The Master Brewer's house
House | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 5
The Master Brewer's House dates back to about 1700, but was extended in the eqrly 1900s by the owner whose brasserie was originally in the house next door. He installed large windows, raised the roof and added a balcony to the front, so that the house now looks more like a Parisian house with its tall windows and high ceilings.
The house is a much-loved home and the decorations, furnishings and fittings reflect that.
The house works best for 1 or 2 couples, or a couple and 2 singles, or up to 4 singles, as the kitchen is really too small to cope with cooking for more than 4. My apologies in advance as the website says the house sleeps 5!
Feedback from previous guests is that it's not a great house for kids as the staircase is tall and quite steep.
The main rooms face due south and are sunny, light, airy and spacious. On the ground floor, there is a dual aspect sitting/dining room with 2 sofas (one is a comfortable single sofa bed) and a dining table seating 4. Off this, there is a small kitchen where 2 or 3 people can eat breakfast. A conservatory opens from the kitchen and beyond that is a tiny bathroom with bath, basin and wc.
The ground floor is suitable for people with restricted mobility, as access to the house from the street is via a very shallow step. There is then only one step on the whole of the ground floor, between the bathroom/wc and all the other ground floor rooms. There is a sofa bed on this floor.
On the first floor (22 steps up!) are 2 double bedrooms (one with a 4' bed and one with a 4'6" bed) and another room overlooking the garden that can be used as a quiet place to read. There is an inflatable single bed, (normal height, length and width, so absolutely not a lilo!) available on request for use in this room.
There is also a small shower-room with shower, hand basin and 2nd wc on this floor.
In winter, the combination of insulation, double-glazing, large south-facing windows and central heating means you can come back to a toasty warm house after you have walked around the ramparts.
The style of the house is intentionally not luxurious or high tech - in fact it's quite simple and minimalist - but it is spacious and comfortable. There's no washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, music system, ensuite bathroom, phone or huge TV (in fact there isn't a TV at all, though there is a small all-in-one DVD player/viewer).
It would suit those who'd like a quiet, simple and relaxing holiday and who are prepared to look after an elderly - and slightly temperamental - house kindly.
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Le Touquet 20 km|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car advised, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest Amenities||500 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Le Touquet 15 km, Nearest railway: Montreuil-sur-Mer 500 m|
|Family friendly||Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 5|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
|Further details indoors|
Duvets and pillows (all down, not synthetic) are provided; guests need to bring their own duvet covers, sheets, pillowcases and bathtowels. (There are bath mats, handtowels and drying up cloths). There is a laundrette 5 minutes drive from the house.
Broadband/wifi is usually OK but can never be guaranteed. If there is a power cut, broadband can sometimes only be restored after a call in French to the internet service provider.
|Further details outdoors|
The house is in a residential street in the part of Montreuil called the Ville Basse. From the back of the house you can see the famous 13th century Montreuil ramparts. The garden is completely enclosed and is great for eating outside as it faces south and is a real suntrap. The garden is paved and has flowerbeds (watering is much appreciated in dry spells!) There is a table that seats 4, a parasol which you will appreciate on sunny days and several deckchairs.
Parking is on the street outside with no meters or parking charges. It's possible to park right outside, which is very useful for people with restricted mobiiity.
Northern France region
Montreuil and Northern France can't be described as Mediterranean, but their great advantage is proximity to the UK, as it is easily possible to get here in 3 or 4 hours by car from London.
The countryside is surprisingly attractive. It is very similar to Kent although the land use is different. There are rolling hills offering big skies and distant views over a landscape cut by deep, pretty valleys with peaceful villages, many of them medieval. Climate is similar to southern counties of England; we do get some sun in summer!
Montreuil is officially one of the 100 most beautiful destinations in France see http://www.plusbeauxdetours.com/destinations-france/detail_montreuil-sur-mer-nord-pas-de-calais-pas-de-calais_400252.html
There are some lovely images of Pas de Calais on http://www.4cornersimages.com/news/478/feb-10-engraved-upon-my-heart.html (Copyright 4Corners Images).
2013 was a busy year in the town due to the release of the Hollywood film of Victor Hugo's novel "Les Miserables". Montreuil-sur-Mer is the town where Jean Valjean is mayor and factory-owner.
There will be great excitement on 8th July 2014 in Montreuil as the Tour de France will go through the town. If local rumours are correct, it will go past the front door of the house!
Also new in 2014 is an exhibition about General Haig's World War 1 GHQ, an enormous military, strategic and logistical operation behind the front line, which was based in and around Montreuil. The exhibition is really useful for setting the context of nearby battlefield sites and war cemeteries.
