One of three holiday cottages that line a courtyard, Les Hirondelles provides the comfort of modern day renovation in an old barn at La Ferme des Tourterelles. The white walls provide the fresh and light feel whilst the old oak beams visible on the first floor along with the exposed limestone walls in the living room and main bedroom, provide olde worlde charme.
In front of the cottage is a terrace with wooden garden furniture and parasol. Privacy is offered by the surrounding flower beds and trellis supporting climbing plants such as roses, clematis and evergreen honeysuckle.
The large grounds and pool mean that you can both retreat and restore yourself in the quiet rural surrounds or if you so desire, interact with any other family or group staying in the other cottages.
La Ferme des Tourterelles is conveniently placed on the edge of the Champagne producing region of the Aube, giving you the opportunity to drive through the undulating country lined with vineyards and to stop for a tour and tasting of the various champagne producers. The grounds of La Ferme des Tourterelles, face the forests of the Parc Naturel Regional de la Forêt d'Orient that gives host to a variety of wildlife; birds, bats, deer (rutting season and the noise of the stags is amazing), wild boar just to name a few! Only ten minutes drive is the first of three large lakes providing the opportunity for many different water sports. One of the lakes has been reserved for nature only and is the largest lake in Europe with no human habitation. The area is great for for walking and cycling.
If you are interested in soaking up the atmosphere provided by old medieval buildings, a visit to Troyes is a must and only ten minutes away is Bar-sur-Aube, a small working rural town with much charm. Troyes hosts the largest factory outlets in Europe so great for shopping particularly during the sales.
Children young and old, love Nigloland (funny name but slang for hedgehog!); the third largest amusement park in France which is only five minutes away hidden in a valley and forests. It is not your typical concrete jungle that costs a fortune to entertain your family. There are rides large and small, situated at the side of paths that wind through the forest, lawns and flower beds. You can take a picnic or dine/snack reasonably at the different restaurants or fast food outlets. We have had families who have used us as a base to visit Disney land and Park Asterix.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Dienville (Lake) 10 km|
|Will consider||Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||10 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Paris (2.5 hours), Nearest railway: Bar-sur-Aube 10 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player, Staffed property|
|General||Central heating, TV, Table tennis, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Shared garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
Les Hirondelles sleeps four and comprise two large en-suite bedrooms. The contemporary bathrooms comprise a bath, with shower, handbasin and toilet as well as hairdryer. The main bedroom has a king size bed and satellite TV. Crisp white cotton sheets are provided along with towels. There is a large open plan living area with adjoining fully-fitted kitchen, dining area and lounge equipped with satellite TV, DVD and internet access.
We do have some toys for the children to play with, as well an an old school desk for two small children from the Eclance school should you want that put into your cottage for you. Just let us know.
|Further details outdoors|
The large outdoor heated pool is available for use from mid-May to mid-September. It is surrounded by a wall that provides privacy and shelter as well as security for young children running around in the garden. Adults are responsible for their children when they use the pool. The pool face south making the most of the sunshine and when you are tired of swimming, sunbathing, snoozing or reading that novel, just wander around and soak up the panorama around you of the hills, fields and forests.
There is a petanque/boules court and there are two sets of boules available for you play under the shade of trees. There is a table tennis table with bats and balls on a terrace that provides lighting in the evenings.
A BBQ terrace is situated beside the large limestone barn with a chimenea so that for late into the evening you get the refracted heat from the barn along with the cheery and warm atmosphere from the burning wood (regardless if it is not cool enough to warrant lighting the fire!). The tables and chairs can be moved from this area to under the trees if you prefer to eat in during the day in the shade of the trees.
For quiet contemplation, your own space or a lovely place to have an aperatif at the end of the day watching the sun set over the fields and forests, there are two terraces at the end of the garden.
The cottages have been classified as 4 keys(4star) by Clévacances in conjunction with the Tourist Board. To secure your reservation, a contract produced by Clevacances requires your signature and a deposit of 25-30%.
Please note that you are required to have travel insurance or if you live on the continent, a home insurance policy that provides cover when you stay in holiday accommodation. (By civil law in France you are wholly responsible for any damage, accidental or otherwise, caused to holiday property)
“If you don't know Éclance, you won't know France”, is the saying many an Éclarist will tell you. We certainly hope that a stay at La Ferme des Tourterelles will give you the opportunity to become involved in the french way of life.
Whether or not you wish to make the most of the swimming pool and tranquil surroundings of La Ferme des Tourterelles and Eclance, there is much to offer round and about for all ages and interests.
