Chez Claudine France, Vendée & The Loire

Combining the tranquillity of rural France with close proximity to Vendée’s sandy beaches, this wonderful barn conversion is French country living at its most family orientated.

The house, dating back to 1884, neighbours the owner’s farm, though both the building and its landscaped gardens are completely private. The open-plan living areas reflect the space and freedom of the great outdoors, with warm timber beams and light, airy rooms, perfect for relaxed group gatherings.

The whole family will love the heated indoor swimming pool and adjacent Jacuzzi, which faces floor to ceiling windows. Outside, there’s a shaded terrace designed with al fresco dining in mind. There’s also a private tennis court on site, as well as table tennis and lawns to spread out on.

Family refuelling is taken good care of in the neighbouring village with its good selection of shops, bi-weekly market, pizzeria and créperie. A wider selection of brasseries and restaurants gastronomique lie 18km away in La Tranche-sur-Mer, a popular destination thanks to its 8km stretch of sandy beach. Slightly closer to home lies the resort of Longeville-sur-Mer, whose unspoilt bays include a celebrated spot for surfing. A little further afield, the old fishing village of Les Sables-d’Olonne oozes traditional seaside charm.

Options for days out within an hour’s drive include the spectacular medieval theme park, Puy du Fou, Vendée’s most picturesque town of Vouvant and the possibility of taking a rowing boat through Marais Poitevin, ‘the Green Venice of France’. The pretty village of Maillezais, 68km away, is a great starting point and there are plenty of canalside picnic spots along the way.

 

Accommodation:
  • 4 bedroom house (sleeps 10)
  • Changeover day – Saturday
  • Suitable for wheelchair access
Ground floor:
  • Large open-plan living/dining /kitchen area
  • Double bedroom (can be made into a twin) with extra single bed and en-suite shower and WC
  • Triple bedroom (two singles can be made into a double) with en-suite shower room with WC
  • Double bedroom with en-suite shower room with WC
  • Separate WC with washing machine
First floor:
  • Small sitting area (mezzanine)
  • Large twin bedroom (can be made into a double)
  • Bathroom with WC
General:
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • 2 cots (linen supplied) and highchair
  • Satellite TV, DVD, CD
  • Heating (included)
  • Fireplace (wood included)
  • Barbecue
  • Tennis court
  • Table tennis, badminton, table football, swings
  • Bikes
  • Jacuzzi
  • Private indoor swimming pool 9m x 4.5m (depth 1.1m – 1.7m), electric security cover, corner steps, pool heated to 28°C, open all year
  • Security deposit £1,000

Complimentary wifi:

  • All properties with wifi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails
  • We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected
Services:
  • Bed linen, bath and pool towels are provided
  • Weekly linen change for bookings of one week or more
  • Cleaning €17/hour
  • All services payable locally
  • Prices quoted are subject to change

Access times:

  • Check-in time – 4.00-7.00pm
  • Check-out time – 10.00am
     

Over half of the 250km Atlantic coastline of the Vendée is broad sandy beaches; you will find yourself basking in the sun, settling down for a nice lunch overlooking the waves, and enjoying the seaside ambience with plenty of room to spread out. The coastal towns are delightful, with the old fishing village of Les Sables-d’Olonne full of old world seaside charm, its broad beach lined with restaurants and cafés. It is famous as the starting point for the gruelling Vendée Globe sailing race. St-Jean-de-Monts is known as the biggest sandpit in western France, although La-Tranche-sur-Mer actually tops it with 13km of sandy beach. St-Gilles Croix-de-Vie is the oldest port in the Vendée and if you like grilled sardines this is the place to go. Offshore, the islands of L’Ile-d’Yeu, with its wild coastline facing the Atlantic, and Noirmoutier, reached by its exceptional causeway the Passage du Gois, are terrific spots for day outings. Inland, the Marais Poitevin, known as the 'Green Venice', is an area of 90,000 hectares of canals and marshes, forests and abbeys, where sea and fresh water meet, and full of the most luxurious variety of birds and wildlife. You can hire a small boat and drift lazily through the timeless waterworld.

