Some of our holidays in France include a stay in a guesthouse or chambres d’hôtes rather than a hotel. Chambres d’hôtes could literally be translated as ‘rooms in a host’s house’. Here you will enjoy a much more personal and authentic local experience where the welcome is warm and genuine and you have the opportunity to experience the local way of life and learn more about the culture, history or cuisine of the area. The guesthouses are often in magnificent surroundings, in the heart of the countryside and, in addition to welcoming visitors, some have an objective to preserve and promote rural France and its traditional buildings. Most usually only have four or five guest bedrooms.
Some chambres d’hôtes offer stays on a bed-and-breakfast basis only, whereas others offer dinner too (chambres et tables d’hôtes). The format for dinner can vary between guesthouses. The majority offer a set-menu evening meal of a starter, main course and dessert. Some include cheese, wine and coffee, whereas at others, these cost extra. Important dietary requirements or allergies can be catered for but remember that chambres d’hôtes are not hotels and do not have a whole team of staff or the facilities of a larger establishment. Meals in chambres d’hôtes are great experiences – often a convivial dinner served around a large table with your hosts and other guests. A little knowledge of French or at least a willingness to have a go at saying a few words adds to the fun, but many of our guesthouse owners speak some English too. Other guesthouses offer a similar set-menu dinner format at a pre-arranged time but have individual dining tables rather than hosting everyone at one large table. See each guesthouse’s description for exact details.