Quiet gite in picturesque Normandy


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In a typical puddled clay house, the lovely garden and gite with a stove is perfect for a couple or a little family. Very quiet, its central spot makes it easy to discover all the sites of the region : Bayeux, D-Day beaches, Mont St Michel, Chausey. Calm and nature are the key words...

The gite called "le Chat-Huant" is situated in the centre of la Manche, a lovely and picturesque rural region of Normandy which is almost an island, crowded with old houses, little family farms and meadows with cows, manoirs and castles, wild beaches, high tides and plenty of rivers, traditionnal fares and festivals, brocantes and markets, and very good food such as 4 AOP cheeses : Camembert, Livarot, Pont l'Evèque and Neufchatel ; also coming from our family farms in Normandy : Cider, Pommeau and Calvados (all the little farms have their own orchards with many varieties of apples) crème fraiche (AOP from Isigny Ste Mère) (delicious milk and butter everywhere) and a AOP salmon (free from pesticides) (Isigny Ste Mère) ; if you are a fond of gastronomy we have several restaurants with great chefs located in stunning places.

The gite is located in a very convenient and secluded central place in the region to discover all the main sites. Here is a little review of them :

On the Northcoast rises the city of Cherbourg with its marine centre, the point of la Hague with Jacque Prevert's house and garden and stunning hikes along wild cliffs ;
in the northeast Barfleur is classified as one of the loveliest village of France. Then comes Ste Mère Eglise and the D-Day beaches, at about 45 mn away from the gite, with the festivities linked to the 70 years old D-Day in june 2014, this very year, don't miss it!...
Then, also at 45 mn eastward is Bayeux with
its very very long tapestry and gothic cathedral ( each year stands the worlwide price of war photography around october and a medieval festival at the beginning of july).

Middleward, the Natural Regional Park of Swamps is rich with patrimonial hundred year-old puddled clay houses (throughout all the country la Manche is the area where you can see the highest numbers of them), bird watching and possibility to cruise on the canals.

From the west coast -in the cities of Barneville-Carteret or Granville- you can go by boat to the islands of Chausey, Jersey, Guernsey, Sercq and Aurigny or discover the beautiful and picturesque village of Portbail. Or you can walk along the long wild beaches feeling as if you were in a desert at low tide or swimm in the ocean at high tide and have sunbaths. You can visit popular seaside little cities such as Barneville-Carteret and Agon-Coutainville, and the splendid city of Granville
(with a huge and hundred year-old carnival in feb-march, a street theatre festival beg. of july, the very unique Night of the Welders in aug.), the mystical castle of Gratot and its Faerie Tower or the huge lime klins in the seaside picturesque village of Regnéville-sur-mer.

A bit further down, at about one hour from the gite, rises the well known Unesco worlwide patrimonial site of le Mont St Michel, and 20 mn further in Brittany the romantic city of St Malo.

To finish with this little survey of must-see places, southward stands the beautiful medieval village of Villedieu-les-Poêles and its traditionnal fabric, the most mystical ruins of Hambye Abbey, the impressive Lucerne d'Outremer Abbey, the village of Gavray and its numerous hundred year-old animal fares (this is the area in France where there are the highest numbers of traditionnal rural animal fares).

Old castles and manoirs are not located northward or southward but just everywhere. There are also plenty of events throughout the summer with fares and festivals of food (oysters, mussels and sausages), animal fares or all kind of music festivals, e.g in Lessay a spring fare and the Ste Croix fare in september which started thousand years ago, one of the oldest in France! In the local markets which occur in every village you can find the products from all the surrounding farms which are for many of them now organic.

Last but not least, nature lovers can hike for hours or days in green secluded paths without crossing any car (we provide the maps), go to a botanical garden, private garden or a plant fare from spring till autumn (special events in the castle of Crosville occur in april and then october with the british-french plant days and in the castle of Gratot in august) or enjoy the mystery of the ocean with the most impressive tides of western europe and then go have a dinner in a most friendly "boui-boui"
right on the beach to look at the sunset.

By the way, you can marvel at the sunrise on D-Day beaches in the morning and contemplate the sunset from a beautiful beach on the west coast in the evening, just during the same day...

