prices and booking information
Rates are per week Saturday to Saturday
arriving at 4pm departing at 10am
All bed linen, towels and pool towels are provided.
The property will be cleaned by Annick on the Saturday after your departure.
Travel cot and highchair are provided.
No pets please.
A deposit of 25% is requested on booking
with the remainder paid 8 weeks before arrival,
together with a returnable damage deposit of £100.
Please mention Vacation France when contacting the owner
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