NEED A CYCLING BASE IN SOUTH-WEST FRANCE?
Guest reviewer Jacqui Brown checked out Longère Louise, a self-catering cottage east of Poitiers
Longère Louise is a detached cottage, sleeping six, situated east of Poitiers in the Vienne department, but close to the border with the Indre. This was a new area for us to discover and weren’t disappointed. We arrived by car – with our bikes – and used it as a base to explore Montmorillon, the River Gartempe and the Brenne national park, all of which were within easy reach for days out by bike.
Five things that we liked
1) Location: the cottage is situated in a quiet hamlet with the village of Liglet just a three kilometre, fun bike ride away. Here we found a boulangerie with small shop that we cycled to for breakfast (although it is a good idea to get there early if you want croissants) and Le Sapin Vert, a bar/restaurant where we had an evening beer and enjoyed the delicious smell coming from the kitchen. Sadly, it is unusual rather than the norm for French villages to still have facilities like this and so we made good use of them.
2) Like being at home: the cottage comes with a well-stocked kitchen that had all the equipment needed to cook dinner and make up the pasta salad lunches that are our essentials for days out on the bikes. The quality of the utensils was so good I now want to replace what I’ve got at home. All bed linen, towels, tea towels and cleaning products were also provided, so there is no need to worry about extra packing if you are arriving by bike.
3) The layout: all the rooms are a good size and there was space in the hallway to store our bikes without them getting in the way. The large table in the kitchen was a great family space and our 15-year-old son made the upstairs lounge his own reading den.
4) Decor: the cottage is a traditional French longhouse with internal beams (some are quite low) and carefully chosen furniture, giving it an authentic French cottage feel that certainly had a wow factor. The steep roofs and beams in the bedrooms made them rather special places to sleep and the beds were comfortable.
5) Outdoor space: the cottage is hidden behind trees and flowering shrubs that give it a secluded front courtyard with seating area where we ate breakfast. There is also a large private garden to the back with sun-loungers and outdoor table, so there was always somewhere sunny or shady to sit, plus plenty of space for drying our cycling clothes. There are also lockable outbuildings for secure bike storage.
This has to be one of the most secluded, beautifully decorated and best-equipped family friendly properties we have ever discovered. To find it in an area with lots to offer cyclists (there's an official route going past the door), including easy cycle routes following the old railway lines and quiet roads following the steep Gartempe river valley was perfect.
ABOUT OUR REVIEWER
Our guest reviewer Jacqui Brown writes French Village Diaries, a blog about life in Poitou-Charentes, cycling, French food, travel, and books.