Comments from new friends (and 'old' ones!)
We live in a charming nineteenth century charentaise farmhouse and we extend a warm welcome to everyone! Come and visit 'la belle France' and make memories....
'Well I’m back at the desk this morning and the body is in shock! This will take some re-adjustment!
Just wanted to drop you a little note of thanks and appreciation for my wonderful stay at Gite de Brives...the whole complex (including the le Studio) was just fantastic and suited my needs perfectly. It’s clear to see that you both take great pride and care in the upkeep of the whole premises and this is reflected in each of your premises and the facilities on offer. The surrounding area is truly amazing and I’m already itching to come back – there is just so much to see and do!'
Fionnuala, Sharon & Family - Donegal, Ireland 2015
'We have just come back from a wonderful two weeks staying in Le Marronnier and the best feedback I can give is that we would have happily stayed for another week or two!
The gite is laid out well. The front door opens in to a nice lounge area with a tv (with Freeview) and a number of games which we made use of. The kitchen is lovely and well stocked with everything you could need. Everything was immaculate. The bedrooms are down a short corridor from the kitchen. We slept very well even on hot days - the walls of the gite are so thick that they effectively kept the whole place lovely and cool.
Although there are two other gites Le Marronnier feels very private - the front of the gite and the BBQ area overlook fields. It is very peaceful. I went for a number of walks in the area and could count on one hand the number of cars that I passed. At night you can hear the owls in the nearby woods. The swimming pool is very well maintained - we had to drag our kids away from it - with plenty of sun loungers around it to flop on to.
The owners, Phil and Glyn are lovely hosts, welcoming and helpful. They gave us ideas for day trips, restaurants and inside knowledge of the local cognac producers.
We had a long list of places to visit in the local area and ran out of time to visit them all. In particular we loved our boat trip along the Charente from Cognac and our day in La Rochelle. Pons is also well worth a visit. I will happily recommend Gites de Brives to my friends and family.'
Lucy, Stuart & Family - St Alban's, UK 2015
'Stunning holiday. We wanted a relaxing holiday to unwind and this certainly exceeded all our expectations. The owners Phil & Glyn were very welcoming, we stayed in Le Figuier (6 person) gite and this was perfect for our family requirements. Spotless and spacious. The amenities were perfect and kept our 16 year old boys entertained. The swimming pool was amazing, the perfect size and very clean. Plenty of loungers around the pool. Table tennis, badminton, football and bowls and acres of land to explore. Cannot find any reason to be negative about Gites de Brives, only the fact that we should have booked a second week.!!'
Steve, Jo Westbury & Family - Staffs., UK 2015
'Phil and Glyn have a beautiful gite complex (we stayed in Le Marronnier) just outside Cognac in South West France. They were very friendly and welcoming and the gite was fantastic - there was so much space to run around and the kids adored the pool! We also loved our fresh croissants in the morning! Definitely worth a visit if you want to relax but also if you want to keep busy!'
Lynn, Graham & Family - County Armagh, UK 2015
We have just returned home from an excellent holiday at Gites de Brives. Although we had viewed the video tour that Phil has posted online, we still found that our gite (Le Figuier) and the grounds as a whole far exceeded our expectations.
Phil and Glyn were perfect hosts, they are always available when required but also go out of their way to allow you privacy to enjoy your holiday. The whole layout of the property suits this, and my wife and I and our two children (aged 2 and 4) spent the week enjoying the pool area (which is in pristine condition) and the very large garden area with table tennis, football goal, boules and a badminton/tennis net. A selection of outdoor and pool games are also provided.
The gite had everything we needed - the wifi, English TV and DVD player were a welcome luxury and the kitchen and bathroom have all the mod cons. We were also provided with a welcome pack including bread, wine, pate and cheese which was very welcome after a long drive down and was put to good use straight away on the patio (which seemed to always be sunny).
In my opinion this area of France is a hidden gem for family holidays. The gite is full of leaflets for local attractions. During our stay we visited the Chateau des Enigmes (highly recommended - we had it almost to ourselves), the beach at St George de Didonne, Saintes ampitheatre, Palmyre Zoo, Ile d’Oleron, La Rochelle and Cognac. All are great family days out.
In summary: a very relaxing holiday in great accommodation in a beautiful part of the world!
