In 2005 we moved "lock stock & barrel" from the UK to the beautiful Vendee, in the Pays de la Loire region of France. We remember being on the back of the ferry waving goodbye to the White Cliffs of Dover... It seemed a little scary but definitely exciting at the same time. This was the start of our new adventure in another country.
Life here is very different than that in the UK. Perhaps we have become country bumpkins! Sitting in an office in meetings seems a far cry away from our life today. We plant, grow and conserve a lot of our fresh produce.
We married here in 2008 in the village mairie, with a church blessing afterwards and garden reception here at Les Petits Ajoncs, surrounded by family, friends, old and new with a wonderful mixture of french and english enjoying our day. Our accommodation business has gone from strength to strength and we now see many guests arrive, stressed from day to day living and then watch them gradually relax into their holidays. This gives us great pleasure, knowing that in some small way we can be part of that process that sends them home again refreshed, relaxed and recuperated.
Many guests ask us why we chose to live here? Sun, cuisine, fine wine and the chance of a new challenge were amongst our wish list. We now enjoy a lovely climate and a slower, more relaxed way of life, although more physical now as we have a larger house and garden to look after. This part of the Vendee offered us the chance to be near enough to the west coast beaches, yet sufficiently inland to be tranquil and just far enough from the tourist hotspots during high season. With our links to three airports and within an easy day's drive of the northern ports, we decided that a holiday business would be perfect.
After renting Les Hirondelles, initially as a bed and breakfast and then as a gite, we decided that with Jon's background in building and construction, we would undertake a project to renovate the old cave (wine store) and create Pomme D'Amour, our 2-bed cottage.
Karen loves to cook and had part of her background in prestige hospitality, which she now extends to our guests who want a break from self catering and wish to treat themselves.
We take pride in our holiday accommodation, which is well equipped and always presented in good order. We are thrilled when we read our latest guest's comments thanking us for a great holiday here in the Vendee. Don't just let us assure you of that however; please take the time to look though just some of our previous guest's comments who tell you personally what they thought - see testimonials
We hope that you will choose to holiday with us and wish you a long, warm and wonderful break here in the beautiful Vendee.
Jon and Karen