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La Petite MaisonThe Loire Valley, France
A charming and simple river village cottage for two with a French design bistro feel to the interior. Perfect for romantic escapes. Owned by the lovely Sue and Micaela who also own and manage the nearby La Grand Maison guest house.
For every booking a €5 donation will be made to Stonewall.
The beautiful Loire river village of Treves stands proud on the banks of the Loire. The self catering cottage is just a short stroll to the river, a traditional restaurant and a tabac in Cunault.
A peaceful location from which to explore the Loire Valley around Saumur and Angers.
The nearest international airport is in Nantes but there is also a good train service to Saumur from Paris.
About The Owners
Sue and Micaela are also the owners of guest house - La Grande Maison. La Petite Maison is their option for those who prefer a self catering cottage.
There is not much that Sue and Micaela don’t know about wine. They created the original Loire Valley wine tour package back in 2004 and have been building on their knowledge and experience ever since.
Both originally from Brighton, Micaela’s background is in hotels and computer software and Sue worked in the wine business. They both fell in love with La Grande Maison in 2004 and La Petite Maison in 2006 and now enjoy sharing their passion for wine and the Loire Valley.
• The tranquil and very traditional French river village of Treves.
• The simple romance of it all and chilling out on the veranda.
• Visiting local wineries and wine houses using the provided wine maps and trails.
• Sunbathing on the Loire river beaches with a picnic when the river is low in Summer.
• A cold beer or glass of wine at the local tabac in Cunault.
• Cycling around the wineries and taking a river trip.
Sleeps two plus one.
• Self catering cottage: One bedroom with double bed and high quality cotton linens. Simple white decoration with wooden flooring and beams. An additional single bed can be added on request.
• Open plan living, dining and kitchen area. Eclectic hand-picked furnishings. Fully equipped kitchen with Smeg oven, Gorenje fridge and butler’s sink. French oak dining table.
• Contemporary white tiled ensuite bathroom (separated by curtain from bedroom) with bath and shower.
• A veranda with direct access for alfresco dining.
• A log burning stove with wood supply to keep you cosy in cooler months.
• Bikes for cycling by the River.
Review from Belinda and Sally from Australia: Spring 2013
"Dear Micaela and Sue - Thank you so much for your little 'River Cottage'. We enjoyed our time here for some much needed R&R. We will definately be recommending this place to our friends and family. Best wishes for the season. Regards Belinda and Sally - Queensland Australia"
Review by Sophie Hartman who stayed in May 2011:
One of those super places that actually lives up to, or even surpasses, its lovely website photos: stylish, comfortable, excellently well equipped and made even more pleasurable due to the friendliness and efficiency of Micaela and Sue.
They were endlessly helpful in my early querying stages and responded so helpfully to our desire to do the whole thing without car or plane. We took the train from St Pancras at 10.25 and were sipping beer outside a tabac by the Loire by 5.30pm. We used the resident 'vintage' bikes to get around and were supplied with the most sumptuous hamper of foodie delights to see us through our first evening and morning (bread, cheese, home grown salad, home laid eggs, plenty of excellent local wine, and much much more).
We heard nightingales, picnic-ed on the sandy banks of the river, bought fabulous cheeses and still more wine in the Saturday morning market at Saumur, wandered round ancient churches, got lost in woods, ate mussels and chips ... only there for three nights and what an excellent time we had!
Review by Jane Czyzselska, Diva Editor who stayed at La Petite Maison and visited La Grande Maison. The review appeared in the November 2012 issue of Diva.
There’s so much more to the Loire than the river and wine tours.
Pedaling along the Loire river at the end of August is nothing short of dream-like. The area is still relatively unknown as a holiday destination – by the native French too, it seems – so there is little road traffic to dodge as you explore the quiet leafy country roads and two-a-penny spire-peppered chateaux. What you do get in abundance here is wildlife, trees groaning with peaches and pears, brightly-coloured butterflies dancing around you as you walk along the sandy – and dry in the summer - river bed.