Shops and Services

  • Villages
    • Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits (2km) – a good selection of shops and services with a supermarket
  • Towns
    • La Roche-sur-Yon (24km) 
    • Les Sables-d'Olonne (28km) 
    • La Rochelle (68km)
    • Niort (87km)
    • Nantes (92km)

Market Days

  • Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits (2km) – Tuesdays and Fridays
  • La-Tranche-Sur-Mer (18km) – Tuesdays and Saturdays
  • La-Roche-Sur-Yon (40km) – every day except Monday and Sunday

Recommended Restaurants

  • Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits (2km) – Okoumé (pizzeria/créperie)
  • La Tranche-sur-Mer (18km) – Restaurant gastronomique l’Equinoxe
  • La Tranche-sur-Mer (18km) – Restaurant gastronomique Le Nautile
  • La Tranche-sur-Mer (18km) – Brasserie Le Phare West
  • Longeville-sur-Mer (13km) – Créperie Les Flots Bleus
  • St Cyr-en-Talmondais (km) – La Cour d’Aron 
These restaurants have been recommended by our owners and this list is updated as often as possible. Ownership and quality may have changed since the last update.
 

Places to See

  • Les Epesses (74km) – Puy du Fou is a spectacular medieval theme park, great for all the family, world famous night scenography (advance booking required)
  • The Marais Poitevin is the Green Venice of France – a wonderful day can be spent rowing along canals and small rivers, picnicking along the shores and spotting the rich wildlife; one of the starting points is the pretty village of Maillezais (68km)
  • Vouvant (60km) – the only ‘plus beau village de France’ in the Vendée

Local Events

  • Fête de la Musique – 21 June
  • Poupet Music Festival musical in July at St Malo du Bois (75km)
  • Many fêtes in other villages close by in the summer

Regional Food and Wine

  • Food
    • Fish and shellfish – sardines from St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, mussels from l’Aiguillon, oysters from the Baie de Bourgneuf, prawns, crab, langoustines, fish soup
    • Poultry from Challans
    • Veal from Chalais
    • Brioche – many varieties of this rich sweet bread
  • Wine
  • There are four main vineyards in Mareuil, Pissotte, Brem and Vix which make up the Fiefs Vendéens

Beaches

  • Longeville-sur-Mer (13km) – sandy
  • La Tranche-sur-Mer (16km) – sandy
  • Les Sables-d'Olonne (28km) – sandy

Activities

  • Adventure Park with paintball, pony rides and walking trails through the trees, 'Indian Forest' at St-Bernard (2km)
  • Surfing, windsurfing (13 km)
  • 18-hole golf courses at Talmont-St-Hilaire and Nesmy (both 18km)

Getting There

  • Airports
    • La Rochelle 66km 
    • Nantes 95km
  • Ferry ports
    • St-Malo 286km
    • Caen-Ouistreham 413km
    • Cherbourg 448km
    • Le Havre 475km
    • Calais 656km
  • TGV stations
    • La Roche-sur-Yon 24km
    • Les Sables-d'Olonne 30km
    • La Rochelle 69km
    • Niort 92km
    • Nantes 102km

 

Although this property is booked on an accommodation-only basis, we can arrange your flights too for an extra charge of £25 per person, plus the cost of the flights themselves.

Below are the flight options available, including the most convenient airports in France to help you reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

La Rochelle 66km/1hr5min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick easyJet Sat/Sun 28 May - 1 Oct (Sat)
3 Jul - 4 Sep (Sun)
Bristol easyJet Saturday 18 Jun - 10 Sep
Southampton Flybe Sat/Sun 21 May - 3 Sep (Sat)
22 May - 23 Oct (Sun)
Birmingham Flybe Sat/Sun 2 Apr - 29 Oct (Sat)
22 May - 23 Oct (Sun)
Manchester Flybe Saturday 21 May - 3 Sep
London Stansted Ryanair Sat/Sun 26 Mar - 29 Oct

 

Nantes 95km/1hr5min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick easyJet Sat/Sun 28 May - 29 Oct
London City CityJet Sunday 28 Mar - 30 Oct
Liverpool easyJet Saturday 28 Jun - 3 Sep
Manchester Flybe Sat/Sun 29 Jun - 31 Aug (Sat)
10 Apr - 25 Oct (Sun)
Southampton Flybe Sat/Sun 27 Mar - 29 Oct
Birmingham Flybe Sat/Sun 21 May - 29 Oct