Craig, Becky, Chloe & Chloe - Norwich, UK 2015
‘Made so welcome from the start, we were delighted by all aspects of this holiday and gite! Phil and Glyn are perfect hosts who cannot help enough, yet have the knack of showing up only when you need them. They provide a lovely box of food on arrival - teabags, coffee, milk, bread, local butter, wine and a delicious pot of rillettes. Later in the week, Glyn provided some exquisite tomatoes! The gite (Le Marronnier) was private, clean and really spacious for a family of four - far larger than it appears on the video. Stone walls exposed throughout the property gave it a warm, authentic feel and the soft-furnishings were homely and cheerful. Kitchen was fully-equipped with lots of thought put into details, here. All was clean and perfectly maintained. Outdoor and indoor dining areas were large enough for many more than four. Cosy settee/TV area and extra space (for kids toys?) on a sofa bed at the other end of the living room. Super-quiet rural area; bird/bat life easily seen from your gite. UK TV and DVD player were well-received when the kids were worn out.
The super-clean pool was a major hit with the kids, as it was big enough for swimming and deep enough for diving/jumping into. Adults were happy relaxing in the sunny poolside area which was always in full sun/under parasol. The kids made some excellent friends from one of the other gites, with whom they had many hours of fun. We hired bikes for a day and would do so for longer, with older children, as the countryside around the gite is perfect for cycling - flat but never boring, with quiet paths criss-crossing between villages, farms and rivers. The kids would have been quite happy "staying in" for the whole week, but we ventured out a bit - a couple of child-friendly museums (Paleosite and Pirate-themed chateau) from details provided in abundance by Phil and Glyn on our noticeboard in the gite.
We also went to the wide, sandy Saint-Georges-de-Didonne beach, which was a little further (almost an hour) but the roads are heaven. There was an excellent climbing area there - tree climbing with harnesses and wires. We went back to this the following day, it was just so good!! There are many other activities on offer in the region - all ages are catered for…. Highly recommended - book it! (but not when we want to go back!).’
Marie, Robert & Family - Newcastle, UK 2015
'We have just returned home from our second stay in La Grange at Gites de Brives. Our fortnight was spent with a mixture of relaxation and activity at this beautiful base in the heart of the French countryside. Delightfully rural yet with fast, easy access to lovely towns such as Cognac (we would thoroughly recommend the Martell tasting tour), Saintes and Pons which are all nearby. Slightly further away but well worth visiting are Blaye, La Rochelle (with its wonderful aquarium) and Talmont among others.
La Grange is well presented, clean, comfortable and very well equipped. The lovely box of supplies (including bread, butter, pate, cheese, wine, jam, coffee, teabags and milk) is a thoughtful addition. The facilities on the site are perfect for a family. The pool is spotless and well maintained with the accompanying sun terrace and loungers perfectly positioned to catch the sun all day. Table tennis, terrain de boules and badminton all got well used during our stay and my husband and brother even hired a couple of bikes and went for some long rides around this beautiful area.
It was a joy to see Phil and Glyn again. As before they couldn't have been more helpful and friendly, available for advice and recommendations whenever needed. We have already booked for our third stay and look forward to seeing Phil and Glyn next year.
We would highly recommend Gites de Brives to anyone seeking top quality self catering accommodation in the Charente Maritime.'
Claire, Tony & Family - Kent, UK 2014
'Excellent in every way. Gites de Brives was great value, well equipped and a real pleasure to stay at. The owners were friendly and very helpful without being intrusive. The local area offers something for everyone, great tourist attractions, river adventures, beaches and great local activities. Do hope we have the opportunity of returning!'
Tony, Nicola & family - Oxford, UK 2014
'Just returned from a brilliant week staying at Gites de Brives. The owners Philip and Glyn were the perfect hosts. They knew enough about the area and gave us top tips on where to go, but at the same time they were never intrusive. Le Marronnier gite was lovely - you could watch the sun rise in the morning from the patio, roll over on the sun bed and watch it set at the other end of the patio on an evening. It was spacious inside with lovely stone walls and wooden beams. The facilities were perfect - everything you needed. We visited lots of great places like Cognac and the Remy Martin distillery which was fantastic. I just wish we had booked for two weeks and not one. Will definitely recommend to our friends when they are looking for a typical French holiday!!! Wish I was back there - putting some fresh prawns on the BBQ and sipping red wine!!'