The brand-new satellite of the Paris Louvre Museum at Lens is proving hugely popular. It's about an hour and a half by car from Montreuil.
The town is a great all-year-round destination. Besides masses of summer activities autumn, winter and spring have their attractions too. In early spring, there are bracing beach walks or walks through woodlands with enormous drifts of snowdrops and wild primroses.
Around Valentine's Day, nearby Le Touquet hosts the "Salon du Vin au Feminin", now in its 15th year, a wine fair entirely organised by a group of French women who were irritated when it was always their male partners who were offered the wine list in restaurants! Berck has a spectacular spring kite festival that takes over a large stretch of the beach.
In summer we are spoilt for choice; there is canoeing/kayaking, great biking and hiking along French "grandes randonnees" part of the extensive footpath network in France, or beside the river, along farm tracks and quiet roads; trout and river fishing, and horseriding nearby. Birdwatching in the Canche and Somme estuaries and at Marquenterre is also very popular. There is sand-yachting on Merlimont beach or Fort Mahon beach for the very brave. There are gorgeous gardens to visit nearby; the Jardins de Valloires, the Jardin des Lianes and further afield La Plume near Rouen and the Gertrude Jekyll garden at Varongeville.
Montreuil is about 20-30 minutes from huge, beautiful sandy beaches. You can walk for miles from Le Touquet, Merlimont, Berck or Stella; just brilliant on sunny days at any time of the year.
Many visitors come for the golf; Le Touquet, Hardelot, Fort Mahon, Wimereux and Nampont courses are all nearby and St Omer course is only about 1 hour's drive.
Montreuil hosts an enormous antiques market on July 14th each year with all the roads closed for hundreds of stalls throughout the town. It is one of the highlights of the year.
The "son et lumiere" version of "Les Miserables" takes place over 2 summer weekends, the last one in July and the first in August. There are also live jazz and rock concerts, often outdoors, plenty of "brocantes" (car boot sales; hugely popular in France), food festivals and flower festivals.
Locally, the Citadel at Montreuil (about 5 minutes walk from the house) is the main historic attraction, but there is also a great little museum. There is also an antiques auction in town every Saturday.
Le Touquet is about 20 minutes drive away and offers sophisticated shopping as well as plenty of summer outdoor entertainments, film, jazz and flower festivals, a piano music festival, a wonderful Saturday market, Aqualud water sports centre and beach activities.
"Les Malins Plaisirs" (Wicked Pleasures) is a 10 day festival of music, theatre, opera and comedy in Montreuil and surrounding villages. It's put on by an extremely professional group of Parisian artistes and has been on for over 20 years.
Day trips can easily be made to Paris, Lille (for "La Piscine" art gallery and museum) or Arras by train or Bruges in Belgium by car.
In autumn, there are harvest festivals and a delightful outdoor soup and bread festival. In October Montreuil hosts "La Frappadingue", an assault course through mud attracting about 750 competitors and many more cheering supporters each year. There are maritime festivals in Etaples, winter concerts and Christmas fairs in nearby towns and villages. Le Touquet has unusual Christmas lights and a brilliant outdoor skating rink.
Montreuil has about 20 restaurants listed on Trip Advisor, all within walking distance of the house. One of them is the famous La Grenouillere, a lovely 20 minute walk around the ramparts or along the river. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/01/la-grenouillere-montreuil-france-review
There is a market every Saturday in Montreuil's main square, about 10 minutes walk from the house, and several supermarkets.
Please note, although Montreuil is called "sur mer" (on the sea) the sea receded 400 years ago! and the nearest beaches are 30 minutes away by car, train or bus or about an hour off-road by bike.
Montreuil is on the borders of wine-drinking France (the Wine Society have their French headquarters in the town and there is another even nicer wine merchant, Vinophilie) and beer-drinking Flanders, so there are some really interesting beers and lagers to try too.
Guest reviewsPowered by TripAdvisor
Guest reviews Powered by TripAdvisor
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6 Jan 2014
"Wonderful way to enter the new year"
Lovely house, warm and welcoming, in a lovely town in less than an hours drive from Calais. Booking and admin was very smooth and the owner, Lesley, was very helpful.Lots of choice for restaurants and… More
I'm glad you all enjoyed your stay and special thanks for looking the house so carefully. It's great to know that the house works well for December/January as well as during other months.
28 Sep 2013
"Relaxed and with sunshine thrown in !"
