Les Sardines aux Yeux Bleus

Aigaliers Provence, France Book from Book from £99 per night

Beautiful B&B and apartments with a courtyard pool, in a sleepy hamlet close to magnificent Uzès
Those looking for a chic place to chill in beautiful countryside will find it here. Owners Gilles and Tanur are a husband and wife team who have captured the essence of their travels across Africa and Tanur's native India and injected it into this spirited B&B. These charming, rustic walls are home not only to this adventurous pair, but also their artistic, philosophical and anthropological pursuits. It sits in a tiny hamlet, dates to the 12th century and comes with a small pool in its courtyard. It’s the kind of place where everyone who visits thinks, “let’s run away to Provence and run a B&B like this!”

Interiors are lovely: beautiful colours, a magnificent stone staircase, the décor draped in upholstery from France and India. Sweet-smelling wood burns on roaring fires, one of which is lit for breakfast in winter; vines shade the courtyard table, where you dig into your croissants in summer. Despite the urge to linger in your gorgeous room or apartment, make sure you don’t. Uzès, Nîmes and Pont du Gard are all close, but take a day to explore the north, too (fabulously beautiful, madly neglected): Mont Bouquet, the stunning hilltop village of Lussan and the magnificent Gorge de l’Ardèche all await you.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The pretty shaded courtyard is perfect for long, lazy breakfasts in the sun
  • Tanur and Gilles are known to host impromptu private concerts, art events and aperitifs for guests
  • The bedrooms and apartments are stylish, rustic and original (this is not ‘off-the-shelf contemporary’), with irresistible prices
  • The pool is perfect for hot afternoons
  • You're near Lussan, a stunning hilltop village to the north

Lows

  • You’re in the sticks and may need to drive out for dinner
  • The house is very child-friendly; if you’re looking for absolute peace, this might not be for you
  • Perhaps a plus for animal lovers, but do be aware that you'll often find neighbourhood cats wandering the grounds

Best time to go

Les Sardines really is a house for all seasons and, while hotels can feel empty in mid-winter, here you’ll find roaring fires and life being lived around you. Come whenever you can and, if you love nothing more than pottering through ‘undiscovered’ French landscapes, visit in off-season to have the place to yourselves.

Our top tips

Don’t miss the north (most people do, so it's all the more special as a result). Start with Mont Bouquet, where you can walk, ride, climb, cycle and paraglide. Keep on going and you'll come to the pretty hilltop village of Lussan, then head up to the stunning Gorge de L’Ardeche, where a winding road weaves through blistering country with rocks to climb, kayaks to paddle and caves to explore.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
  • Boutique B&B & Apartments
  • 3 rooms + 3 apartments
  • Breakfast only + self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 3 gorgeous B&B rooms are rustic-Provencal with Indian embellishment. Extremely comfortable beds wear smart, embroidered linen, and you get interesting art, old radiators and shuttered windows.

Blue is the biggest with a chandelier hanging from its high ceiling. We stayed in Green and loved the linen-draped doors that open over the rose-filled terrace below. That said, petite Pink is astonishingly good value, only slightly smaller than the others and very pretty! If you're coming with older children, there's an Annex with twin beds that can be booked with any of these rooms, though note that it's located across the patio and has no bathroom.

The 3 apartments all have open-plan sitting/kitchen areas. In the main house, The Small Apartment is accessed via open stone stairs. From the living area, glass doors slide open onto a terrace, and there’s a double bedroom overlooking the front of the house.

The Large Apartment is similar in layout but almost twice the size. There’s a simple, soothing white double bedroom, a rustic bathroom with a sink carved from a chunk of stone, and a private terrace.

The Little House apartment is in a small tower on the far side of the courtyard. Old stone steps lead up to the front door, where there’s space for a table and chairs. Inside is a small but ever-so-pretty duplex studio - old walls harbour a contemporary interior with glass steps rising to a galleried bedroom and pebbled shower room.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfasts here are gloriously lazy. We spent a few hours happily munching away, slurping coffee and chatting with other guests in the rose-scented gardens, dappled sunlight filtering through the vines. A bountiful self-serve table is laid with freshly baked pastries and pretty homemade cakes, plus a fabulous selection of organic, local produce including meats, cheeses, fruits and scrumptious jams and jellies; jugs of freshly squeezed fruit juices round things off. When it gets colder, you eat in front of a blazing fire in the dining room instead.

