Saturday, 20 November 2010

Holiday Rental Gite in Poitou-Charentes with private pool

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 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.

Enormous Kitchen/Diner
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.

Sitting Room
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

Monday, 15 November 2010

French Radio London FRL launches in under 48 hours time

In under 48 hours time, On Wednesday 17th November 2010 - French Radio London - FRL launches. Here is their Press Release

Ecoutez! November Launch For French Radio London

French Radio London Limited (FRL) is to launch in London early in November having secured a channel slot on the London II DAB digital radio multiplex. FRL will be the capital's first French language terrestrial broadcast station and is aimed primarily at London's 400,000 native French speakers. It will also appeal to the huge Francophile community – 14 million British people visit France every year, the largest group of foreign visitors to La Belle France.

The format will be a lively, music-based mix to appeal to French music tastes, with exciting talk programmes and interviews on a wide range of topics. The enticing blend of entertaining and informative output will be designed to meet the target market's daily appetite for fast-paced, varied listening. In short, a radio station which French-speaking Londoners will tune into regularly. The London II DAB network covers the Greater London area and has the best coverage of any of the three London multiplexes, reaching 4.5 million households (11 million people approximately).

FRL is the brainchild of experienced radio broadcast consultant Pascal Grierson, FRL's CEO, who comments: "We look forward to broadcasting a unique French voice on London's airwaves. This is an exciting development for listeners as well as UK and French based commercial partners who will benefit from a dedicated platform to reach French-speaking London residents and the wider Francophile community. A bientôt sur la DAB!"

Piers Collins of Switchdigital, owners of the London II multiplex, adds: "It's been a pleasure working with Pascal and the FRL team. I'm genuinely delighted to have helped bring this much-demanded station concept to fruition. FRL will, I am sure, soon be the radio station of first choice for many London radio listeners."

FRL is taking over the channel slot released by Smooth Radio, which recently moved to the national Digital One multiplex. FRL will also be available online and on Smartphone apps.

More Information:

Primary listeners will comprise the 350,000+ Francophone residents living in London accessed via mailings, promotions and community activities/events.

FRL’s secondary target audience will be come from the Francophile community and we expect half a million listeners to tune in.

They aim to partner with leading transport organisations, government bodies, trade groups and affiliates to supply easy listening devices, links and mobile apps expanding our community beyond the capital and these shores. Many French visitors planning to come to London part-time or permanently will find FRL a comforting friend close at hand online, on DAB and mobile 3G.

Through these initiatives FRL is set to develop a unique franchise with innovative and exciting output, wrapped up in a transparent business model for business partners to embrace.

With just under two days to the launch they are playing a test "loop" to give a flavour of the station....Sounds goos

Monday, 1 November 2010

Nomad of Antibes

The Riviera Times is running a story on line entitled "Nomad roams no more"

Rarely has a sculpture been so embraced and so enjoyed, as Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s ‘Nomad’, now permanently installed on the ramparts of old Antibes and pictured left.

The monumental seated figure dominates the skyline, drawing visitors like a magnet. Metal letters representing thoughts make perfect footholds for the adventurous, who climb to its very top. People sit together on the natural seats the arms provide; the whole area, inside and out, invites exploration and perfectly frames the glorious view of the Mediterranean sea and old town.

Read the entire story by following this link