The perfect picture of French country life, Moulin 85 is an expertly restored and beautifully renovated windmill, surrounded by endless green fields, sunflowers and traditional vineyards.
Tranquil and unspoilt, the only sounds you'll hear throughout your stay are those from the neighbouring cows and sheep, the gentle rustling of leaves on trees, and the chimes from the church bells.
Originally built in 1885, Moulin 85 supplied flour to the people of the nearby village for many years. Hard work and a true labour of love from its current owner rescued the windmill from dilapidation following a devastating storm, and in the 21st century Moulin 85 is one of the loveliest - and quirkiest! - places to rest your head in the French countryside.
Accommodation is luxuriously spread over four floors, all of which are decorated in classic rustic style. Artistic touches and vibrant pops of colour throughout provide a charming and homely feel.
The ground floor is home to a contemporary kitchen, complete with granite worktops, a ceramic hob and a sociable breakfast table - ideal for opening a bottle of wine, breaking bread and planning the day ahead!
A curved wrought iron staircase will lead you to the welcoming living area, featuring cosy seating and a woodburning stove to warm up chillier evenings. You'll find an indulgent shower room on the third floor, while a bedroom made for silent nights' sleep, idyllic morning views and long, lazy lie-ins awaits you on the fourth floor.
Not that you'll want to laze around inside for too long! The beautiful Vendée region is renowned for its sunny days - almost as many as you'll find on the Mediterranean, in fact - so a trip to the nearby beach is a must.
Make like a true French native by grabbing your bike and whizzing through the tree-lined lanes. You'll find a haven of quaint villages to stop and enjoy along the way, including bustling La Callière and historic Vouvant, with its flowing river and 11th century church.
Keen walkers will love the flourishing Mervent Forest, also perfect for wildlife spotting and birdwatching. Try your hand at horseriding if you're not too keen on using your own two feet - or for something different and engaging, a trip to the famous historical theme park Puy du Fou can't be beaten!
Head back to your windmill for a catch-up over a sizzling barbecue and a well-deserved glass of bubbles in your private garden. As you watch the sun setting over the sunflower fields, revel in the fact that stressful everyday life is far, far away from this rural French haven...and relax!
Things to note
Due to the windmill comprising four floors, it is not recommended for the elderly, those with restricted mobility or young children. Pets are not recommended due to the property layout. There is no television in the windmill. Visitors to the property can benefit from a discount code to use on Brittany Ferries.
Tried and tested
"As we were on our honeymoon we found the windmill a fantastic retreat and a relaxing place to rewind after all the stress and organisation of the wedding. It is very well appointed and had everything we needed for our stay. It is very well restored, a fascinating building and a great base from which to explore the Vendee. We would recommend the windmill to anyone who is looking for a peaceful hideaway from the rest of the world."
E & P N, Ireland
"Everything about the windmill is all everyone says but if I can add as a Chartered Surveyor it is one of the most impressive and sympathetic restorations I have encountered!"
M & J Hamilton, Manchester
"We really loved our stay at the windmill. We were so impressed with all of the restoration and decorating - definitely sets a high standard! Hands down, our our number one recommendation for future visitors would be a day trip to the Ile de Re just off the coast from La Rochelle. It almost felt like a tropical island. Very highly recommended."
Katy & Ryan, London
Region: Saint-Cyr-des-Gâts, Pays de la Loire
Cost (from): £450 per week
Minimum stay: 5 nights
Property ref: 570
FacilitiesSleeps 2, double bed, bedding & towels provided, bathroom, shower, kitchen area, ceramic hob, microwave, oven, kettle, fridge/freezer, wood-burning stove, table & chairs, small DVD player, garden, parking.
Restaurants, markets, beaches, cycling, walking, boat trips, golf, fishing.
At a glance
- Elegantly restored 19th century windmill with private garden, set in the rural Vendée region on the west coast of France.
- Fly to La Rochelle, and then hire a car for the last 40 miles. This is a very rural location, so having your own transport is advisable.
- The windmill is set over four floors, and is not suitable for pets or those with limited mobility.
- There are many villages close by, and the area is good for walking, cycling and nature-watching. The renowned Puy du Fou, a historical theme park, is within one hour's drive.