For other meals, the apartments have their own kitchenettes (with a microwave, hob and fridge, but no oven or freezer) and there are a few good-value local restaurants. We ate at L’Auberge d’Aigaliers, a charming no-frills kind of place with a pretty terrace, just a 10-minute walk away.

Further afield, try Le Tracteur at Samillac (8km) for simple food brilliantly cooked by lovely people. There’s also lots of choice in Uzès, not least a small profusion of cafés and bistros in the central Place des Herbes, where you can eat in the sunny square or in the shade of the medieval vaulted walkways.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Uzès, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in France, is 7km down the road. Its hallmark is a network of beautiful vaulted stone walkways that snake around the city and its market is one of the best in Provence
  • Head south into the Gorge de Gardon for a good walk in sublime country. Then nip across to the Pont du Gard, the magnificent 3-storey Roman aqueduct dates from 50AD
  • Nîmes is a hive of Roman architecture. Its amphitheatre is the best-preserved in Europe, while the only fully-preserved Roman temple in the world sits nearby in Place Carrée
  • Spin west from Nîmes and discover the Languedoc wine fields at Pic Saint Loup, a commune of 13 villages and 36 producers who are creating great (and much under-rated) AOC wine
  • Explore magnificent Arles for all things Van Gogh (he lived here for a while), and Avignon for its spectacular architecture
  • But most of all, make use of your little slice of Provencal heaven - laze by the tranquil pool or read in the pretty shaded courtyard covered in climbing roses and cats snoozing in the shade

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Though not exclusively family-oriented, Les Sardines is very family-friendly.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The apartments have more space, sofabeds, kitchenettes and private balconies, making them popular with families; though The Little House apartment is not recommended for small children due to its steep stairs. The double rooms can be booked in conjunction with an Annex twin room to make a Family Suite, though note that the Annex is located across the patio and has no bathroom, so is only really suitable for older children. All rooms can hold a baby cot.

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

Fenced swimming pool with lots of inflatable toys

Families Should Know:

The property has steep staircases so children should be supervised

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Les Sardines is set in the village of Gattigues (7km from Uzès), in Provence's Gard region, southern France.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Nîmes (30km), though Montpellier (65km away) is slightly busier and has more international links.

From the Airport:
Les Sardines can arrange for a taxi to collect you from Nîmes. Alternatively, you can hire a car.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, take the Eurostar from London to Paris, then a TGV high-speed train to Nîmes or Montpellier. The journey time from London is about 7 hours, which makes it barely any longer than flying once you take check-in into consideration.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to France and getting around

Airports:

  • Nîmes Garons 30.0 km FNI
  • Montpellier Méditerranée 65.0 km MPL

Other:

  • Beach 65.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.5 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Gilles and Tenur are great hosts and made us very welcome. They provided loads of tips for the best routes, the best restaurants - in total, they really wanted us to enjoy the area the way we wanted. Breakfasts were excellent, and as we were all sitting on a long table in the courtyard, were very friendly. We had to leave at 6.45am to get our flight back - Gilles really didn't need to knock on the door at 6.30 and offer us help with our cases, but he did. We really appreciated that. The pool was warm enough to use in mid-September.
The Small Apartment was a very good size, with a huge bathroom and a large terrace. It is shabby chic, but everything worked, and the week was very relaxing and fun.

10/10,

Fabulous stay at Les Sardines. Gilles & Tanur are new owners but from our experience will be a huge success! The house & rooms have a huge amount of character with lots of personal touches influenced from their time spent in India & Africa. The garden is lovely for breakfast which consisted of the usual French staples (fruit, cereals, cheese, ham, coffee etc) while the pool blends in seamlessly really making use of the space. Uzes is the closest town & although small (can walk around it in 20 minutes or so) it has a multitude of restaurants & bars dotted around pretty squares & side streets, as well as some excellent shops & a huge Saturday market which takes over the entire town (get there early for parking!) Gattigues is also well located for trips further afield to larger towns (Nimes, Avignon, Arles) in addition to the various villages & sights including the Pont Du Gard Aquaduct (must see), the hilltop village of Lussan, Saint-Quentin-Le-Poterie & Vers Du Gard. Overall, couldn't recommend enough & will definitely be back when next in South West France.

10/10,

Absolutely beautiful place, full of character & comfort. Great hosts and perfect location.

10/10,

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