Magnificent mediaeval manor
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of sparkling Charlemagne wine
Rates from (inc tax)$178.32 If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR180.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR180.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Magnificent mediaeval manor
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of sparkling Charlemagne wine
Four rooms, including a suite, and a one-bedroom cottage.
11am, but flexible subject to availability. Late check-out is free for Mr & Mrs Smith guests. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $178.32 (€164), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.60 per room per night on check-out.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR180.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates exclude Continental breakfast (€15 a person).
Action Smiths are well catered for at Le Logis. Ask the owners about hiking/walking routes from the property; they’ll also lend out mountain bikes, and can arrange horse riding for experienced equestrians.
Gardens, library, including DVDs and CDs. Daimler limo taxi service for guests (transfers and short journeys only). In rooms: free WiFi, flatscreen TV, CD/DVD, kettle, fridge and minibar.
Pierre d’Arceluz has a lofty ceiling, wooden beams, an exposed stone wall and a swathe of white fabric above the bed, suspended from hooks. For extra seclusion, book Maison d’Amis, a one-bedroom cottage with space to add extra beds for children. François de Lâge, named after the Logis’ first owner, is an uncluttered space decorated in neutral shades, with local-limestone flooring and sturdy oak beams. The Marie de la Laurencie suite has an impressive rusty fireplace, in contrast to the pretty, muted decor; floating iron stairs lead to the mezzanine bedroom, and the bathroom is hidden under the staircase.
Surrounded by boxwood and close to the woodland path, there is an outdoor, unheated pool, tiled in limestone, at the back of the main building.
An empty suitcase to fill with booty from the boutique; some riding clothes and boots for a canter on Pierre and Max’s horses; your sociable side for conversing with your hosts.
Owners Pierre and Max have three dogs among their menagerie. They therefore prefer guests canine-free, but occasionally make exceptions, charging a dog fee of €15 a day. No smoking inside – ashtrays are left on the terraces.
The pool is unsupervised, and some of the farm tools scattered around the property are not child-friendly, but youngsters aged 12 and up are welcome.
For privacy, take a table in the bar. If you feel sociable (and provided you’re staying more than one night), you might dine with your hosts, around their whitewashed wooden table overlooked by dramatic paintings.
After all Pierre’s efforts, it’d be churlish not to scrub up. Match the hotel’s design quirks with a smart shirt or a tea dress.
The Logis offers a flexible table d'hôte, with owner Pierre rustling up French and international dishes. Give 24 hours’ notice and you can have a four-course feast for €45 a head (wine is an extra €18–€24 a bottle). Sample dishes include duck breast with soy sauce and sweet potatoes, and Lebanese aubergine and beef lasagne.
Drink like a thirsty farmer, with an ice-cold beer in the barn/bar/boutique, Sorti de Grange. There’s also a cocktail menu to explore: the Cocktail Puygâty is a blend of cognac, sirop and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Breakfast is served between 8.30am and 10.30am, dinner at 8pm, and the bar stays open as long as guests stay thirsty.
You can opt to enjoy breakfast or dinner in your room.
Ryanair operates direct flights to Angoulême-Cognac airport (www.ryanair.com). The hotel is 30km away.
Angoulême is on the TGV route from Paris to Bordeaux (www.tgv.com); UK travellers should take the Eurostar and connect at Lille (eurostar.co.uk).
Angoulême is a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Paris, seven hours from Calais. Don't rely on SatNav and a postcode unless you want to really test your vehicle's off-road capabilities.If you're coming from the direction of Angoulême, take the D674 17km south and then turn right onto the D122 (an avenue of cedars). The hotel is about 1.5km further on. From Bordeaux, head north on the A10, switch to the N10 towards Angoulême, then the D22 towards Villebois. After about 3km, turn left onto the D674, then left again onto the cedar-lined D122.
The hotel can arrange horse-riding lessons for you, or recommend walks and VTT trails. Notch up some laps in the swimming pool, or read in the peaceful gardens. Follow the woodland path and admire the mediaeval bath, pumped with crystal clear water. Ask Max to guide you there, and ask lots of questions on the way – he knows all about the area and its history. Make an appointment to visit Les Jardins du Logis de Forge, a stunning private garden at Mouthiers sur Boeme (+33 (0)5 45 21 75 11). The house attached to the gardens dates back to the mediaeval times and there’s also an 18th-century hamlet and an old paper mill to admire. For more rustic charm with antiquity, head deep into the Champagne-Vigne vineyards to Le Maine Giraud (+33 (0)5 45 64 04 49), the former home of French poet Alfred de Vigny. The Durand family has owned the property since 1938, producing a steady stream of wines, pineau and Cognac. Since one in five Charente residents work in the Cognac region, and local alcohol is a (deserved) source of pride, go for a tasting session at one of the Cognac houses: La Maison Rémy Martin at 20 rue de la Société Vinicole (+33 (0)5 45 35 76 66) and La Maison Camus at 29 Rue Marguerite de Navarre (+33 (0)5 45 32 28 28) are particularly good.
Succulent seafood is the speciality of Le Terminus, at 3 place de la Gare in Angoulême (+33 (0)5 45 95 27 13). Don’t be put off by the frill-free exterior and opposite-the-station locale – food and service are fantastic. For modern French cuisine cooked to gourmet standards, eat at Le Restaurant du Château at 15 place du Château (+33 (0)5 45 81 07 17). Charismatic chef Thierry Verat owns Michelin-starred La Ribaudière at Bourg-Charente (+33 (0)5 45 81 30 54). Though it’s known as one of the region’s best restaurants, the delicious French fare comes with very reasonable price tags.
This review is taken from our guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: France.
