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Romantic Warm Cosy Cottage by King Henry's Castle in nearby Medieval Heaven

Bedrooms 1
Space 150 m²
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Just for Two. A lovely home, private road, pretty meadow, views, walk to shops.

Across our meadow from the historic and important Medieval Castle of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine is our beautifully furnished and fully equipped large romantic cottage, le joli pre (the pretty meadow), with amazing views, exclusively yours during your holiday. On a hill in a private tranquil lane with just a short walk to the shops, cafes, bars and restaurants of historic Domfront. Lovingly restored by a French architect and artisans, wholly respecting its feel and character. Thick insulated walls, cool inside in summer and cosy warm in winter with a log burning stove, modern thermostatic radiators and an integral air cleaning system. All modern appliances and fittings. Comfortable and tasteful furniture and decor with Emily's theatre-trained eye for sumptuousness, detail and cleanliness. For Graham, a professional garden designer and artist, Le Joli Pré (the pretty meadow), is an on-going labour of love, understated, with wild flowers, apple, cherry, plum trees, roses, lavender and cut curved paths. An idyllic setting with wonderful long distant views across the Normandy 'bocage' landscape, with the medieval castle above our meadow. Rental is for a couple, sorry, no children or pets. Be among our cherished guests to escape and relax in this beautiful cottage and meadow in nearby Medieval Heaven. Reasonably and competitively priced, with 5-star reviews, all inclusive with no hidden extras, no small print and simple secure payment. All prices have been reduced.

Last minute bookings: Early booking is recommended for this popular holiday cottage. Now with instant booking, please allow a minimum of three days before the start of your holiday to give the housekeeper time to professionally prepare everything for your arrival. Please also see our own website to help you make an informed choice: Popular with Americans, Canadians, Europeans and Australians too because of the beautiful and unique location, the convenience and comfort among many other positive delights. We want you to have a wonderful, relaxing, uplifting and uncomplicated stay, and return over the years, as many do, to our lovely home in France, le joli pré. Sincerely, Graham and Emily.

More Details

Graham and Emily Swain
Member since: 2010
Speaks english, french, Emily speaks French.
Response time
Within an hour
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
25 April, 2017

About Graham and Emily Swain

A little bit about the owners: Graham and Emily bought le joli pre in 2004. It was derelict. Their vision was for a complete sympathetic restoration using only the most appropriate materials and the best local French architect and French artisans. The house was completely gutted, including all the structural timbers, because of dry rot, leaving literally an empty box. The ancient staircase was retained from the first floor but the lower part sadly had to go. Everything inside has been replaced with state-of-the-art structural materials and is still very much in keeping with the original character.

Graham and Emily Swain purchased this cottage in 2004

Why Graham and Emily Swain chose Orne

A little bit more: Graham and Emily love France - As treble soloist, Graham sang and recorded in all the major northern French cathedrals. His subsequent degree in Architecture helped him work with the French architect for the best resolution in challenging decision making. Emily studied French literature and language at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris. She drove this project forward towards the vision they had when they first saw this beautiful but sadly neglected house in probably one of the best locations in Domfront. The large meadow was an unkempt jungle and is now a very natural and relaxing sanctuary, with beautiful understated planting, wild flowers and cut curved grass areas to enjoy all-year-round. Emily, a professionally trained actress, who now works in professional theatre and Graham who paints contemporary landscapes, and designs and builds bespoke gardens, absolutely love le joli pré. Their hope is that all who holiday here will also appreciate fully this unique and very special and romantic home.

What makes this cottage unique

The ground floor is now open plan and all the rooms have been altered to make the most of the available space, views and natural light. The loft, now a studio, has been opened up and is also now open plan with six velux windows and more amazing views. The log burning stove was reinstated in the sitting room and now forms a functional focal point for cosy lazy days throughout the winter months. Le joli pre has the advantage of being in the countryside and also very much connected with the historic town of Domfront, as once you arrive, you won't really need your car, with all the local facilities within walking distance. Please read the many reviews from our cherished guests over the years who return again and again to this sanctuary of comfort and delight. For longer holidays over two weeks, please ask the owners for special discounted terms.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage rental in Domfront, France

Property Type:
  • cottage (detached)
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 150 m²
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • not suitable for children
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Town
  • Village
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Broadband Access
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • local restaurant guide
  • Parking ...
  • Parking On Street
  • Security System
  • thermos flask
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , bath with shower , Next to the bedroom.
  • Modern tiled bathroom with nice touches of French style, next to the bedroom with drinking water, high pressure and plenty of hot water for showering or a relaxing bath.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double bed
  • Classic French King Henry II double bed with lovely linen and a bespoke comfortable mattress. Views from one window down the lane to the medieval church of Notre Dame Sur L'Eau where Thomas Becket said Mass. Views from the other window up to King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine's medieval castle. The guest bedroom also has direct easy access to the courtyard and meadow on the same level as the house is conveniently built partially into the hillside.
  • Books
  • books - fiction/non-fiction
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Radio
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • video player
  • Video Library ...
  • deck chairs
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • patio
  • Terrace
  • 6 garden chairs
  • long term rentals available
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Housekeeper
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • swimming
  • tennis
The cottage is professionally cleaned and made ready for your arrival. The gardener maintains the meadow and the housekeeper provides you with the key on arrival. The kitchen is comprehensively equipped but if you do not feel inclined to cook, there are lovely restaurants, bars and cafes within easy walking distance. Free WiFi and iPod docking station. Free parking almost everywhere in Domfront. We send you full details on booking your holiday. See our own website link below to help you make an informed choice. Our own website is: Please feel free to ask us any questions any time, before and even during your holiday. Sincerely, Graham and Emily.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(37 traveller reviews)

Romantic Warm Cosy Cottage by King Henry's Castle in nearby Medieval Heaven
average rating of 4.891892 based on 37 reviews

Charming accommodation in historic Domfront.

