Saturday, 10 November 2018

November 2018 Newsletter

News from Gites de La Richardière
In October we were delighted to have been involved in the widely acclaimed  "L'Art et Lard". arts festival in our local village, Le Petit Pressigny. As members of the village's Fete Committee, we have been involved with the preparations for quite some time. Indeed, recent guests have volunteered to help erect tents and get involved. (No pressure - really!). On the days (Saturday 13th October and Sunday 14th October) Dave provided the Public Address system for the whole event and played music with his band "Celtiqua". Patience baked cakes and helped out in one of the most popular attractions - The English Tea Garden. There were many art exhibits and examples of food and craft from all around the region. It is well worth a visit to our Gites in October if you are interested in Arts and crafts.
    
   
We are delighted to announce that, following a recent inspection by the local Tourist Office in Loches, we have been awarded a classification of 3 stars. The great advantage for our guests is that the tourist Tax rate is reduced from the new 5% rate which begins in January 2019, to a simple 1 Euro per adult, per night. Those who have already booked will be contacted shortly with a revised (lower) price.
Our website and email address survey has been well-supported, but has left us with a dilemma as two particular addresses have been equally popular. Whereas we now know which addresses we won't be using in the future, we are undecided about our way forward and so we have extended the survey. If you haven't had a chance to look, please take a look at this address  
It only takes 40 seconds! We'll keep the survey open until the New Year. Thank you.
Best wishes,
Dave and Patience
P.S. We would be grateful if you would forward this Newsletter to your friends, and/or your family, and encourage them to sign up to our mailing list to keep up-to-date with the developments at Gites de La Richardiere - click here. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

October 2018 Newsletter

October News from Gites de La Richardière
We extend a warm welcome to our new readers. It's always nice to have a new audience for our newsletters, so thank you for signing up. We also welcome feedback and comment (by email or on our blog) and would like to start a new feature where we publish people's memories of their stay here at Gites de La Richardiere. If you would like to, please send us a sentence or two and let us know if we can attribute your text to you, or if you wish to remain anonymous.

The season is all but at an end and what a great season it has been. Our guests have been many and varied, but all have been pleased to spend time at La Richardière enjoying the peace and quiet; the swimming pool and the wide variety of local activities. Little did we expect to be canoeing down the River Cher and under the arches of the famous Chateau at Chenonceau, on 3 separate occasions, following invitations from 3 different sets of guests. We thoroughly enjoyed all 3 trips.   

The Autumn has arrived quickly and it's a good time to undertake some restoration work on our Barn. Those who have followed our Facebook posts will already have seen photos of the big barn wall finished recently. Dave has learned a new technique - "Pierre Apparent" which renders the wall with traditional lime cement and then, with a lot of elbow grease, reveals the stones just below the surface. For those who have stayed in Pigeonnier there is now a very different looking barn opposite the main entrance to the Gite. When it's completely finished we'll post a picture. It's already looking so much better.
    

Thanks to Graham Dopheide for the photos and help with the restoration.

If you are planning to stay with us next year then it would be a good idea to book early as we are receiving many booking enquiries, particularly through August 2019. It is best to #BOOKDIRECT in order to benefit from the best prices.
   
There are two local events happening quite soon. Our village, Le Petit Pressigny is hosting a locally renowned arts festival - "L'Art et Lard" - literally Art and Bacon! There is lots of art, but no bacon. There will be a full report in or November Newsletter. We are also waiting for the dates of the Christmas markets in La Celle Geunand and Ferriere Larçon.

Finally, we are grateful to all those people who have taken time to answer the questions in our survey about our web addresses and email addresses. There is still time to take part by CLICKING HERE to enter the survey

Best wishes,
Dave and Patience

Monday, 10 September 2018

September 2018 Newsletter

News from Gites de La Richardière
                           In just over a month we will have said goodbye to our final guests of the season and will be preparing to tidy up for the winter. It's amazing how fast the summer season has whizzed by and how many lovely guests have stayed with us.
                           We continue to find and visit new places in the Loire Valley and this month was no exception. Our trip, last week, was to the Chateau and grounds of the "Domaine de Candé" which is about 10 minutes South of Tours and 50 minutes North West of La Richardière. What a charming and tranquil place. Having been originally built and extended by French owners, it was latterly owned by a Franco/American couple who kindly loaned the property for the marriage, in 1937, of Wallis Simpson and Edward, Duke of Windsor, after his abdication.
These days, one can tour the house and enjoy the excellent information in both French and English and afterwards take one of the woodland walks. There are many interesting and unusual sculptures including a huge Stork's nest which plays music; a nodding dragon; numerous animal sculptures and our favourite, the cocoon hammocks. Children are well catered for with activities both in the Chateau and in the grounds. Well worth a visit. We'll be going back and adding this to our in-house visitors' guide.