Vicky, Neil & Family - East Yorks., UK 2014
'What's not to like about this gite? Everything we wanted we got. The gite is in a nice quiet location, No planes overhead and hardly any road traffic. Bliss! Good facilities, lovely pool and not at all overcrowded. There is a gym which was not used a lot but would have been if we'd had worse weather. Being keen cyclists we prefer to exercise outside on the nice quiet roads and the gite has a good selection of bikes for hire. We stayed in Le Studio which was perfect for a couple with all the facilities we required, well decorated and clean. The owners Phil and Giyn are lovely,friendly helpful people who had the right balance of being there for you, rather than always being around you! It was lovely to talk to them then they would leave us and go and do their own thing but they always made sure guests were enjoying themselves and happy. I would definitely recommend this gite to others!'
Phil & Sandra - Milton Keynes, UK 2014
'Thanks to Phil & Glyn for a wonderful week in the lovely well kept, well provisioned Le Studio. Peaceful surroundings with a gorgeous pool for cooling off in the afternoon sun !
15-20 minutes to Cognac and the usual tourist attractions for the distillery visits or a lazy boat ride down the river, and in less than an hour to the seaside resort of Royan and the beautiful beach at St.George de Didonne, For the connoisseurs there are umpteen local Pineau producers, so spoilt for choice. All in all, a very relaxing week's vacation.'
Colin & Sheila - Co. Durham, UK 2014
'We brought our teenage grand daughters here for a week and all enjoyed the gite (Le Figuier) and surrounding area very much. The well maintained pool and free fast wifi kept the girls happy. The owners, Phil & Glyn are always around for good advice, but are not intrusive. If we come your way again, we will certainly want to stay with you.'
Dave, Chris & Family - Tewkesbury, UK 2014
'Lovely quiet country location. First class welcome. Tastefully decorated rooms (we booked 4) with en suite bathrooms and access to a sitting room with books, games and television. We would definitely recommend this B&B for demanding travellers.'
Wendy Maroger (& family) - Chartres, France 2014
'Wonderful spotless gites with pool in lovely part of France. We stayed in Le Figuier. Owners Phil & Glyn are very friendly and helpful. Had a great two weeks, splitting it between a day by the pool and a day visiting Cognac, Royan, La Rochelle, Pons, Saintes etc. Great roads, supermarkets and weather..... Highly recommended.'
Simon, Julie & Family - Durham UK 2013
'Just back from a blissful week at Gites de Brives. Can't wait to go back for two weeks next year. We couldn't have picked a better place for our first foray into self catering in France. La Grange was perfect for us and our two children (10 & 15). We were warmly welcomed by the owners, Phil and Glyn, who were friendly and available without being intrusive. The beautifully maintained pool and sun terrace were the main focus of our, all too short, week but we also made good use of the other facilities such as the table tennis, badminton and boules.
After a busy day lounging by the pool nothing could be more perfect than enjoying a barbecue on our private patio and settling down to watch the stars rise over the vines and sunflowers which surrounded us. The location is perfect, rural and peaceful but with fast easy access to some beautiful towns including Cognac and Saintes. So perfect that we booked for our next stay, two weeks this time, before we left and we really can't wait.
Claire, Tony & Family - Kent, UK 2013
'We visited Gites de Brives for a week before travelling further north for the 2nd week of a our fortnights holiday. Phil and Glyn were exceptionally friendly and helpful, but never intrusive. They were a bit like the storekeeper in the Mr Ben programmes - just when you needed them they magically appeared!
The accomodation (Le Marronnier) was spotless and seemed much larger than in the photos we had seen - a welcome surprise. Everything in the gite worked perfectly, not least the incredibly thick walls which kept the bedrooms really cool in the evening (we took a couple of electric fans, but didn't need them). Glyn very helpfully suggested which shutters to keep closed at what times so that the Gite always stayed comfortable.
The pool was perfect, as were all the other shared facilities and the surrounding areas were a joy to explore (with helpful suggestions from our hosts).'
Andy, Karen & Family - Leighton Buzzard, UK 2013
'We stayed in Le Studio at Gites de Brives for 4 weeks. The accommodation was as advertised or better. The owners were always available, without in any sense being in the way. They look after the site carefully every day and made sure that everything was as it should be for all their guests. Brives is a good setting within reasonable reach of the coast and close to a number of sites along the Charente. We hope to be able to return.'
