In a typical puddled clay house, the lovely garden and gite with a stove is perfect for a couple or a little family. Very quiet, its central spot makes it easy to discover all the sites of the region : Bayeux, D-Day beaches, Mont St Michel, Chausey. Calm and nature are the key words...
The gite called "le Chat-Huant" is situated in the centre of la Manche, a lovely and picturesque rural region of Normandy which is almost an island, crowded with old houses, little family farms and meadows with cows, manoirs and castles, wild beaches, high tides and plenty of rivers, traditionnal fares and festivals, brocantes and markets, and very good food such as 4 AOP cheeses : Camembert, Livarot, Pont l'Evèque and Neufchatel ; also coming from our family farms in Normandy : Cider, Pommeau and Calvados (all the little farms have their own orchards with many varieties of apples) crème fraiche (AOP from Isigny Ste Mère) (delicious milk and butter everywhere) and a AOP salmon (free from pesticides) (Isigny Ste Mère) ; if you are a fond of gastronomy we have several restaurants with great chefs located in stunning places.
The gite is located in a very convenient and secluded central place in the region to discover all the main sites. Here is a little review of them :
On the Northcoast rises the city of Cherbourg with its marine centre, the point of la Hague with Jacque Prevert's house and garden and stunning hikes along wild cliffs ;
in the northeast Barfleur is classified as one of the loveliest village of France. Then comes Ste Mère Eglise and the D-Day beaches, at about 45 mn away from the gite, with the festivities linked to the 70 years old D-Day in june 2014, this very year, don't miss it!...
Then, also at 45 mn eastward is Bayeux with
its very very long tapestry and gothic cathedral ( each year stands the worlwide price of war photography around october and a medieval festival at the beginning of july).
Middleward, the Natural Regional Park of Swamps is rich with patrimonial hundred year-old puddled clay houses (throughout all the country la Manche is the area where you can see the highest numbers of them), bird watching and possibility to cruise on the canals.
From the west coast -in the cities of Barneville-Carteret or Granville- you can go by boat to the islands of Chausey, Jersey, Guernsey, Sercq and Aurigny or discover the beautiful and picturesque village of Portbail. Or you can walk along the long wild beaches feeling as if you were in a desert at low tide or swimm in the ocean at high tide and have sunbaths. You can visit popular seaside little cities such as Barneville-Carteret and Agon-Coutainville, and the splendid city of Granville
(with a huge and hundred year-old carnival in feb-march, a street theatre festival beg. of july, the very unique Night of the Welders in aug.), the mystical castle of Gratot and its Faerie Tower or the huge lime klins in the seaside picturesque village of Regnéville-sur-mer.
A bit further down, at about one hour from the gite, rises the well known Unesco worlwide patrimonial site of le Mont St Michel, and 20 mn further in Brittany the romantic city of St Malo.
To finish with this little survey of must-see places, southward stands the beautiful medieval village of Villedieu-les-Poêles and its traditionnal fabric, the most mystical ruins of Hambye Abbey, the impressive Lucerne d'Outremer Abbey, the village of Gavray and its numerous hundred year-old animal fares (this is the area in France where there are the highest numbers of traditionnal rural animal fares).
Old castles and manoirs are not located northward or southward but just everywhere. There are also plenty of events throughout the summer with fares and festivals of food (oysters, mussels and sausages), animal fares or all kind of music festivals, e.g in Lessay a spring fare and the Ste Croix fare in september which started thousand years ago, one of the oldest in France! In the local markets which occur in every village you can find the products from all the surrounding farms which are for many of them now organic.
Last but not least, nature lovers can hike for hours or days in green secluded paths without crossing any car (we provide the maps), go to a botanical garden, private garden or a plant fare from spring till autumn (special events in the castle of Crosville occur in april and then october with the british-french plant days and in the castle of Gratot in august) or enjoy the mystery of the ocean with the most impressive tides of western europe and then go have a dinner in a most friendly "boui-boui"
right on the beach to look at the sunset.
By the way, you can marvel at the sunrise on D-Day beaches in the morning and contemplate the sunset from a beautiful beach on the west coast in the evening, just during the same day...
The gite is also situated between the two cities of Coutances (and its beautiful cathedral, and huge music festival "Jazz sous les pommiers" from 8th to 16th may 2014) and St Lô (which has been nicknamed the capital of the ruins after WWII since the 6th june 1944 the city was destroyed at 98%, you can see pictures in one of the local museums ; St Lo has a national stud farm (horse centre) ; both of these cities are reachable by car within 20mn.
