There are four recently renovated cottages lining the courtyard of what used to be a dairy farm on the edge of the small village of Eclance. The cottages have retained the character of the old barns through the exposure of limestone walls or old oaks beams where possible though alsothey have large light rooms providing the modern day comforts. Each bedroom has its own bathroom or shower room.
If the cottages have been booked out by different families, to date, we have found that there is so much on offer in this area that seldom are there more than one family using the pool at the same time.
You can dine al fresco on the terraces in front of the cottages, under the shade of the trees lining the garden or on the terraces. There is a BBQ terrace with a chimenea, that provides the opportunity to eat into the night with the ambience of burning wood and on a clear night the beautiful stars and sky unpolluted by light.
We are close to the Regional Naturel Park of the Forest of the Orient with its three big lakes, Nigloland amusement park, the champagne route and the medievel towns of Troyes and Bar-sur-Aube.
|Size||Sleeps up to 26, 11 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Dienville (Lake) 10 km|
|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|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Shared garden, BBQ|
|Further details outdoors|
There is a large barn in which you can park your cars. In the height of the summe this means your car will be nice and cool when you go out on excursions or shopping.
There are cycle hire shops nearby so many guests bring their own as the roads are on the whole empty!
Likewise at the lakes you can hire boat (bring your licence with you).
We have some toys for children to play with and an old school desk from the Eclance school that seats two young children so please let Sarah or James know if you would like this placed in your cottage.
Bottle or half bottle champagne provided as a welcome gift depending on number of adults from our friends 'Champagne Philippe Legout' for those renting for a week or more.
Payment of deposit via IBAN, Caxton FX FastPay Online System (we have found the rates of exchange to be better than the banks or post office with no commission charges to either you or us) or PayPal with an increment to cover additional charges.
Prices include bedlinen with beds already made up, services such as electricity and gas and towels for the bathroom. Should you require the cleaning service to take place after your departure, please reserve in advance. Price to be advised depending on how many cottages you require cleaning. Otherwise, the cottages must be left in the same state of cleanliness as you found the cottages on your arrival.
Payment of balance in euros on arrival or via IBAN or FastPay in advance.
“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.