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We felt instantly at home in one of Mr. Blanchet's apartments in a lovingly restored building just across the street from the Loire. We spent a week in the apartment and look forward to many more stays in the future. We are from the U.S. with family in the Decize area and even though we have traveled there for over 25 years, this is the first place we have found that is comfortable, convenient and very clean. The very spacious apartment can sleep at least 4, but since our nephew did not stay with us, there was only the two of us to enjoy the two story apartment. A very large, modern kitchen and dining room, a living room (with convertible bed) and bathroom constituted the main floor, with a bedroom and bath upstairs. The decor is a great blend of modern and antique. The views are great from both sides of the house. To one side is the huge lawn area and to the other is the river and open areas to explore. The area is very quiet,both inside the compound and in the walking areas along the river.
The kitchen was great, with everything needed to prepare, serve and cleanup afterwards. The dishwasher was most appreciated by both of us, though we learned that you can't have the oven and dishwasher both on at the same time. The two are stacked in a single unit which makes them both small, but very efficient. We hosted lunch for 8 family members on the first really hot day of the season. Our picnic affair outside at the sun-shaded dining table turned into a lazy afternoon watching our 2, 3 and 4 year old grand nephews and niece exhaust themselves on the play equipment in the beautiful, park-like enclosed lawn area. Parking is also available in that area.
Mr. Blanchet was a kind and wonderful host, always happy to answer questions. He not only introduced us to the apartment, he provided a treasure trove of information on the area to help plan excursions all around the area. Though we did not avail ourselves of the service, he also rents bicycles and helps cyclists plan trips in the area. On Sunday morning he arrived at our door with bacon bread, still warm from the bakery and a wonderful bottle of regional wine from a winery with the Blanchet name.
We were so comfortable, we hated to leave, but we definitely plan on coming back again next year. I think this will become our "home away from home" when we are in France.
Natalie and Laurent were the perfect hosts. Their children were charming and the rooms were quite comfortable and clean. Breakfast in the morning was the perfect amount to get us on our way. We would stay there again! Loved this place. An A+!