One of the biggest challenges I find traveling with kids is finding a family-friendly bed and breakfast for accommodations for a family of five. This has been particularly more challenging in Europe. Typically, accommodations max out at three to four persons.
Our criteria for looking for family-friendly accommodations in Provence include an authentic experience. Location is also important, as we want to access lavender fields and kid-friendly experiences in Provence. And, of course, we want to easily travel to the quintessential hilltop villages worthy of a Disney movie.
So, discovering the family-friendly bed and breakfast La Nesquière was a dream come true! This restored farmhouse is centrally located to explore all of Provence, with family suites suitable for our family of five. The romanticized, quiet French country experience I had envisioned abounds at La Nesquière – an ideal respite for slowing life down a notch. After all, when in France, do as the French do!
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About La Nesquière
La Nesquière is hosted and owned by the lovely Isabelle De Maintenant and her family, all of whom are familiar with the United States and Canada and are English speaking. Warm and quaint, with resident dogs and cats to greet and follow you, this 18th century Provencal country farmhouse property is what you picture when dreaming of a stay in Provence.
Located just outside the center of Perne-les-Fontaines, about 22 kilometers from Avignon, La Nesquière is a perfect place to stay centrally as you set out on day trips to explore the whole Provence region. There is a large super marchet (supermarket) nearby, so you can pick up some snacks and food items should you need for your room.
Why It Is A Family-Friendly Bed and Breakfast
La Nesquière has five guest rooms and two gites – or cottages – available for booking. We stayed in the two rooms Céline and Zéphirine, which can be individual rooms or made into a larger family suite.
Zéphirine has a king bed or two twins and a seating area cozily decorated to feel like home. It includes air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with English speaking channels, a safe, and a hairdryer. It leads out to a second room with a kitchenette with a stovetop, mini-fridge, and equipped with dishes and cutlery. The kitchenettes also have olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, should you care to make a salad with ingredients hand-picked from the onsite garden. It also includes an Italian shower and a separate toilet specific for Zéphirine.
Céline also has a king bed or two twins and a seating area and gives off a comfortable charm. It is the larger of the two rooms and where Isabelle kindly added a rollaway bed to make it suitable for three children. It also includes a kitchenette with the same amenities listed above, a large bright shower with a separate toilet area specific for Céline. And like Zéphirine, it has air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with English speaking channels, safe, and a hairdryer.
Céline and Zéphirine can be booked individually. But there is also the main door to the hallway which can be closed to turn this area into a two-bedroom family suite. The rooms are impeccably clean, with the warmth and coziness of a home away from home.
La Nesquière includes numerous family-friendly amenities, making it a holiday home experience where you can spend the day. A large, clean and inviting heated pool with lounge chairs is available for family use. A nearby stream is also a lovely place to dip your toes and the onsite garden has vegetables for picking.
Need to relax after a busy day touring? The property has a jacuzzi and offers yoga and massage services.
The kids will also love the game room in the barn. It is fitted with a foosball table, ping pong table, pinball machine, toys, books, and a seating area.
There are also ponies right next to the house, dogs, and cats for petting and feeding, and a few chickens here and there. Horseback riding is available with advanced notice.
Isabelle may also be able to arrange a family cooking class with a nearby chef.
There is a laundry machine on site for quick washing of a few clothes. Isabelle is gracious to allow her guests to use it if needed.
As a bed and breakfast, a gorgeous Provencal breakfast is served at La Nesquière. Quite something out of a travel magazine, the display is authentic and gorgeous, with fresh croissants, freshly squeezed juice, water served in pitchers made by local potters, homemade galettes and yogurts, fresh fruit and more. Isabelle inquires the time you would like breakfast and serves it to you outside on the terrace. You can enjoy the scenery as you divulge in this heavenly French breakfast.
Upon reservation, for the day of your arrival, Isabelle can prepare a simple meal with some cheeses, cold cut meats, fresh bread, dessert, and wine for approximately 15€ (approximately $17 at the current conversion rate of 1€ to $1.12.)
Isabelle can also offer a simple and fresh meal made with local products, if possible from her garden or the nearby farm. The meal will include a starter, main course, and dessert, accompanied by a wine from the Côtes du Ventoux. Prices vary, and Isabelle requests a 24-hour notice.
She also has a bar area where you can self-serve and pay on check out some wine, beers, snacks, jarred foods, sodas, and juices. Prices vary, but they are listed.
The dogs and cats that call La Nesquière home will quickly adopt you and your children as their own. My kids giggled with excitement every morning when the resident dog Cali sat with them at breakfast or followed us to our rooms. My daughter gleefully pet and fed the cats. Each one adds to the homey feeling of this dreamy Provencal stay.
There is a large barn structure where you can park your rental car. While you may get greeted by the cluck of a chicken or hear the sound of a nearby goat, it is not an active barn. There is plenty of space for your vehicle so you do not block the driveway.
What Won't Work For Families
If you are not traveling by rental car, this location will not be ideal for you. It is not in the city and is about a 40-minute drive from Avignon.
If you prefer more of a hotel-like experience or are allergic to cats and dogs, this is not your place. Don't care for farm life? Want the hustle and bustle of a city? Not comfortable in someone else's home? Then, this is not the experience for you.
While there is laundry on the property and Isabelle is quite generous about allowing you to use it, you won't be able to do all of your laundries. It is regularly in use by the host for towel and sheet washing. However, you could definitely do a quick wash of “essentials.”
The nearest big city is Avignon. You could fly to Paris, then take the train down to Avignon and pick up your rental car from the Avignon train station to get to La Nesquière. You could also fly into Avignon airport and pick up a rental car there to drive to La Nesquière. Check out my post about my best tips for flying with kids of all ages.
Nearby Pernes-les-Fontaines is a lovely medieval town, with features dating back to the 14th and 16th centuries. It gets its name from a large number of historic fountains in town, so it is worth visiting during your stay at La Nesquière. One of the recommended things to do in the town is to follow the 40 fountain trail and see several other medieval remains.
There are quite a few traditional Provencal restaurants for you to try. We loved Côté Jardin. It is fantastic if you are a salad or meat lover, as they specialize in both of these departments. But, the outdoor ambiance under a greens-covered patio with garden lights while enjoying a glass of local rosé made it particularly special. They also had a kids menu, rendering it officially family-friendly (at least in my book.) Dogs are also welcome.
The last thing you need to know about La Nesquière
If you are looking for a family-friendly, authentic French country experience for your family vacation, La Nesquière is an ideal spot. It is the kind of place the French would go for their own holiday. You won't need to pack much to entertain the kids, as there is plenty to keep them busy. Quiet and ideal, it is a perfect spot to renew, refresh, and explore in a glorious location.
Tell me, do you vacation in France? Where do you like to stay? Comment below. ↓
Planning to include a stop in Paris?
Check out this fellow blogger's and Parisian local's bucket list of 20 things to do in Paris.
You may also love my guest post on TravelingMom: Paris with kids? Mais Oui!