Monday, 23 August 2010

More Guest Reviews

Our guests are so generous with their reviews, we were delighted to receive two more in the last two weeks.

The first one is from a one week stay 15th May 2010, 4 adults and three children aged 2, 2 and 1:

"My family and friends stayed at White Shutters in May 2010. There were 6 adults and 3 small children in total, all of us wanting a break from hectic working life and that is exactly what we got. White Shutters feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, in a really good way, although there is a town with all you need less than 10 minutes drive away. We spent our days by the pool, knowing the children were perfectly safe. We spent our evenings cooking in the amazing kitchen, very rustic and a "cooks Kitchen", or having barbeques on the terrace. There are beaches nearby and plenty to see but if you just want to relax and feel like you are really living rural French life then this is the place for you. We had a wonderful time and have some cherished memories. Thank you to Fiona and Helen who looked after us so well
The Roses, Brighton

PS Can you let us know what availability you have for late june/Early july next year, before summer holidays start."

...and the second one from a two week stay 31st July 2010. 4 Adults and 4 children aged 8, 6, 3 and 2, 2 additional friends stayed for a few days in the middle.

"We spent two fabulous weeks with our two families at White Shutters during August 2010, we were joined by another friend and his daughter during the second week . It was a spacious and extremely well equipped gite with everything we could ask for. The bedrooms were spacious and comfortable with loads of space for our boys to play in.

The children thoroughly enjoyed using the toys and bikes that were there, the large garden and gravelled area added to their freedom and enjoyment. The kitchen was well stocked and the cook books came in very handy, especially when we where not eating bread and cheese or using the BBQ. We enjoyed the pool and the gates made it far more relaxing for the grown ups, knowing that the children were safe . We spent many happy evenings chatting and dining on the patio or around the kitchen table .

We sampled lots of local foods, including the odd bottle of wine !! The market at Alnay was great for fresh fruits and veg, and the occasional kilo of mussels ! Helen was really helpful and gave us really good ideas on places to visit. The local area was great to explore and we ventured to Cognac, La Rochelle and the beaches. You definitely need a car, but it was really nice to return to a quite hamlet at the end of the day. It was a great two weeks and definitely a great place for a relaxing family holiday.

Thanks Fiona for making the process so easy. The Griffiths/Savory Family (Wilts)"

I cannot say how happy we are that everyone is having such a great time this summer...thank you for taking the time to write reviews, they are appreciated! We have the best guests!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Moules Marinieres - Summer in the Charente Maritime - defined!

To feed everyone staying at White Shutters (10-12) which is what we did on our own holiday last week with extended family!

  • Take 5 kgs of fresh local mussels, wash under running water debeard, scrub and discard any that don't shut after a serious shake in the colandar under running water.

  • Gently sauté 2 onions and up to a chopped bulb of garlic in butter and olive oil (large knob of and a good lug) in the largest pan White Shutters has (catering size.)

  • Add a bottle or so of cheap dry white wine, bring to simmering point and carefully tip in all of the mussels. Put the lid on.

  • Bring back to the boil and shake gently at intervals to redistribute the mussels so they cook evenly. Steam for 5-10 minutes until they are all open, discard any that stay shut when eating.

  • Carefully stir in a bunch of chopped parsley and serve in bowls with ladles of juice, frites and hunks of bread for dunking.

Moules Marinieres, summer in the Charente Maritime defined!