The studio
La Ferme
Grange I
Grange II
the pool



A group of 4 gites set in approximately 2 acres above the valley of the River Braye,

4 km from the hamlet of Valennes

The original farmhouse is at least 250 years old and retains the exposed oak beams and roof timbers. The house accommodates 8 guests in 3 bedrooms and has bathroom with bath and WC. There is a fully equipped kitchen with washing machine dishwasher and microwave oven. The lounge has the original open fireplace. The adjacent barn is now a games room with table tennis solely for the use of the farmhouse. The gardens around the house are also reserved for guests at the farmhouse. There is an oak picnic table and large BBQ.

The barn is now 2 large gites each sleeping 8 in 4 bedrooms on the 1st floor. Each has a bathroom with shower and WC plus an en suite bathroom with shower and WC. Both the kitchens have dishwasher, washing machine and microwave oven. One house has open fireplace the other has central heating. The large open plan living areas lead via patio doors to sheltered terraces with oak tables and large BBQs.

Finally the half timbered pigsty has been converted into a 2 bedroom gite with the living area in the loft incorporating the original oak roof timbers. There is a wood burning stove and a well equipped kitchen. The 2 bedrooms and bathroom with bath, shower over bath and WC are on the ground floor. The ground floor has electric central heating.

The dining area opens onto the garden with oak picnic table and BBQ.

Accessed from the lounge is a small private terrace/balcony attached to the gable.

The communal pool is in the gardens above the properties (see plan). Measuring 12m x 6m  the pool is in full sun until late evening. There is a terrace with sun loungers a solar shower plus a BBQ .The pool is lit in the evenings. Swings and table tennis are provided.


Nearest small grocery shop and depot de pain at Valennes. (Turn right from house Valennes is next village approx. 4 km.) The shop also sells a range of products from an award winning charcuterie in Savigny. Closed Monday and Sunday afternoon.

Boulangerie and small grocers at Souday (Straight on from house over stream follow signs for Souday approx. 4 km.)  Closed Mondays and Sunday afternoon.

All services at Vibraye. (Turn left from the house and follow the road back to the D1 and then take right turn to Vibraye approx. 8km.)

Supermarkets:   Stoc and Huit a Huit both of which accept credit cards. 

Stoc is open every day including Mondays (Closed Sunday after 12 noon) The store has a boulangerie and butchery dept. There is a petrol station which is significantly cheaper than the petrol station on the D1. Both fuel outlets in the village close at 7pm and on Sunday afternoons.There is a fuel automat at Stoc which operates 24 hours but only accepts French payment cards.

Huit a Huit is open 7 days a week but this being France the opening hours are not 8 til 8.

They close  at 7.30pm , Sunday afternoon and for lunch.

There are four Boulangeries in the village ensuring a supply of fresh bread every day (even Sundays) Unusually Boulangeries tend to remain open all day, often until 8pm, as long as they have something left to sell.

As well as the supermarket meat counter there is a specialist Boucherie  (M. et  Mme Chaintron). The shop is just past the Hotel de Ville on the left-hand side. As you might expect the quality and prices are higher than the supermarket.

There are also two charcuteries / pork butchers in the village

The Pharmacy is in the Pl. Hotel de Ville.

The Village fish shop ‘Poissonerie St Pol’ is opposite Huit a Huit. It is closed Mondays and tends not to open in the afternoons during July and August. It also doesn’t open on Sunday morning in July and August.

There is a Post Office on the road into the village. If you just want to buy stamps it is usually easier to purchase them at the newsagent / bookshop ‘Maison de la Presse’ which is on the left hand side of the main street.

The Catholic church in Vibraye has a service at 11am on Sundays and other Holydays.

There are also catholic churches in Valennes and Souday the latter dates from the 11th century and is a Monument Historique.

There are two Auberge / Restaurants in the village.

The Chapeau Rouge is in the Pl.  Hotel de Ville. The food is usually good but the atmosphere can be a little formal. Please note you will not be welcome much after 8pm.Lunchtimes especially Sundays are more popular eating times for the French.

The Auberge de la Foret is on the Rue Gabriel Goussault which is just off the Pl. Hotel de  Ville. (This is a one way street you cannot enter from the square. Turn left after the church then right onto the new one way street then right onto the Rue Gabriel Goussault. ) There is a covered terrace at the rear of the restaurant that is pleasant on summer evenings. Service is more relaxed and you can get a table after 8pm but as with most  provincial French hotels they  do close relatively early.

There is a Creperie on the main street. The food is variable but inexpensive.

The best bar in the village is the Bar des Sports on the main street. The place is usually very active around midday and the atmosphere is especially good at lunchtime on Friday (market day) and Sunday. The bar is closed on Wednesday and Sunday after 1.30pm. At other times it is open from 7am  - 7pm.  There are three other bars in the village and you can normally buy a drink until midnight.

