Monday, 12 September 2016

A Summer Sojourn: Can We Go Back Please!!!

We think it every year...."where did the summer go?". For us this year was no different and it went by in a flash. What was different is that we can categorically say that we had the BEST HOLIDAY EVER!!!
It's hard to believe it's September already and that it's taken me this long to tell you about our hols but it's been a busy few weeks in Dirty Fabulous HQ. 

It was a hectic year all round so what was needed from a holiday was total rest and relaxation and not much more... and boy did we get it! So where did we go?


We went to the beautiful areas of Nantes and Augé in France.

Our family holiday was a big one which consisted of 6 adults and 5 children, a nightmare for some people but it really worked for us!
We flew into the city of  Nantes and I can't say enough about this wonderfully artistic and chic city. It is 'city break' heaven. The flight time alone with everyone's favourite budget airline was an unbelievable 1hr and 15 minutes for us from Dublin.

For our two nights in Nantes we stayed in the Oceania Hôtel de France which was super central, just off a beautiful square and on one of the most desirable shopping districts. The staff were completely wonderful and made us feel so welcome. We particularly have to give a shout out to Alexandra who treated us to the finest cocktails in the bar and was a whole lot of fun!

Le Passage Pommeraye was very close to our hotel

The Green Line

One of the most fantastic things about Nantes for tourists, is the green line that runs through the city in a circuit and passes all the major attractions (there are a lot!). I can't believe all major cities don't have this. It was such a handy system and meant it was pretty impossible to get lost.

The shop fronts and decorations were super quirky, often whimsical, and gave the city a real artistic feel.

Coolness everywhere you looked in Nantes!

On to the big one now....


We needed a lot from our holiday house and we were worried our expectations were too high! With 11 people it had to be large enough to have "space in our togetherness" as we liked to refer to it! After that the most important thing was the pool and oh my did the house deliver on that.

We booked La Vieille Ferme du Monteil after I came across it on my favourite accommodation site; Sawdays. It was just over one hour and 15 minute drive from Nantes but it is closer to La Rochelle if you wanted to fly into there. 

The owners of the house Elaine and Charles are absolutely wonderful. They were on hand to answer every query we had and they really made us feel like the house was our home for the week. Their warmth and openness completely added to our blissful relaxation.

We were welcomed to our house with some tasty nibbles and a brimming basket full of goodies.

We were in the pool at least 3 times a day!

When we weren't larking around in the pool we made use of the many games that were available such as badminton, table tennis, endless board games and there was even a sandpit for the little ones.

There were several games of badminton!

The beautiful pond on the grounds of the house

Totally posing for the picture but aren't the windows fab!

The interiors were sophisticated and beautiful. Elaine's flair for decoration and style was evident everywhere in the house. 
It was hard for us to get a picture of it without any of our own family clutter but you can see more on their website.

Lots of lovely lounging areas to enjoy the incredible weather at any time of the day.


This was a town we knew very little about had decided to check it out as we were on the hunt for a brocante. Niort is super fashionable and chic. It has fabulous outdoor spaces and architecture which were perfect for our group of all ages. It was such a pretty town (with the best ice-cream in France apparently) that we visited a couple of times, best of all t was only about half an hour away from our house! 
If it had been a girlie holiday we'd have happily lost many an hour wandering around it's quaint streets and gorgeous boutiques.

Another ridiculously pretty village that was very close to our house. Our visit here was the only thing we'd planned to do on our trip. We hired two flat bottomed boats and navigated the stunning canals. We had the boats for about an hour which was hard work for the rowers in each but if you had the arm power and no children it would make a lovely excursion for an even longer time.


The weather was a glorious 25-31 degrees throughout and although we spent many days in the lightest clothing possible, we did manage to get dressed up on a couple of occasions!


Yes, Caroline did indeed dress as a pirate for our boating excursion, much to the delight of the other boaters on the canal!

Our beautiful niece Tillie made all the ladies of the holiday their own vests. She's such a little star!

We're already planning our next visit as we think it would be pretty impossible to beat the perfection of this house and the french hospitality we encountered.
Luckily you don't have to wait until next summer to visit as Ferme Du Monteil are starting to put on hen and foodie weekends for 2017. 
Prices start at €165 per person and include Accommodation for two nights,  Champagne and amuse bouche on arrival followed by a two course supper and Sunday Brunch which is amazing value for a hen weekend!

We'll have another post coming up soon with some great hen party ideas and I'll go into more detail then. This has already been an epic post and I'm sure you have to get back to work/making the dinner/walking the dog/planning your next holiday!  

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