Cats laze in the sun and hollyhocks line the summer streets of the old residential area around La Maison Bleue. It’s a comfortably converted wine-making property where the big living room with a fireplace at one end, kitchen at the other, will be the indoor hub of your holiday.
It’s a huge bonus in a seaside town to have such a big walled garden: children romp on the lawn; everyone gathers for meals out in the lushly planted, decked courtyard. A couple of minutes’ stroll has you among the shops and places to eat at Bois Plage; a couple more and you’re down on the beach, perhaps with a post-surfing plate of moules frîtes at the beach bar.
The ile de Ré is all about cycling… to other beaches and villages, markets, wineries and chocolateries. Wild areas of the island are well protected so you can escape all bustle or, if needed, head for La Rochelle.