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  • Classical Music with a twist...

    Nantes, there's a classic music festival next weekend (22 - 24 January 2010). It's called La Folle Journée and it's focused on Frédéric Chopin for the bicentenary of his birth.In Nantes, there's a classic music festival next weekend (22 - 24 January 2010). It's called La Folle Journée  and it's focused on Frédéric Chopin for the bicentenary of his birth. La Folle Journée is a popular event which aims to bring the audience closer to the music. The audience is offered an opportunity to meet composers or members of a national music school in their own time, while allowing for each individual's capacity to concentrate and listen. This approach is made easier by offering exceptionally low prices and catering for varying sensitivities and cultural practices, while respecting every party and working to promote music. The events last no more than 45 minutes, la Folle Journée offers a new perspective on concerts that attracts and instructs new audiences of all ages by doing away with the unchanging and rather predictable rituals of conventional concerts. In a relatively short time, visitors can wander from room to room, each of which offers acoustics that are perfectly suited to the different musical effects. The profusion of concerts is an opportunity for visitors to renew their musical experience, as and when they choose.  For more details click here.
  • Fairytale chateaux and fine wines in Indre et Loire


    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.

  • Reasons to visit The Vendée

    The Vendée, our region of the month, lies on the western coast of France in the region of Pays de la Loire. It may not be the best known part of the country, but actually has loads to offer for visitors.  Here’s our list of top reasons for making The Vendée your next holiday destination.

    Mild sunny climate
    The Vendée enjoys similar amounts of sunshine to the midi/méditerranéen departments according to figures from Météo France, hence the name "Vendée Côte de Lumière" (Coast of Light).

    Sandy beaches and beautiful islands
    140 km of gently sloping sandy beaches mean you are sure to find the right beach for you. Experience the charms of the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier, jewels of the Atlantic.

    A fabulous family destination
    Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, this area offers the best of both worlds - a seaside holiday and a wide range of land and sea-based leisure activities – walking, cycling, water sports, theme parks, historic and cultural sites

    Puy du Fou, named best theme park in the world
    Puy du Fou at Les Epesses is a historical theme park which offers spellbinding shows for all the family. Encounter castles and knights, Vikings, gladiators and musketeers; see the breathtaking Cinescenie and Organs of Fire live evening spectaculars.

    Natural beauty: the Marais Poitevin
    An extensive and beautiful man-made landscape with intertwining canals and countryside. Known as the ‘green cathedral, it’s a peaceful other world where punts meander under the pollarded Ash trees.

    Fine cuisine from land and sea
    Vendée culinary specialities  include seafood and fresh fish, fleur de sel sea salt, Fiefs Vendéens AOC wine, mogette, bonnotte potatoes from Noirmoutier, Vendée brioche or gâche and ham. There’s an ever increasing number of award winning and Bib Gourmand restaurants.

    Large choice of accommodation
    Stay by the sea, inland within easy reach of the sea or in the heart of the Vendée. We have a great choice of holiday homes for couples, families and groups including country cottages and farmhouses, seaside villas and delightful rural gites with swimming pool.

    Good transport links
    Motorways, TGV stations and Nantes and La Rochelle airports make it easy to get to the Vendée. La Roch sur Yon is 4 hours’ drive from Cherbourg and 5-6 hours from Calais.

  • Saint-Céneri-le-Gerei in Normandy - Photo Friday 29 Oct 2010

    Located in the River Sarth valley, the village of Saint-Céneri-le-Gerei in Normandy is a magnet for artists because of its picturesque setting

  • 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.

  • What’s on in France? Festivals, markets and more!

    It’s that time of year again. The time when France invites you to get out and enjoy a memorable experience shared with fellow lovers of life, music, art, culture and artefacts. Here are our picks of some of the best coming up in the next few weeks:

    Jazz in Marciac, July 27 to August 22
    This celebration of swing at Marciac, in the Gers region of south west France, has become one of the most important summer festivals in Europe and is the major date for August, with visitors coming from around the world. In fact, the festival has become a model for rural development centred on a cultural happening. So what is the festival's magic formula? The secret lies in the programme which brings together both jazz legends and hugely talented up and coming musicians.

    Lavender, wine and opera festivals in Provence throughout August
    Most famous in Provence are the theatre festival of Avignon , often compared to the Edinburgh Festival, and the opera festival in Orange, the Chorégies, held in the Ancient Theatre on summer evenings. The performances are held in places where history has left its mark such as the Palace of the Popes and the Ancient Theatre of Orange.
    The sweet scent of freshly cut lavender permeates the Lavender Festivals in Sault and Valréas. Wine is celebrated in all four corners of the Vaucluse and the ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France, includins Roussillon and Gordes provide a natural setting for music festivals.

    Vineyards, wine and walks in the Loire, September 5 and 6
    Choose one of 15 wine tasting tours  and stroll from cellar to cellar in the Loire Valley with winemakers who unveil the secrets behind their expertise. Loire Valley wine tours at AOC Vouvray, Chinon, Touraine-azay-le-rideau and Saint-nicolas-de-bourgueil vineyards.

    Lille Flea-Market, September 5 and 6
    Bargain hunting on a grand scale at the Braderie de Lille, the biggest flea-market in Europe and is one of the most popular events on the French calendar. Enjoy your day at the market by hunting for the perfect item, getting some great bargains and of course immersing yourself in local culture. The event always creates festive ambiance as two to three million visitors take over the streets of Lille, with music and countless activities and events taking place from Saturday at 3pm to Sunday at 11pm.

    We have great accommodation and places to stay close to all these venues, whether you choose to go to festive France for a fortnight, a week or just a weekend.