General information about Birdwatching Holidays at le Moulin du Chemin is provided on this page.
Le Moulin du Chemin is a welcoming Maison d'Hôte (guesthouse), where excellent holidays are hosted by Carolynn Grimaldi and Peter Roche.
Le Moulin du Chemin is secluded in a leafy valley in the region known as the Pays de Gâtine, in Deepest Rural France, where many birds, some quite unusual, can be seen. It is an idyllic rural paradise 80km inland from a Rochelle, and 60km south of the Loire.
The number of guests is limited to ten so each visitor is treated as a personal house guest.
photo Joshua Comaish
"A wonderful holiday - quiet, beautiful countryside; comfortable rooms;
attentive, friendly hosts; and rounded off each day by
convivial evening dinner parties with excellent food and drink. Thank you." - David Vickery, Petersfield, Hants, UK
Several years ago a Birding Diary was started at le Moulin du Chemin and has been updated continuously. The diary gives a good idea of the species of birds that inhabit the immediate region.
The chart entitled Bird Abstract contains a record of nesting birds recorded in the immediate region. Habitats around le Moulin du Chemin can generally be accessed on foot, depending on how far you are prepared to walk, otherwise habitats can be accessed by bike or by a short drive.
The listing Birding Venues identifies places with one or two hours drive where other species of bird can be seen.
The birds listed under Bird Sightings were identified in the locality by different guests at various times of year.
Why le Moulin? enables you to appreciate how holidays at le Moulin du Chemin provide excellent quality and great value.
It is advised to choose the date of any bird watching holiday very carefully, to avoid disappointments. Birding holidays at le Moulin du Chemin is no exception to this. Birds are much more visible in spring and early summer, although it is possible to see some unusual birds in other seasons.
Tea and Coffee facilities are provided in each of the guestrooms at le Moulin du Chemin.
Traditional continental breakfast of warm croissants, crusty French bread fresh from the baker each morning, and steaming hot fresh coffee, tea or chocolate. Sweet local butter, creamy local honey and home made comfitures are on the table. Yogurt, breakfast cereals, dried fruits and a generous selection of seasonal fresh fruit is also provided.
A first-class packed lunch is provided each day comprising a baguette sandwich (with bread baked the same morning - of course, what else would you expect) and different delicious fillings each day, crisps, little French cakes, chocolate and cereal bars and a generous selection of seasonal fresh fruit (you choose which and how many of these goodies you want to take) and drinks (again, you choose your own from the drinks fridge – water, soft drinks, fruit juice, beer, cider and/or wine).
After your day of searching for birds, we make you welcome at aperitifs-at-seven followed by a leisurely four-course evening meal. Each day the menu is different – an appetising starter such as melon with Pinot des Charentes or roast capsicum with tomatoes and anchovies, is followed by a speciality main course such as roast quail, boeuf bourguinon or grilled salmon each served with a selection of different vegetables. The main course is followed in the French tradition by a cheese course when a mouth-watering selection of several different cow-, goat- and sheep-milk cheeses are served. An artisanal dessert follows, such as pears cooked in red wine, clafoutis, or tarte au citron. Desert is followed by coffee, tea or an infusion. Guests and hosts sit at a single table for the unhurried evening meal. Lashings of excellent wine (included in the price) are provided and a lot of lively conversation develops.
The menu at le Moulin du Chemin is varied and the cuisine is of a very high standard, excellently prepared on the premises from wholesome raw ingredients and carefully presented in agreeable surroundings.
Most weeks, le Moulin du Chemin lays on a civilised picnic. Guests arrive at the picnic on foot, by bike, by car and occasionally on horseback – we will transport you if necessary. Golden Oriole have been heard from time to time at the picnic site, but you have to be lucky to actually see one. And Hoopoe have been seen several times at the picnic site. It is a “proper” picnic, at a table with a table-cloth, three courses and chilled rosé wine.
