Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Guest Blog: holidaying in france

Guest post by Cheryl - welcometoholland

This is a blatant big-up for my friends Rosie and Simon, who have a VERY child-friendly holiday gite on their smallholding in Normandy. Go and stay with them. They're fab!

This time last year we were getting ready for our Excursion To France. We used to travel in France regularly BC*; but since the arrival of the kids we have been too scared to branch out from Blighty.

Rosie and Simon own and run Eco-Gites de Lenault, on their smallholding in Normandy. They live there with their two almost-teenage sons and they have converted their barn in to a lovely holiday cottage. I met Rosie quite a few years ago now via the downsizer website - an online community of yoghurt-knitters like ourselves. We have become real-life friends on her visits to her family who live near us in the UK and we felt sufficiently confident in her to give Abroad a try again with the kids. The gite is set up for children and that was a big draw for us, particularly given all the extra kit that comes with a disabled child.

One of the other big draws for us was Rosie's willingness to provide home-cooked meals for families that stay with them. I loved the fact that we could have someone else cook for us but not have to take the children out in the car to do so; we took our motability car, with all the children's clobber and Nenna's wheelchair. We spent a lot of time sat on the little patio outside the gite, watching Leo race around like a maniac on the playground, with bikes, trikes, balls, a castle and a trampoline. The children were also able to go and help with the animals - because they don't get enough of that at home! - and because we were the only ones there, they really got to engage with what was going on.

So much child-stuff is supplied free of charge and Rosie, Simon and the boys were so friendly and keen to make sure we had the best holiday we could possibly have had. I was a bit worried that we would all feel obliged to be friendly, because they were next door; but it was very much on our terms. They clearly had their lives to get on with and I didn't feel they were looking over my shoulder in case I broke the crockery. Which I did, actually. And wasn't made to feel like an evil clutz!

eco-gites de lenaultAll the child-stuff is included in the price - cot, bedding, high-chair, stair-gates, the toys, games and books. The only thing not included was for the TV for the week; in the summer, lots of families choose not to have this and prefer to spend all their time outside. We were quite early in the season, so we paid the extra. However, because we got a 10% discount on the ferry booking by using the gite discount code, I felt that that made up for it! The other thing that I liked was that we could choose whether to pay for cleaning at the end of the rental, or to do it ourselves.

All in all it was an excellent choice for a first-time abroad trip with two young children. The accommodation is lovely and the setting is beautiful, with lots of rural countryside and market towns to explore. 

We will definitely be going back.

*Before Children


U, me and the kids

21 comments :

  1. Holidaying in France. Something I fancy doing about. Thanks for this. :)

    #letkidsbekids

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    1. Well we are here if you fancy visiting Normandy!

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  2. Looks lovely! We've bravely booked a camping holiday over Easter, I have fingers crossed for good weather. #letkidsbekids

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  3. Looks and sounds lovely and perfect for children. I love the look of that play area! We haven't ventured abroad yet with the kids, but hubby keeps wanting to go to France, so maybe we'll join you next year :)

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    1. We'd love to see you here, Karen. The play area has probably got us more bookings that anything else and the thing we most often hear children say is "But we don't want to go out - we want to stay and play here!" That is praise indeed from our young guests!

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  4. Sorry, forgot to say....thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

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  5. Replies
    1. Then you definitely need to get yourself over here!

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  6. Wow,this sounds amazing! Might just be what we are looking for when the new baby arrives!

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    1. Thank you and we would love to see you here. Our youngest guest so far was 9 weeks old - maybe you could beat that!

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  7. Looks wonderful. I'm sure my kids would have loved it when they were younger #letkidsbekids

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    1. We also have many older children and all adult only groups stay ... our oldest guest to date was 89 and we found him one day looking out from the top of one of the play towers!

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  8. Hello, oh this looks a lovely place, I would love to visit one day :)

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    1. Please do Ickle Pickle - I think you'd really like it!

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  9. This looks lovely! Yoghurt-knitters haha!

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    1. We also threaten to knit kitchens. The forum kept getting spammed by dodgy sounding kitchen suppliers but since we all set to and asked them silly questions about what needles to use etc they have disappeared!

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  10. You certainly have a beautiful place. Hoping to make it over to France soon. Like the idea of home cooked suppers.

    Yoghurt knitters - suspect I'd be classed as one! #LetKidsBeKids

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    1. Thank you and now you know where to stay - with a fellow yoghurt knitter!

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  11. It sounds and looks so beautiful, I can imagine it being so peaceful and just what I need. My son is going to Catalonia next week and I am very jealous!
    Thanks for linking up to this weeks #RetroBlogPosts

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I love receiving comments and I do read every one but if you are simply here to spam me with a link, guess what ... I won't publish it.