Lonlay L'Abbaye Village House
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House | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 8
My village house was built in 1808. Aside from being a family home for generations, it has also been a shop and is now a comfortable four bedroom house.
On the top floor of the house, the attic bedroom has beautiful exposed beams with a stunning view of the abbey and beyond to the wooded hills that surround the village. Outside, there is a pretty courtyard garden with a table and chairs and a gas barbecue so that you can enjoy meals outdoors. Inside, the dining room is perfect for a relaxed evening enjoying a home cooked meal and a bottle of the local Poiré Domfront (pear cider).
Unlike many holiday homes, this house has all the furnishings, books, games, kitchen utensils and homely touches that make it a real home-from-home.
A perfect day in the Orne..
When you wake up in the morning, why not join the locals and head to the bakers just a few doors down to get delicious fresh bread and croissants? After breakfast, keen cooks will enjoy visiting a farmers' market in one of the neighbouring villages where home grown seasonal fruit and vegetables as well as regional specialities such as cider, camembert and Normandy cream are on offer. Pick up a selection for a tasty picnic to eat in the grounds of one of the many chateaux in the area such as Carrouges or Lassay les Chateaux. Once back at the house, you could prepare a simple but hearty meal of coq-au-cidre - the Normandy version of coq-au-vin - one pot cooking at its best! Serve with a crusty baguette (La Pointe de Lonlay from the village bakers is perfect) and plenty of Normandy butter!
For more ideas for days out in Basse Normandie as well as recipes and foodie tips, visit my blog normandyvillagehouse.wordpress.com
Guest review: August 2013
"Hi Katie, just wanted to let you know how much we love your house. It is beautiful, and just what we were hoping for. We love the village too. My husband and I think it is the nicest holiday home we have ever rented. Our grandsons (15 and 13) think it's great here, and so does our son. Thank you so much"
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Deauville-Normandie (from City Airport) 135 km, Nearest railway: Flers 20 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (4), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
There are four bedrooms comprising of one room with a set of bunk beds (perfect for children), one twin room and two double bedrooms. The bunk room and one of the double bedrooms have ensuite bath/shower rooms and there is a cloakroom on the ground floor.
The kitchen has a large gas range cooker and all the utensils you will need to cook local dishes. The dining area has a table and chairs to seat 8 people and the lounge/snug has two three seater sofas. There is a TV in the sitting room and WiFi is available free of charge for guests to use. There is also a Sky box but guests will need to take their own Sky card if they wish to watch satellite TV.
|Further details outdoors|
The house is situated on the edge of the square, where there is free parking. There are usually plenty of available spaces right in front of the house.
This house has steep stairs and is not adapted for people with restricted mobility or wheelchair users. I cannot therefore recommend this house for anyone who finds stairs difficult to negotiate. Having said that, my Grandmother who has had a severe stroke and has difficulty going up and down stairs has stayed at the house and manages quite well. There is a sofa bed in the snug/lounge on the ground floor as well as a downstairs cloakroom. All showers and baths are on the first floor. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
The Normandy region
Normandy is a fascinating region of northwestern France and you will find many places of great historical interest here. From D-Day beaches to the great Bayeux tapestry, there is something for everyone to explore. Mont St.Michel, France's second most visited tourist attraction after the Eiffel tower, is just over an hour's drive from the house and there are around 600km of rugged coastline to discover.
With lush rolling pastures and cows grazing among the orchards, Normandy invites the visitor to 'slow down' and despite an annual tourist invasion every year to the main tourist hotspots, the region remains a largely untouched paradise. Locally, there are magnificent castle towns, ruins and cathedrals that make good stop off points when travelling around the region.
Normandy is also famed for being the home of Monet and other great artists including Renoir, Géricault, Pissarro and Braque. Many of the familiar scenes from these masterpieces were inspired by places in Normandy and the small town, Giverny, where Monet spent the latter years of his life is fascinating to visit.
My house is in the centre of the rural village of Lonlay L'Abbaye. Here you will find an excellent bakery, butcher, a restaurant two doors along from the house serving local specialities, a village pub and other amenities including a mini supermarket, hairdressers and the Mayor's office.