 

 

  2 April 9 April 16 April 23 April 30 April
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  7 May 14 May 21 May 28 May
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  4 June 11 June 18 June 25 June
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  2 July 9 July 16 July 23 July 30 July
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  6 August 13 August 20 August 27 August
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  3 September 10 September 17 September 24 September
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  1 October 8 October 15 October 22 October 29 October
Chez Claudine 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD

†  Flight availability is limited on your chosen dates.

Please call us for assistance with your holiday on 020 8392 5872.

Please note that some properties are available for a two week duration only during peak summer periods.

Booking Conditions

YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE INCLUDES
  • Prices are in pounds sterling and are for the accommodation only for the guests named on your invoice
  • The assistance of the property owner, housekeeper or concierge
  • Information book in your accommodation
YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
  • Any breakages, damage, losses, extra cleaning or outstanding accounts incurred during your stay 
  • Visas 
  • Holiday travel insurance
  • Airfares, car hire or transfers
INFANTS
One cot and one highchair are provided free of charge in our self-catering properties.  Additional cots and highchairs may be available upon request.
 
PLACING AN OPTION
In order to allow you to co-ordinate your holiday arrangements with friends and family, in many cases we are able to hold an option for up to 24 hours before confirming your booking.
 
PAYING FOR YOUR HOLIDAY
In order to confirm your booking a deposit of 30% of the accommodation cost is required.  This payment is non-refundable. The balance payment for your holiday should be paid at least 10 weeks prior to your departure. We accept most debit cards and credit cards, and personal cheques. All payments made by credit card will be subject to a 1.25% charge* reflecting our incurred costs. (*American Express is subject to a 2% charge.) 
 
Please familiarise yourself with our full booking terms including our cancellation policy here.
 
SECURITY DEPOSIT
Most of our self-catering accommodation is privately owned and sometimes it is the owner’s main residence, which they vacate for the summer season. In order to protect the furnishings and fittings, some owners require a security deposit which is collected 3 weeks prior to departure. The deposit will be refunded in full within 7 days of your return provided there is no damage or additional cleaning required and the property remains in the same condition as upon arrival. If a security deposit is applicable, the amount required will be stated in the Details section of the property. Please alert the owner/caretaker to any breakages or damages during your stay.
 
A Security Form may be presented to you by the owner or caretaker on arrival and on departure for your signature.
 
TRAVEL INSURANCE
It is compulsory that all our guests have comprehensive travel insurance and we will need full details of your policy at the time of booking or before you travel.
 
FINAL DOCUMENTATION
Your travel documents are available to download and print 2 weeks prior to departure via our Manage My Booking facility on our website provided you have paid in full.
 
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
It is your responsibility to be in possession of a valid passport and any necessary visas. EU citizens do not need a visa to travel to France. If you are a non-EU citizen then you should check with your own embassy for the entry/re-entry requirements necessary for your journey. Children not on an accompanying parent’s passport before October 1998 are now required to hold their own passport if they are under 16 years. If you do not have a passport, it is recommended to apply at least 6 weeks before your holiday. Passports should be valid for 6 months after your return date.
 
FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Should you wish to check their advice or information about the destination you are travelling to, please visit their website: www.fco.gov.uk/en or call 020 7008 1500.
 
 
ACCOMMODATION AND USEFUL INFORMATION
 
Air-conditioning and heating
We have indicated in the property descriptions which accommodation has air-conditioning included in the holiday price. Heating is available in some of our properties during the low season weeks, which is normally included in the holiday price.
 
Animals and wildlife
As in all rural communities, indigenous animals are an essential part of the way of life. The braying of a donkey, crow of a cockerel or the barking of a dog is not a complaint that receives much sympathy from the locals! Care should be taken to minimise the presence of insects and animals in your accommodation. Keep surfaces clean, dispose of refuse regularly and ensure that food is not left uncovered. Cats and dogs are often resident where an owner or manager lives on the property. If you are allergic to cats and/or dogs please ensure that you check the suitability of your chosen accommodation with us prior to confirming your booking.
 
