Tag Archives: Le Clos Postel

My Two Favourites B&Bs in France

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Dove cote at Le Clos Postel

It took me a long time to start using B&Bs in France. I had horrible memories of my arrival in Dublin when I first left Australia many long years ago. I went there with friends who were staying with friends and I had thought, in my innocence, that I would be staying with them too. Not so. It was back in the days without mobiles of course and I must have knocked on twenty doors between the airport and the city (I don’t really think I’m exaggerating) before I finally found a room. I must say I felt very much like Joseph and Mary. No room in the inn. I had a bedroom to myself but I shared the bathroom and toilet with the rest of the family and the other guests. It was very eerie staying in a house with people I didn’t know.

I tried out some more B&Bs in Ireland a couple of years later, but I always felt the guests were displacing the family. We would be having breakfast around the table while the kids would be talking in hushed voices in the kitchen, obviously on their best behaviour. Then a few years ago, a friend told me about a wonderful B&B she stayed in on her way to Italy each year that had a private bathroom for each of the guests which sounded much more to my liking. But I was still reticent because I didn’t want to have to interact with other people I didn’t know first thing in the morning.

Rose bower at Le Clos Postel

But in the end, we decided to give it a try five years ago on a spur-of-the-moment cycling trip to the Cotentin which is that little peninsula that sticks out into the English Channel where the D-Day boats landed. We headed for the western side which is much prettier, not far from Granville. The B&B, Le Clos Postel, was just perfect. We were in a separate building (the dove cote) from our hosts who have renovated a lovely old stone presbytery. Tastefully furnished with our own bathroom and separate toilet and a lovely view of the surrounding countryside. Our hosts, Lydie and Robert Friaux were charming, the breakfast table full of lovely surprises such as a different type of cake each day and unusual home-made jams, and the other guests were interesting and not invasive. There was even a log fire to take the chill of the morning. Guests can also use the lovely grounds with their trellised roses and herb garden. We have been back several times and tried many other B&Bs since, but Le Clos Postel remains our favourite, especially now that the bed has added comfort. We usually sleep in Angelus, but next time we’re going to try the little split-level appartment called Prélude which has a small kitchen as well.

Breakfast table at Le Moulin du Mesnil

However, we may have discovered a rival! We went down to the Loire Valley last week and stayed at Le Moulin du Mesnil, a renovated mill-house near Montrichard, recommended by an American friend living in the area. Yvonne, the English hostess, came out to greet us in the cold and took us to our lovely warm room with its separate entrance from the rest of the house. Perfect, once again, with a little entrance containing a cupboard, a table with a jug to make coffee and tea and hooks to hang up our coats (often a missing feature). Then came the bedroom, with its visible timbers and white walls and furniture. Like Le Clos Postel, the bed is very comfortable and the shower is attached to the wall! At breakfast next morning in Yvonne and Jean François’ beautiful open-plan kitchen/dining room/living room, we had a wonderful view of the extensive grounds. Fresh scones and pancakes. Need I say more? They have a log fire too. Next time we’re taking the suite across the way which has a little patio.

Now I have two favourite B&Bs!!!

Lydie and Robert Friaux
Le Clos Postel
5, 7 route d’Urville
Village d’Urville
50590 Regnéville sur Mer
02 33 07 12 38
Yvonne and Jean-François David
Le Moulin du Mesnil
31 Chemin du Moulin du Mesnil
41400 St Georges sur Cher
T +33 2 54 32 22 51
M +33 6 62 57 91 75

Beds I Have Known

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I’ve already told you about my obsession with showers. I’m probably just as obsessed, if not more obsessed, with beds. Not as easy to do something about though. I don’t think I’ve always been this fussy. It’s probably developed with age.

The worst are the ones that sag in the middle, particularly when there are two of you. Now this shouldn’t be a problem – it’s not when you’re young anyway. That’s why I think age has something to do with it. Inner spring mattresses are often the culprit here. They can also cause hard lumps, particularly if they happen to be the beds you jumped on as a child.

Bed in a hotel in Innsbruck

I have horrible memories of terrible beds in French hotels and rental homes in the past. They’ve improved considerably over the years, partly because we can afford to stay in more expensive accommodation, I assume, but also because hotel owners and Gîtes de France have now realised that foreigners (like me!) don’t like awful beds. We’ve never had the problem in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria , Luxembourg or Switzerland  because double beds always consist of two single beds joined together. They even have separate covers most of the time, usually dooners. Now, I think that is very strange. There is something I don’t understand. I still haven’t worked out the logistics. How do you sleep at night (and otherwise use the bed) with two separate mattresses and two separate covers? In Italy, you usually have a double bed which is rightly called a « letto matrimonial » and is generally comfortable. The country hasn’t gained its reputation as the land of the Latin lover for nothing.

Speaking of dooners, that is something I have a problem with as well. When I first moved to France, I loved them. I bought a very expensive one made of goose and duck down and used it for years. Then I guess I got used to the cooler weather so that now, even when the heating is not very high, I absolutely roast with a dooner and have gone back to using a woollen blanket. However, dooners have become standard equipment in rental homes so we usually take our own!

In the last place we lived, we had a small bedroom so we had a small bed (140 cm). When we moved into Paris though, we decided to get a BIG bed, meaning a queen size. However, I didn’t realise it would have two separate bases joined together, nor that that would pose a problem. However, instead of sagging in the middle, it gradually developed a hump in the centre which forced us to sleep on the outer edges. Now the reason for the two bases is that it is otherwise impossible to get a queen size bed up to the fourth floor without a lift. This, it seems, is a recurring problem in Paris.

We eventually decided to get a new bed and went to a local store. The salesperson said we could claim on our warranty and get the other one replaced. I hadn’t thought of that! So we went to back to the original shop and organised to have the mattress replaced. I was relieved because despite my obsession with good beds, I find it nearly impossible to lie down on a bed in a shop and decide if it’s the right mattress or not. Some are very treacherous. You think they’re fine and they turn out to be too hard or too soft. And it’s a bit difficult to take them back. What’s that saying? If you make your own bed, you must lie in it?

Angelus at Le Clos Postel

Since we’ve been going to B&Bs, which have really upgraded in the last ten years in more ways than one, we haven’t had any more bed problems. Our first and all-time-favourite B&B in the Cotentin in Normandy, Le Clos Postel, has the most wonderful bed imaginable. First, the bed itself is not too hard and not too soft. Then it has this luxurious down cover between the mattress and the sheet that doesn’t generates just the right amount of warmth and is oh so soft.  I couldn’t wait to have one myself so we got all the details from our hostess Lydie. Now we have one of our own and that, together with our electric blanket in winter, makes our bed the best place in the world to be!

B&B Le Clos Postel : http://www.clospostel.com/, though it is probably a big mistake sharing the link because if you all take my adivce, there will never be any room for us!
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