Author Archives: Louise Hampson

Welcome the winter

Like many European spots, we’ve been blessed this year with an Indian summer but as the weather sets to change, we’re equally welcoming the winter ahead.

Following a blazing hot summer, when temperatures regularly soared to 38 degrees, and just the odd few days of rain, the past two months have remained remarkably warm and sunny for the time of year. In fact, until today, we’ve watched in delight as the thermometer continually hovered between the late teens and early twenties, while feeling warmer still.

Along with our guests, friends and neighbours of Grandmont we’ve enjoyed more than our usual dose of barbecuing – each time remarking this must surely be the last this year, so let’s make the most of it – but alas all good things must come to an end.

Today actually feels like a November day – cool, dry and a bit misty and we’ve succumbed to packing away the well-blackened-BBQ along with t-shirts and Converses. Not that we’re feeling down in the mouth. Far from it. If our desire had been for all year-round-sun then surely we’d have moved a good distance further South!  Not us. We whole-heartedly embrace our seasons and what better way to get with it than by using this day to catch up on email, update our website, write this post and all while enjoying the warmth omitting from our first log fire since last winter.

Love winter too and needing a break? Then check out our latest Winter Warmers offer. But, if winter’s not quit your bag, then why not look ahead to summer 2016 and be the early bird that catches the worm. Visit Grandmont Treats to see our offers now.

au revoir pour maintenant!

Louise and James

 

50% off to mark our first year at Grandmont

Today we celebrate our first year of business at Grandmont Gites and we’re absolutely delighted with how things are going.

We feel blessed to have had such wonderful guests stay with us this past year; some returning for a second time while for others it’s been an introduction to this beautiful region of France. Either way – from the feedback we’ve received, all our guests have thoroughly enjoyed their holiday with us with many already planning a return in 2016.

To mark the occasion we are offering 50% off to for a 1-2 week stay in our largest gité – Les Vignes (which sleeps up to 9 guests) – between 22 August and 12 September 2015 and 50% off for a 1 week stay in gité Les Arbres (sleeps up to 5 guests) from 22 – 29 August 2015.

You can claim this offer by contacting via email to grandmont.gites.france@gmail.com entering the words “50% OFF” in the subject field.  We’ll then contact with full details and to secure your last minute holiday at Grandmont Gites. Do hurry though as this is a first come first served offer that you really don’t want to miss out on!

Louise and James

Travelling to France is easy and affordable!

There’s never been a better time to take road trip to France with the great fares being offered by Brittany Ferries through their new “economie” service.

This cheaper service was introduced in 2014 and has proved so popular they’ve now added an extra boat for 2015. Though not quite the luxury sail you might be familiar with, if your objective is to simply get from A to B and to save some euros to spend on betting things once you get here, then this might be a good option for you.  Find out more by visiting Brittany Ferries economie

Meanwhile, if driving isn’t really your thing and getting here as quick as possible is your mission then check out Ryanair. They have some fantastic deals on flights to Limoges from a number of UK airports right now. Flying time is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes and then it’s only a further 30 minutes drive to reach Grandmont Gites (for those not planning to hire cars we can offer a shuttle service at a competitive rate for small groups of up to 4 passengers).

Now, from past experience that’s a far quicker, easier, often cheaper and more pleasant journey than the regular commute I used to take back in England from Corsham, Wiltshire to St Pauls, London. Just saying!

Get in on the heat and action

All is going well here at Grandmont Gites. We’ve had some wonderful guests stay over the past few months (we feel so lucky to host such lovely and interesting people). We’ve also been extra busy landscaping the vast grounds here which are now looking spectacular with something new and colourful popping up with every new day. Last week (23 May) we enjoyed the Ambazac trail with around 5000 runners taking part (including all our guests staying here) and today we watched a mini-cycle race from the comfort of our bedroom window.

There’s plenty more happening in the Limousine this summer from major exhibitions, arts and crafts, celebrations of music, festivals, fetes, open air film shows and much, much more. And with temperatures set to sore in the coming week with highs of 33 deg (91 F) and apparently planning to linger here for at least the next 10 days it’s a great time to visit. 

Time to stop thinking and get booking!  Seriously, if you’re considering a stay at Grandmont Gites and getting in on all that heat and action you really need to hurry. We’ve only a few weeks still available during the main summer holiday period of late July and August and we’re offering great discounts for stays during June (email us for a quote).

Bikinis and swimming trunks at the ready people!

Louise and James

 

 

Gearing up for Spring

Gosh we’ve been busy.

While the sun’s been shining we’ve been out pruning, raking, digging, weeding, planting and generally preparing the grounds for Spring. And very shortly we’ll be bringing the pool on line too so everything will be ready for our Spring visitors.

With such extensive grounds and so much to do, we feel blessed to have received some help from our current guests and keen gardeners, Jackie and Clive. Not only have they provided us with some great gardening tips but they’ve also volunteered their help and mucked in too.

Our joint efforts are now beginning to pay off. The daffodils are out, the birds are in full song, new and wonderful plants are shooting up left, right and centre and to top it all, we’ve witnessed the geese returning in their flocks. Happy Days!

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March on… 25% discount just ahead!

With Spring just around the corner we’re feeling hopeful of an early start with temperatures set to rise from 7 March (currently forecasting 20 degrees and full sunshine).

It’s the perfect time for getting out and gardening (and we’re busy right now doing plenty of that) but it’s also a great time to start planning your Spring break.

Right now we’re offering a massive 25% discount on our advertised prices for the months of March through to May.

To benefit from this offer, place your booking and pay your deposit before the end of March. It’s that simple.

What are you waiting for?

