Earlier this year we were planning our summer holiday when Loek asked, out of the blue, if we could go to France. I still don’t know how he even knew the country existed, but he made up his mind. So we started planning a road trip through la douce France. Yes, a road trip with two little kids. We are crazy we know. We travelled more than 3.000 km but not to worry we did not hop to a new place every day. It is a kid-friendly road trip after all :-).

In the coming weeks, we’ll share our best stays from our road trip with you and the first one we like to share is the characteristic Le Domaine du Meunier. It is located in a picturesque little town called Mortagne sur Gironde on the west-side of France in the very beautiful area called Charente-Maritime. Le Domaine du Meunier is a French maison build in 1893 by the son of a miller. You reach the maison by passing endless fields of sunflowers, hills of green vineyards and warm beige fields of wheat topped by blue skies with some fluffy white clouds.

We stayed in one of the gîtes which was perfect for the four of us. The styling of the apartment was really nice with welcoming freshly picked flowers from the garden on our table. We felt right at home! The garden and the house have so much to explore for kids as well. Fish, toys, a trampoline, peach trees and ducks & chickens just waggling around. You can also cut your own fresh herbs from the garden like Sage, Thyme and Rosemary if you want. But the best thing of this place was the big hall in the grain warehouse. Every night at 19.00hrs it felt like stepping into a time machine and entering the 30’s,40’s, 50’s and 60’s combined! The whole vintage atmosphere created by the old wooden ceiling, the French music, and not to mention the collection of 35 pinball machines from the 60s & 70s (on which you can actually play), made it really magical!


  • Jump in the canal in front of the house when the tide is high 😉
  • Take a boat trip down the Gironde
  • Visit La Palmyre Zoo
  • Go to one of the many lovely beaches
  • Explore Bordeaux and towns like Saintes, Meschers, Royan, Talmontsur Gironde or Rochefort sur Mer. (will write a separate post about Bordeaux in the next few weeks)
  • Visit a Brocante market and find vintage treasures
  • Taste some Pineau (a local aperitif made of wine and cognac) at one of the many chateaus in the area.


  • Mortagne sur Gironde. From Le Domaine du Meunier, you can walk in just 3 minutes to these two restaurants: Les Pirates and Chez Gigi. Les Pirates has a more snack bar kind of feel but has nice fresh fish and mussels. Chez Gigi is a restaurant where you can sit outside with a view on the port, very friendly staff and enjoy a good meal. Address: Les Pirates, 58 Bis Quai de Estuary, 17120 Mortagne-sur-Gironde & Chez Gigi, 42 Rue de Port, 17120 Mortagne-sur-Gironde.
  • Royan. We enjoyed a very nice lunch of fresh fish and coquilles at Koud à Koud. This white and grey restaurant hidden above the beach was really nice. We sat outside watching the Atlantic Ocean and we could smell the sweet figs from the fig tree. Address: Koud à Koud, 1 Plage Chay, 17200 Royan.
  • St. Palais sur Mer. We ended a perfect beach day at Chez Bob. If you go there we can recommend the Chez Bob Mussels and the kids enjoyed the freshly made pizza. We had a table on the rooftop so we could overlook the beach and watch the sunset. Happiness! Address: Chez Bob, 8 Rue des Bains, 17420 Saint-Palais-sur-Mer.
  • Merschers sur Gironde. Strolling over the Marche Brocante and looking for precious vintage finds makes you hungry. We had lunch at Restaurant Bistrot des deux Ports. The Paella is one of the best we’ve ever tasted with more seafood than rice! That’s a first! Address: Restaurant Bistrot des deux Ports, 68 avenue du Port, Meschers-sur-Gironde.

There is so much more to discover in Mortagne and we loved Le Domaine du Meunier so much, we will certainly go back! For more info check their website here.

(photo hall with pinball machines from Le Domaine du Meunier, all other photo’s by Vesper and the Fox)