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French Connections

Find Holiday accommodation in France

  • Apremont-sur-Allier in the Loire Valley - Photo Friday 20/8/2010

    Apremont-sur-Allier and it's Park Floral are beautiful and well worth a visit.

  • Celebrating one of our first French holiday homes

    The Chateau de Bussas at St Jean du Gard, near Ales in the South of France, is ID 36 on our site. This means that owner Meg Campbell runs one of the first ever holiday properties to join us back in 1996 when Glynis and Michael started French Connections. We really value our team’s personal knowledge and connection to many of our holiday rentals and their owners – and we’re proud and pleased that the chateau is still going stronger than ever.

    This beautiful rural gem is set in its own 200 acres of spectacular scenery. The Château dates back to 1197 and today its medieval courtyard provides entry to four individual comfortable apartments for self-catering holidays. The Bread Oven House and the newly converted Clede, both on the edge of the chateau, each provide accommodation for two.  Walkers, writers, painters and poets have all enjoyed the inspiration of Bussas. There is a games room, swimming pool, barbecue, childrens’ play area and a river for swimming and fishing.

    Meg has obviously seen many changes over the years, but she has held fast to the idea of excellent customer service for visitors. Here are some of her principles:

    1.We have a really friendly French couple who have lived on-site as caretakers for 25 years and our guests love them. It helps to keep the ambiance French rather than British.

    2. We advertise online but still insist on telephone contact with possible guests to ensure the personal touch.

    3. We’re in the Cevennes National Park and I encourage guests to enjoy the stunning views, bird watching and walks. Mountain biking, canoeing, horse riding and tennis are all available locally.

    3. I keep our rates at excellent value and would never ask guests to pay extra for bed linen and towels.

    4. We create a homely, personal feel with books and pictures so that visitors feel like welcome guests in our home. 
         
    5. We move with the times to match the standard of peoples’ own homes and expectations. I aim to make the chateau look modern and comfortable with good facilities but still in keeping with the period character.

  • Fairytale chateaux and fine wines in Indre et Loire

    chenonceaux

    Indre et Loire, our region of the month, is the former region of Touraine, based around the city of Tours and the Loire river. At the heart of the rural escape for Paris aristocracy before the Revolution, it’s rich in history and architecture, with plenty to do and explore.

    Visit exquisite chateaux, especially Chateau de Chenonceau, with its arches across the river,
    Château de Chinon and Château de Villandry, famous for its amazing vegetable garden, where cabbages are planted alongside roses in a formal parterre

    Explore the ancient city of Tours and enjoy a gourmet meal at one of its fine restaurants

    Visit the town of Amboise, where you can see the final home of Leonardo da Vinci, with its interesting artefacts and inventions, all set in lovely gardens

    Have a wine tasting and learn how to judge a wine by its colour and aroma, also how to select the best food to accompany it

    Buy local wines from small vineyards at bargain prices. Vineyards produce some famous fine Loire wines, such as Bourgeuil, Chinon and Vouvray, and are set in pretty, rolling countryside.

    Stay in a chateau, a handsome maison de maitre, a farmhouse or pretty country cottage. Choose from our great range of accommodationin the region.

  • Following the wine trail in France

    A wine trip to France is really less about shopping and more about lifestyle. A couple I know once hopped into their Porsche on a Friday night whim, drove on to the ferry and motored down to champagne country to stay in a chateau for an autumn weekend, returning with the boot full of bubbly. Every December friends with a large family put their station wagon on the Eurotunnel train for a well planned trip to Calais to stock up on Viognier and take in the Christmas markets.

    With the autumn wine harvest approaching, it set me to dreaming of my ideal French wine trip. I would certainly seek out local wine from limited production family vineyards. I’d want to taste the producer’s love for the grape and its bounty in the finished product, for them to care that the wine is properly appreciated.

  • French Connections in the Sunday Times

    A travel feature on the Best of France 2011 highlights a Normandy chateau offering family holidays through French Connections.The travel section in The Sunday Times on 6th February was a France special. In a major feature, The Best of France 2011, Stephen Bleach wrote about this year's reasons to fall in love with France 'whether you're cultured or wild, solitary or sociable'. For family holidays, just two destinations were featured - one of them Le Castel at Savigny, near Coutances, Normandy, available through French Connections. The luxury chateau has set up as a family haven this summer, with an all-inclusive package for parents of  children aged 2 to 12 who want to enjoy comfort and sophistication while the youngsters are having fun. Toys and books are provided in a stylish two-bedroom suite and in the four acre grounds there's a swimming pool, play marquee, woodland den and more. Kids can have a supervised breakfast and high tea, giving the adults time for a lie-in and leisurely dinner. The holiday cost includes accommodation, childcare, snacks and all meals and wine. The idea of an all-inclusive luxury break in France seems to appeal to many families as the feature has generated a wealth of enquiries. This may be a growing trend to watch! Read more about Le Castel
  • Medieval beams and Renaissance chateau in Josselin. Photo Friday 14 May 2010.

    I’d heard that the Medieval town of Josselin in Morbihan, Brittany, was worth seeing but that's a definite understatement!

  • Our competition winners enjoy a chateau holiday in Burgundy

    Mr and Mrs B from Scotland were the lucky winners of our competition run earlier this year with French, the monthly magazine. Their prize was a week’s stay in one of the luxury gites at the romantic 18th century Chateau de Percey, which is set in beautiful countryside in the famous wine region of Chablis, Burgundy.

  • Riquewihr the gem of the Alsace - Photo Friday 15 Oct 2010

    Riquewihr is a wonderful and romantic little medieval town, 55 miles from Strasbourg, hidden between the Vosges mountains and some of the most famous vineyards in Alsace.

  • See the Le Mans 24 hour and discover Sarthe

    You may not be familiar with Sarthe, our region of the month, but you will certainly know of Le Mans, its capital. The city is famous as home to the annual Le Mans 24 hour motor race, which dates back to 1923, when it must have been an elegant occasion.

    The cars may have changed since then but the excitement is as strong as ever. The race takes place partly on track and partly on closed roads and its prestige attracts thousands of fans from around the world every year. The 2015 race is on 13th and 14th June, so now’s the time to book great value self-catering or B&B accommodation in the surrounding countryside and head into the city for the big event, thus avoiding the crush and expensive hotels.

    Be sure to make time to explore the captivating old town of Le Mans, which has been beautifully preserved. You’ll find cobbled streets lined by 15th and 16th century houses with quirky shops and excellent restaurants – and all dominated by the magnificent Le Mans Cathedral, constructed from the 6th through to the 14th Century and a jaw-dropping architectural achievement.

    The area is part of the Pays de la Loire, so there are rivers, immaculate villages, historical towns, fairytale chateaux and wine tasting to enjoy, as well as lush countryside. Our accommodation includes gites, farmhouses and a village house, all in beautiful countryside location. You can even stay in a gite that is part of a fabulous chateau in either Sarthe or the neighbouring region of Loir-et-Cher, which is also accessible to Le Mans.

  • Special Easter offer at a Loire Valley Chateau

    Want to live like a lord for the holiday weekend? The Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay are offering an elegant Easter break with a complimentary extra night at their Chateau de la Barre, which is featured in our latest competition.

    The offer includes a VIP welcome and tea in the salon, a private tour of the château, a festive Easter Sunday Grand Siècle dinner with fine wines and champagne in the XVIIth century grand dining room, using the family silver and crystal, and two nights’ accommodation with breakfast - plus an extra night free. All for 390 to 490 euros per person, depending on the room chosen.

    See more about Chateau de la Barre