* Explore the medieval towns of Troyes and Bar-sur-Aube.
* Langres and Provins with their ramparts and son et lumière make an interesting visit.
* Take the Champagne Route starting only a few kilometres from us. Not only is Champagne a drink for celebration but at any event, a bottle will be opened, great fun for when you go to any fair, fête or vide grenier! Stock up with champagne to take home. You will not find the same prices for some good quality products. Many of the well known champagne houses of Epernay and Reims buy grapes or juice produced in the Aube.
* Take advantage of the three large lakes in the Forest of the Orient; the first of which is only ten minutes drive from us; water sports (power and sail), swimming from artificial beaches.
* Fishing, rivers and lakes- one of the major world carp fishing competitions is held locally.
* Walking in the regional park 'Foret d'Orient' and countryside around (Eclance is on one of the feeder routes for the pilgrimage to Saint Compostella).
* Tennis, two floodlit courts are only 10 minutes drive at Bar-sur-Aube.
* Golf (three courses not too far away from us), cycling, horse riding (one of the french national studs is fairly close by).
* Spend a day at Nigloland, the third largest amusement park in France or why not spend an afternoon romping through the trees in the tree park by the lakes.
* Shopping in the factory outlets in Troyes; the largest in Europe.
* Explore the wooden churches typical to this area, museums and history (Napoleons' first defeat on French soil took place only 5-10 minutes away from us at La Rothiere).
* Visit the markets to buy fresh locally grown produce and cheeses.
* Drive to the Burgundy towns of Chablis, Dijon, Beaune or the towns of Reims and Epernay under 2 hours drive from us, to sample their offerings. Another lovely town to put on the list is Nancy, again possible for a day trip.
The great thing about this area is that it is only four hours drive from Calais, Belgium etc! We are easy to get to by car straight down the motorway.
Éclance is a Galois name signifying ‘a clearing in the centre of forests’. The clearing may be rather bigger than when this name was coined and is now a small rural community nestling amongst the fields as well as forests. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Éclance reached a certain importance and by the 16th century hosted two large fairs.
For a small community Éclance boasts a very active social life. Virtually every month some sort of get together is organised and it has been made clear to us that our guests will be very welcome and in fact positively encouraged to attend. Éclance has its own forest and hunting lodge which provides the base for many a happy evening sat around the fire place (which dominates the centre of the room) in the winter. In addition the Place des Ancien Combatents at the centre of the village close to the large village pond, is the location for many of the summer events.
A typical programme of village events:
January : Les Gallettes des Rois (Frangipane tarts and wine)
February : Village carnival and Gaufres night
March : Games evening
April : Mountain Bike Raid 20km, 40km, 60km circuits
May : Village party; Bar-B-Que and stalls during the day, meal and dancing at night
June : School children's party and show
July : 14th July 12 hour celebration, spit roast and games during the day followed by meal and fireworks at night
September : Village walk
: Vide Grenier
October : Halloween procession and evening party
: Beaujolais Nouveau celebration
December : Santa Claus present giving to the children, champagne & cakes for the adults
: New Years celebration
Invariably these events tend to revolve around or end up with food and drink, most celebrations being accompanied by the sound of many a champagne cork and animated conversation!
Much is made of Napoleon as he went to military school at Brienne-le-Chateau (15 minutes). Not only that, but he lost his first battle on French soil at La Rothiere (10 minutes), though this is not really advertised by the French! As you relax by our pool and look at the hill to your east, imagine a Prussian battalion who set up their camp there, overlooking the other battalions who had set up camp on the pastures beside the chateau of Eclance. They stayed there a few days before heading off to defeat Napoleon.
La Ferme des Tourterelles used to be dairy farm that sold the milk to the local Eclance cheese maker. Although the reputation of this cheese still lasts, unfortunately it is no longer made.
During the First World War, the farm was used as a hospital for the wounded American soldiers. We discovered poetry and scribbling on the wall of our attic, hidden away for well over 50 years from these young lads. Much is made of the resistance during the Second World War with a museum and memorials to commemorate the bravery during this period.
The farm went into disuse after the closure of the Eclance fromagerie and the sale of the cattle and unfortunately the buildings deteriorated rapidly. Sarah and James purchased the plot in 2003 and have since renovated the buildings to their old glory with much help from some of the villagers. You are welcome to join in the many village activities which include an annual party in May, the celebration of Bastille Day, village walk, Beaujolais Nouveau, Gallette des Rois – to name a few!
The property and holiday description provides further details of the attractions close by, including the Regional Natural Park, the lakes, the amusement park etc.