A relaxing 4 nights in a lovely house. All you could need for a great break away. Enjoyed walks round the ramparts in wonderful September sunshine. We had tea on the patio every afternoon, joined by b… More
Thanks for your comments, I'm really pleased you enjoyed your stay. Great about the late September sunshine! I'm glad the house and town all came up to your expectations.
22 Sep 2013
"Great place to stay"
We stayed here for 5 nights and were bowled over by the house and welcome from Lesley.The house is clearly loved & well cared for with lots of homely touches. The garden/patio is glorious, especially … More
Thanks for your kind comments and for being so philosophical about the house's eccentricities which are many and varied. Not many people have to take a door handle with them when they leave the house, in order not to be locked out! This has now been fixed (with any luck). All best wishes and many thanks again.
15 Aug 2013
"Lovely house, pretty garden, good location, beautiful town."
Four of us stayed at the Master Brewers House and thoroughly enjoyed it. The owner could not have been more helpful.… More
I'm glad you enjoyed your stay and thanks for looking after the house. I hope the rest of your family get-together went well.
9 Aug 2013
"Lovely home from home"
We stayed here in June (2 couples) and really enjoyed the house. It had everything we needed. The town and ramparts are interesting to walk around. Our favourite restaurant was Le Pot du Clape for… More
Many thanks for your kind remarks and glad you enjoyed your break.
30 Jul 2013
"The Master Brewer's House has character and a living charm"
The house is well located a few hundred yards from the centre. The parking is easy on this residential street which is part of the local community. You find yourself staying in a 'living house' with plants, window boxes and a small garden, which the owner suggested we might want to water given the hot dry days, so there is a feeling of guardianship rather than rental. Buying some fresh produce in the local markets or shops and preparing it in the kitchen to eat in the garden or at the dining table is a real pleasure. Alternatively, you may eat out. This is not a place for microwave food in front of the telly. The Bastille day celebrations in the town are a delight with a small marching band and lantern procession which passed by the house after dark on the Saturday evening. It was full of local pride and patriotism, rather than nationalism, but we nonetheless joined in! The place has the ambiance reminiscent of a time, real or perceived, from decades past.....You know the cliché. There's plenty to see and do in the area and it is a great base from which to explore. The owner's guidance and communication was really good and our experience was thoroughly enjoyable.
Thanks for capturing the atmosphere in the house and town so well.
I'd thought watering the plants would be a chore rather than something positive, so it's good to see you enjoyed the guardianship of the house. Do please come and be its guardian again!
21 Oct 2012
"Ideal for a short break"
Just outside of the ramparts of Montreuil-sur-Mer this is a characterful house and an ideal base for the area. Montreuil is a very pleasant town with lovely small shops and restaurants. The old houses and cobbled streets are full of interest and it is a good base for the region with less than a half hour drive into Le Touquet. There is plent of room for a couple of a family and a small courtyard garden to enjoy the sun.
Thanks for your helpful comments about the town and the house. I hope to meet you again next year! Best wishes Lesley
10 Sep 2012
"The Best house to stay in Montreuil-sur-Mer"
This is a beautiful house, extremely well and tastefully furnished throughout, with a pretty patio garden for eating in the sunshine. The house is conveniently situated for walking into the picturesque town with it's Ramparts and wonderful views, plus you have gourmet resteraunts in abundance.We did not venture far,as we just loved the house and discovering the town. The owner is extremely helpful and informative and information on the area is all available in the house.
Thank you Lesley for letting us use your beautiful home, we will be back.
It's been great to have had so many guests who've appreciated that the house is a much-loved home and have looked after it that way. I would be delighted to have you come and stay again.
29 Aug 2012
"Beautiful, elegant and comfortable home"
We booked our stay through the owner which was really easy and she couldn't have been more helpful. We stayed for 4 nights as a group of 4 girls, just wanting a relaxing and easy French break. … More
Thanks, glad you enjoyed your relaxing stay. Do please come again.
7 Jun 2012
"A wonderful elegant town house beneath the ramparts of historic town only an hour from Calais"
We have just returned from a long annual holiday in France and stayed the last four nights in the Master Brewers house. We were completely sold on this beautiful house,the lovely town and the stuning surrounding countryside. It's an area we have always by- passed on our way to more distant areas of this wonderful country.Our next French holiday will be back in this house so we can see more. Montreuil has bags of character offers a range of shops and restaurants and is only a short stroll from open countryside and 20k from stunning beaches and the very chic Le Tourquet.
The house's first guests from Holiday Lettings! Thanks for treating it so well and do please come and stay again.
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