A few weeks ago I headed to central France with team Sisterhood Camp, Cathy Jolliff and Gemma of The Quiet Heart, to do a little recce ahead of our retreat in September. In my head we were going to check out the facilities (which we did), source some great day trips for the guests and come away with a clear plan.
We did all that. But what I hadn’t expected was to fall in love with this enchanting place.
La Cannonerie is situated an hour and a bit from Bordeaux airport, and 40 mins from Cognac. A former cognac distillery, and surrounded by fields of arable land and vineyards, this beautiful home belongs to British couple Shelley and Talf.
Discovering the property whilst looking for somewhere to live 8 years ago, they discounted it as it need so much work. But they couldn’t get it out of their head. Eventually 18 months later, they put an offer in, and bought the place.
Bit by bit, Talf and Shelley removed walls, restored the old farm buildings and turned a run down old farm into 8 gorgeously decorated gites. Each sleeps between 2 – 6 people, all self contained and sympathetically decorated throughout.
I dream of owning somewhere like this. To escape the cold winters and live a slower life. I found it fascinating chatting to Shelley about how her kids are now bi-lingual and go to the local school in the village.
During our short stay we visited the local market in Jonzac, to grab a few things to keep us going over the weekend. What a gorgeous market. Mainly indoors, in a pretty little square it was vibrant and welcoming.
We got a little carried away with all of the fresh seasonal produce. Ending up spending 20 euros on cheese alone! But when in France eh?
After lunch we walked the pretty rural lanes to the nearby cognac distillery – Cognac Bertrand. Our tour taught us the history of the farm, the generations of owners to the present day. How cognac is made using an old distil, and that it stored in oak barrels to be aged for many years. After the tour, the tasting came. From 3 year old cognac to 11 year old – much smoother. It was agreed that cocktails could be on offer for our guests in September.
That evening we ate out in Cognac. Found a great cocktail bar close to the river, and ate in a small bistro nearby.
The following day we visited the a brocante (flea market) and went totally nuts at all the amazing vintage things I could buy. Then the horrible realisation that I couldn’t get things home on Easyjet with their one bloody bag rule! So instead I opted for 3 small glass apothecary bottles and some linen tea towels.
I’m bringing a van in September.
Visiting the region has cemented my love for all things Francais even more. I can’t wait to go back in September and share this wonderful place with the Sisterhood.
We have just 5 places still available for our Sisterhood Camp retreat in September.
Sisterhood Camp Retreat
La Cannonerie, Bordeaux
Friday 28th September – Monday 1st October 2018.
Double bed room (single occupancy) – £1250
Single bed (shared twin room) – £1000
To book please head over to Sisterhood Camp.