The gite is also situated between the two cities of Coutances (and its beautiful cathedral, and huge music festival "Jazz sous les pommiers" from 8th to 16th may 2014) and St Lô (which has been nicknamed the capital of the ruins after WWII since the 6th june 1944 the city was destroyed at 98%, you can see pictures in one of the local museums ; St Lo has a national stud farm (horse centre) ; both of these cities are reachable by car within 20mn.

The 2 nearest towns are CERISY LA SALLE, 2,5km away, with all the facilities (boulangerie, boucherie, little supermarket, as well as in DANGY 2,5km away on the other side. The Public Tourist Office full of infos and maps is now in Coutances (we also provide hiking and regional maps in the gite, as well as books about the region if you ask). The tourist office sells discount tickets for Cherbourg marine park "la Cité de la mer" and boat tickets for the islands of Chausey, Jersey and Guernsey. Cerisy-La-Salle castle, which is also an international colloquial centre is opened every thursday during august.

If you love literature, there is obviously Zola to know more about Normandy, Victor Hugo's masterpiece "les travailleurs de la mer" set in Guernsey, and the writer who was born in the area and whose all novels take place in la Manche (hence a museum dedicated to him in Valognes where he settled when not enjoying a dandy life in Paris) : Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. As well as Victor Hugo, Barbey d'Aurevilly is a romantic author whose characters, doomed, die from their human condition and overwhelming feelings reflected by the dramatic landscapes of Normandy.

The gite is located in the eastern part of a traditionnal puddled clay house. As we live in the western part, you can either look for asking about anything you would like to know or enjoy a complete intimacy thanks to the size of the property.

The gite (65m²) is for 4 to 5-6 people ( but it's better for just a couple or a little family of 2 kids for the 2 last ones have to sleep in a convertible sofa in the living-room). The "sunset bedroom" on the ground floor is designed to entice dreams and is most suitable for a couple as there is a bed for 2 (140cm) and a rose painting. Very romantic. The pictures on the wall are inviting you to dream about travels and long-distance countries.
The blue bedroom on the first floor has 2 little beds (90cm) and also tries to invite you in the world of dreams.
The bathroom, which stands for the beach, has a large size shower and a home made sink (as well as home made paintings with lime or other natural paintings in all the gite and home made coating with local seashells). The kitchen is green like the meadows around and the pictures on the wall show the natural or traditional marvels of
the region.

[All the pictures you can see in the gite are for sale and the photographer is...me.]

But anyway, you have to be dreamer-like to see all this because if not, basically, it's just a nice and quiet gite...

There is a wood stove in the dining/living room as well as a heated floor in winter.

Upstairs are the original and ecological toilets, only toilets of the place, without water, that we built in local wood with a very simple wood shavings system. Instead of flushing, use shaving!

Private and lovely isolated garden among trees and traditionnal hedgerows with a view on the meadows and the cows eating grass and near little (very little) rivers ; very quiet and peaceful little hamlet ; you won't see much the neighbours living in the 4 houses of the hamlet! (You can see the path leading to 2 of the neighbour's houses on the main picture ; this path ends at the last neighbour's house. So it is only used by the 2 families and the post(wo)man, sometimes a tractor, or some cows, a kind of local transhumance...but you still need to keep an eye on your little children and you can use the little road to play with them and use the tricycle; little bike at disposal) Free use of BBQ, swings, hammock, badminton, ping-pong table and old bikes.

Internet is available with wifi or with a plug. There is a T.V in the bedroom downstairs ( the T.V network is very bad but we have lots of DVD, please ask for more).

Bed and bath linen are included as well as electric floor heating from may till october, and a bucket of wood for the stove (then it's 5€/bucket). Though, we ask you to live according to the season and to wear appropriate clothes during winter (jumpers and sleepers...to wear a shirt during winter is like to eat tomatoes... Thanks for the planet! (also for our wallet but it's far less important!..)

We can pick you up at the stations of Carantilly, St Lo or Coutances if you want to come by train or if you would like to attend the International Colloquial Center of the Castle of Cerisy la Salle (and you can use the bikes daily freely, it's 3 km away, or maybe we can arrange lifts if we are around).

As we've got 3 charming and peaceful cats, if you wish to bring over your animal and if he is used to travel and as well-mannered as you are, you're welcome to do so!

