Latest Gite Improvements

Rear of Sandboys Dune

Newly painted rear of Sandboys Dune, showing private parking.

Autumn is a good time to do jobs on the outside of the house.  The weather is often, as now, still mild and dry, and the gites usually not occupied every week, so that work can be carried out without disturbing guests.

This year we are tackling some painting jobs.  Here’s a photo of the rear of Sandboys Dune, showing the newly painted back wall.  We also painted the neighbours’ walls so that the immaculate paintwork on Dune wouldn’t make them look shabby by comparison!

We have bookings later this week and next week, so we’re leaving painting the garden wall on the other side of the house, until sometime in early November, but we have already completed the motorisation of the roller shutter on the patio door, so now you can block out the world, or get some shade from bright sunlight at the touch of a button!

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Spiffing News! – More Comfort At Sandboys Dune

new sofaGood news!  In response to suggestions that the futon sofa at Dune wasn’t comfortable enough for a long stay, we changed it over today for a very comfortably sprung and softly upholstered 2 seater sofa.

We think it has a rather spiffing hot climate look to it.  Must be those elephants.  It definitely is very much more comfortable, though.

In the photo, you can also see one of the two relaxing, leather covered Ikea armchairs, so all the family can now lounge comfortably!

Any bad news?  Of course not!!  Things only get better at Dune!

 

 

 

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Holiday Bargains and Late Availability Deals

doisneau_kissWe’ve just added some deals to fill gaps in our booking schedule, so if you’re looking for a bargain, take a look at what’s available on our latest offers page 

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Self Catering Family Holidays – now all with free WiFi

Seaside holiday accommodation in FranceFor your best-ever family holiday, choose a Sandboys seaside house or an exclusive family apartment, in one of France’s most accessible and unspoiled regions – the Opal Coast, only an hour from Calais.

For couples (or very small families – parents + 1 baby under 2 years), we’ve created a romantic hideaway in the privacy of one wing of our palatial country house just a few miles inland, with superb beaches just minutes away in one direction, historic towns and lush green countryside in the other.

We’ve already been providing family holiday accommodation in this part of France for over 11 years, but we’re not content to stand still. Sandboys is a business committed to moving with the times and keeping up with the changing tastes and requirements of our clients, so all our holiday homes are equipped with flat screen TVs, DVD players and, of course, free WiFi.

Sandboys Dune – Family seaside house – sleeps up to 5

The Pines – Large family size accommodation in the entire East Wing of a spectacular house – sleeps up to 7

The West Wing – Spacious one bedroom apartment for couples (or 2 + 1 baby under 2 years)

Switch to Sandboys Desktop Website – for large tablets, laptop and desktop screens

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A Good Place To Eat At The French Seaside

Families staying at the Sandboys seaside gites or at our Garden Studio apartment will never lack for choice when it comes to places to eat.  Fort Mahon and its surrounding countryside, towns and villages are packed with good restaurants, brasseries and cafes.

Exterior view of Les Pieds dans l'Eau restaurant

A good seaside place to eat - Les Pieds dans l'Eau at Berck

The other night we were planning to eat out before going to the cinema in Montreuil.  The film (The Company Men, with Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones, in English with French sub-titles) was not scheduled to start until 9pm, so we had plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely meal beforehand.  We had a place in mind, too – somewhere we hadn’t been before – the Brasserie “Les Pieds dans l’Eau”, aptly named as it is on the beach at the seaside resort of Berck (about 12 miles drive from Fort Mahon).   This is the restaurant at Berck’s Agora Leisure Centre which I had noticed while attending swimming club training sessions in the excellent pool there.

Brasserie Les Pieds dans l’Eau, Agora, Berck-sur-Mer, Tel. 03 21 89 87 10

The restaurant is very comfortably furnished and nicely decorated in a modern style.  It is accessed either through the basement level of the Leisure Centre (the restaurant is actually underneath the seaside promenade) or by steps down to the beach from the promenade.

Appropriate seafood specialities for a seaside restaurant

Seafood specialities and wines by the glass.

Appropriately for a seaside restaurant, the kitchen at Les Pieds dans l’Eau leans towards seafood, though salad and meat eaters are certainly not forgotten and will find plenty of choices on the extensive menu.  There are some spectacular-sounding specialities as well as a sensible children’s menu.  You’ll find almost all seaside restaurants in France are well prepared for families with small children – we noticed that Les Pieds dans l’Eau had a good supply of high-chairs available to cope with the summertime family seaside holiday rush.

Comfort and fresh decor at this seaside reastaurant

The comfortable interior of Les Pieds dans l'Eau

We chose to eat inside, although it was a lovely sunny evening, and there was plenty of room at the open-air beachside tables.  We both chose the same cold starter, Tartare de tomates fraîches et confites, copeaux de Parmesan, a delightfully fresh and zingy dish.  Sue had Moules Frites for her main course – it’s virtually this seaside region’s signature dish – while I tested the kitchen with a more demanding Turbot rôti, sauce vierge, escalivade de légumes.  I was very happy with my excellent fish, though I personally found the dressing on the vegetables a little too oily for my taste (most people will probably disagree with me)

There is an excellent choice of wines, including a range of wines you can order by the glass.  Unusually you don’t pay any extra for the “by the glass” option.  A 12.5 centilitre glass is priced at one-sixth of the bottle price.  We chose a very acceptable French Chardonnay from the Pays d’Oc, and since we had 3 glasses between us (only one for me, the driver), we paid for exactly half a bottle.

We had to leave it there without trying any of the interesting range of desserts so that we could make it to the cinema in time, but we’ll be back on another occasion to see what they’re like.

All in all, Les Pieds dans l’Eau gets our Sandboys stamp of approval as a very decent, comfortable and superbly positioned French seaside restaurant.

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It is rewarding work being a gite owner

It’s always nice to hear from our guests when they have enjoyed a holiday in one of the Sandboys gites.

This week we’re feeling happy because it’s still early in the season and we’ve heard from two families who have just left the Sandboys houses after enjoyable holidays.

First, Elke and Joop and their family from Belgium, who stayed at Sandboys Dune, left some very nice comments in our Visitors’ Book and also a note asking if they could book another week at Dune later in the year.  Of course we were delighted and we’ve already reserved their dates in July.

Kettle family comments in Sandboys Pearl guest book

Next it was the Kettle family, Peter, Amanda, Max (age 4) and Chloe (5) who left Sandboys Pearl today after their second long weekend this year.  They left a long note in our guest book, telling us what a great time they had – again – and how much they loved the place.

Last week the charming Gogo family presented us with a very nice flowering houseplant on their departure.

We hope we’ll see all our happy guests come back time and time again.  It’s the best reward we could have for our small efforts.

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