During the course of a six-night holiday, more than twelve different lovely wines are served, including some delightful local wines of distinction and quality as well as very nice wines from better known French regions. All wine, beer, soft drinks, etc, are included in the price. A fridge stocked with beer, wine, cider and soft drinks is available to guests at all times.
all beverages are included in the price
(wine, beer, cider, soft drinks, tea, coffee, fruit juice, etc)
Le Moulin du Chemin is able to cater for many special dietary needs or preferences – please let us know at time of booking.
Kingfisher at le Moulin du Chemin
Barn Owl near le Moulin du Chemin
mute swan and signet at the Marais Poitevin (40mins by car)
great crested grebe
at Mervant (30mins)
hirendelle ready to fledge
at nearby Put-de-Serre
pink legged partridge near le Moulin du Chemin
A DAY AT LE MOULIN DU CHEMIN
sun rise, as seen by the one who is lucky enough to collect the freshly baked bread from the boulangerie each morning
at the Maison d'Hôte, dawn declares itself into the leafy valley of le Moulin du Chemin
a typical breakfast scene at le Moulin du Chemin
the "civilised" picnic happens on Wednesdays, when all the guests are invited to a pre-arranged spot
relaxing by the pool on a summer afternoon
enjoying the azure sky
or relaxing in the garden
aperitifs-at-seven happens each evening, often under the pergola, when some lovely local wines can be sampled
guests (and hosts, as well) greatly enjoy evening meals with superb food and excellent wine, a lot of conversations and bonhomie
lazy-hazy full moon
WHILE AWAY THE TIME - AND STILL SEE BIRDS
There are a lot of interesting country walks in the vicinity where you will see oodles of birds, of course, as well as a large variety wild flowers and butterflies in season. Three attractive paths converge at le Moulin. After a short distance they split into several other delightful and little-used byways. In addition, several way-marked walks taking-in nearby places of interest are within a short drive of le Moulin. If you want to go for a walk, le Moulin can provide highlighted maps and clear, professionally produced route notes and your hosts will be happy to advise you.
National Trail GR364 passes the Garden Gate
There are also many places of interest, historic, cultural and natural, within easy driving distance of le Moulin.
Le Moulin has a sizeable library (if you don't like reading on a Kindle) as well as table tennis and boules. The region is popular with artists, with many ancient buildings and peaceful pastoral scenes to paint.
Relax by the pool which is heated to 27°- 29°C to make it pleasurable even in early spring and late autumn.
Interesting, uncrowded golf courses are available within 30 and 40 minutes drive from le Moulin. The fees are very reasonable.
Nearby Pescalis has 250 hectares of lakes and rivers to be fished and there are also various local fishing ponds.
Le Puy du Fou is a spectacular series of world-class entrainments. For example, there is a stunning falconry display (upwards of 200 raptors from hawks to condors) set in a medieval citadel with a spine-tingling music system, a 6,000 seat Roman Stadium with live chariot racing and many other similarly exciting attractions. The raptors in the falconry show are bred at the Puy du Fou and the birds can be viewed by the public behind the scenes of the show. The site is situated among pleasant lakes and cool woods. It is less than one hour’s relaxed drive from le Moulin on quiet country lanes.
Le Puy du Fou was awarded the Thea Classic Award in 2012, as the
Best Themed Entertainment Park in the World, chosen out of 700 sites in 40 countries.
On certain evenings during the summer the Château de Puy du Fou engages 2,700 actors, 60 horsemen and a huge amount of the latest technology in an incredible show. It starts at nightfall, never fails to move and delight, playing to capacity audiences of 14,000 (after the show the car park is clear within one hour - it is very well organised). The backdrop of the 23 hectare stage (true, not a typo) is the ruined château of Puy du Fou. It is necessary to book in advance (internet) or you’ll be lucky to get a place.
We have never met a visitor to Puy du Fou who has not been thrilled by the experience!
Puy du Fou is highly recommended by day or night and the website is well worth a visit: