The Courtyard at Sainte Catherine is an award-winning family friendly Gîte and Chambre D’hotes holiday rental in the heart of the Charente; offering quality child friendly accommodation this is a perfect base to discover the region and the wonderful historic towns of Jarnac, Cognac and Angouleme.
We are Charlie and Stephanie May, our fifteen-year-old son Finn, Suzie the dog and Jet the cat (plus the chickens and tortoises…). We moved here in 2010 to live a different life and create a beautiful place for people to come and relax in the Charente – our favourite region of France.
The Locality: The buildings that make up The Courtyard were virtual ruins when we acquired them in 2007, however, the location was so peaceful, and the views so beautiful, that we took on the renovation. Despite our rural location, there is everything that you could need on a daily basis just 5 minutes by car in Rouillac – a pretty village which dates from before Roman times and is still host to one of the oldest and largest farmer’s markets in France on the 27th of each month.
We are also near to the town of Jarnac which means we have the Charente River as a playground – fantastic if you like the outdoor life as we do. If you need a bit of culture, nightlife or shopping then we are close to Angouleme, the region’s capital, as well as to Cognac itself. Both towns offer a great mix of museums, galleries, shopping, bars and restaurants.
The Courtyard started life as part of the Priory of Ste Catherine de la Champ or Saint Catherine of the Field. Not only did it provide the kitchens, refectory and dormitories for the monks but also offered refuge to pilgrims on their long journey south to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
We are surrounded by sunflowers and vineyards with most of the grapes being sold directly to the Courvoisier Cognac house in Jarnac. There are wonderful views to the south – ideal inspiration for photographers and artists. We often look at the old stone walls and roofs and reflect on how beautifully and carefully they were crafted back in the 1700s by the monks themselves.