Manoir du Bolgaro at Morbeque, near Hazebrouck is an impressive, luxurious getaway, great for a get together with family or friends.
A manor house dating back to 1540, which is set on a huge, beautiful, secluded swathe of land, this amazing, three storey gite, steeped in character, can sleep up to 12 people. Depending on the number of people staying, this unique property offers you two options to choose from as it can be divided up to suit your needs. For up to seven guests half of the house will be at your disposal, and up to 12 the whole house will be opened using a series of doors – but do not worry if you are only staying in half of the house the other half will not be rented out so that you have the site all to yourself for the duration of your stay. As we were a family of four we stayed in half of this amazing house, which was still very extensive.
An absolute delight to stay in, the property’s ground floor boasted a fabulous kitchen, with a slate floor, beamed ceiling, whitewashed walls and large table seating up to 12. And it was equipped with everything that you could possibly need. As well as an electric hob, microwave, dishwasher, large fridge with separate freezer, an oven and a coffee machine, it also featured the most extensive range of equipment I’ve yet to see within self-catering accommodation. A hallway, with a vaulted ceiling, and steps then led down to a wonderful, atmospheric lounge in a vaulted, red brick walled cellar with wrap around, built in seating, separate velour armchair-style seating, including children’s armchairs, a large coffee table, flat screen television and DVD player.
There were also several Flemish wooden games to while away many a happy hour – my personal favourite, and my 10-year-old son’s, was the balance game called jeux d’equilibre for 2-4 players.
We had three bedrooms at our disposal which were spread over its two upper floors, with wooden floors throughout reached by a beautiful open plan wooden staircase. The first floor features an extremely large bedroom, with a large, atmospheric, illuminated fireplace, oak beamed ceiling, extremely comfortable super-king bed, and an open plan tiled floor bathroom, with large separate power shower and separate en-suite toilet. It also boasts a magnificent view of the site’s beautiful grounds. The top floor accommodates the remaining two bedrooms (if using half the house), which includes one with a double bed, and the second, which is bigger, with two single bedrooms, with a separate bathroom with a large bath and over bath shower and a separate en-suite toilet also on this floor.
The site itself also features a large terrace area with barbecue, as well as extensive grounds which stretched almost as far as the eye could see to a local forest. Beautifully decorated throughout, little welcoming touches included local refreshments for us all to enjoy, including the local 3 Monts bierre, local apple juice. The gite, which is accessed by a coded gated entrance off a country lane and has wifi, took six years for Eric and Francoise, who both speak very good English, to transform from a neglected house into an impressive holiday retreat.
They were wonderfully welcoming and as well as the thoughtful, welcoming touches, mentioned earlier, when we left we were all given a small gift, including a gold souvenir coin of nearby village Hazebruck (where there was also a large Carrefour supermarket) for both of my children. Eric also took a picture of us in our favourite room, the vaulted cellar, which was waiting in our email inbox on our return home as a welcome reminder of our fantastic stay.
My family had a wonderful, peaceful few days in Le Foret gite at Manoir du Bolgaro, in the heart of Flanders and located on what was the Western Front during World War One.
It also proved to be a perfect springboard to explore the area’s WW1 sites, including museums and cemeteries, nearby beautiful villages and cities, as well as a host of tourist attractions which were in easy reach.
By Justine Halifax