We are french and would be pleased to practice either english or french with you, and beacuse I'm from the region and passionate about it I would be very pleased to share a bit of it with you!..

So, make yourself at home in "Le Chat-Huant" of "la Hongrie", Normandy awaits you!

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Cerisy-la-Salle, France

Our neighbours are mainly farmers. All the meadows around belong to the family farm of Patrick, Catherine and Julien who take care of cows for milk. You can go and watch milking at 6.30 every day (a.m and p.m) and buy some fresh milk. On the other side our neighbours Joel and Christine own rabbits, chickens, and goats and you can go and buy fresh eggs. Our two or three other neighbours are also very friendly and can help you if you need anything or just talk, we are lucky!

Umbuki zindwendwe ngu- Alexiane

  1. Ujoyine nge- 2014 Matshi
  • Izimvo eziyi-134
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Passionnée de nature, de culture, d'art et de littérature, de cinéma, de botanique, de fromage et de gastronomie, de biodynamie et de patrimoine, de la Normandie et de la Manche en particulier, ayant un grand respect pour la planète et les êtres vivants qui vivent dessus (humains compris!), je voyage depuis longtemps à travers le monde, munie d'un appareil photo... Après de longues études à la Sorbonne en anglais, français langue étrangère et cinéma, c'est par évidence que j'ai décidé de faire de la photo mon métier... tout comme le fait d'acceuillir des voyageurs lorsque nous aurions, Bastien et moi, une maison à nous...Après avoir passé un an en Nouvelle-Zélande, Bastien, professeur de français, fut affecté par hasard dans la région de la Manche...qui se trouve être ma région natale!-Destinée...- Nous avons donc acheté une longère plus que centenaire en pierre-et-masse (nom local donné aux maisons en terre crue) et avons décidé de restaurer et d'aménager la partie Est pour en faire un gîte, et de créer un jardin. Nous avons conservé tout ce que le gite contenait de neuf pour limiter les déchets au maximum et nous avons complété l'existant principalement avec des matériaux de récupération en détournant parfois l'usage des objets (un meuble télé est devenu un meuble vasqpue dans la SDB, une fourche sert de penderie, des persiennes forment un placard sous l'escalier). Nous avons essayé de faire au mieux avec l'existant et supprimé les toilettes qui étaient dans la salle de bains pour mettre une grande douche en verre à la place (neuve celle-ci!). Nous avons alors décidé de créer des toilettes sèches à l'étage (aucune possibilité au RDC), en espérant ne pas braquer les personnes qui pourraient avoir une certaine appréhension à cet égard. Pour l'instant les vacanciers que nous avons pu accueillir ont apprécié l'expérience (certains beaucoup, d'autres moins mais aucun n'a rejeté cette idée ; quand on pense qu'on pollue de l'eau potable pour les toilettes, quel gâchis!...). Nous avons fabriqué nous-mêmes la plupart des peintures, avec de la chaux ou de la caséine ou quand cela n'était pas possible nous avons utilisé les peintures du commerce les moins toxiques possibles . Par ailleurs, avant même les travaux intérieurs nous avons commencé par planter des dizianes d'espèces d'arbres dans le jardin et continuerons à planter des arbustes et diverses plantes tant qu'il y aura de la place... Je cultive aussi un potager que je pourrai vous faire découvrir s'il est en route pendant votre séjour. Quant à la photographie, toutes celles visibles dans le gîte et sur mon site Internet sont disponibles à la vente, je réalise par ailleurs toute commande (portrait, reportage, reportage de mariage) sur simple demande de contact sur le site : (Website hidden by Airbnb) d'autre part, si vous êtes intéressé par des cours de photographie pendant votre séjour, demandez-moi! Alors n'hésitez pas à venir à la Hongrie, nous saurons être disponibles ou discrets, (et parfois absents!) selon vos souhaits...
Passionnée de nature, de culture, d'art et de littérature, de cinéma, de botanique, de fromage et de gastronomie, de biodynamie et de patrimoine, de la Normandie et de la Manche en…

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As we live just next door, we can be here, or not ; and talk, or not ; as you wish! When we are not around, the texts are a very convenient way for questions (or a little paper at the front door is o.k too...)

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