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Living the life… en France

Delighted to have recently read in France Living magazine that France has once again come top in the United Nations World Tourism Organisation league table of most visited countries.

The article goes on to say France was the only country with over 80 million visitors in 2013 (38 million more than the number of residents) and lists 6 very good reasons why it remains ever popular:

  1. Access. Bordering 8 countries makes it ever so easy for European Francophiles to just ‘pop on over’. Certainly getting here is a doddle. From the UK around just 1hr 20 minutes (often via one of the more cost effective airlines), then just a 25 minute drive from airport to destination Grandmont Gites. Course, if you don’t have a car we do offer guests our shuttle service.
  2. Cities and Culture. With landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Champs-Elysées, the French capital is loved the world over. We’ve certainly no shortage of culture. Grandmontines were the monks of the Order of Grandmont, a religious order founded by Saint Stephen of Thiers, towards the end of the 11th century. The order was named after its motherhouse, Grandmont Abbey in our very own harmonious little village and remains a popular tourist spot.
  3. Wide open spaces. France’s 66 million residents have over 640,000km2 to roam around in – in the UK 64 million people squeeze into almost 244,000km2. Le jardin at chet Grandmont is often referred to as ‘the field’ so we totally back this statement (especially since said ‘field’ is just one of three generous gardens at our complex).
  4. Gastronomy. French gastronomy is so important it was added to the UNESCO intangible heritage list in 2010, the first time gastronomy made it onto the list. There has to be some acceptable reason why these days we’re carrying a few extra pounds but much as we love devouring the gastronomic delights, we gain equal joy in putting our own twist on some of Frances’ most popular dishes and serving them to our guests. 
  5. Diversity. It would be very difficult to become bored with France! Each region has its own character, as do the different departments and communes. Yes, there’s Paris but here at Grandmont we’re lucky to have Limoges (Paris without the hustle and bustle) practically on our doorstep and being surrounded by many fine museums, arts, historic churches, preserved villages and much, much more, we feel rather spoilt and – dare we say – perhaps a little smug.
  6. Property. From grand châteaux to country cottages, elegant townhouses to charming farmhouses, and cosy chalets to glamorous villas, there’s something for every househunter in France. And we can offer the perfect accommodation for house-hunters in the Haute-Vienne. Not only do we have three very charming, stylish and cosy gites available for long-term rental during the winter months, we can also provide storage and the services of our resident bi-linguist (Sylvie) who can assist you throughout the process.

All this serves as a great reminder – not that we needed one – as to just how lucky we’ve been in finding such a gem for our own France living. So we thank you – France Living magazine – for a superb summary of all that is good here and we thank you, past, present and future guests of Grandmont Gites for making it possible for us to live the French life!

Louise and James

Setting the scene for 2015

The season of goodwill may be over but we’ve got some rather generous deals to be had to get 2015 off with a bang. See what’s on offer via our Grandmont Treats page including our “Loved Up” weekend for two this Valentines.

We’ve made our new year resolutions…

No. We’re not dieting. We reckon the year ahead will keep us busy on our feet enough to burn off the few extra pounds we gained over Christmas.

We will however be putting our well-laid plans for Grandmont Gites to the test this summer.  To begin with they include converting a large section of our barn into a games area complete with pool table, indoor table tennis, darts, punch bag, board games and more.

And, based on customer feedback we’ll be shrinking our extra large second lounge in Les Vignes to create space for a further family room thus making this, the largest of our gites, a comfortable stay for up to 10 people. Our website will reflect these changes once the job’s complete so do keep a look out!

Sending warm wishes to our friends and family, as well as past and new guests of Grandmont Gites and we hope you too are looking forward to a wonderful 2015.

Happy New Year

All the leaves are brown…

Contrary to the Mamas and Papas hit-song though, the sky is not grey!

So far, November is proving to be yet another glorious time of year to be spending it here in Grandmont. Whilst it’s certainly turned a little cooler and the nights are drawing in, the sky remains an aqua-blue and the view of our grounds and surrounding land is just pretty as picture.

It’s the perfect weather to take a bracing walk through the forests, kicking up the leaves as you go (our pup Miss Hepburn knows how best to do it) and foraging mushrooms.  With the trees bearing their branches you can now see for miles and miles and the views never disappoint.

Our three Gites (now refurbed and renamed) are all but full with happy, relaxed guests who are settling in with gusto for the winter months. Like us, they can’t get enough of Grandmont and it’s a pleasure to share in their exploits and discoveries of the area with each new day.

So… Chris and Antonia staying in Les Vignes; Clive and Jackie staying in Les Fleurs – we officially (because now it’s in writing) welcome you to Grandmont Gites and we look forward to Adam and Jane arriving soon in Les Arbres, and joining this happy little clan.

We say to thee, let’s not get too embroiled (or stressed out) with the Christmas planning just yet – there’ll be plenty of time for that later – and let’s simply enjoy the beauty and wonder of the here and now.

Happy November people!

Where did the time go?

We can hardly believe a month has already gone by since we arrived on 22 August.

Certainly we’ve been kept busy, what with becoming accustomed to the French way of life, making many new friends, welcoming a pup (Miss Hepburn or Hep) into our fold and giving Grandmont Gites a bit of a makeover.

It’s been a pleasure hosting our many guests this past month. Guests from the UK, France, India and elsewhere. They’ve all enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and hours of glorious sunshine and we’ve enjoyed hearing about how they’ve spent their days exploring in and around the area.

We’re now looking forward to seeing the shades of autumn arrive and experiencing more of the local life as well as welcoming a few short term renters here.

Thanks family, friends and guests of Grandmont Gites for all your cards, letters, messages, support and words of wisdom in our new venture.

Louise and James