Emerging through the massive arched entrance into Le Logis de Puygâty’s great expanse of walled courtyard, we’re met by complete silence. For a moment, all we can hear is our own footsteps. But we’re not alone – Max, who owns Puyga?ty along with his partner, Pierre, is standing by with one of their dogs to greet us. An American/Belgian pair with a passion for furniture collecting and interior design, they restored the property to be their own holiday home – and then, I suppose, the guest list just got out of control. We’re here to relax and reflect, just me and Mrs Smith, and to enjoy some precious time alone together; we’ve left our four children in the care of their grandparents and we’ve got two days of rural peace and quiet ahead of us.
If the exterior of this 15th-century fortified manor looks authentically austere – strong stone walls, beautiful proportions, a fine-looking turret – the interior design is pretty modern in style. Max and Pierre have used simple, rough-hewn materials and lots of wood, steel and animal skins, to keep an artisanal feel. The biggest, most attractive fireplace in the house (and there are quite a few) is in the living room. Adorned with a sort of chainmail curtain, it’s what you’re drawn to first, even when it’s hot outside. Next to it is a pair of big armchairs and a low table with fresh flowers, candles and design books. Though much of the furniture has a 20th-century look, the colours used feel warm and antique, and the monumental beams and stone give the place a unique solidity.
I was born and bred in the southwest of France; my home town of Dax – also the first side I played rugby for, for eight years, before I moved on to Perpignan – is some 250km to the south of here. So the terrain around Le Logis de Puyga?ty feels familiar enough to represent a kind of homecoming, especially since I now live in the UK. All I can say is that I’ve finally found the most peaceful place in the south-west of France. It’s funny, though: when we go into town, people start to recognise me – perhaps it would have been better to lie low at Le Logis. Max has recommended a good spot for dinner in Angoulême. Usually, the kind of places you find by the train station are, ahem, not that great, but Le Terminus is terrific, with very good fish – unexpected here in landlocked Charente. Afterwards, we continue our date at the cinema, where we watch Avatar, supposedly as a test to see if it’s suitable for the kids, but we love it.
When we want a drink back at Le Logis, there’s an honesty bar: a few bottles of wine and brandy by the television. The house cocktail, made with cognac and lemon, will be whisked up in front of you if your hosts are around, and very good it is, too. Everything we see and touch has elegance and originality, from the china and silverware we use at breakfast (brought to us in our room) to the reclaimed trough redeployed as a washbasin. Our bathroom is very simple, absolutely nothing like the standard hotel facility; the massive shower, with natural stone walls like a cave, honours the countryside context perfectly.
On Sunday we spend the whole afternoon hanging out in our room, which is ideally kitted out for ‘staying in’, with a fireplace, sofa and soft armchairs. The white-clad bed is up on a mezzanine, decorated with more natural wood, stone walls, hessian and animal-skin rugs, which are an acquired taste, but definitely add to the warm atmosphere. Our windows are deep-set and small, which means it’s blissfully shady and cool when the summer heat gets heavy, even if you can’t fling them open to admire the view. Because I work for the BBC and French TV as a rugby pundit, I’m used to my phone going off 10 times an hour. But here, inside these 500-year-old walls, the pinging is definitely less relentless, although that might just be my network, since Max and Pierre have made sure their ancient home is well and truly wired up for modern telecommunications.
There are animals living here, too: Max and Pierre’s dogs, Nelson the black cat, the sheep, ducks, geese and a couple of donkeys who kindly provide our alarm call. It’s OK, though – it’s late morning by the time they rouse us. Actually, if you want to sleep soundly, definitely come and stay at Le Logis de Puygâty. The only traffic noise around here is made by the sheep, who we notice having their breakfast at the same time as us, three or four metres away. And the custom-made cotton sheets are so comfortable we ask Pierre to order us a set.
On our second and last night, we take a nice fireside table for Pierre’s table d’hôte – refined country cooking that’s nothing less than awesome, especially the magret de canard, which, we understand, has achieved a measure of fame in Côte Ouest magazine (a sort of regional World of Interiors). Nelson is at our side throughout, which technically could mean we didn’t get to spend as much time alone together as we’d planned. Feline gooseberry aside, we have luxuriated in 48 hours of the sleepiest, least hectic, most calming time possible. Le Logis has given me a lot of inspiration, space to reflect on my goals, and consider the potential of the next few months. It’s amazing what elegant interior design, historic architecture, great cooking, a beautiful location, friendly hosts and a bunch of cute farm animals can do.
Relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, great food, great host. Walks in the countryside.
Great food and beautiful setting. Nearby, Angouleme is a great city.
The rooms and the peaceful surroundings
Dinner unless you reserve in advance
What a superb place, quiet, relaxing, the hosts Pierre and Max are great people and really helpful and good chefs. Go to Aubeterre sur Drone a very pretty place with some nice restaurants
Everything! The host, the decor, the breakfast...10/10
The road leading up to the Logis; it's a rough track. Apparently it should be being looked after by the local town council but clearly isn't.
The tranquillity and spectacular setting of the hotel together with the welcoming, informative, helpful and knowledgeable Max who made this a memorable break.
Everything, Max and Pierre are incrediable hosts and have restored the property beautifully. Children are welcome and Pierre and Max made them feel very special by givoing them their own table for two at dinner. However I would like to return without children and really relax.
The buildings and how they had been renovated and decorated. The secluded yet convenient location.
A lively buzzing atmposphere.
Pierre cooked the most delicious meal on our first evening. The rooms were very stylishly decorated. After a very busy few days with our family it was the perfect place for the 2 of us to escape to for total peace and quiet!
To find it easily!! The road to lodge is very small and you could easily miss the sign that points to the road.
Our beautifully decorated suite, the gorgeous grounds and charming hosts.
Noise. The location is utterly serene and peaceful.