The bar at the Chapeau Rouge has tables in the square for drinking outdoors. There are bars with terraces in La Ferte Bernard, Mondoubleau and Souday.

Cigarettes in France are sold at Tabacs. In Vibraye these are at the Bar des Sports and La Maison de la Presse.

There are two banks. Credit Agricole will change sterling and travellers cheques. Unfortunately there is a hefty 30F commission and the exchange rate is extremely favourable….for Credit Agricole. The cash dispenser accepts most UK credit cards and some debit cards. Credit cards are almost universally accepted in retail outlets in France, though you will often have to persuade the assistant to swipe the card as French cards all have a smart chip and operate via a PIN number.

Larger supermarkets at La Ferte Bernard include Intermarche Champion and Le Clerc. The latter has an excellent fish dept. As in Vibraye these stores close at noon until about 2pm. (Except Le Clerc which is open all day Monday to Saturday )

Unlike Vibraye they are closed all day Sunday.

Hypermarkets such as Auchan to the north of Le Mans offer a huge range of goods and services and are open all day until 9.30pm Monday to Saturday.


Saturday:  Ste Antoine, La Ferte Bernard. Follow signs for Gare SNCF in La Ferte, the market is in the square and around the church. Lots of local produce,fresh milk,cream , yoghurt & a range of excellent goat cheeses. Locally grown vegetables sold by the church, a wider selection of commercially sourced products in the square. The best black puddings (boudin noir) in the area are sold at the small red and white canvas kiosk in the square. Free tasting is usually on offer, but be prepared to queue. The smells from the spit roast chickens at the rotisserie next to the boudin kiosk are difficult to resist. Poulet fermier is worth the extra 15 francs.

Monday: La Ferte Bernard. The largest market in the area. The main square by the church is dominated by stalls selling clothes, shoes and hardware.At the far end of the market local producers sell vegetables, cheeses and poultry. A large rotisserie usually sells spit roast belly pork, guinea fowl and duck as well as chicken. The stalls around the Bar Marais sell a range of items from cds to handbags. Numerous vegetable stalls offer a wide choice of commercial fruit & veg. The covered market behind the bar houses fish and meat stalls.

Wednesday: Connerre.Another busy regional market with a similar range of stalls to La Ferte. In addition there is usually a stall specialising in duck and goose products, including fresh foie gras. As well as local goat cheeses a specialist stall offers a range of  interesting cheeses from around France.

Thursday and Sunday: St Calais. An interesting choice of local produce in the covered market hall.The market is smaller on Sunday but there are usually events organised by the local tourist office.

Friday: Vibraye. The market occupies both squares and in summer takes over the main street between. Clothes and shoes are sold in the Place de l’eglise food in the Place de l’hotel de ville. Goat cheese is usually available but the sales team doesn’t always turn up.


Some local farms welcome visitors and make sales direct. Guided tours are also possible.

St Maixient:

 A family of dedicated organic farmers produce a wide range of dairy products from their Jersey cows and herd of goats. They are only open on Friday for tours of the farm and direct sales, but have a stall on the Saturday market at St Antoine. See map and details.

Villaines La Gonais:

Dominique Vade has a herd of over 200 deer on his organic farm. In summer his farm shop is open Friday and Saturday and until noon on Sunday. Guided tours at 3pm, 4pm and 5pm.

Direct sales of venison and various charcuterie based on venison. Free range chickens and guinea fowl are also available.

 Nearby Chantal Ouarnier at La Ferme de Trefoux   produces a range of foie gras and confit of duck or goose. Open Monday to Friday.


Just behind our gite at Le Bourg, Champrond  goat cheeses are sold from the farm ‘Moulin de la Ronce’. See map and details. On the D1 from Vibraye to La Ferte Bernard take the right turn 100 metres after the TGV bridge.


The French eat their main meal at lunchtime. Whilst lunch is served from 12 - 2, the French typically start at around 12.15. Though it is probably a little early for most British appetites it is worth making the effort to arrive by 12.30 to enjoy the atmosphere.As a result most restaurants and cafes offer excellent value menus at around 50-55 francs per person. This will usually comprise of starter, main course, cheese, dessert and  coffee. Young children can usually share a menu. Wine is also included. The bar/restaurant at Souday is worth a visit . The starters are from an excellent cold buffet and there is a choice of at least two main courses. The bar has a small covered terrace, a good spot to observe the pace of life in Souday. At Berfay the restaurant / bar / petrol station offers a similar format. L’Auberge du Nord at Lamnay often serves 2 starters followed by main course sweet and coffee.

Slightly further afield in the pretty village of St Ulphace the Hotel / Restaurant Le Grand Monarque serves a set menu at around 50 francs in pleasant surroundings. More formal lunches are served at le Chapeau Rouge and l’Auberge de la Foret in Vibraye.