Barbecues
We have specified if a barbecue is available at your accommodation. Please note that often in summer, due to the hot weather, use of your barbecue may not be allowed and/or strict rules for its use may apply. The local or national government reserves the right to introduce new rulings at any time, often with little prior notice, prohibiting the use of barbecues to reduce the risk of fires. Where a barbecue is not provided, it is usually because the surroundings are considered a fire risk or inappropriate for the use of barbecues.
 
Beach/pool towels
Beach/pool towels are provided in all our self-catering properties and these are normally laundered weekly.
 
Beds
Please note that a double bed could be two single beds placed together. French bed sizes vary and can be 140cm.
 
Check-in and check-out
You will usually be able to occupy your accommodation between 4-7pm and you should vacate it on the day of departure before 10am. Please refer to specific property details for exact times. 
 
Cleaning
All our properties are cleaned for your arrival. The details section of each property has further information regarding the cleaning schedule. If additional cleaning is required, please contact us to arrange this in advance of travel. Please note additional charges will apply.
 
Distances and timings
Please note that all walking and driving times stated are approximate estimates only. Transfer times are also approximate estimates only and do not include any waiting time.
 
Electricity
The voltage in France is 220-240v and is compatible with appliances used in the UK but you will need a plug adaptor. These are widely available in high street shops, airports, and on cross-Channel ferries.
 
French time
The time difference between the UK and France has been standardised and France is always one hour ahead of the UK. Arrival and departure times at villas are given in French time. 
 
Health and safety
Simpson Travel is committed to raising the standards of health and safety throughout all our destinations. Our guests’ safety and wellbeing is of the highest importance to us. However, please note that since many of our properties are private homes, it is not always possible to meet the same exacting standards as in the UK. In your accommodation we will provide any necessary health and safety information. We ask you to familiarise yourself with this information and the property on arrival, particularly when travelling with children, and to raise any concerns with the Simpson Travel telephone representative.
 
Internet access and wifi
Internet access and wifi is available when stated in the relevant accommodation description details. Please note there may be restrictions with the availability and speed of the service transmitted by the local provider and technical issues may cause temporary withdrawal of internet facilities. We are unable to accept responsibility for any down time or consequences of using this service and refund/compensation cannot be offered due to circumstances beyond our control such as adverse weather conditions.
 
Linen and laundry
Bed and bathroom linen is provided weekly. For your convenience all of our properties in France have a washing machine and most have a tumble dryer.
 
Money
Banking hours vary throughout France. Some banks are open weekdays from 09:00 to 17:00, often with a long lunch break which can be from 12:00 to 14:00; others open on Saturday and close on Mondays. A few banks still close at 15:30. Most Post Offices offer Bureau de Change services and are open for much longer hours, sometimes 08:00 to 19:00 on weekdays, and on Saturdays 08:00 to 12:00. 
 
Avoid taking large denomination Euro notes as they may not be easily changed due to strict money-laundering regulations. Supermarkets will not accept 500 Euro notes for purchases below 200 Euros. 
 
Automatic teller machines, available in all towns and some villages, make a charge for international cash withdrawals. Users are allowed only two attempts at entering their correct PIN before the card is retained by the machine and can only be retrieved from the bank. 
 
Motoring in France
We recommend you check with a motoring organisation in case of any changes or additions to the information below.
 
Breakdown on a motorway: 
1) Emergency telephones are located every 1.5 miles (2.4km) on the motorway
2) Each phone is linked to the local police station which can automatically locate you and send out an approved repair service
3) The repair service rates are regulated and vary between 70 and 90 but be aware that between 18.00 and 08.00, as well as on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the service rates go up by an additional 25%.
 
Children: Children under ten years of age may not travel in the front seat, except babies aged less under nine months and weighing less than 9kg, strapped into an approved rear-facing baby seat. Never fit a rear-facing baby seat in a seat with a front airbag. Children in the rear seats weighing 9-15kg must sit in a child seat and over 15kg on a booster cushion in conjunction with a standard seat belt. 
 
