Meet The Owners – Manoir Laurette
Manoir Laurette near Bordeaux is a real gem of a country B&B run by owners, Rob and Lora. Incredible wine, fabulous food, tennis and a butterfly meadow are just a few of the reasons why they fell in love with this idyllic corner of France, and why they hope you will too.
Have you always lived and worked where you’re based now?
We moved to the Bordeaux region from Brighton two years ago. I sold my business – a network of performing arts schools – and Rob left his job as a cheesemonger, selling cheese to Michelin chefs. We had bought the property a few years previously and had gradually been doing it up with a long-term plan to change our lifestyle and move to France permanently.
How did you end up running your business?
We wanted a new creative challenge and felt running a boutique guest house was a great way to utilise our interests, skills and passions. We opened as a boutique B&B last summer and had a fantastic first season! It’s been such a joy to meet and host so many interesting guests and share our love of wine, regional foods and what excites us about the area.
Tell us a bit about the country pursuits that are on offer either through you or through providers in the immediate area.
This area of France is famous for wine so there are plenty of wine tastings on offer both in-house with Rob – who worked in the wine trade for over 10 years – or at one of the numerous vineyards in the area. We also offer a special ‘magical’ garden walk, where guests can learn about the medicinal and magical properties of herbs and plants found in our large parkland and meadow. The Manoir is close to the Canal Latéral – wonderful to take a boat out for the day or picnic on the banks of the Garonne. If you love food then the produce markets around here are known as some of the best in France and are so colourful and vibrant – a real experience!
What’s your favourite walk and are you a dog friendly place to stay?
There’s a wonderful walk directly from the property through vineyards, the woods and the meadow. You pass a very sweet hamlet with its own vineyard. We welcome dogs and our room ‘The Traveller’ is the most suitable for those travelling with their pooches.
Do you have a favourite pub / bar or restaurant nearby?
The cuisine of France has real contrast in terms of dining experiences – from rustic charm to some of the world’s best fine dining. Locally, you can sample a classic ‘menu du jour’ of 5 courses for €13 with wine and the steak frites are excellent! We call this place ‘The Working Men’s café’ as lunchtime fills up with all sorts of workers from the community and has a great atmosphere. In Monsegur, a pretty Bastide town, the mayor owns a restaurant where they specialise in meat from his own cattle farm and he also cooks for you and offers his own wine (very good) to enjoy with your meal! The area is known for its excellent duck breast and foie gras.
If you’re looking for a bit of culture where do you head to?
Saint-Emilion is one of France’s most beautiful medieval towns and of course the wine is sublime, but equally take a trip there for the cobbled streets, perfectly kept vines and magnificent views. Bordeaux is a very fashionable city with excellent restaurants, theatre and shopping.
What’s the best thing about running your business?
We love the creative aspect of making the rooms and gardens perfect spaces for retreat and luxury and of course meeting guests and introducing them to the Manoir!