Lonlay L'Abbaye is famed for its beautiful abbey and the associated 'Biscuits de L'Abbaye'. For more history on the sablé normand and its connection with the village, please follow this link: http://www.biscuiterie-abbaye.com/en/Historique.aspx
Lonlay L'Abbaye is on the edge of the Calvados region of Normandy and is surrounded by wooded hills and valleys that form part of the Normandie-Maine Regional Natural Park, an area of natural beauty that extends to some 257 000 hectares. The rugged Brittany/Normandy coastline is just over an hour's drive away and there are several lakes with beaches within half an hour by car.
The region is best explored on foot or by bicycle and the keen cyclist will find well-established cycle routes including the Grand Itinéraire, Paris - Mont St Michel, which passes through nearby Domfront. For more details of this and other cycle routes in the area, you may find this link helpful: http://www.af3v.org/Itineraires-Eurovelo-en-France.html#13.
For more details on activities in the area, please do not hesitate to ask.
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21 May 2014
Three of us stayed in this delightful house in Lonlay L'Abbaye, which is warm, comfortable and with the added benefits of an excellent hot water supply, satellite or Freeview TV and WiFi. The ho… More
23 Oct 2013
"Like going back in time"
We had a wonderful stay in this beautiful stone house. The whole area feels like you are stepping back in time. The beds were comfortable and the home has some fun unique details like the exposed stone walls in the kitchen and bathroom. We would recommend this wonderful place to all friends and family.
Thank you very much for your review, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay and that you liked the house. Great to hear that you found the beds to be comfortable too!
8 Oct 2013
"Not Quite What it Said on the Tin"
Let me explain. We (couple 60ish) wanted a comfortable house within easy reach of both Caen & Cherbourg so we could meet up with friends (couple 60ish) for a few days.
According to the ad. at the time (July), this house was ideal having en suite bath/shower rooms to both main bedrooms (since changed to one) in a 'carefully renovated four bedroom house' with homely touches that ' make it a real home-from-home.' It sounded ideal although there were very few pictures of the interior on the site. So our impression was that the house was refurbished to a high standard and the price did not belie the fact.
When we arrived we were therefore surprised to find that all was not what it seemed; it was in fact a work in progress. As for the en suites, in the top bedroom promoted in the ad. it is a lavatory tucked so far into the eaves that any male over four feet can't use it and a sink with a trickle of cold water, these being partially concealed from the bed by a gauze curtain. The other is a tired & tiny shower room off the sparse second bedroom which is over the kitchen and separated from it by a badly laid floor with no seal against kitchen fumes & sound. Privacy is out of the question here.
There's more but suffice to say I have the photos and we were on holiday so took the positive view after the initial disappointment.
Forgetting the inaccuracies, the double beds are both comfortable, the kitchen is well equipped and the water is hot. Wifi is a bonus as is the Sky box.
It's situation in the village of Lonlay L'Abbaye is ideal if you like to meet the natives which you can here. There's a handy Relais three doors down which serves OK food - cash only - (& unusually for France seems to be open all hours) and a no-frills step-back-in-time bar/tabac with unknown opening hours except to the ex-pats who meet there. There's a boulangerie/ patisserie, charcouterie, PO, ATM & mini supermarket open on Sundays. It's a good location and just 10 minutes drive from Domfront and the truly excellent Auberge du Grand Gousier. (See my TripAdvisor review!)
If you favour comfortable bedrooms & well fitted bathrooms this is probably not for you but for a gang of friends or a family with children old enough to cope with the stairs it should be fine.
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. I am very sorry to hear that the house did not meet your expectations. 2013 is the second year that the house has been let and this is the only negative feedback that I have received – I'm sure you will see that the reviews on Holiday Lettings and in the guestbook at the house are all very positive - there have been no concerns about the quality of the decor. My family and I have put in a great deal of time and effort to make the house as comfortable as possible so it is very disappointing to hear that you were unhappy with it.
Please bear in mind that the house was built in stone over 200 years old and is therefore not comparable to a purpose built modern house. Nevertheless, I believe that my house is decorated and furnished to a higher standard than most holiday homes and other guests have informed me that it is the nicest holiday home that they have ever stayed in.
I am pleased to hear that you found the double beds comfortable (one mattress is memory foam and the other is a high quality sprung mattress). It is very important to me that guests have a relaxing and enjoyable stay and I feel that good beds are key to this.
