Where Are We
Chez les Rois is situated in the quaint picturesque village of Berneuil. The boulangerie is a two minute drive away by car, or meander through the sunflower and vine fields for your morning croissants. You can find the grocers, chemist, bank and post office at 8 kms and for major shopping Barbezieux is a ten minute drive away. Berneuil is located in the Charente, SW France.
We are 50 minutes away from Bordeaux Airport but slightly further a field is Bergerac, Poitiers, La Rochelle and Limoges.
Aubeterre considered to be one of the most prettiest villages in France, and it’s easy to see why. Stroll round the village taking in the architecture, visit the shops, make sure you see the monolithic church and then have lunch in the square.
Make a day of it
Canoe in the morning, have lunch after the canoe trip at Bonnes and then visit the village in the afternoon. Late afternoon make your way down to the beach to catch the last of the sun.
Brantome is the Venise of the Perigord. The river runs round the town and it is very picturesque with riverside restaurants.
Make a day of it
If you go to Riberac market on the Friday morning you could pick up some wonderful local produce including roast chickens, salad, melons, strawberries and tarts ….. and not forgetting the wine. Perfect ingredients for a picnic and then travel onto Brantome and picnic by the river. Perhaps take a boat trip and meander through the town visit the cathedral and the shops built into the side of the rock face.
Dune du Pilat
Dune du Pilat is the highest sand dune in Europe. And although it’s a few hours a way it is without doubt stunning to see. There are steps to walk up it but after you reach the top its just sand, sand and more sand. The view at the top is worth the hike.
Make a day of it
Make sure you visit Arcachon and its bay and make sure you try the oysters.
Bordeaux is a historic city and well worth the visit just for the architecture alone. It has some wonderful shops but for teenagers we would probably recommend the shopping mall at Auchan Commercial Centre near the Lac.
If you are spending Christmas or New Year at Chez les Rois you must visit Bordeaux at night to see the Christmas lights and the Christmas village. Local artesians come to sell their goods in log cabins, you can sample "vin chaud" and roasted chestnuts. There are several groups that come to play music across the road at the Theatre and if you make your way to the quays there is also ice-skating.
St Georges de Didonde
St Georges de Didonde is on the Atlantic coast and only one hours drive from Chez les Rois. We first discovered St George when our kids we little. It’s a brilliant beach and there is also lots for the kids to do. Teenagers can wind surf, take small boats out and at the end of the beach is an adventure playground where kids can climb and swing through trees.
Talmont is one of my favourite places. A small fishing village with lots of character……small whitewashed cottages, turquoise shutters, cobbled streets lined with hollyhocks. A picture in the making ! Talmont was once one of the dropping off places for the pilgrims making their way to Compostella in Spain. The church there is built on a rocky peninsula that juts out into the Gironde Estuary.
Make a day of it
Visit the caves in the morning, have lunch at Talmont and then relax on the beach in the afternoon. There are a host of small coves around this area.
La Palmyre is famous for its zoo and its nudists beach
Make a day of it
Visit the zoo in the morning. Be warned it gets very busy in summer. Then see Royan during the afternoon.
La Rochelle is one of my favourite places to shop and very cosmopolitan. After a mornings shopping treat yourself to lunch at one of the many fish restaurants surrounding the harbour. It is also a very historical town and if you have time its great to walk round the harbour.
Make a day of it
Well I could spend a day in La Rochelle, a day on the Il d’Oleron and another day on the Il de Ré but if you are trying to do something for every age group then head for Il d’ Oleron.
Blaye on the Gironde Estuary is quite an interesting place. Its an old citadel dating back to Roman times. It has a lively Saturday morning market and then after you could have lunch in the citadel and then walk round the old fort, and even take a boat trip up the river.
St Emilion is world famous and just one hours drive away. It is a lovely place to visit and has a tourist train that will take you around the town. Have lunch at the Bell Tower and then go to sample the wines at the many Chateaux surrounding St Emilion.
Il d’ Oleron
Il d’ Oleron is reached by a very long viaduct from the mainland. It’s a beautiful place to see. St Pierre is the islands capital with “dinky” shops and lots of fish restaurants. Bouyardville is also worth the visit, you can even take a boat trip to see the famous Fort Bouyard.
