Monday, 2 December 2013

Travelling with children 3: Accommodation

Once we had decided to go to France there was only one place I wanted to stay - Mouroux.
It is a peaceful, picturesque town in the Brie region, less than an hour's drive from Paris, and only 20 minutes from Disneyland.
If anyone out there is a Disney fan like me, it is reminiscent of Belles town in Beauty and the Beast.
Check out how pretty it still is in November:

We chose to stay in a rented house in the town centre which we had stayed in 3 years ago when Charlie was a toddler. This holiday home is owned by a young family Helene and Fred Lhomond who have 2 young boys and a beautiful dog called Woof. 

We love this area so much this is the only place I want to return to when I want a relaxing Paris holiday with Disneyland thrown in for good measure. Which is once a year ideally! If you're not a dog person don't worry Woof is very tame and has no access to your garden. Helene and Fred are fantastically welcoming and are full of local knowledge, for example they gave us a great tip to avoid paying high parking prices in Disneyland to park in the TGV car park instead. I think for the whole day in Disneyland we paid only 12 euros parking. Also they gave us great tips about getting in and around Paris with the car saving us money in tolls and public transport.

The house itself is beautifully located right at the town square beside a patisserie/bakery and a couple of local cafes and restaurants which serve home cooked food. Here are the boys deciding which pastry to buy:

This bakery had a queue out the door most mornings, and many people were driving from far off to buy their bread there. Every morning we went out to buy fresh croissants and baguettes and I got take away cafe au lait from the cafes, what a fab start to each day! Actually I'm preparing a whole separate blog post about the food, it was so good. The kids loved playing in the town square and the church bells ring on the hour, there's a lovely community feel to Mouroux. All the locals said hello to us everywhere we went.

The house is fully equipped with everything a family need. You could comfortably sleep four adults here between the double bed and the sofa bed. It is tastefully decorated, clean and modern with some homely touches. A beautiful fireplace is the focal point of the sitting room and there's a flat screen TV and free WiFi access should you so wish. The kitchen is perfect for family meals equipped with a gas cooker and cooking utensils. We ate at home most evenings: I made soup one night, noodles and peas another night scrambled eggs etc. There's a lovely garden with French doors leading to the sitting room and a small bench to sit outside which we did when the sun was shining.

Two minutes downhill from Mouroux is a beautiful town called Coulommiers. You could easily spend few days exploring this town, it has the beautiful Morin river, ancient ruins, great cafes and patisseries and some lovely shops. There's a beautiful public park with beavers which come right up and eat out of your hand, and a wooden playground, fountains and stunning ruins.

We have stayed in the center of Paris with our children before but I find this area of Brie so much more relaxing than stepping outside onto a busy city street from a poky apartment. During our week stay we went to Paris 3 times, Disneyland once and spent the remaining days relaxing around Mouroux and Coulommiers. I would highly recommend staying in this area if you have a young family or simply wish to experience some of the real French lifestyle during your trip. Down in Coulommiers there are a couple of large supermarkets, the LeClerc has a Sephora to where I bought this beautiful Urban Decay eye shadow palette:

 I had promised myself one small splurge on this holiday so one afternoon Barry took the kids to a toy store while I browsed for beauty products in Sephora and then had a glass of beer in an adjoining cafe, bliss!

The holiday home has its own Facebook page (link here) and is also available to book through Owners (link here) it is very reasonably priced. For any thrifty creative mamas out there, Helene writes a fantastic blog full of her sewing and craft projects, Les creations de Yette (link here).

What kind of family holiday do you enjoy?
Nee x

This was a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

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