Le Viuex Cafe

These comments have been received by friends and family – and now guests – who have visited Le Vieux Café during its transformation over the past couple of years.

11th – 14th April 2014

Thank you guys once again for a wonderful time – as always we’ll be taking away some truly special memories.
PS: you even ordered perfect weather for us – thank you!
Had a fantastic time here again! Loved canoeing and going to the markets, it was all really fun – thank you! From Polly xxx

With love, Tom, Wendy, Polly & Betty Blythe xx

17th – 24th August 2013

Bread, gin, croissants, red wine, white wine, muesli, chocolate, gin, bread, gin, kids on bikes, countryside, early morning runs, burpees on the park, swimming (in the outdoor pool), more gin, beautiful sunshine, great company and plenty of gin. Just missed Andy to make it perfect. Thanks so much,

with lots of love from all of The Coutts! xxx

17th – 23rd August 2013

A fabulous week with the Brilliant Birkbys (including the Major by email) and the Cool Coutts. Thanks so much for a wonderful holiday. What a beautiful place.

Lots of love from Maz, Giles, Joseph, Grace & Martha

10th – 17th August 2013

Had a fabulous week messing about in, by and on the water. Fab place to find things to do for ages 2 – 75! Thanks for sharing your fabulous house with us.

Imo, Simon, Max, Tom and Jill

19th – 25th June 2013

Long bike ride to Aulnay… Cognac visit; tried Hennesseys and had lunch in the town centre… Bordeaux… another enjoyable holiday with no stress, we will be back.

Ken, Crystal, Fletcher (5), Douglas

18th - 20th August 2012

"Another very special time had with the lovely Birkby family – thank you so much! Your hospitality has, as ever, been fantastic and we are all really grateful. The canoeing adventure was great fun and I am glad we could be of some use and allow you to practise a capsize drill with a full crew. Already looking forward to the next tractor-fest! "

Many, many thanks from all of the Blythes xxx

4th - 11th August 2012

"Beautifully renovated house, with everything needed for a relaxing family holiday (an achievement with hard to please teenage children!). Enjoyed cycling, the night market at St Jean d’Angely, kayaking, nice beach at Fouras. Love the funny little mice sculptures dotted around the house. Other interesting trips:
  • Chatelaillon-plage – indoor and outdoor pool (best), huge slide
  • La Rochelle – pretty port, lively and popular
  • Aulnay market (Sunday); St Jean (Wednesday)
  • Indoor pool at St Jean "
  • Thank you Norma, Steve and family

    29th - 2th August 2012

    "What an Olympic venue! Every event even had a prize. Cycling with various bread products and the ubiquitous Pression; canoeing in various directions from the house leading to picnics, parks and Pression and the swimming events (indoor, outdoor and wild) leading to not only a little more Pression but, more importantly, to our being exposed to the regional beauty surrounding the Birkby house. We are honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to join Team Birkby in a very special place and have enjoyed the experience tremendously. Thank you all so very much."

    Richard, Jenny, Elizabeth and Oliver Walker

    5th - 9th June 2012

    "A trip without the mums?!? How would the dads cope? Morrises x 4 (Neal, Evangeline, Clementine & Jasper) joined the Birkby 4 (Andy, Poppy, Noah and Lucas) for half term capers, canoe adventures, lunchtime aperitifs with the neighbours, spot of bricolage (canoe pulleys) and lots of outdoor fun. We even caught a big crayfish! In fairness, a little more showering would have been done were Ros and Emma here but who cares! Thanks for another perfect family time! "


    5th - 10th April 2012

    " After a terrible breakdown on the train, we found out that it was worth waiting for. All of the Coutts really enjoyed the boat and the bicycles! But we obviously loved seeing you again since you left Portugal. Thank you so much. "

    Love from Coutts xxx

    20th - 27th August 2011

    "What a lovely home for a week and we had a great time; lots of things to do in the area, including walks and cycle rides. Thanks to Carol for a beautifully clean house to stay in and for Ros for making her home available."

    Karen & Phil Stevens

    6th - 20th August 2011

    "A great house, we loved our two weeks here and don’t want to go! The kids loved playing with the bikes and toys. It was great to stay in a house so suited to children. There is so much to do in the region – only 1 hr from the beaches – Yakajouer, Aulnay outdoor pool, St Jean indoor Atlantys pool, etc, etc. Overall a fabulous holiday.

    Stephen & Geraldine Cleary

    We stayed in the cottage for two weeks with the above family (relatives). The house was big and well suited to our needs; lots of space, toys and in a quiet, safe area, but still accessible to lots of activities, beaches, etc. The kids loved Yakajouer and Aulnay outdoor swimming pool, also Royan beach. We also went to the donkey farm, aquarium and lots of parks and had many nice picnics in the area. Unfortunately today we have to leave and would love to stay for another week to go to some islands, etc. Had a brilliant time. Many thanks. "

    Eithna & Marty Toner

    30th July- 6th August 2011

    "A very nice cottage and beautiful surroundings. We have seen it all from Cognac to the Atlantic Islands. We recommend the small restaurant in the wood in Antezant. "

    Annethea & Mikail Peytz

    4th - 7th July 2011

    "After a 1400km drive from Lisbon, I wasn’t disappointed to find the house better than I had imagined – great setting, interior décor and very comfortable. Hoping to bring Mrs K and the Junior K’s soon to experience the fantastic French countryside – without hesitation! Love it! "

    Uncle Kingo x

    17th October 2010

    "Great few days for the Birkby lads in St Pardoult. The house looked very familiar from all the work Aom and Ros did on all the pics on the website. Our time was filled with collecting mushrooms (all poisonous, we think), burning logs, constant barbeques, local beers and meeting the locals. Lots of fun. Now all that is left is a 5am start to get to the airport on time."

    Love, Nick

    "Fuelled by cheap booze and red meat, the Birkby boys left the barbeque glowing. Every neighbour, expat or otherwise, stuck their head in for a quick chat/drink! Beautiful weather, beautiful house and great company made for a fantastic weekend."

    Matt x

    21st August – 5th September 2010

    "Thanks very much for sharing your lovely French home with us! We have had a wonderful holiday with great bike rides, great beaches and great facilities to make it feel home from home. The school museum was a great place to go on the only rainy day of the fortnight! The neighbours were friendly; Madam from Mado (opposite) gave us a huge bunch of home grown tomatoes; Monsieur from the big house gave us directions to find a shop in Niort; Sheila was also very friendly and came to find us to say there was a convoy of vintage farm vehicles. An old lady with bright red hair was also very friendly and was keen to know how old we all were!! A great time had by all – and special thanks to the LD Lines Captain for crashing the ferry, which gave us a much welcome extra day!"

    Siobhan Kirtley

    7th – 21st August 2010

    "Beautiful property, lots of character and well placed for exploring the Charente. Visited lots of great markets; Royan and Fouras had great beaches (south beach much better and more popular than north!). Brilliant day out at Cognac; recommend tour of Otard distillery. Chateau Courbon very picturesque and well worth a visit; Aulnay outdoor swimming pool great for family, reasonably priced and used mainly by locals. The children loved playing with the toys and reading the books… On a practical note, supermarket Leclerc at St Jean good value, lots of choice for evening meals. You have a beautiful home; thanks for letting us share it."

    John Kate, Harry, Alun, Jane, Emily & Alice

    31st July – 7th August 2010

    "We had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed our stay in your beautiful French hideaway. You have done a fantastic job on it, and it was great to read the history and see the pictures upstairs; truly a most enjoyable and relaxing holiday. Our girls (18 and 15) really enjoyed themselves - which is very important to us. The blue book was fantastic; the girls devoured it and we seemed to arrive in every town that happened to have a market on!!! Again many thanks for sharing your residence with us."

    The Connolly Family

    17th – 24th July 2010

    " We love it here! We have met John and Deb (there are very lovely and helpful); went to the Sunday morning market in Aulnay; rode the bicycles to the river and enjoyed a nice bottle of wine (Fletcher met another little boy there and they fished together!); went to the donkey farm where Fletcher fed the mules Honey Nut Cheerios; enjoyed a day here at the cottage – love all the herbs (we cooked with the rosemary and thyme); the fruit trees; took a journey to la Rochelle… Le Vieux Cafe was perfect, and we loved everything about it! I think our favorite thing was the bikes - we rode them every day :) "

    Kenny, Crystal and Fletcher Rogers

    6th – 9th July 2010

    "Fab as always! Enjoyed the bikes and swimming and les enfants enjoyed the circus. Great weather. Thank you all for such a wonderful time and your hospitality. Thanks for all the lovely food and G&Ts and vino. Been a fab start to our hols, as always. "

    All love, JW and Ian

    22nd August – 5th September 2009

    "A huge thank you for a fabulous stay. The house has been perfect for our needs. Lots of space, well stocked for the children and beautifully decorated. We’ve eaten apples, peaches and figs and drunk lots of red wine; all the markings of a great holiday."

    Much love, Sam, Charles, Henry, Oli & Matty

    "We also had an enjoyable time. Visiting highlights: Martell tour in Cognac, Chateau Renaissance and Surgeres."

    Sam’s Mum & Dad

    25th July – 1st August 2009

    "Another week of such variety… We thank you yet again; Andy, Ros, Poppy, Noah and Lucas for your warm hospitality, indefatigable energy and good company. There is more to explore – we will be back again."

    Love from Michael & Joanna (Granny & Grandpa).

    11th – 23rd July 2009

    "Thank you for letting us stay in your beautiful family home. We had a lovely stay and hopefully it’s not too long until we can return."

    Kindest thanks, Sara & Ben

    25th-29th May 2009

    "Continuing the “May half term” tradition, the Morrises descended en masse again in 09. It was definitely “third time lucky” with the weather this year – glorious sunshine and “sunburningly” hot! We had a fantastic long day at the beach, some barbeque feasts, a wine journey through all the colours and regions of France and a great cheese fest! All in all, an absolutely fantastic holiday for the two families!"

    Neal, Emma, Georgina, Evangeline, Clemmie and Jasper

    13th – 18th August 2008

    "Thank you all for such a wonderful break. The house is looking fantastic and it has been great to see how you have transformed it since my last visit two years ago. Thank you so much for our lovely trips out, afternoons chilling and tea outside. Thank you for the scrummy apple and blackberry crumble. Finally, thank you for letting me share part of your French summer break with you all… looking forward to next time. "

    All love JW x

    30th July – 6th August 2008

    "The “Famous Five of St Pardoult” strike again with their generous and imaginative welcome.  Niort and its serpents (and half day closing!), St Jean with its live crabs and eels, Aulnay with its 2000 pidgeon nests, floating backwards down the Boutonne, speedy visits to countless supermarches for plugs, wires and wines!  All pale into insignificance against the hospitality of the home and hearth of “le vieux café”…  Thank you for a wonderful week! ." 

    Michael & Joanna

    Half term May 2008

    "Thank you so much for another fab week and for putting up with us all.  Fantastic hospitality and great weather; canoeing, beach, walking etc.  Your house is looking fantastic.  Thanks to you all for such a lovely break."

    Emma, Neal, Georgina, Evangeline, Clemmie and Jasper

    14th – 21st May 2008

    "Thank you for another lovely week in your lovely house.  Today and yesterday were best days and makes leaving all the more difficult.  Done the rounds again and visited the Hennessey Distillery with an excellent tour – the boutique is a retailers dream but don’t be fooled (as I was) – the cognac is much cheaper in Leclerc!  Trip yesterday to Royan and the “Savage Coast!?” – sunny warm and quiet – the smell of the sea, pine woods, etc, was unbeatable.  Been to Niort, la Rochelle, Dampierre, Melle and Pons and all are worth another visit."

    Thanks again love Ste and Liz xx  

    20th – 23rd August 2007

    "Lovely, simple food; gathered blackberries and apples and ate too many apple crumbles.  All in all a good time had by all.  The house looks amazing – very simple and stylish, but practical too."

    Thanks for a great time, Kate, Bea and Ivor x 

    16th – 20th August 2007

    "Another fantastic time staying with you all.  Good food, wine, weather, company – simply perfect.  This longed for break was just what I needed."

    Wendy Polly and Betty 

    13th – 14th August 2007

    "Utterly fabulous house.  Very in awe of all of your achievements."

    Lots of love, Vics, Buzz, Wheezer and Badger

    August 2007

    "The few days I spent with you and the children are treasured memories.  Thank you.  Could while away my whole time in the environs of your fabulous house and village, but it’s a great base for visiting some fabulous places.  I particularly loved St Jean d’Angely – the Saturday market and driving around exploring the countryside in search of chateaux.  Hope I will get that second invitation! "

    All my love, Fiona

    24th – 31st July 2007

    "Thank you for a lovely few days, we did enjoy ourselves with you all.  The house is lovely and we can see you will have many happy holidays here.  Michael and I enjoyed the whole atmosphere of staying in a rural French village.  Everyone was so friendly and interested in you and the improvements you were making to the “Tabac”.  We loved the upstairs gallery with the pictures from times past, the kitchen too was already the centre of the house; we can imagine all the meals and chat around that table in the future." 

    Love Joanna & Michael (Mum and Dad)  

    17th – 23rd July 2007

    "It was fabulous to come back to St Pardoult two years on.  All your hard work and efforts have paid off to create a thoroughly charming French country house with all the modern comforts.  It’s fantastic.   I know you love going there and adding to it every time.  We loved seeing what you had done and just being able to enjoy such a beautiful area of France.  We have had a great week with super weather.  Beautiful sunny days… "

    Laura, Tim, Henry & Fergus Dean 

    27th – 31st May 2007

    "Highlight of the trip (yes, even better than Decathlon!) was a fish feast barbie on a beautiful sunny evening, followed by chocolates and cognac under the stars – perfect end to a great week!"

    The Morrises 

    29th April – 6th May 2007

    "What a lovely week.  Done over 800km in the little hire car and been to Rochefort, Cognac, the Islands, St Jean and the supermarket (lots).  We think we have eaten too much cheese by the amount of dreaming we have done and tasted a fair sample of wines and spirits.  Biked for bread a couple of times but the run every night didn’t quite happen!  Found a few little gems over the week including the citadel village of Brouage, a picnic spot by the river in St Pierre de L’ille about 10 mins bike ride north up the valley.  St Martin on Isle de Re is well worth a visit and next time will do the Hennessey tour in Cognac.  A brill week – when can we come again?"

    Ste and Liz 

    Web design by Nisarat Birkby - nisaratc@gmail.com