Built on the ruins of an old abbey, Château de l'Abbaye is a delightful bed-and-breakfast with bundles of taste and style. Run by a charming family, the Renards, they are always keen to show it off to visitors. A recent visitor says: 'so much character, the building itself and furniture is like stepping back in time'.
   The ‘romantic’ and ‘superior’ bedrooms are one of the best features. They are cosy and elegant with warm pinks and reds, canopies, chandeliers and fine lace. Unsurprisingly, these rooms are most appealing for couples on a romantic getaway: their typically French style will melt the coldest heart.         
   The public rooms continue this colour scheme – welcoming spaces with plush pink and red furniture and fresh flowers. The sitting room combines homely comfort with seductive grandeur.
   The Château de l'Abbaye markets itself as being child friendly and family orientated. Plenty of activities are on offer for children, including the use of the outdoor pool, mountain bikes and games.      
   Dinner is available here and, like the breakfast, is excellent. It’s ideal for a short break or as a base from which to explore nearby La Rochelle.