                    It's been really hot here during the summer, one of France's hottest summers on record. So, imagine our surprise when we were called to a Gite one evening to find a Gecko sitting on the ceiling. France has Geckos, but usually in the far South where it's extremely hot. Another surprise was the discovery of Bermuda grass growing in our swimming pool area.

In both these cases the same question arises. How did they get there?

Finally, we'd be really grateful if you could help us with a little survey  (2 questions) about our web communications. Please CLICK HERE to enter the survey.



Best wishes,
Dave and Patience

P.S. Please forward this to friends and family and encourage them to sign up to our mailing list and keep up to date with the developments at Gites de La Richardiere - click here. Thank you.

August 2018 Newwletter

News from Gites de La Richardière
Our Gites have been full now for quite a few weeks and will continue to be full until nearly the end of September when we have just  a few available weeks before we close for the winter in the middle of October.

As you can imagine our guests have been out and about visiting local places and taking part in village events.
Quite recently, our village, Le Petit Pressigny, celebrated Bastille day (14th July) with their "Super Bastifete" celebrations. There was a lot of eating and drinking, excellent fireworks and dancing which was much enjoyed by some of our guests who braved village life and attended the celebration.

More guests ventured onto the River Cher, where they canoed, in good quality open canoes, for 12 km (downstream) and paddled under the arches of the Chateau at Chenonceau. There were good opportunities for resting on the shores of the river and taking breaks for a picnic lunch or a swim in the river and even time to get an ice-cream at on of the riverside cafes. 

Dave went with one of our guests, an ex-military chap, to visit the Museum of Maurice Dufresne. Our guest has a life-long interest in second world war activities. At the museum, they saw many WWII machines, cars, tanks and other artefacts, which were extremely interesting and our guest was particularly knowledgeable about the background to these items on display. He was particularly interested in the activities of the "Special Operations Executive" (S.O.E.) who, using Lysander Aircraft , inserted and extracted agents from the French Resistance movement on secret airfields in this area of the Loire. Dave noticed a GPS reference on the sleeve of our guest's polo shirt and asked about it. It was a Loire landing site for a Lysander Aircraft and it was only 5 minutes from where they were. So, off they went to find the Lysander landing site. And find it they did. Dave enjoyed listening to the history of the SOE and how they used these temporary landing sites during WWII. Happy guest and an interesting day for Dave. If anyone is interested in finding out more this video might be a good start.

Best wishes,
Dave and Patience

P.S. Please forward this to friends and family and encourage them to sign up to our mailing list and keep up to date with the developments at Gites de La Richardiere - click here. Thank you.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

July 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to July's Newsletter from Gites de La Richardière. 

We are delighted that, at last,  the summer has arrived. We've had an excellent couple of weeks of sunshine and temperatures in the high 20's and low 30's with clear blue skies, so, as you can imagine, the swimming pool has been very popular with our guests.

The temperature and dryness has been a great advantage to the local farmers who have been able to start the harvest after a long and worrying wait.

Le Petit Pressigny and Le Grand Pressigny both held "Fete de La Musique" concerts on 21st and 22nd of June. Just as well they were on different nights as we were performing in both events. A great national festival where the whole village turns out to make music. We organised the music in Le Petit Pressigny. The evening started with a classical concert in the church, followed by an open mic session in the church square. This was followed by the chorale "PasseMoiLeSol", a local Clarinet player, a most excellent young female singer called, Zoe Thompson (look out for her in the future), the close harmony group "Entre Nous" and our band "Celtiqua". A great time was had by all. The whole thing was repeated in Grand Pressigny the following evening with other local musicians. 
This last weekend the Annual Wine Festival happened in Le Petit Pressigny.  "Le Salon des Vignerons" invites many local wine producers to bring their wine, which people sample in great quantities, and, of course, buy in great quantities too. The event finished with an outdoor meal catered for by La Promenade, our local Michelin restaurant.

On The 14th July France remembers Bastille day and in our village there is the "Bastifete", an outdoor meal, bar and band followed by a splendid fireworks show.

June and July are certainly the months to be here if you like traditional French village events and wining and dining alfresco.

Best wishes,
Dave and Patience

Monday, 18 June 2018

Gardens at Gites de La Richardière

The Gardens at Gites de La Richardière change and develop every year and sometimes it's just worth taking a moment to sit back and view all the hard work we have undertaken to make the environment as pleasant a place as it can be for our guests. 



We were struck by the contrast between our planted garden, situated here next to our Gite - Le Pigeonnier, and the vastness of the wheat crops in the field adjacent to our land. 


