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Could not have been better Michele and Philip were wonderful and very gracious. Just wish our French was better as we enjoyed meeting and talking with them. Fantastic setting that is serene and peaceful.
If you long to experience the French countryside rather than the hustle and bustle of Paris or Nice, the Old Barn in Lerne is where you need to be. This was the best vacation spot we have ever found, without qualification. We were warmly welcomed by Steve and Tim on arrival and shown 'the lay of the land'...and knew immediately we were in for a wonderful week. We found in the kitchen a 'just from the oven' frittata made with squash from their bountiful garden, a selection of breads and croissants, cheese, ham, eggs, homemade jam and wine!! Such a treat after a day of travel.
Our days were spent exploring the surrounding towns and we took a day to drive to Ile de Re for lunch on the coast. Our hosts were gracious enough to take us along for the Foire aux Vins du Val de la Loire in Bourgueil (it takes place on August 15 of each year and how lucky we were to be there for that experience!) as well as the weekly Farmers Market in Chinon, where we selected items for our dinner that evening which was prepared by Steve and Tim. As an avid cook, I was thrilled to be able to participate in the preparation and learned so much in the process! Steve is quick to share his methods and the result is simple food which is exquisite. We can't recall a better meal or setting, since the weather allowed us to enjoy dinner outside with our hosts.
If there is a quieter place on earth, we haven't found it yet! No automobile or airplane noise, horns, sirens or anything else disturbed the peace. And the view is spectacular, looking out on sunflower, wheat and corn fields. I think the vehicles we saw most often were tractors, as the farmers went about the business of harvesting their crops.
If we are fortunate we will one day be able to return to this wonderful, relaxing, welcoming place. We met Steve and Tim as strangers but left feeling like old friends. They are gracious hosts and have turned their little spot in the world into something magical and memorable. Look no further if you are looking for that perfect spot in the Loire Valley to enjoy the France that a lot of visitors never get to see.