Running vacation rentals, if you are doing it properly, is not like how they depict it on TV in Back to The Chateau DIY etc. etc. – it’s not about having a great idea, folk hammering at your door, instantly fully booked, so you get to spend your time in the garden under glorious sunshine playing the perfect host with no work to do… dream on!!
Once upon a time I had long nails, I used to have time at weekends to go for a 6 mile walk with my dog, get a pizza & then flop & watch movies. Monday morning go back to the office – what I’m saying I had a routine & ‘me’ time!
Now, we’re 7 days a week, occasionally I get ‘me’ time, it’s never planned – it just happens!
We work and we work hard…I annoy Mike when I say ‘I think I’ll go back to London for a rest!’
BUT saying all that it’s so worth it when we get reviews like these… hit by Hurricane Harvey just before due to come on vacation here, they cancelled – we didn’t charge any penalties, we just soaked it up, how could you start charging folk when they had lost their home…it was for 2 couples, the cottage and the converted barn…the cancellation stung as we sat empty.
But, out the blue they contacted us, their house was fixed and their Normandy adventure was back on! I kept to the 2016 quote.
Funnily enough the 2nd re-book dates fell through, the 3rd time was the lucky one, except, they were texted by Delta to say the flight was cancelled, so instead of direct flight to Paris there was a flight with a change but they would arrive 40 minutes late…they got on that plane – it went US – had to get off!
Delta came clean it was the Air France strike but they were now on the same flight 24 hours later, meant they were flying into the SNCF strike in Paris! The line between me & them was red hot, I had booked them cars from CDG to take them to the station, car hire here to pick them up.
So, to find out the actual situation I go to the station here in Carentan – the solitary man sat behind his glass screen looking bored & miserable with no customers, has a printout of what trains will be running on what strike days (his new job giving out this information!), yeah!! their train is running & their tickets from 24 hours earlier will be accepted…the luck has changed, then a big plus, the weather forecast is published – it’s a mini heatwave, it’s going to be glorious!
They get here – while serving our normal welcome cup of tea & home-baked cake, (I swopped the tea for fizz on this occasion) penny dropped, the 2 day travel was much harder than a normal ‘get to Normandy run,’ I cooked them an early dinner, they didn’t need much rocking that night!
Going the extra mile, organising chauffeurs in Paris, car hire in Carentan, cooking dinner, booking war tours, making table reservations, giving advice plus keeping a stock of printed information along with planning and helping maximize the time here, I enjoy doing. We don’t get any kick back from anything we book – it just doesn’t work like that here in France.
Then we do it all again for the next folk coming in…this time we have a couple, he retracing his Grandfathers steps from Utah Beach when he arrived on D+2 – we’ve historians working on that for him.
Here are the reviews:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Our stay here was nothing short of wonderful! If you are looking for a quiet village in Normandy across from a centuries old Catholic Church with every amenity you can think of, this is the place for you. Tansy has thought of every detail needed for a lovely, relaxing stay on her property. She helped us for months plan this trip, as it had to be re-scheduled due to Hurricane Harvey. Additionally, she helped us with transportation connections to and from Paris. Her recommendations for a guide, what to see and do while we were there, and excellent restaurants to visit made our visit to Normandy unforgettable. Both the cottage and the upstairs apartment are beautifully furnished, and include new mattresses on the beds. I slept so well while I was there! The kitchens are fully functional and stocked with just about anything you might need. Our bathroom had recently been updated and included a towel warmer. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and would highly recommend it!
Date of arrival
17 April 2018
The ONLY place to stay in Normandy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If you are planning a trip to the Normandy area, this is the place for you to stay! I’m not sure I can adequately articulate what incredible hosts Tansy and Mike Forster are! We had to cancel our first trip in September 2017, because of Hurricane Harvey which flooded Houston, Texas, and our home. We re-scheduled our trip for April, 2018. Our arrival was delayed 24 hours due to an Air France strike. Tansy canceled all the services she had organized for us—driver to take us from Charles de Gaulle airport to the train station, driver to pick us up from the train station, and rental car. Once we were able to re-book our flight (24 hours later), Tansy called each of those services again to re-schedule. Needless to say, it was a frantic 24 hours! Once we finally arrived at Tansy & Mike’s Ferme de L’eglise, we were greeted with open arms and a glass of Cremont! We were a party of two couples, and our living arrangement was perfect. We went into town every morning for fresh croissants from the local boulangerie. We were able to do laundry mid-trip as both cottages had full washer and dryer. The crisp, clean ocean air enabled us to sleep like babies! Tansy and Mike have thought of everything, and we can’t imagine how our week in Normandy could have been more perfect.