There's nothing quite like a good holiday to remind you just how much travel is good for the soul, is there? The type of holiday that recharges your batteries and leaves you desperately planning your next trip.

We've just had that kind of holiday with our friends, thanks to Clio Wood and her family at, Manoir La Croix de La Jugie, inviting us to stay in their stunning large country house, nestled in the French countryside.

Talk about a pinch me moment the minute we drove up the private driveway, to be met with what I can only be described as an absolute dream of a house. Covered in sprawling ivy, with its beautiful white shutters, surrounded by rose bushes, lavender and hydrangeas; it was love at first sight before I'd even walked through the door. The smell alone from all the flowers was intoxicating and I literally felt all my stresses melt away, our holiday could now begin.

I feel like holidaying has been so low on our agenda since we had the boys, it just hasn't been a priority of ours. Now with the boys getting older I feel like that's finally changing. I'm excited to travel again, and we're excited to show the boys new places. Seeing how excited they were when they saw the house literally made my day.

If the outside of the house was impressive, the inside is equally so. It's full of French rustic charm, which I particularly love as it's the complete opposite to our new build home in Edinburgh. Here I could get my fix of all things old and full of character! That's one of my favourite things about holidaying, you get to dip your toe into a different lifestyle and way of living, and let me tell you, I can very much see myself living the French life.

The thing I loved most about the house, is even in all it's grandeur and size, it really feels like a home away from home. The d├ęcor is beautiful but relaxed and with the house sleeping up to 22 people in 8 rooms with 6 bathrooms, it is the ideal place for a large family or a group of friends. Children are very much in mind here too, they have travel cots and z-beds at your request, and there are stair gates to help keep all the little ones safe. Which also saves many a parent from the, Let's Play On The Stairs game, which let's be honest, no parent likes that game.

The boys shared a room (pictured above) which they absolutely loved. We were just across the hallway which was perfect if they needed us throughout the night, and a holiday miracle happened whilst we were there too. The boys slept past 9am, every day! I still can't quite believe it and have given some serious thought since as to whether we should up sticks to live in France permanently.

When it comes to holidaying with children, the word, 'holiday', can actually feel like a cruel joke, can't it? This is why I thoroughly recommend holidaying with family and friends that have children too. Our group total was sixteen, eight of which were children aged between 1-9 years old. The children all had an absolute ball together, and you know how that goes, happy children, HAPPY parents. It really took away any of the usual stress of entertaining little ones whilst away, as they all happily played together, making you question how eight children could possibly be easier than holidaying with only two!!

There's plenty of lovely walks to go on surrounding the house and they have a helpful guide left in each room with places they recommend nearby to visit. If however, you're after a truly relaxing holiday, my advice to you would to be to simply enjoy the house. Thanks to the pool, the grounds, a game's room and a selection of toys, the children were never once bored. In fact, every time we went out the first thing they would want to know was when would we be returning to the house! The pool itself, is a great size, and thanks to it being fully gated you can relax with the little ones running around the grounds once you know the gate is securely locked.

No holiday is complete without lots of yummy food! We chose to eat in during our stay which was so much easier for a group our size. The supermarkets are a short drive away with a great selection. French food, French wine, what is not to love?

The dining areas are so well thought out making this house the perfect spot all year round. There's options indoor and out, and you can make dining as informal or as formal as you would like thanks to the large dining area in the kitchen, or separate dining room in the house. Outside you have the option of a smaller table or the large table at the barbecue area.

The cooking and cleaning was a real team effort whilst we were away, making it never feel like a daunting task. We just happened to be away with the best cook too, Colin. I'll take dish duty any day, if it means Colin is cooking! The house also has a outdoor barbecue, which Ayman took control of whilst there and did a stellar job.

This holiday was very much made by who we were there with. Long time readers of my blog and Instagram will know I'm close friends with Lauren, Jules and Sally. I could gush about them for days on end, as most of you well know. I feel endlessly lucky that through this crazy world of social media, I've met true friends for life. Watching our children play together and our partners get on so well is the cherry on the cake. It's an amazing feeling knowing these eight children (and counting!!) will grow up and adventure together.

Other useful details

  • Car Hire. You will need a car whilst you're here, and if like ourselves, you feel nervous about driving on the opposite side of the road, go with an automatic. As Michael would say, it's literally like driving a go kart and changing gears is one less worry. Also, make sure you take out car insurance whilst there. We didn't and due to a small scrape on the bumper the car rental company we dealt with are holding 1200 euros until the repair amount is confirmed and only then will we be refunded the difference. This is common procedure in France and could have been easily avoided if we'd just taken out the insurance. Lesson learnt.

  • Airports. The nearest airport to the Manoir is Limoges, which is a 35 minute drive away. However, we flew into Bordeaux as there was a better selection of flights. Although this is a two and half hour drive away from the Manoir, the roads are great and it is pretty much a straight stretch. There's tolls on these roads which require a small fee that you can pay by cash or card.

  • Retreat Programmes. The Manoir also has a retreat programme which you can read more about HERE.

  • Weddings. They also host weddings at the house too. I didn't even realise at first that the house had a huge barn area. It would be absolutely magical for a wedding in France, you can find out more details HERE.

I'm so pleased to be able to share an exclusive code with you all for a stay at Manoir La Croix de La Jugie. They have generously offered a 10% discount with the code: TheFrenchEdition.

I'm happy to answer any questions or queries you might have if you're thinking of booking, just shoot me a message here or you can email me by clicking on the little envelope at the top right hand of my site. We certainly cannot wait to go back.

*this post was sponsored by Manoir La Croix de La Jugie, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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