La Longere

near Languidic, Brittany, France Book from

Reviewed by Abi Dare
A bucolic adults-only B&B wrapped in fields, a short drive from sandy beaches, the standing stones at Carnac and the glorious Golfe du Morbihan
Tucked away among orchards and meadows, La Longère feels as far removed from the bucket-and-spade family holiday stereotype of Brittany as it’s possible to get. This 18th-century farmhouse was rescued from decay by British Francophiles Elaine and Paul, who had long harboured dreams of a new life across the Channel. They spent years restoring their French idyll, battling with strict planning laws to transform the crumbling stone shell into a bijou B&B. The result is an intimate adults-only retreat, with the kind of relaxed, kick-your-shoes-off feel that could only come from staying in a home rather than a hotel.

Step inside, and all is serene and soothing: sink-into sofas, a wood-burning stove and delicious aromas wafting out from the kitchen. Blissfully comfy beds sit under beams in the 3 cossetting guest rooms, and breakfast is a lazy feast served where you want. If you can muster the energy, head out to explore picturesque port towns, sweeping beaches and the wold-famous standing stones at Carnac. If not, grab a glass of rosé and linger by the heated lavender-fringed pool, or sprawl out beneath an apple tree in the garden and watch ponies frolic in the fields beyond.

Highs

  • The hot tub on the terrace - best experienced after dark, when you can bubble away under razor-sharp, star-splattered skies
  • The secluded setting ensures total silence at night; unless your partner’s prone to snoring, you won’t hear a peep
  • Elaine’s mouth-watering baking (perhaps crumble-topped apple cake or marmalade cupcakes) takes centre stage at breakfast
  • Plenty of home comforts: piles of books and magazines to peruse, robes to snuggle up in, and trays of tea, coffee and biscuits in the rooms
  • It's excellent value for money

Lows

  • No children allowed, but that’s part of the appeal
  • You’ll need a car - it’s fairly remote, and the nearest restaurants are a 3km drive away in the small village of Languidic
  • The mobile phone signal is very patchy
  • Not for those who like to keep themselves to themselves - this is a convivial place, and many guests make friends for life around the dining table and pool

Best time to go

Brittany is glorious in summer, when the weather is generally more reliable than in other parts of northern Europe, though it’s often packed with tourists. Come in spring instead and you’ll have miles of sandy beach to yourselves. Don’t rule out visits during the colder months, either - the countryside is beautiful when dressed in its autumn finery or sparkling with frost, and you can always hunker down in front of La Longère’s wood-burning stove.

There are a couple of local festivals which are worth catching if you can - a jazz festival in Vannes in July, and the famous Inter-Celtic Festival in Lorient in early August, when representatives from all over the Celtic world congregate for cultural performances, parades and much general merriment.

Our top tips

Brittany is renowned for its oysters, said to be some of the tastiest in the world. Ask Elaine and Paul about excursions with a local oyster dredger, who'll take you out on his glass-bottomed boat to help haul in the catch, before you sit down to enjoy the spoils with a glass of bubbly.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 3
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • No children accepted
  • Closed: 6 Dec 2016 - 30 Apr 2017
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Language courses
Room:

Rooms

Snuggled under the eaves on the first floor, the 3 guest rooms are connected by a long landing lined with books, magazines and DVDs that you’re welcome to borrow. They’re all calming and comforting, with exposed stone, cream walls and ceilings open to the rafters. Pine or painted furniture, wicker armchairs and vases of dried reeds create a rustic feel, while sleek radiators and spot-lights suspended from the beams add contemporary touches. We particularly liked the quirky headboards, fashioned from old shutters or carved wooden screens.

Bathrooms have walk-in showers (no tubs), huge sinks and piles of towels and robes. Shelves are stacked with lotions and potions fragranced with enticing combinations such as rosehip and lavender or green tea and willow, plus various bits and bobs you might have forgotten (cotton wool, flannels, cotton buds). Back in the bedrooms, you get trays of tea- and coffee-making paraphernalia complete with china teapots and madeleine biscuits.