Drinking and driving: The maximum permitted level of alcohol is 0.05 per cent, lower than the UK limit. The penalties for exceeding the limit reflect the severity of the infringement and range from an on-the-spot fine, confiscation of driving licence, confiscation of vehicle and a term of imprisonment. Random tests are permissible in France.
 
Driving licence: The minimum age for driving in France is 18 on a full UK licence. European insurance cover is required.
 
Drugs: Saliva drug tests have been introduced in France, with similar penalties to those for drivers shown to be under the influence of alcohol. 
 
Fines: French police are authorised to levy on-the-spot fines for a variety of motoring offences and will give a receipt. Credit cards are not accepted. Drivers with insufficient means to pay may have their licences confiscated until they are able to pay.
 
First aid kit: A vehicle first aid kit, although a wise precaution, is not compulsory in France.
 
Fuel: Unleaded petrol, 95 and 98 octane, LPG and diesel (known as ‘gazole’) are available in France. 
 
Mobile phones: The use of hand-held mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited.
 
Priority: All roads of any significance have right of way known as 'passage protégé'. In built-up areas, however, for roads of equal importance, France still operates a system of priority for traffic coming from the right, 'priorité à droite'. At the entrances to roundabouts carrying the sign ‘Vous n’avez pas la priorité’, or ‘Cédez le passage’, traffic already on the roundabout has priority. If a French driver flashes his headlights, he is not allowing you to go first but letting you know he has the right of way.
 
Radars: Radar detection devices are illegal in France and their use may result in a heavy fine. Even devices that are not in use may be confiscated by police and the driver fined. 
 
Seat belts: Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat passengers.
 
Vehicle Registration Certificate: You must carry your vehicle registration certificate (V5C) or, if the vehicle is not registered in your name, a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to take the vehicle into France.
 
Noise and building works
Traffic, farm work, roadwork, animals and other sounds form part of everyday life, however, what constitutes ‘noise’ to one person may not be a problem for another. Please let us know if you have any special needs regarding this. Occasionally, building work is unavoidable as we do not control such work and may not know about it in advance. Whenever possible, we will notify you of any work that we believe may affect your holiday.
 
Occupancy
Only guests named on your invoice are entitled to occupy the accommodation.
 
Satellite television & DVD players
French satellite broadcast systems and DVD players sometimes operate on a different system to those in the UK. Some DVD players at our properties cannot play UK DVDs. Satellite channels available in the UK may not be available in France, and at some villas programmes may be broadcast in French only.
 
Seasonal facilities
Some facilities are subject to weather conditions and the general season, for example swimming pools, restaurant terraces and courtyards, pool bars, local restaurants, and they may be limited or unavailable at the beginning or end of the season. Please do not hesitate to check with us, should a particular facility be a necessity to you.
 
Sewage systems
Most country houses in France have septic tanks to handle the sewage system. It is essential that nothing other than toilet paper and natural waste be put down the toilet. Blockage of the system can lead to unpleasant smells and may take days to clear. A repair charge may also be payable.
 
Swimming pools
Swimming pool details are given on our website. Pool dimensions are approximate only and, unless specified otherwise, pools are freshwater and unheated. Dates when pools are operational are subject to the prevailing weather conditions at the time of opening and closing and we cannot be held responsible if poor weather means the pool is opened later, or is closed earlier in the season.
 
Upon arrival at your accommodation, we kindly ask you to acquaint yourselves with the pool’s safety and hygiene rules. All our pools in Corsica and mainland France comply with French law and are fitted with one of the following forms of security: fence, alarm or cover. Some pools are ‘infinity pools’ which have an exposed pool edge with an unprotected drop. This maximises views and is an attractive feature of the pool. We recommend that you do not sit, lean or walk on the unprotected edge. Children must be supervised at all times.
 
Telephone 
To call the UK from France dial 00 44, the STD code minus the 0 then the number. 
 
Villa owners
Whilst the owners or staff of some properties may live on site and tend to the grounds, they are aware that you value your privacy, and will do their best not to intrude. We do ask you, however, to allow them reasonable access to the property so that they can maintain the grounds and keep them in good order.
 
Welcome Pack
We offer a welcome pack in all our self-catering accommodation consisting of a small selection of staple items.