Il de Ré
Il de Ré is where the Parisians holiday. White sand and turquoise waters. St Martin is the capital of the island and has a small harbour with many yachts. Lots of really nice shops here and restaurants but you will need to put the visa card in the freezer when you get back. Pay a visit to the old fort and you will be able to see the Donkeys of Il de Ré with their trousers on!
Royan is a great sea side town and has something for everyone.
Meschers is just a few minutes down the coast and has the famous troglodyte, caves. There is a museum which shows people living in them a hundred years or so ago and what life was like then. In fact people still live in a few of them today.
What a venue for our big day!
Tracy and I never travelled to CLR prior to our big day and organised it all via email (with the help and guidance of Gail of course). Therefore we both had a sense of trepidation as the coach pulled up at the gates. Well, we should never have doubted the photos....WOW!
Loved every minute of it, with Gail's amazing wedding planning skills and the skill and professionalism of Amy the caterer, Jean the florist, Harriet the photographer and Sue the celebrant, our big day simply could not have been better.
Fantastic food and quality wine in such a beautiful setting shared with 32 members of our family and friends, the wedding day, paella pool party and following 5 days could not have been more perfect.
With young & older members of the party loving the laid-back atmosphere and pretty surroundings (the flowers in the photos looked even better in the skin!) we truly kicked-back in style and had the wedding we always wished for and the holiday of a lifetime.
"Organising a wedding in France should be a complicated ordeal however Gail made sure the process was smooth and hassle-free. 2 years planning, frequent email conversations and a pre-wedding visit to get a feel for the venue and meet all of the suppliers, all of which were recommended by Gail and far exceeded our expectations. The delivery of our special day by the staff at Chez les Rois was no exception to this. Everything we planned and visualised for the day came to fruition perfectly.
Nothing was too much trouble and everything that we thought we would need to do before the wedding was taken care of. With 43 guests making the effort to travel to the Charente we wanted the day to be as special for them as it was for us and Gail completely delivered. The feedback we have received subsequently is testimony to this.
We have many wonderful memories of our wedding day at Chez les Rois."
If there was 'how to' guide for weddings, Chez les Rois could write it!
Fantastic location... perfect venue... faultless wedding planning.
We wanted to get away from the traditional, formulaic, structured wedding resonant of the UK and Chez les Rois offered everything we wanted. From the very first enquiry, Gail has provided invaluable support, giving information, offering advice and putting us in touch with contacts to help make our wedding weekend perfect from start to finish. The venue offers a relaxed and personal atmosphere which met and exceeded all of our expectations. Gail let us put our own stamp on our wedding whilst allowing us to tap into her expertise with regards to styling and structure. No problem has been too big for Gail and her team to solve (and always with a smile). She is there to lend a hand (always on the other end of an email) at the same time as respecting our desire to make the wedding our own.
Family stayed at the venue and the facilities were excellent for a large family with kids. Throughout our stay, Gail and Mike were always available to call on to help with anything and they welcomed our friends and family into their home. Friends stayed in nearby accommodation, and all were met with a warm French welcome from the Gite and B&B owners. The whole weekend ran smoothly and that is thanks to the superb organisation of Gail and the team where every little detail was considered and well executed. I would recommend Chez les Rois to anyone who is wanting something a little bit different where friends and family can come together for a weekend of celebrations surrounded by beautiful French countryside, fantastic accommodation and friendly people.
We had our wedding at Chez les Rois on June 20th 2015 and I can honestly say it was perfect! Gail was amazing from start to finish and she literally made our dream wedding come true, form the tiniest detail to the overall feel. We cannot thank her enough and couldn't have done it without her. She was so helpful with every little detail and query, and was always so quick to get back to me. By the time I arrived for our wedding I felt like I was greeting a friend.
We had Chez les Rois for a week, with the wedding in the middle, and it was so great to have it for that long....it was like having a week long wedding party! We had people from all over the world come and stay and every single one of them loved it and thought it was an amazing location and day. I cannot recommend Chez les Rois (and Gail) enough for a wedding destination or just a holiday.
Our dream is to return for our fifth wedding anniversary! Thanks again to Gail, Mike and all the team for being perfect hosts and turning our vision and dreams into a reality...it is a week and day that we and all our guests will never forget :-) "