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Phew – It’s hot!

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Phew it’s hot, but you won’t catch me complaining…

reproduced with the kind permission of our friends at Hen Corner who recently stayed with us and wrote this lovely blog for their website...

We have just had a wonderful time staying at Les Hirondelles, near Cognac in south west France, we’d been plotting this holiday for a couple of years as we’d previously met Karen and Paul on a different holiday and had been following them on Instagram ever since. The two gites, along with Karen and Paul’s home, have been created from restored smallholding buildings and still have original features that point to the self sufficient history of the properties. Be that the fastenings on the internal walls of the stables, the traditional pigeonnaire or the shelves that would have kept rabbit enclosures, it doesn’t take much to imagine how previous owners produced their own food. Karen is keeping many aspects of this alive in her beautifully kept potager, a French kitchen garden. Check out this melon that I spotted!

Whilst the gites were well equipped, lovingly cared for and most importantly cool, the swimming pool was a favourite spot for me. I spent many hours reading in the shade and finished my final 15km of my virtual Channel Swim for Diabetes UK interspersed with a spot of sunbathing.

However, what makes Les Hirondelles truly unique are the beautiful gardens that have been curated throughout the outside space. These have been created as a lush and fragrant welcome for people and pollinators alike, it’s like a living art installation

Bees, both solitary and honeybees, butterflies, moths and many other insects are feasting on the nectar rich plants that are thriving from every corner, local swallows that the gites are named after, swoop above dipping down only for a quick sip of water from the pool, whilst doves and their young nest under the eaves of an open barn.

If you are looking for a peaceful retreat for your next holiday, check out Les Hirondelles and tell them that I sent you!

....many thanks to Sara, Andy & their beautiful daughter Macy for their kind review, and if you are interested in helping turn your urban corner green then check out their fascinating work at



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