Given the age of the house, we make improvements every year and so will try to take into account your comments about the ensuites and the bedroom floor.
I do hope that this has addressed your concerns and that you and your friends enjoyed your holiday in Lonlay L'Abbaye overall.
21 Sep 2013
A lovely house, perfect for a family getaway. A beautiful village, a little isolated, but has everything right on your doorstep. People are friendly - about hour to the beaches and lots of French countryside.
Thank you very much for your review.
I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay and that you liked the house and the village.
The house is in a small village in the countryside which means that it doesn't have all the high street shops and amenities of a larger town. For me, this adds to the charm of staying in a provincial French village because you find yourself adapting to the local way of life by going to the baker's in the morning and to the butcher to ask his advice on the cut of meat that you should use for a particular dish. As you say, everything you need (restaurant, baker, butcher, grocery shop etc.) is on the doorstep.
There are several larger towns within half an hour to an hour's drive and cities Caen, St Malo and Rennes are close enough for a day trip.
Thank you again for staying at the Village House in Lonlay L'Abbaye, I hope you will come again soon!
8 Apr 2013
"Great facilities, location and village location."
The house is the best holiday rental we have stayed at in France. It has 4 large bedrooms, one with bunk beds and toilet/bath. Two bedrooms with double beds, one with shower/toilet, the other with toilet/wash basin and finally a twin bedroom. The kitchen is well stocked with everything needed, the lounge has sky tv which is great for children and the family. It is a quirky house split over 3 levels, one of the bedrooms is over the kitchen. So great for grandparents to stay with you. In there own area of the house. Also wifi is a great extra bonus in he house, we used it to plan days out. The village has all your needs to get by. Supermarket, bakers, butchers, pharmacy, restaurant and a bar. Also in the village is a biscuit factory, but you will need to book up a tour in advance. Katie is great at arranging things with your booking and made everything so smooth.
Hopefully we will return again.
I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay, I hope you can come again soon. Thank you very much for sharing your feedback!
2 Apr 2013
"Gorgeous House in lovely village"
Stayed for 2 nights in March, the heating was on when we arrived (much appreciated!) and the house was very warm and welcoming. All facilities that you need and a lovely large dining room for long eve… More
Thank you so much for taking the time to review the house, I'm really glad you enjoyed your stay.
1 Oct 2012
"Lovely village house in a picturesque village"
Lonlay L'Abbaye is a very picturesque village with a bakers and a small shop within walking distance of the house. The house itself was perfect for our needs. We found the owner to be a very good communicator and flexible about the length of stay, arrival/departure time etc. The added benefit of wifi was a bonus. Based upon the service provided by the owners, the the lovely feel to the house and the picturesque setting I would wholeheartedly recommend this property.
30 Sep 2012
"Fantastic Location and Lovely House"
This was a great holiday, and our family (2 adults and 4 children under 10) all had a great time. The house is in a really lovely village and it is a great base for exploring the region. We went most days to nearby La Ferte Mace where there is a lake and lots of things to do, particularly for kids (boats, bikes to hire, cafe etc). Katie was a pleasure to deal with and left lots of helpful books and brochures in the house giving information about the area and what you can do. The village is only a shortish drive to see the D-Day Beaches or the Bayeux tapestry and on one day we even drove into Paris - which is also easily done as a day trip. Highly recommmended.
22 Aug 2012
"Comfortable, spacious & quirky house in village centre."
Had a fantastic 10 days in this lovely large house overlooking the War memorial & square in the heart of this friendly village. Mini-mart, friendly bar, pattiserie & boucherie all very close. 2 doors along is an excellent restuarant / tea salon with a midweek evening 3 courses with wine & coffee at 12 euros. Small but south facing courtyard at back & large well euipped kithen, freeview TV, 4 WCs & 2 bath/shower rooms. 10 mins drive to lovely old Domfront ( supermarket here ) or Fosse Arthour ( beautiful lake/river strolls ). Wednesday market in nearby St Hilaire De Harcourt. Lots of help & info from owner Kate before we left. The Abbey in the town is worth a visit with it's ancient cider press & park/picnic area. Lots to see & do in a beautiful but quiet part of Normandy & some real French living. LOVED IT & want to return !!
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