We continue to work to create a secluded environment for our swimming pool area. Even on the breeziest days the pool can be relatively wind free and can seemingly attract the sun.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Owls at Gites de La Richardière

Owls at Gites de La Richardière:

We were attracted to some strange noises at La Richardière last week. High pitched squeaking up in a tree with a deeper echoing sound from further away. Interested in what could be making the noises and what could be keeping our Gite guests awake, we recorded the sounds and sent the recordings to a local bird enthusiast. The answer came back "Owls" (among other suggestions.)

Sure enough, the following morning, we looked into the tree to see two juvenile Long-Eared Owls just sitting on a branch watching the world go by - at least our Gite guests and us.  

They were completely unperturbed.

The noises at night were the two young birds calling for their parents who dutifully arrived to with food.

Our guests were enthralled, particularly the children, and for 3 or 4 days there was always someone standing quietly at the tree - watching.

The young birds, discovering they could fly, gradually moved from our tree to the larger Oak trees close to our property and have now left the area.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Testing out the Tourist attractions-Chateau Cheverny

It's always good to get out and about in this area of France, namely, the Southern Loire - Touraine-du-Sud, and actually visit the places we recommend to our guests.

Le Chateau Cheverny is one of those places we recommend. It's outside of our 1 hour radius, but we think it's worth it and here's why.

Le Chateau Cheverny
The Chateau is beautifully presented, probably the cleanest and neatest Chateau we have visited. That goes for the outside too where the gardens are well-appointed and full of interesting seasonal displays. It's worth checking the Chateau's website to see what floral displays are current.
The annual "river of Tulips" is a sight to behold. Thousands of plants, all plated by hand, wending their way through the grounds.

Throughout the main house there is currently a display of professionally produced pictures and sculptures made from LEGO! These are superbly crafted and I have to say that, on one occasion, I thought a picture hanging on the wall was an original.



Those of you who remember Herge's adventures of Tintin you may recognise the Chateau Cheverny as it was used as a model for Captain Haddock's ancestral home - Marlinspike Hall. There is a permanent exhibition here at Cheverny and a good way to spend an hour of your visit reliving those outrageous adventures of Tintin. 

The section we liked best was the last photo gallery where the local village people had been photographed and compared to some of the characters in the book. The Thompson Twins were particularly similar in look as was the village Mayor and doctor.



Sunday, 27 May 2018

New residents at La Richardière

We were delighted to see two juvenile Long-Eared Owls in one of our trees today.

We knew there was something "afoot" as we had heard the cries of the baby owls through the previous night. Imagine our surprise when these two chaps appeared.

They wait about all day on the tree branches, then at night fall, the adult birds arrive with food. Hence the night rime cries and responses. This could last for two weeks according to the experts.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Gites Open for the Season.



Gites de La Richardière 
are now open for the 2018 Season.

The spring here in Central France has been slow to emerge following a fairly cold winter. All the trees and bushes were late blooming, but at last they are showing their colourful blossom and new leaf growth. All around us the fields of Blé (Wheat) and Colza (Rape Seed) are maturing quickly and we are once again surrounded by a sea of yellow flowers.
         
The weather has been stunning this week, clear blue skies and sunshine, and we have been able to open the swimming pool a week early. Already, the water temperature has risen to 25degC, so we're looking forward to our first swim at the weekend.
         
The season has started well and our first guests arrived on Wednesday. From now on we'll be fairly busy every week until the end of the season, so, if you haven't booked yet then we only have a few weeks available. Check out our website for Gite availability.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

20 Great reasons to stay at Gites de La Richardière

Extract from our March 2018 Newsletter:

Gites de La Richardière is opening on March 24th for the 2018 Season! We look forward to welcoming all of our guests. If you're not one of them then don't panic we still have a few spaces in the early summer. Check Gite availability on our website.

One of the most enjoyable pastimes during the short, but cold, winter is to read through the guest books and read all the lovely positive comments written by our guests during their stay at La Richardière. We thought we would simply share some of the comments with you in this newsletter.


