La Commanderie des Templiers is a beautiful stone mill resting on the banks of the River Ne, and surrounded by forest. Dating from the 11th century. It is has just been added to the jmlvillas.com self catering holiday rentals website.
Located close to Barbezieux-St-Hilaire in Poitou-Charentes and surrounded by forest and local vineyards. As the name suggests, the original building was the command post of the Knights Templar during the Crusades.
Chez Meunier is just 4 kms from Blanzac-Porcheresse where you can enjoy lunch at one of the typical French bars, or just sit and watch village life. Barbezieuz-St-Hilaire the nearest small town is 9 kms away.
If you long for the sea, the huge beaches of Royan are about an hour away. Or for city lovers and only 30 minutes away is Angouleme, the capital of Poitou-Charentes and the most beautiful city, famous for its connections to the cartoon industry.
But, if you just want to relax and soak up the sun, there can be no better place than Chez Meunier where your private pool is right outside your door. Surrounded by trees and with a backdrop of birdsong, it is a suntrap all day long.
The owners say "The low, unassuming facade belies the huge amount of space contained within its double fronted stone walls."
The entrance, beside the private pool, leads into a large bright hallway and the ground floor.
Overlooking the pool is the bright, airy and fully equipped kitchen/diner.The giant oak table will seat 12, with enough room to entertain or just enjoy yourselves. All the equipment you would expect to find in a full kitchen you will find here.
Across the hall is the sitting room which again looks out onto the pool and beyond into the woods. This room is comfortably furnished with armchairs and settees, TV, DVD and a supply of books and games. There are also 2 bed-settees should you require beds for 8-9 people.
Master Bedroom and en-suite
The stairs lead up to another large hall and into the stunning Master Bedroom, which has a super king-size sleigh bed under a beautiful vaulted ceiling, showing all the ancient oak beams. This room has a large en-suite wet room and views to the east across the mill stream, Le Ne, and the rising sun.
Double bedroom and Twin bedroom
On this floor there are a further two bedrooms, a double and a twin. Both have views over the forest and are directly opposite the large family bathroom with bath, shower, toilet and hand basin.
The private pool is set in terrace of terracotta paviours for a restful atmosphere, even in the brightest sun. Situated under a large cream awning at the far end of the terrace is the outdoor dining area and to one side a stone barbeque, with charcoal bin and bamboo serving table to make alfresco dining a pleasure not a chore.
All linen and towels are renewed weekly.
Local Area / what you can do:
With almost the maximum hours of French sunshine, the countryside presents a mosaic of colour. The sunflowers, maize, wheat and occasional family group of Limousin cattle grow well here, but this area is best known for its vineyards, supplying grapes for Cognac and the local delicacy Pineau.
The Charente region has many attractive towns and villages and holidays here enable the traveller to experience many interesting and beautiful places.
Here are a few that have been tried and tested, but rest assured, there is something enjoyable here for everyone, every day.
Experience the history and produce
Visit the town of Cognac and take a tour of one of its world famous Brandy Houses - Hennessey, Courvoisier - watch the process and sample the product!
Angouleme, with its beautiful Cathedral in the heart of the Old City, is a delightful place to wander. Explore through the maze of narrow streets and you will find a wide range of pavement bars and gourmet restaurants to suit every taste and pocket.
The famous and fascinating Chapelle des Templiers at Cressac is just a healthy bike ride away from the house. Soak up the aura of its frescoes before pedalling on to Blanzac for a coffee.
Take a drive through the countryside to the pretty town of Jarnac, which straddles the lovely Charente. Here you can enjoy a boat trip on the river, looking out for kingfishers and coypus along its banks.
The city of Bordeaux is less than an hour away with its modern city experiences and a visit to the vineyards of St Emillion and the Medoc region is a great way to spend the day.
For the more adventurous, there are a number of activities available:
Golf enthusiasts can play the championship course at Cognac, beautifully designed around a Chateau and its vineyard. There is also an 18 hole course in Angouleme and a pleasant 9 hole course at nearby Pillac.
The Charente River offers numerous opportunities to hire canoes and kayaks, for an hour or for a day. Aubeterre sur la Dronne with its underground cathedral and voted one of the most beautiful villages in France has a range of options, including canoeing and swimming and is just 25 minutes away.
For the ramblers and cyclists, the quiet lanes and rolling hills provide a perfect setting. There are waymarked paths and bridleways, or you can explore the valleys of the Ne and the Boeme yourselves with local maps.
Enjoy the Arts and Music:
Each year Angouleme hosts the annual Cartoon Strip Festival ( Bande Desinee ) in February.
In Cognac, the annual Blues and Jazz Festival is held for a week every summer and attracts internationally renowned artists.
Barbezieux hosts Music Week, where local and regional musicians play a variety of styles in the bars and around the streets. There are also organised live concerts and exhibitions throughout the summer.
And for the motor-heads!
The Rampart Rally has visitors from far and wide to watch this historic Classic motor race in September. Classic cars from all over Europe meet in Angouleme for two days of spectacular road racing around the tight streets and ramparts. A great experience for young and old.
A market for every day of the week --Throughout the region, almost every village offers weekly markets, fares and occasional exhibitions. In the summer, the 'Farmers Markets' are a fantastic way to sample local produce in the villages, where you often have the chance to buy the meat, cook it on the barbeque and wash it down with local wine!
‘Brocantes' and ‘Vide Grenier' are very popular with the French locals and are so much more than boot sales. Spend a day ferreting through all the stalls and often lunch is available on site too.
How do we find out more? Make a booking? Visit the property Here