  • 4 of 5

Although needing to be in Domfront mid winter our stay was made very comfortable by staying at Le Petite Pré in the medieval area of the town. Great fire and lots of hot water! Look forward to seeing the Garden in the Spring!

  • Review Submitted: Feb 12, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jan 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much Linda, we wish you well and much happiness with your own new home in Domfront when it's completed. Sincerely, Graham and Emily
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A very relaxing break

  • 5 of 5

Le Joli Pre is a lovely home from home with character. Its well furnished, comfortable and a great place to unwind and explore medieval Domfront.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for this lovely review. You are most welcome to holiday here again any time. All the best, Graham and Emily
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Peace and quiet

  • 5 of 5

Most peaceful spot. Bedroom furnishing lovely and so in keeping with the overall feel of this pretty house. We adored the lovely toiletries so much so I purchased 6 bottles locally. Everything you could need or think you needed was provided for. Thank you for lending us your home, I am only sorry we had to leave two days earlier than planned due to car issues!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 8, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your very encouraging comments. We are so happy you had a lovely holiday. You are more than welcome to holiday at le joli pre again any time. Wishing you all the best, Graham and Emily.
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Clean, comfortable and cosy retreat. Excellent

  • 5 of 5

Excellent service from start to finish including the booking process. The cottage was everything as described and better. We had lovely sunny evenings in the meadow with the crickets, church bells and the crazy laugh of the local green wood pecker, we even saw a lizard runing across the logs. Still summer. WONDERFUL!

  • Review Submitted: Sep 28, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Gosh, thank you for this lovely warm review, it makes us feel a little envious...and we own it!? You are of course, very welcome to holiday at le joli pre again any time. With warm regards, Graham and Emily.
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Stroking bumble bees in Normandy

  • 5 of 5

First of all, I have to say that we were two days late arriving. Not only were the hosts fine about this - but they have recredited us part of the fee. Absolutely first class.

The house is situated inland - in a small medieval town called Domfront. From the house we could walk to town and enjoy coffee or a meal. It was ideally located for viewing a number of castles and also Mont Saint Michael.

The house itself has been completely renovated (completely gutted and rebuilt I believe. It is small and cozy in a nice way. The sofa was incredibly relaxing and the kitchen although small had every thing you could think of - including a dishwasher and a washing machine. There is also very good wifi - which made my husband very happy.

Off the bedroom, there is a courtyard where you could drink wine and watch the sun go down. Further along the meadow after which the house is named. There is a recently planted bed of lavender and upon the lavender, blissed out bees feed upon the necter. It is even possible to stroke them.

The house was very clean and well decorated in a french / shabby chic manner. Finally I would like to say that although the bathroom is small -. there is a bathtub (shower above). Very rare to see in holiday accomodations.

Thank you very much for everything

  • Review Submitted: Aug 31, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful descriptive review. We are so happy you had a lovely holiday, this means everything to us. Wishing you all the best, Graham and Emily.
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Excellent accommodation in a perfect setting

  • 5 of 5

Le Joli Pre was everything it was advertised as. We didn't want for anything. The property is situated in a quiet position, yet in comfortable walking distance to the town. We would highly recommend this property if you want peace and quiet for a few days. Our batteries have now been recharged, which is exactly what we wanted. Thank you Graham and Emily for allowing us to use your French home. It was perfect.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 16, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for this lovely review. You are most welcome to holiday at le joli pre again any time.
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Nearest Barpub
300 Metres
Bars and cafes, a short walk
Nearest Ferry
107 Kilometres
Caen/Ouistreham car ferry
Nearest Golf
20 Kilometres
Bagnoles de L'Orne
Nearest Train
20 Kilometres
Flers (Paris train and taxi to Domfront)
Nearest Restaurant
300 Metres
Restaurants and shops, a short walk
Nearest Beach
61 Kilometres
Avranches (WWII beaches 1.5 hours)
Car: necessary

A delightful romantic cottage located in Historic Medieval Domfront in a prime position and an environmentally protected area. On a hill in a private quiet road, with amazing long distant views from the house and meadow and up to King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine's castle. The surrounding area is steeped in history, with a short amble up the road to shops, restaurants, bars, and the boulangerie...for your morning croissant. The garden is maintained by the gardener and designed by the owner, a professional garden designer.

Please note: You have exclusive use of the house and meadow, the owners are not present. The one additional double bedroom is kept locked. The 'Housekeeper' lives nearby, she's very friendly and helpful.

The large cottage is professionally cleaned and made ready for your arrival.

Competitively and reasonably priced, all-inclusive, with free WiFi, 5-star reviews and no small print. Do book early to avoid disappointment.

See our own website to help you make an informed choice (website:

Other Activities: Lovely restaurants, cafes and shops within short walking distance.

Cycling: Cycling is big in France and just below le joli pre is the converted railway line, now a flat cycle and walking track stretching for miles, all the way to the coast and Mont Saint Michel. Popular with all ages. Bring your own bikes for a wonderful experience.

Longer holidays: For holidays more than two weeks please ask for our special discounted rates.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday cottage in Domfront, France

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
March April May
8 Mar 2017 - 31 May 2017
3 night minimum stay
June July August
1 Jun 2017 - 31 Aug 2017
3 night minimum stay
September to February
1 Sep 2017 - 28 Feb 2018
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable Damage Deposit A$84.57
Cleaning contribution A$76.11

Now with Instant Booking please allow a space of 3 days before the start date of your holiday. This allows the housekeeper to professionally clean and prepare everything for your arrival. The price will not change once you have booked your holiday. We strive to remain reasonably priced and competitive. If you have any questions any time, please do ask.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
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