Getting to the Loire couldn’t have been easier - a relaxing train journey from St Pancras International to Angers via Paris and a forty minute drive from Angers to Treves – and we were equally delighted when we found the romantic gite with its slate roof and covered veranda. Set just off a quiet main road, La Petite Maison is ‘rough luxe’ and with a laid back vibe like it’s owners, Sue and Micaela Frow-Hunt. When we arrived we discovered a vegan-friendly chunk of Sue’s home-made strawberry sorbet in the freezer and a kilo of marinated artichoke hearts. The couple make a point of personalizing the welcome package for their guests and once we’d unpacked in the downstairs oak beamed and wattle wall bedroom we padded back up through the cosy open planned kitchen area to the outside veranda to take in the local sights and sounds. Except there were no sounds short of a dog barking and the slap of a neighbour’s shutters being closed so we soaked up the gorgeous silence, breathing in gulps of sweet clean air.
When we awoke the next morning we took a peek inside the troglodyte limestone caves in the next village, Chenehutte at the Caves aux Moines, where we found the most succulent Paris, Oyster and Shitake mushrooms being grown and harvested. We bought a kilo of the beauties for a mere 5 euros and my girlfriend swallowed them down with a glass of chilled red cabernet sauvignon (domaine Phillipe Pain) she’d picked up from the nearby artisan town of Chinon. But more on the wine and Sue and Micaela’s wine tours later.
Our base in Treves was the perfect location from which to walk up through the troglodyte villages – some locals really do live in beautiful homes dug from the ubiquitous limestone rock - into the countryside for a picnic. Our stop-off at the nearby Le Prieure a former 16th century monk’s priory set back in the hills overlooking the Loire river was a welcome and elegant – if slightly pricey - watering hole but worth it alone for the vista over the sprawling countryside.
If you’re a wine buff, La Petite Maison owners Sue and Micaela will take you on tours of the surrounding vineyards, of which there are many. All wine tours need to be booked in advance as a package and this includes dinner on the evening on arrival and accommodation at La Grande Maison. The tours are open to all who stay at their even more secluded retreat La Grande Maison tucked away in the rolling hills of the Saumur region. Between you and me, I reckon the duo love the idea of hosting a group of queer women. In fact their tours are pretty legendary.
Tasting forms a vital and important part of the tours (we learned that they only use two types of grape here the chenin blanc and cabernet franc and they also offer wine shopping tours, so anyone preparing for a civil partnership or other occasions would do well to join them. Specializing in matching up wines with menus, the duo have the local know-how and contacts to organize the best deals for you. If you do decide to stay with them in La Grande Maison, you’re in for a treat – a B&B with a difference, guests get their own cottage with private garden area or spacious rooms within the main house – the place is dog-friendly, too - and you’ll be taken (if you want to – nothing is compulsory) on a fascinating tour of their cool and capacious underground 17th century caves from when the house was a working wine estate and whose walls feature carvings from the first World War or you can simply read and watch the sun set from the roof of the pigeonnier. Artists and musicians often come for a week or two to immerse themselves in their work and enjoy the tranquility, and certain celebrities pay regular visits because the place is so hidden away.
When we sat drinking rosé and home made elderflower cordial under the magnolia tree with white flowers like tea cups, we were knocked out by the smell of the hollyhocks and buddleia. Just out of earshot are free range hens Vita, Vanessa, Violet and Virginia, all named after the Bloomsbury set. If it’s history you want, there are churches with screeds of history about Joan of Arc who came from Aquitaine to Chinon before her final battles and Catherine de Medici who brought Leonardo da Vinci to nearby Amboise where his tomb now is. There’s so much to do here; fishing, cycling, boat trips, promenades en voiture, mushrooming, following the ley lines and discovering the standing stones.
The truth is you could spend weeks here just chilling out and discovering the treasures the area has to offer. Local food specialities include the mushrooms but also fantastic fruit and vegetable produce – the strawberries we bought at the local supermarche tasted like proper old fashioned wild strawberries. There’s also great local goats cheese and chopped pork pate and some great local restaurants if you fancy a night off cooking include Le Bouchon Ponot in nearby Le Puy Notre Dame.
It’s the richness, beauty and peace of the area that drew Micaela and Sue to the area in 2004, from Brighton when they fell in love with the estate after deciding they wanted a life change. And despite their initial concerns, being gay hasn’t proved difficult for locals in the slightest. “Things have changed a lot in the last five years and because we’re open about who we are and what we offer there have been no problems at all,” says Sue. There’s even a lesbian disco in the area twice a year at the Moulin de Sarre in the town of Gennes and if you’re keen to organize your trip around this momentous event, just ask Sue or Micaela or visit the local website tonics.fr the local gay group in Angers for more information.
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