If you follow me on Instagram, you will have spotted that we are currently in France. We are in the South West of France in the beautiful Dordogne region. We are staying at Domaine du Sourire in Champagne-et-Fontaine and I am so glad we found it! There is free WiFi so I can continue my work as a virtual assistant. Surrounded by fields and with its own extensive grounds it is certainly one of those idyllic places. Although you are well and truly in the countryside, you can access various towns and villages easily by car. You definitely need a car in this area so if you are flying over, make sure you hire a car, I have recently written about the cheapest way to hire a car in France.
Domaine du Sourire is run by Jackie and Terry, they are down to earth, friendly and a fountain of knowledge about the area if you need any advice of where to go or places to see. They live on site and there are four gites they hire out. Two of the gites sleep five people, one has sleeping for six and the other for eight people so perfect if you are visiting with family or friends. The gites all surround a courtyard where there is a beautiful shaded seating area.
Our gite is Le Feon. Once you walk in, you are greeted by a large open plan living space with a dining table and chairs, sofa, TV which also has English channels (no signal for channel 5 so I have gone cold turkey with Home and Away!) and a DVD player. There is a good sized kitchen space with plenty of storage. You can go though the back door to enter the private patio area with a table, chairs and umbrella for eating or relaxing. Upstairs, there is a bathroom which has a bath with a shower over it. There are two double bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with three single beds in it. Looking out of the bedroom windows, you can see the garden and pool area.
There is a large pool that can be heated in the cooler weather but definitely doesn’t need it at the moment as the sun is doing a great job of keeping the water warm! The pool is in the garden area but safe away from children wandering with a safety latch on the gate and white walls surrounding it. Within the pool area are sun loungers and umbrellas as well as an abundance of floats, waggles and lilo’s to use. There is also a large toilet room in with a sink and a hoist is available if needed for guests with disabilities. There is a wheel chair that can be used and the pool is accessible by a slope.
The garden and play area
The gites are surrounded by the lawned garden which are perfect for playing football, hide and seek or just relaxing. There is a sand pit, slide, swings and basketball net. There is also a wheelchair adapted swing which has been perfectly situated to overlook the Dordogne countryside.
If you need a little relief from the sun, the games room is the place to be. It’s cool and had an array of books and DVDs to borrow. There is a table tennis table (D said I’m not bad!), lots of games, toys, colouring books and paints. As if that isn’t enough, there’s even a PlayStation to use, Lucas is quite enjoying playing Finding Nemo.
If you need a place to cool off, relax and get away, there is a sensory room filled with bean bags and two swinging chairs. Turn on the mood lights and just relax or if you prefer, you can play a musical instrument or two.
I’m pretty sure a soft play room isn’t standard to have with gites. Lucas has been enjoying making games up with the ball pool in here.
We flew into Bergerac which is just over an hours drive from here. Both Verteillac and Mareuil are about 10 minutes away which have various restaurants and shops. The nearest main supermarket takes about 15 minutes to get to which is Super U in Villebois. Angouleme is about 30 minutes away which is a bigger town with plenty of shops I haven’t yet explored and Happy Land, a soft play centre that I have explored. I’ll soon be writing a post of places to visit with children within 45 minutes from Champagne-et-Fontaine because when I googled it, nothing comes up! They certainly don’t make it easy to find things around here when you have a preschooler with you x