MAS DE LA GIRALDE
Esme and David, Guernsey
If you are visiting the Ardèche region of France then Les Cigales á Mas de la Giralde is THE PLACE TO STAY! Where to begin? Well our wonderful hosts Nick and Fiona were there to greet us after a long journey and could not have been more hospitable or helpful.
The farmhouse is along a small country lane and sits atop a breathtakingly beautiful ridge. You are virtually in the tree canopy; the views really are stunning. The farmhouse (which is deceptively small from the front but enormous at the back) is divided into the owner’s accommodation and two lovely B&B’s. Below this is the gîte which you approach by walking along the most beautiful stone covered walkway almost like cloisters, with lovely views out to the side of the house across the valley. The gîte itself has a double bedroom, brand new bathroom with all the mod-cons and a large open plan kitchen and living area with its own outside balcony looking over the valley, complete with BBQ. There is also the option of using a mezzanine bed for children.
Alongside the house is an amazing pool with plenty of room for sunbeds and a separate social area to one side. Our favourite time of day was coming back to the gîte and sitting by the pool with a drink and watching the sun go down behind the hill opposite. We went in September and the weather was really hot and sunny. The pool is large enough for a proper swim and you can lean on the flagstones on one side and literally soak up the amazing view. The pool is also fitted with a special safety alarm so no worries if you have young children.
Nick and Fiona’s attention to detail is really worth a mention – everything they have done to the farmhouse is well thought out and to a very high standard. The kitchen is the best equipped holiday kitchen I have ever been in and there was a very nice bottle of wine waiting for us in the fridge on our arrival courtesy of our hosts – definitely our sort of people!
The property is set in acres of garden leading down the valley to a small stream. We did not have time to explore it all while we were there which is one of many good reasons for us to return. Nick and Fiona are the perfect hosts. They are there if you need them but take their cue from you as to whether you are up for a chat or just want to be left to drift off for a siesta. We were shown around the whole of the property which is made up of some great social spaces as well as a labyrinth of covered walkways, secret spaces and even a tower which they hope one day to renovate.
We believe next year the whole property may be for rent at certain times of the year for large family gatherings etc. and...