The 2 nearest towns are CERISY LA SALLE, 2,5km away, with all the facilities (boulangerie, boucherie, little supermarket, as well as in DANGY 2,5km away on the other side. The Public Tourist Office full of infos and maps is now in Coutances (we also provide hiking and regional maps in the gite, as well as books about the region if you ask). The tourist office sells discount tickets for Cherbourg marine park "la Cité de la mer" and boat tickets for the islands of Chausey, Jersey and Guernsey. Cerisy-La-Salle castle, which is also an international colloquial centre is opened every thursday during august.
If you love literature, there is obviously Zola to know more about Normandy, Victor Hugo's masterpiece "les travailleurs de la mer" set in Guernsey, and the writer who was born in the area and whose all novels take place in la Manche (hence a museum dedicated to him in Valognes where he settled when not enjoying a dandy life in Paris) : Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. As well as Victor Hugo, Barbey d'Aurevilly is a romantic author whose characters, doomed, die from their human condition and overwhelming feelings reflected by the dramatic landscapes of Normandy.
The gite is located in the eastern part of a traditionnal puddled clay house. As we live in the western part, you can either look for asking about anything you would like to know or enjoy a complete intimacy thanks to the size of the property.
The gite (65m²) is for 4 to 5-6 people ( but it's better for just a couple or a little family of 2 kids for the 2 last ones have to sleep in a convertible sofa in the living-room). The "sunset bedroom" on the ground floor is designed to entice dreams and is most suitable for a couple as there is a bed for 2 (140cm) and a rose painting. Very romantic. The pictures on the wall are inviting you to dream about travels and long-distance countries.
The blue bedroom on the first floor has 2 little beds (90cm) and also tries to invite you in the world of dreams.
The bathroom, which stands for the beach, has a large size shower and a home made sink (as well as home made paintings with lime or other natural paintings in all the gite and home made coating with local seashells). The kitchen is green like the meadows around and the pictures on the wall show the natural or traditional marvels of
[All the pictures you can see in the gite are for sale and the photographer (URL HIDDEN)
But anyway, you have to be dreamer-like to see all this because if not, basically, it's just a nice and quiet gite...
There is a wood stove in the dining/living room as well as a heated floor in winter.
Upstairs are the original and ecological toilets, only toilets of the place, without water, that we built in local wood with a very simple wood shavings system. Instead of flushing, use shaving!
Private and lovely isolated garden among trees and traditionnal hedgerows with a view on the meadows and the cows eating grass and near little (very little) rivers ; very quiet and peaceful little hamlet ; you won't see much the neighbours living in the 4 houses of the hamlet! (You can see the path leading to 2 of the neighbour's houses on the main picture ; this path ends at the last neighbour's house. So it is only used by the 2 families and the post(wo)man, sometimes a tractor, or some cows, a kind of local transhumance...) Free use of BBQ, swings, hammock, badminton, ping-pong table and old bikes.
Internet is available with wifi or with a plug. There is a T.V in the bedroom downstairs.
Bed and bath linen are included as well as 8kWh per day of electricity from may till october, and 15kWh per day from october till may (the rest is 0,15€/kWh. So, if you wear more than a shirt inside (we actually often wear one or 2 sweaters) and don't heat more than needed, it should be enough! As for the wood, one bucket is included (except during summer), then it's 5€ per
[But please, keep in mind that we only accept week bookings during july and august, from saturdays to saturdays (actually you can arrive on sunday or monday and leave before saturday but you still have to pay for the whole week... Thank you]
We can pick you up at the stations of Carantilly, St Lo or Coutances if you want to come by train or if you would like to attend the International Colloquial Center of the Castle of Cerisy la Salle (and you can use the bikes daily freely, it's 3 km away, or maybe we can arrange lifts if we are around).
As we've got 3 charming and peaceful cats, if you wish to bring over your animal and if he is used to travel and as well-mannered as you are, you're welcome to do so!
We are french and would be pleased to practice either english or french with you, and beacuse I'm from the region and passionate about it I would be very pleased to share a bit of it with you!..
So, make yourself at home in "Le Chat-Huant" of "la Hongrie", Normandy awaits you!
You can park in our private courtyard, and you have a private garden on the other side.
If you like playing tennis, please bring your gear for there is an outside tennis court 2km away, in Dangy, for which the keys are available.
Interaction with guests
As we live just next door, we can be here, or not ; and talk, or not ; as you wish! When we are not around, the texts are a very convenient way for questions (or a little paper at the front door is o.k too...)
Thanks for leaving the place as clean as possible (but no need to wash the floor with a toothbrush, I do it...)
Animals are most welcome if they are well-behaved but I ask a little extra for cleaning (obviously, it is of no concern to animals with no hair...)
Smokers are invited to enjoy the most fresh and quiet outside air... Thanks a lot!