Here are the pictures of the treehouses that we slept in at Domaine de Poiseuil.
On our trip down to the Med, we stayed in two separate treehouses:
The SatNav got us to Saint Albain on Sunday without a problem but in the middle of this little village told us we were there! Really?!
We figured that it had simply brought us to the town, not the Domaine. Eventually we found, down one of the side roads, a sign for the Domaine and followed them.
The chateau is beautiful…very old and dilapidated…but beautiful – a Virginia-type creeper covering the walls.
Each treehouse is placed far apart. You cannot see them in the trees, which is great because it feels like yours is the only one there. We had a view out over the paddocks and fields. Both the cows and horses must have been in the mood for watching, fascinated by our every move.
On arriving at the treehouse that my mother would be staying in, I realised that I’d never once considered how we would be climbing up to the cabanne in the tree. My mother at 73, is still fit and agile and I never think of her as ‘old’ and I know she appreciates that, but I did wonder then, in our eagerness to give her a wonderful experience whilst on holiday with us, whether we’d been a bit over-zealous and inconsiderate in our choice of accommodation. My mother being adventurous took it all in her stride, although initially I could see she was rather astonished. She did say later that she had to get her head around the experience and once she’d done that, she thoroughly enjoyed doing something new, despite the rather strenuous climb into her treehouse.
Halfway up the ladder, I then remembered my slight fear of heights. Once I’d done the up and down climb a few times I was okay.
A wooden staircase runs half way up to a stepladder. Before climbing out onto the deck, you have to open the trap door. The deck contained an outdoor table, two chairs and a lounging chair in amongst the branches. We had to duck under several branches to get around, but found the whole thing a rather charming experience.
The door handle to the cabin was made from branches - no locks - which had my mum worried as coming from crime ridden South Africa, the idea of not being secure was a great leap of faith, which she did manage.
The room looks a bit like a space shuttle and is shaped in an L. On the right was a curtain behind which was the WC area. The toilet was a black bag inside a bucket into which you place a scoop of sawdust whenever you used it.
The alcove on the left contains a double bed with mosquito netting - and two pillows so flat we didn’t notice them until we got into bed. The windows have Perspex over them but those that open have only a shutter covering them and no Perspex.
The carpentry work on both tree houses is excellent with a feeling of being very solid.
We had to ask for towels as we did not bring any with us, wrongly thinking that as it was a bed and breakfast, towels would be supplied.
A small basket was full of tea candles supplied the lighting.
We collected our luggage from the car, used the pulley on a rope to get the bags up into the tree houses. We managed to do this before the heavens opened and a sheet of rain poured down.
We had dinner at the chateau, and left a few candles burning so when we came back we’d not be stumbling around in the pitch dark. I was a bit dubious about doing so, but as we only had one torch (again not very well prepared), we gave that to my mother to use.
She left early as we’d been up since 5am to catch the ferry over to France at 8am and she was tired. I offered to walk with her but she said no, she was happy to negotiate the way by herself. She said she’d looked after herself for 73 years, she was sure she could continue to do so.
On our way back we had to negotiate our way around the horse paddocks in the dark which was pitch black due to the thick cloud cover. Thank goodness for ‘boy scout’ Greg. After stumbling around we finally found one of the paddock fences and followed it until we could see the lighted candles shining through the trees which helped us more or less negotiate our way to the stairs. Gawd – try climbing a steep ladder in the dark! The rain made the stairs and ladder very slippery.
Sleeping in the lovely warm bed was another experience. The bed itself was really comfortable. But despite being born and bred Africans, neither of us have ever slept with a mosquito net. I kept on getting tangled in it every time I turned over and on occasion found myself outside the net. The bed seemed rather small for a double, me clinging to the edge of it. It turns out that Greg was lying in the middle of the bed which he realised this later and then moved over which gave me more space.
As I lay there waiting for sleep to claim me, I became aware of the sound of traffic from the highway
Acorns of the Oak tree would plonk down on the roof and deck, startling me awake a few times before I fell into a deep sleep to wake at 8am with the light streaming in through the windows, cows mooing, horses neighing, the young foal galloping up and down the paddock.
Greg flung open the door to go out and take in the ‘air’ and some pictures. Geez, I was blimmin’ freezing while I got dressed.
Our breakfast was delivered in a basket which was left attached to the end of the rope. In typical French fashion, when we asked the previous night what time was breakfast, she shrugged and said 8.30 or 9 maybe? It arrived long after 9 am – I know as my stomach was grumbling really loudly and wondering where my early morning coffee was!
After breakfast, we packed, lowered our bags, took out the toilet bag, tied it closed, lowered it down on the rope and left it at the side of the stairs for collection.
My mother told me later that she was so worried about us negotiating our way in the dark that she got up, got dressed and made her way back to the restaurant to find us, but we were gone already.
Before leaving, we took a walk around and are pretty impressed at the layout of the place. Each cabanne in the trees have different versions of steps/stairs.
We asked if our booking on the way back is changed to having the family treehouse, which is two cabins on a deck in amongst a copse of trees. That way we can keep an eye on each other and not be wandering around trying to find each other!
All in all a good night/morning and an experience we won’t forget for a long while…to be repeated on our way back to Dunkirk next week.
Here are the pictures of both cabanne - on the way there and our return trip back.