Sweet Nothings Retreat is situated in the quiet hamlet of Saint Vallier, in South Charente. The surrounding countryside is characteristic of the area; its popularity is often cited as being due to the many different landscapes – from small scale animal farming to vinyards, woodland, orchards and fields smiling with sunflowers.
The climate is very agreeable with long hot summers and short winters which can get cold at night but are generally warmer on average than the UK. This part of France also boasts some of the longest daylight hours in the country.
St Vallier is close to the Dordogne and Garonne borders and as such has many beautiful medieval villages, towns and cities close by, such as Aubeterre Sur Dronne, Brantôme, St Emillion Angouleme and Bordeaux. For Foodies, there are fantastic menus to enjoy using locally sourced ingredients (this area is famed for truffles and duck and goose products); for those interested in wine, there is a fantastic selection of vineyards and cellars to visit – in fact too many to even begin to list! If your interests include music, bars often host great live musicians, as well as local jazz festivals each year.
For the sporty, there are excellent cycling routes, indeed, the Tour De France has passed through this area in previous years. For walkers, the immediate surrounding countryside also boasts beautiful turquoise lakes in areas of scientific interest with their protected species of flora and fauna (including turtles!). If you fancy a fishing trip, we are within driving distance of the Dronne and Dordogne. We are also within an hour of the coast.
The closest town is Chalais, a small market town with its own train station and chateau. Chalais hosts two markets each week, and is home to a classic car meeting each year at the Chateau.
The area is very accessible, with major train routes to both Angouleme and Bordeaux, and flights are both regular and cheap to Bordeaux and Bergerac. If driving from one of the ports such as Le Havre, Caen or St Malo, St Vallier is within 8 hours.