Just over 12 years ago, the family, in all their wisdom, decided on a whim; instigated by myself after having had numerous holidays in France; to change our lifestyle and vocations past to start a new adventure in life and buy our first business in the tourism sector. To be precise a campsite and restaurant by the name of Camping Le Moulin and Restaurant des Canards. We had found a beautiful little campsite just outside the small market town of Chef Boutonne, home of the famous and beautiful Chateau Javarzay just 700 meters from the entrance of the campsite, and after flying back and forth to complete the never ending paperwork, and spending many hours on Google translate, we eventually signed our lives away and set out for a new way of life looking forward to the exciting changes ahead.
The move from the UK to France was very smooth; at least on the UK side! However no amount of planning could have solved the problem of cramming 2 houses-worth of items into one small old storage room at the back of the campsite’s mill. After stacking boxes to the roof tops, we needed an immediate contingency plan. So we decided to store the remaining items in the restaurant for a few weeks. Wearing our baseball caps to deflect the beautiful sunshine, we started to sort things out.
However, we hadn’t taken into account that the average French local, back in the day, was approx. 4 foot nothing tall. I awoke one morning as the delivery lorry entered the parking area, and from that day on we formulated the first plan of action. Which was to raise the door height so that anyone, of any shape or size, could enter the building without peril.
We wish, to this day that we had contacted one of the UK TV companies to film a program around the family’s adventures for the first year. I am convinced from an outsider’s point of view it would have made a great series of programs with very high ratings!
It was in contrast a year in the ‘merde’. The family has undergone many projects involving the external and internal modernization of the former flour mill. Even to the point of restoring the mill machinery to its former glory, a satisfying project and in keeping with the 350 year old building.
The beautiful river Boutonne runs through our campsite and now beneath our lounge area. The restoration works have also spread into the restaurant area; modernizing the bar and eating area; that now sweeps out onto the terrace area beside the pool.
Many great evenings have been spent with our clients sitting around the pool whilst listening to our French/Anglais Jazz band. We have hosted several special evenings here with our resident band on tour from the UK playing around the floodlit poolside and dancing the night away, great memories for us all.
Our bizarre move to France to own and run a campsite and restaurant so far has been extremely demanding at times, with all the things you would associate with living and working with your family, such as learning new skills and applying them. Utilising your old skill set and developing new language skills, even though it may be a very long time before anyone can really understand our version of French! We can certainly say that we have enjoyed meeting people from all around the world since arriving here, and we are still amazed at the people that come here to camp, and more importantly still enjoying every experience.
Our son, who is now 19 years old, has fitted into the local school and become engrossed in various sports activities, this in turn has developed our relationships with the local community, which we really enjoy.
List the things here that make your site special and why people should come and stay, sell yourselves.
childrens play area
other things to do
Toilet Block and Disabled Facilities
We holiday here every year. Its a fantastic site, run by wonderful people. Nothing is too much trouble for Sara and Stuart and the site is clean and well kept. The touring pitches are big and flat and there is a great swimming pool and restaurant on site. The surrounding countryside is beautiful. Lots of interesting market towns to visit. Plus only an hour and half drive from the beautiful Atlantic coast with bustling town such as La Rochelle and Royan to visit. It really is an idyllic location.
Feedback from You!
Stayed here for two nights in August 2016, it's a small, quiet, clean site. We ate in the restuarant both nights and really enjoyed the food and atmosphere.
The site has a small pool and park, both of which my children enjoyed. Would return!
Stayed August 2016, travelled with family
Stuart the owner and his wife Sara go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.
We had a great time there and a good laugh especially when they do one of their quiz nights. The food is a la carte and excellent not expensive they even cook chinese and curry's in the evenings with special fish n chip nights.
We only parked up with our camper vans even though they do have mobile homes on site for rent or purchase and it was lovely just jumping into the pool on the hot summer days. This is a great place to stay or stop when passing through South west France. We were on our way to Spain and it was only 20 mins off the main route. It is a camping stop with all amenities, restaurant , pool, Jazz music etc so the rating below is for hotels and doesn't do it justice. Not too far away we went Kayaking and the local markets were great.