The creperie at Valennes serves a wide range of inexpensive crepes and salads at lunchtime and evening. There is also a bar with tables on the square.

In the evenings the two hotels in Vibraye have menus from around 90 francs per person. Please remember that 8.30 is a late table reservation! The restaurants at Souday and Berfay are also open in the evenings but don’t offer the menus at 50 francs. In La Ferte Bernard La Perdrix features in the Michelin and Gaullt Millau guides. Le Dauphin situated on the pedestrian street to La Porte St Julien serves excellent food in elegant surroundings. Le Grand Monarque at St Ulphace has a range of menus from around 100 francs. Most saturdays there are theme evenings such as seafood or choucroute. There is usually a disco. Prices are around 100F per person including wine. Booking is advised. There is a Pizzeria at Cormenon, just outside Mondoubleau, which has been recommended by visitors in the past. There is also a Pizzeria by the Chateau at Montmirail.The terrace is next to the Chateau walls.

The list of restaurants is far from definitive. Please check the opening times as they are subject to change especially in the summer as some will close for holidays.

We would welcome any observations on eating out in the region as we intend to update this information from time to time.


Swimming sailing and fishing at the small lakes at Lavare,  La Ferte Bernard and St Calais.

The lake at Lavare has a small sandy beach and has a roped off shallow swimming area. In addition the village provides a lifeguard during July and August. There is a mountain bike circuit, childrensgames  a  beach bar and toilets.

From the end of June until the beginning of August the heated outdoor pool at Vibraye is open at around 6 francs per person. A book of 10 tickets costs about 35 francs. There is an indoor pool at La Ferte Bernard.

Tennis courts in Vibraye can be rented by the hour, bookings at La Maison de la Presse.

Horse riding and forest riding at the Equestrian centre in Vibraye. Often very busy in summer it is necessary to book well in advance.

Contact M. Bernard Boutier

Club Hippique de Vibraye

La Bellonniere

02 43 93 60 92

Go Karting and Quad bike circuit outside Connerre on the RN23 to Le Mans.

A little further on towards Le Mans is a new water park with water slide

Golf at Belleme approximately 30km from Vibraye and there are courses around Le Mans.

Walking on footpaths and Chemins Rurales throughout the region. IGN maps of the area  can be purchased at la Maison de La Presse.  Signposted walks of varying lengths are promoted by the local tourist bodies. Excellent cycling in the forest of Vibraye off road or  on the numerous forest tracks.

There are several interesting towns within an hours drive of Vibraye. These include Vendome Amboise Blois and Chartres. The yellow file in the house contains  further information on things to do in the region or you can visit the tourist information bureau in La Ferte Bernard. During the summer holidays they usually employ students who speak a little English.

Paris is 165km from Vibraye by autoroute. The journey normally takes about an hour and a half, though you should try and avoid the rush hour in Paris. Alternatively there is a train from La Ferte Bernard. This takes about 2 hours and costs about 240 francs return. A TGV from Vendome takes only 42 minutes but costs a little more depending on which service you choose.


The house is just over an hours drive from the Loire valley. Numerous wine guides cover the regions best buys but we offer a few suggestions.

The nearest place to buy wine from the producer is at Limeray just off the RN before Amboise. The wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Cuvee Francois 1ere. Most places sell by the bottle or in bulk (En Vrac). The latter is by far the cheapest way to

 purchase  but you will need to invest in a corking machine ( From £5 - £20 ) and  have a source of empty bottles in the UK . Wine is sold in Cubitainers of 5, 11, 22 or 32 litres. Degustation ( Tastings) are offered without obligation. A few places now offer wines

‘Bag in Box’.which keeps several weeks in the dispenser and does away with the need to bottle the wine. Probably the best and most expensive wines are at Domaine Dutetre on the left as you drop into Limeray. The Sauvignon regularily wins awards and the Cuvee Prestige and Cuvee Francois  Premier are also excellent. There is a small wine museum in the cave.

Further on the right hand side of the road is Domaine de la Prevote owned by the Bonnigal family.This is a well organised cave which produces good value wines.The prices  En Vrac range from 10 francs a litre for the Gamay to 13 francs  for the Cuvee Francois  1er. Even if you don’t fancy buying en vrac to take back to the UK a couple of cubitainers would make enjoyable drinking during the holiday! 

Both Domaine Dutetre and Bonnigal accept payment by credit card.

There is an excellent Michelin star restaurant close to Limeray in the adjacent village of St Ouen les Vignes. L’Aubiniere also has an incredible selection of wines fom the Loire.

Reservation is recommended: 02 47 30 15 29

Within daytrip range from Vibraye  are the vineyards at Chinon,  Bourgueil,  St Nicholas de Bourgueil,  Saumur,  Saumur Champigny,  Vouvray and Anjou. If you plan to visit any of these areas and want information please ask.






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