20 Great Reasons to stay at Gites de La Richardière
as described by our 2017 guests. 
  1. "The Gite was lovely, extremely well-equipped and the grounds are superb." A+D, Brittany, Sept
  2. "The surroundings  provide infinite possibilities - Castles, Villages, Photography, Markets....." I+T, Barcelona, Sept
  3. "We really appreciated the welcome basket, dishwasher tablets and the information folders." B+C, Aug
  4. "Parc de Beauval Zoo - especially the bird show"  B+C, Aug
  5. "We loved visiting Clic-Lac (Climbing), Futuroscope and Angles-sur-Anglin." D+T+H, Aug
  6. "Amboise and the Chateau Clos Lucé..." F+I, Aug
  7. "The children loved the pool so much they didn't want to leave the property to visit castles and villages !" D+W, Netherlands, July
  8. "It (La Richardière) is a unique environment both within (the) property and surrounding areas, and so peaceful." S+F, Sussex / P+G, York, June
  9. "When I asked the boys what they liked the most they said - Playing Badminton and Ping-pong!" E+J, Netherlands, May
  10. "Best Holiday ever. I love the dogs too." I (aged 6) Aug
  11. "We have visited beautiful Chateaus - the best we've seen......being Chenonceau. We also visited the Chateaus at Loches and Grand Pressigny. The craft fair....was a great way to join in with the locals and the night market in Loches, a super experience." A+C, Aug 
  12. "Very sad to be going home after a wonderful 2 weeks in Le Pigeonnier. Very pleased with the property which was perfect for our needs." J&S, Worcester, July
  13. "The museum of pre-history in Le Grand Pressigny is simply world class. It's hard to believe that this sleepy backwater was the centre of quality flint blade manufacture for most of Europe 4,500 years ago." J&L, Surrey, June
  14. "I cannot believe the peacefulness, the tranquillity and the glorious weather! Seeing the stars and the Milky Way was wonderful." H+B,  Wiltshire, June
  15. "We didn't go far this week but enjoyed a day at Amboise and the Maurice Dufresne museum was very interesting at Azay le Rideau." S+A, Sept
  16. "Restaurants - Le Saint Mandé (Ferriere Larçon) - Superb, went twice. Chez Grandma (Le Petit Pressigny) - Good meal." J+I, Aug
  17. "My favourite part was the swimming pool and I loved the inflatable whale.......I also enjoyed practising my French with the bakery lady every morning." T (aged 12) Devon, Aug
  18. "We go home with a fortnight of great memories including a leaving party....on the sun drenched veranda, canoeing down La Cher to Chenonceau, climbing at Clic-Lac, visiting Futuroscope near Poitiers and saying hello to Leonardo's inventions at Clos Lucé. We can't wait to return in 2018. Don't change anything!" A+E, Wirral, Aug
  19. "We thoroughly enjoyed attending the Sal des Vignerons (Wine festival) in Le Petit Pressigny and thanks for helping with the wine tastings. The meal was delicious and there was such a welcoming community feel. You do have a little piece of heaven here and we've loved our stay with you."S+K, Canada, July
  20. "Un grand merci pour ce fabuleux séjour dans votre marveilleux cottage (L'Hirondelle). Nous avon vraiment apprecié votre accueil chaleureux, la beauté des lieux et le calme de la compagne." C+A, France, May
Find out more about the area and download our FREE Visitors' Guide.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Exciting News:


Image may contain: pool, text and outdoor


UPDATE: We were delighted by the response to our Facebook competition which reached over 6,000 people. Congratulations to Louise Paul who won the prize of a £50 Amazon Gift Voucher. Thank you if you took part.

We are excited to announce that we have just launched our very first FACEBOOK Competition.To find out how to win a £50 Amazon Voucher just CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

New Year Greetings.

New Year Greetings from Gites de La Richardière,

          We're pleased to wish you a Happy New Year from central France through this first Newsletter of 2018. Like most parts of Europe we're "enjoying" the wet and blustery weather, and in the last couple of days we have experienced snowy conditions.

       It's a strange time of the year as our Gites are currently closed and we don't have any guests, so it's a period of re-organisation, cleaning, repairing and generally getting everything ready for when we open at the end of March.

       "So what is there to do?" Well, keeping warm is one aspect of living in the wilds of the countryside. It's necessary to have a good supply of wood for the wood burning stove. So a lot of time is spent in the wood store with the chain saw. It's also a good time to work in the grounds at La Richardière as there is a great deal to clear up after recent storms, pathways to make good and new areas to open up in the woods. 

          We had a very interesting day in the Brennelast week with a local bird enthusiast. We visited the Park Information Centre in Mézières-en-Brenne where there was a lot of information about the layout of the 1,000 lakes and information about where various birds could be seen. We spent some time in observatories / hides watching a variety of Ducks, Egrets, Herons, Coots and other water birds and for the first time we saw a Marsh Harrier. An amazing sight to see it gliding over the lake in search of its next meal. Our friend was also delighted to see some migrating Cranes, for the first time, "resting" in a field after their log journey from Africa.

SUMMER 2018:

We are delighted to welcome new, and returning guests this year and we hope that everyone will enjoy a pleasant stay at La Richardière.

         If you haven't yet booked your 2018 holidays, and are thinking about coming to La Richardière, then now is the time to do it as the next two months are our busiest time for enquiries and bookings. CLICK HERE to contact us and enquire about renting a Gite this spring, summer or autumn.

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Self-Catering Gite Le Martinet La Richardière's  self-catering Gites   are set in peaceful and beautiful countryside. It is over...

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