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French Connections

Find Holiday accommodation in France

  • 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.

  • In the Press – two unique French holiday lets with a story

    163881 le vieux moulin

    An article in the latest issue of French Property News magazine tells the story of two really rather romantic French Connections gites with a fascinating history. Both properties have been lovingly restored and now their owners invite holidaymakers to both savour the past and enjoy modern comforts - all in the glorious countryside of France.

    A watermill in Maine-et-Loire

    163881 Carol and baby owls 

    Carolyn and Peter Johnson fell in love at first sight with Le Vieux Moulin (above), especially its tranquil location on a small island between the mill stream and the River Thouet, the fabulous views and the regular sightings of kingfishers, herons, deer and other wildlife.

    “The old mill house was re- built in 1846”, explains Carolyn. “We’ve traced it back to Napoleonic times but we know there has been a mill here since the 13th century. Now it’s our home and we’ve made a gite in the extension, which was once a restaurant and space for dances. Couples would get married at the Mairie and have their reception here.”

    Now, after major renovation work, the watermill gite offers guests an enormous lounge with conservatory and French doors to a balcony, along with modern kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

    A Perigordian farmhouse Pigeonnier

    Pigeonnier

    Jerry Shiveley

    In 1989, Jerry Shively and his wife, originally from the USA, decided to retire to France and discovered Le Tondu, a small estate near the quiet Dordogne hamlet of Naussannes.

    “The elderly couple who lived here were self-sufficient peasant farmers leading a disappearing lifestyle,” remembers Jerry. “They wore wooden shoes, there was no toilet and animals were everywhere. The Pigeonnier was full of chickens.”

    The Shiveleys used local craftsmen to restore the Pigeonnier, preserving as much as possible of the original character and materials.  Now it is a beautiful Perigordian cottage gite with its own garden, a bedroom in the tower and outdoor seating under the eaves.

    French Property News October issue is on sale now. Check out more of our Press coverage and read the full article here