La Belle Etoile
Bed & breakfast with escorted ride outs!
La Rochelle, Ile de Ré, Cognac
Plus historic Saumur and the Loire Valley
An opportunity to experience French life as a guest in our home and French roads on our bikes! La Belle Etoile is a large farmhouse set in grounds of just over four acres located in the Parthenay-Gâtine region of the Deux-Sèvres. We would like to share our experience of living here and offer a four night B&B short break, limited to eight guests, to explore the region by bike over three full ride out days; it’s all about the riding, the fabulous destinations, stunning French scenery and the conviviality. Not forgetting enjoying some fabulous food on our ride out days plus a glass of wine and the odd beer or two as our guests at the farmhouse!
You will make your own way down for arrival at La Belle Etoile on Thursday afternoon or early evening, we will supply you the most interesting but progressive enough route depending on your arrival port, preferably Caen, le Havre or Dieppe. If you prefer, as a Brittany Ferries Trade Partner we can offer a booking service on your behalf, dependent on your requirements and availability. Once we are all together we will make our way to the local town for dinner at a favourite restaurant.
Over the next four nights and three days you will enjoy a fabulous B&B experience in between the odd beer or two as we catch up on the days ride out experience! Relax in the courtyard, listen to the swallows chirping and marvel at their flying skills as you enjoy a glass of wine, reflecting on your day on the bike with fellow guests, perfect!
Accommodation comprises two twin / double rooms and two double rooms, not en-suite, however we have ample facilities; two bathrooms (each with a bath, shower and toilet) plus a separate toilet with hand basin. A large comfortable kitchen and salon with good storage in the utility area, you will also have access to the washing machine. This is our home, whilst you are with us it’s your home as well so feel free to relax. If you feel like doing your own thing, riding your own ride or having a day away from the bike then the choice is yours!
Engines start by nine thirty, plenty of time for me to ride to the local boulangerie to collect ‘le pain and les croissants’, nothing beats a fresh French baguette with some ‘sea salt’ crystal butter! An extensive continental breakfast with a selection of bread, jams, ham and salami plus if you fancy an omelette or some eggs, then not a problem, it’s my speciality! Naturally accompanied by unlimited fresh French coffee or some English tea, either way a good breakfast to set us up for a progressive day out on the bikes. If you prefer to do your own thing that’s not a problem, I can always point you in the right direction for the day!
Over the three days we will be exploring northwards into the Loire Valley, notable for its historic towns such as Parthenay and Saumur, home to the French Cavalry Academy, numerous chateaux and vineyards. We’ll make a visit to the Château de Valmer a marvel of the Italian Renaissance period, combining Vouvray wines and beautiful gardens. We will also be visiting the Atlantic coastline; La Rochelle, Rochefort and crossing the over the ‘Pont de Re’ to the island of Île de Ré. Finally south west and to Cognac, situated between Angoulême and Saintes, notable for its many distilleries such as Hennessy, Martell, and Remy Martin with Jarnac a short distance east, home to the Courvoisier brand.
We will be out on the bikes for up to eight hours each day, covering approximately 150 – 175 miles, depending on our stops along the way with plenty of time for coffee breaks and obviously finding time for a typical French ‘light’ lunch followed by dinner in a local restaurant before our return home in the evening. A great opportunity therefore to experience this beautiful region of Western France on you bike staying in a relaxed and informal setting at La Belle Etoile with a small group of like-minded guests!