Never has the sight of a place to rest provided a traveller with such succour. The Manoir de Saint-Pierre in Juillé was truly a sight for sore eyes.
I had been driving for four hours in the dark, in the teeming rain, when I arrived there last winter. I have been reminded of it by the howling winds and rain we have been enjoying of late.
I was on my way down to Bergerac and needed an overnight stop. The manor house is 25km from Le Mans, and just off the A28, near Beaumont-sur-Sarthe.
When I’d booked it, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get. I have to admit I was put off by its website. It was one of those ghastly template affairs with flowery prose set in a multitude of fonts – the kind favoured so frequently by chambres d’hôtes owners. The rooms looked large, however, though some of the décor appeared a little dated.
I forgot all of that as I pulled into the drive. The rain had just stopped and ahead of me was just what I needed.
The fact that the owner had booked us a table at the best restaurant in the village for the evening was an added bonus.