We stayed in Room 2, which has pops of pink in the cushions and throws, a beautiful Moroccan-style mirror on one wall, and a vast bathroom. Green-accented Room 1 has a smaller bathroom, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on amenities. Room 3 is the most compact overall, but its soothing grey and taupe scheme and slate-lined ensuite made it our favourite in terms of décor. All rooms can be set up as twins on request, and Room 2 has space for an extra bed.

Whichever room you rest your head in, you’re sure to sleep soundly. The skylight windows have effective blackout blinds, the super-kingsize beds are heavenly, and the cloud-like duvets are covered in crisp linen. Best of all, there’s complete silence at night.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is a real treat. Wander downstairs and you’ll find the kitchen table laden with fresh fruit salad, baskets of croissants and pastries, fresh crusty bread, jars of cereal, yoghurts, plates of local cheese and ham, jugs of orange juice, and steaming pots of tea and coffee. Rounding things off are Elaine’s delectable homemade cakes - zesty marmalade cupcakes when we visited. It’s a wonderful start to the day, and if it’s warm enough you can take your plate outside and look out over green fields and apple trees as you munch.

There are plenty of restaurants within a short drive for lunch and dinner, including a good pizzeria in Languidic (3km away). We headed to Le Chat Botté, a buzzing bistro in medieval Hennebont (10 minutes away) that’s always packed with locals. Here, we feasted on vegetable terrine and chicken wings fried in Marsala wine, followed by beef bourguignon and a mushroom-stuffed chicken fillet with apple sauce. For dessert, we treated ourselves to a decadent chocolate coulant and a huge cheese board, before returning, full and contented, to the warm glow of La Longère.

If you’re seeking posher nosh, Elaine and Paul recommend L'Art Gourmand in Pont-Scorff and Le Quai in La Trinité sur Mer - both within a 20-minute drive.

You're also welcome to bring food back to the B&B and enjoy a DIY supper on the terrace; Elaine and Paul can point you in the direction of local markets and delis.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal dining
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Potter around pretty St Goustan, the ancient harbour of nearby Auray, whose bustling quayside is lined with timbered seafood restaurants

  • Marvel at the mysterious menhirs (Neolithic standing stones) at Carnac, 20 minutes away. There are more than 3,000 of them, plus an information centre explaining various theories behind their construction (in short: no-one really knows)

  • Spend an afternoon in Vannes, where gardens and ramparts encircle a tangle of cobbled streets and gabled houses

  • Sunbathe or stroll on the pristine beaches which line the Golfe du Morbihan. One of the nearest (and best) is Larmor-Plage, 25 minutes’ drive away

  • Take a boat trip from Vannes, Locmariaquer or Larmor-Baden to some of the islets which pepper the gulf. Ile aux Moines and Ile d’Arz have hidden bays where you can take a dip, while the pyramid-shaped burial chamber on Gavrinis ranks among Europe’s most important prehistoric sites

  • Explore southwest Brittany’s fairy-tale castles, including the Rapunzel-like towers of Château de Rohan, which soar above the Nantes-Brest canal at Josselin, and the moat-ringed Château de Suscinio, which rises up from marshland outside Sarzeau

  • Meander along the Quiberon Peninsula, a narrow ribbon of land poking out into the Atlantic. The sheltered east coast is fringed with safe, sandy beaches, while the western Côte Sauvage (‘Wild Coast’) has rugged, sea-lashed cliffs. If you want to brave the waves, surfing and sea-kayaking are available in Portivy, a small fishing harbour tucked into a cove halfway along

  • You can also take to the water in the chi-chi resort town of La Trinité sur Mer, where all sorts of boat charters, yacht trips and sailing lessons are available

  • Elaine and Paul can organise French language courses with an experienced teacher, who’ll come to the B&B and tailor lessons to suit your ability

  • They can also arrange horse riding and bike hire, and advise on local golf courses

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Language courses
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming

Kids

No guests under the age of 18 are accepted at La Longère - this is very much a peaceful couples’ hideaway.

Kid Friendly: Larmor Plage

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for La Longere