Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard is a charming French village in the southern Charente, right at the border with the Dordogne and not far from the Gironde. It is situated in the middle of a triangle formed by Angoulême, Bordeaux and Périgeux and therefore makes an excellent haven for wine and food lovers. Our beautiful manoir "Les Mirandes" sits about 500 meter outside Montmoreau, a village that boasts a XIIth century Roman church and an old castle as well as all modern facilities. "Les Mirandes" borders an ancient pilgrims route to Santiago de Compostela and used to be a place where pilgrims could spend the night and use a meal. The big wooden cross on our land - symbolizing ultimate hospitality - is a relic of that period.
"Les Mirandes" lives up to its name. It means 'place from which one can freely observe the surroundings'. The manoir offers a breathtaking view over the valley and the village of Montmoreau. Space, hospitality, peace and relaxation are guaranteed at "Les Mirandes"; whether you want to suntan next to the pool, play a game of 'jeu de boules' in the orchard or stroll through the winery or the authentic parc.
Food- and culture lovers will certainly appreciate the vast offer of culture, history and culinary indulgence in the surrounding villages. Athletes can choose from a large variety of sports, ranging from walking, biking, canoeing, golfing to fishing.
Winter in Belgium, 2003.
On a cool and wet Sunday night (one of many), we - Tinne and Olivier - decide we've had enough of the rain and tentatively voice an awakening dream; to exploit a Bed & Breakfast in 'La Douce France'. The coming weeks and months further shape our dream until May, when we leave on a field trip to France to visit some charming potential guesthouses.
Summer in France, 2005.
After promising each other eternal love, we embark on a 'Tour de France'-honeymoon that leads us to the most beautiful Chambres d'Hôtes of the Hexagone. We gingerly listen to the experiences shared by our willing hosts. Well-informed and both feet planted firmly on the ground, we return to Belgium one month later. Once there, we store our dream to let it age, just like a good Bordeaux wine.
When in 2008 we get the opportunity to move to the USA for 5 years, we grab it with both hands. Our family, now expanded with two lovely kids, packs its suitcases and leaves for the American capital.
Winter in Washington, DC, 2013.
On a cold Sunday afternoon, while our children, Celle and Sieke, play outside with their American friends, we cuddle up in front of the fireplace and look at real estate websites in the south of France. A beautiful premise in Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard catches our eye. It only takes one glance for us to know; we just found our Chambres d'Hôtes. Two weeks later, a visit to the idyllic place confirms our initial gut feeling. This is the place that has been carefully ageing for the past ten years in our dream. Tinne's parents, Paul and Agnes, are so charmed by the setting that they decide on the spot to embark with us on this adventure.
France, Fall 2013.
After crossing the Atlantic one last time, we nestle into our new corner of paradise. 'Les Mirandes' turns indeed out to be a piece of heaven on earth.
We would love to share our patch of heaven with you and hope that our home will soon also become your favorite spot on earth.
We look forward to receiving you! See you soon!