Please let us introduce ourselves!
We are Brian and Sheila, an English couple who, after varied careers in the UK(including farming, wine, supermarkets, textiles and the RAF), finally decided to take the plunge and, in 2001, moved, lock stock and barrel, to a country which we both loved and where we had spent many happy holidays.
We looked all over France for our first home and finally decided on this part of the Loire Valley because we loved its “Douceur”, its gentle way of life, its people, its history, the Loire chateaux and, not least, its food and wine.
We first moved to the tiny hamlet of Cléré sur Layon where we were instantly welcomed by the small community and made many friends who we still see now, even after moving to Le Puy Notre Dame, a wine village in the heart of the Saumur vineyards.
After selling our house, "La Perriere", we spent six months looking at other regions of France before deciding that we still loved Anjou so much so that we purchased," "Le Clos des Guyons", one of many wine producing properties in the village and only a 30 minute drive from our first house. The previous owners now live just across the narrow road and have been indispensable in helping us to assimilulate into the local community.
As in Cléré sur Layon, we have created two holiday gites which we successfully manage to fill for most of the year.
We like to think that, whilst always being careful not to intrude, we offer something in addition to the all too common, "here's the keys now get on with it", mentality. We are always on site and in addition to helping with information, reservations, etc., we try to involve our guests in everything that is going on. This, to us, is no big deal, we like people and we feel privileged to be able to have an insight into the lives of the myriad of people who stay with us and, whether our guests be judges, farmers, pilots, sagger maker bottom knockers, or whatever, it leads to wonderfully interesting conversations which only serves to increase our expanse of knowledge and our understanding of the lives and cultures of other people .
We have created a blog and, by doing so, we hope we can share our experiences with both our guests and people thinking of living in France, explaining why we love living here so much and, of course, to have some fun in explaining our joys and true, sometimes our tribulations, in living in this wonderful corner of France's Royal Valley, Le Val de Loire.
Having 12 years experience of running our gites we are focused on offering both superb holiday accommodation and Wine Tour/Tutoured Tastings, for which we use our extensive knowledge of Loire Valley wines and our previous wine buying experience, to introduce the joy of wine to amateeurs and professional wine lovers, tourists and visitors to France alike. Voila!