Le Moulin Brégeon is a 19th-century water mill transformed into a five room luxury bed and breakfast situated on twelve hectares of fields and farmland in the Loire Valley.
How would you describe Manoir de Coutainville in a nutshell?
Manoir de Coutainville in Normandy used to be the summer holiday house for the family, and I have been the owner for the last 25 years. I opened it to guests as a Bed and Breakfast four years ago starting with a lot of friends and mostly writers and people who wanted to be in a quiet, private house, like a retreat.
During the 15th century when people who were living in the village had trouble with boats coming from the Vikings and the English, people were protected here in the Manoir. And we still offer that protection today in the form of privacy. We offer a very serene, calm atmosphere.
There is no TV here or music in the house itself. But I receive a lot of musicians who play for guests, either singing or playing their instruments.
Manoir de Coutainville has been in your family for a long time. What was your inspiration to turn it into a B&B?
I turned the house into a Bed and Breakfast because I traveled a lot for business when I was younger. I was in fashion textiles. My dream was to open my house for the people who had the habit of traveling, and to keep a family atmosphere where you feel free.
To you personally, what is so special about Manoir de Coutainville?
I think Manoir is really refreshing. It offers a lot of space, light, the sense of the sea and nature. You don’t hear the roads. It’s completely protected. I want my guests to leave here feeling lighter, refreshed. And apparently they do; they tend to refer Manoir de Coutainville to others, and more than half of them return for their holidays.
We also have a huge barn for gatherings and weddings, so groups can rent out the entire grounds for several days.
Please tell us a bit about the type of holiday guests who visit Manoir de Coutainville.
I receive a lot of foreigners, which makes the conversation during dinner very interesting. Families also like to visit because there’s a lot of space for the children.
My guests prefer to be catered for in a place that feels relaxing. It’s their holiday. We even do their laundry for them. We make it convenient.
I’m lucky to have very easy guests. They usually have all the amenities in their lives, like housekeepers. But there’s so much privacy here that we stay out of the way and just let them enjoy the place.
What has been the biggest reward to you personally about renting Manoir de Coutainville out as a Bed and Breakfast?
I love that the house is quite alive when guests are here. I have no children, so I do everything by myself. I’ve had this house for a long time now, and it’s charming to see it come to life with visitors. The house is open to real life.
I know how busy life can be, so being able to offer guests a calm, private house for their holidays is very rewarding. Guests feel at home here and forget about their worries.