Jim & Parvin - Tonbridge Wells UK 2013
'We stayed here for a fortnight in August in the largest of the gites, La Grange. The gite had everything we could possibly need, and a few extras. The setting was beautiful, and the children really enjoyed having such a large area to play cricket, football, boules, badminton, table tennis.... Phil and Glyn were very helpful, and assisted us in locating a nearby tennis court. The property is located close to Saintes and Cognac, both of which are worth visiting, and we would recommend the boat trip on the River Charente on La Dame Jeanne in Cognac (although booking is recommended). We had a lovely holiday, and would recommend the property to other families.'
Eric, Emma & Family - Warrington UK 2013
'We have just returned from two weeks staying in Le Marronnier set in the beautiful French countryside. The gite was very spacious, the photos don't do it justice, clean, well equiped and very comfortable. There was a lovely pool and plenty to do if you decided not to go out exploring. Phil and Glyn were very warm and welcoming, nothing was too much trouble. We would definitely recommend Gites de Brives. Thanks for a lovely holiday Phil and Glyn.'
Rachel, Simon & Family - Yorkshire, UK 2013
'Thanks for a fabulous holiday. We will be recommending your lovely property (Le Figuier)!!'
Debbie, Andrew & Family - Wakefield UK 2013
'We had a very good run back to Cherbourg with plenty of time to stuff lots of wine into the boot! We had a lovely week at Brives especially as the weather was so good. Le Studio was perfect for us and it’s obvious that you go out of your way to see that your guests enjoy their holiday. Many thanks.'
Barbara & Jim - Chichester, UK 2013
'My wife and I stayed in Le Marronnier at Gites de Brives in May 2012. We had originally intended to stay for one week but ended up staying for two. The accommodation was superb, spacious, light, airy, with all mod cons, including swimming pool, English language t.v. channels, DVD player etc. and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside; but even better than the accommodation was the welcome and hospitality we got from our hosts Phil and Glyn who on more than one occasion went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that our stay was all it could be. We felt as welcome as long lost friends returning. It was a wonderful experience. Carlsberg don't do "hosts" but if they did.........
We had expected this to be a beautiful part of France and we were not disappointed, 10 minutes from the charming small city of Cognac with the beautiful Charente river and surrounded by picturesque villages of every shape and size, the Gite had everything we could have hoped for.'
Ed & Izabel - Ireland 2012
'Your gite was beautifully equipped and the swimming pool and bicyles were an added bonus. It is an ideal place to destress and chill out and despite being tucked away in the countryside was within easy reach of the coast and beautiful towns like Saintes and Cognac, with excellent restaurants nearby. You were always friendly and available when needed. Two teenage girls and two adults would all recommend your place to people of all ages.'
Malcolm, Christine & Family - Musselburgh 2012
'We were looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday in a gite (Le Marronnier) with good facilities and a nice swimming pool. We certainly found this at Gites de Brives. Phil and Glyn were friendly and very helpful hosts who work hard to keep the place looking tidy and the pool clean and welcoming.
It was harvest time and our 2 year old loved watching the tractors and combine harvesters on the local roads. The gite itself, however, is quiet and relaxing! The area is very rural but only 10 minutes drive from Cognac, with large supermarkets and cognac tasting if you fancy it. All in all I would heartily recommend Gites de Brives and Phil and Glyn as hosts.'
Will, Lottie & Family - Westbury on Trym, UK 2011
'We all had a wonderful stay in La Grange and will certainly recommend them to anyone who asks. It was really nice and a great comfort to have you both on site knowing that if anything went wrong you would be there to sort it out. And of course, just having you there to ask about local restaurants and things to do etc. was a real help. The gites themselves were top notch too and really well specced....'
Paul, Ally, Roscoe, Linus & Charlotte - UK 2011
'We found the gites at Brives an absolute haven of calm and tranquility. This was a wonderful contrast to our busy life at home and our two weeks were a wonderful break. Phil and Glyn, you were excellent hosts who were always available when required. The facilities in the gites were well beyond our expectations and had everything you could need for a family holiday. The pool and 'games' you provided also gave the children lots to do.'
Julian, Caroline & Family - Herts., UK 2010
'We really enjoyed our stay at your place, the kids had a lot of fun both in the gite (Le Marronnier) and in the attractions nearby. For us adults, it was a good opportunity to relax! Without doubt, we might try to come again before the kids are too 'young' to find this kind of vacation not exciting enough for them!'
Alejandro, Kirsti & Family - Oslo, Norway 2010