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French Bed & Breakfast (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) [Paperback]

Alastair Sawday
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1 Feb 2011 --  
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French Bed & Breakfast (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) French Bed & Breakfast (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) 4.4 out of 5 stars (22)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2011 Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay

Britain's most established B&B guide to France is aimed at independent travellers seeking a special place to stay. Travelling the length and breadth of the country, our French team has selected over 750 B&Bs. Fall in love with a place and stay longer, change your route and stop off somewhere new - there's great flexibility here.

An intriguing range of bed and breakfasts is included: ski chalets, châteaux, farmhouses, treehouses, pieds-à-terre in lovely old cities and studio apartments in tiny mountain hamlets.We meet a wide variety of owners too, from those running authentic old-style 'chambres d'hôtes' to creative young couples opening eco-chic B&Bs. What they have in common is their devotion to making you feel special. They can also tell you about gastronomic breaks and wine tours, painting, cookery and language courses, and give you the low down on all the best places.

French B&B is great value for money: 300 of these houses have double rooms for €45-€65 a night.

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French Bed & Breakfast (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) + French Châteaux & Hotels (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) + Go Slow France (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Alastair Sawday's; 12 edition (1 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906136408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906136406
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I would like to introduce our Special Places and Slow guides which pinpoint the way to some 5,000 remarkable places to stay across Europe and beyond. What do I look for?
* Warm, very human, interesting people
* Beautiful buildings, original style, elegant simplicity
* Fine old things that, however dilapidated, carry their age and authenticity with dignity
* Delicious food, much of it grown at home and cooked with devotion
* A touch of fun with a touch of class. Quirkiness with seriousness, a light touch, an easy style
* Honest writing with a dash of panache
* Comfort - yes, but not at the expense of everything else.

Product Description


The best guide to staying in private B&Bs throughout France. --Marie Claire

Our well-worn copy of this book was our constant travelling companion and gets both the thumbs up and paw print of approval! --Kate Humble (TV presenter)

You'll be sure to find the bed and breakfast of your dreams. --Living Frances

From the Publisher

This is a very personal selection and we are lucky to be able to make it without having to obey rules. The result is that the houses and their owners make up one of the most fascintaing gatherings of their kind. You really can set off to France clutching this book in the full knowledge that you are being advised by 'friends'. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars France for individualists 2 Feb 2005
By A Customer
For those who wish to enjoy the variety that France has to offer this book has it all, from chateau to modest house. Places in town, the mountains, the coast. The authors give you full address details so that you can enter the postcode into a route programme to plan your itinerary down to street level. The English spoken symbol is a godsend to those who are hesistant in French. The e-mail addresses enable quick and easy contact and the viewing of additional features on related websites, such as bedrooms, gardens etc. We found that all the places we contacted this way responded quickly, with enthusiasm, and rarely required a deposit. In many cases you can order meals, great when teamed with the local wine. We have stayed in places from 38 euros up to 120 euros per room, all different, all welcoming. I can heartily recommend this book to those wanting to see the real France, whether touring or just for places to stay en route. You will not be disappointed.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This book was a real godsend in helping us plan our holiday to the Southwest of France (Aquitaine and Pays Basque). Had it not been for Sawday's acutely-observed and judicious recommendations I think the holiday would have been something of a disaster.
The book is well laid-out and provides an quick-glance but trustworthy opinion of some of the best kept secrets in France. Each place has a fair photograph (not the estate agent type), a well-drawn, charming summary and all the essential information. Besides the practical side of the book, it is a real delight and inspiration to read each vignette - it really provokes confidence in going to stay in such places rather than the faceless chain hotels or formules in the alternative.
We stayed at three of the recommended places during our trip: Monbet, Latille, and St. Quentin-de-Baron and all were marvellous. Beautiful chateaux, post-houses or priories...breakfast on the patio with fresh croissants and the company of Madame...unobstructed starry nights...peaceful slumbers interrupted only by the call of the woodpigeon...absolutely marvellous and all modestly or validly priced.
The only problems that I can see with the book is that the information can run out of date quickly if the book is not researched and reissued on a regular basis. Also it is not pointed out clearly whether places accept credit cards or not which can be a little inconvenient and embarrassing. Otherwise a bible for living on the road in France. Enjoy and bon voyage!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I love these Sawdays guides. As an avid francophile I grab each new edition of the French Bed & Breakfast from the Special Places to Stay series as soon as they hit the shelf and then I drool over the possibilities stretched out before me. I check to see that old and well-tried favourites are still in the guide and I plan more journeys trying out previously untested places. Some of the most memorable holiday experiences have been associated with B&Bs found through the guide. For example, an impromptu supper in the Loire Valley with a Belgian business man who had never experienced "chambre d'hotes" before, a french couple in their 60s from Vichy; Madame the epitomy of French chic, and two of us Brits and our hosts, in the garden, eating produce from the garden, and drinking wine from down the road, and despite the language barrier, laughing until tears were streaming down our cheeks, late into the balmy night.
Some of our hosts have become friends, and we keep in contact through the year. We choose B&Bs above hotels mainly as a chance to use the language as so often in hotels if you speak French to the reception staff they will reply in English which frustrates. The people offering B&B want to share their language and their culture and customs with you and are delighted if you show an interest.
Many of the places found in this guide offer facilities in excess of average hotels, perhaps offering an aperitif before you set off for your evening meal, recommending places to eat where they themselves would eat, lending guide books and so on. It all adds up to a fantastic holiday experience.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable guide for Francophile 12 Dec 2006
I strongly recommend you take this guide with you if you are planning to tour France.

We have enjoyed travelling in France for many years and have used different guides to find small privately owned and family managed hotels and auberges, often in out of the way places. Others we have chanced upon in our travels.

However, Alastair Sawday's French Bed & Breakfast has introduced us to some delightful bed and breakfast establishments, which of course are not to be found in any hotel guide. We were not aware that bed & breakfast is such an established part of French culture and it has been delightful to be effectively invited into French homes. In some dinner is also offered with the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed meal - almost as part of the family, and usually with wine!

I will mention only two of the entries, which we have liked so much that we visited them both twice in 2006 and which we plan to stay at again next year. They both have the further distinction of being attached to vineyards - another reason to return to them!

Entry number 67 is a delightful old house in the champagne area run by the English wife of the French champagne maker. The room we stayed in was very comfortable with a large comfortable bed, not always available in France, with armchairs and a large bathroom. It is then lovely to sit outside on the terrace enjoying an excellent dinner - with champagne and good Bordeaux wine!

Entry number 85 is also a delightful old house, but in Alsace run by the fluent English speaking wife of the French winemaker. It is in a beautiful old walled town with a good choice of restaurants within walking distance. As a nice welcome you are offered a glass of wine (or two!) on arrival! The rooms are a little old fashioned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book thank you very much.
Published 24 days ago by J Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Used on holiday
Very much like this book, as it is very detailed, giving lots of information which is absolutely spot- on. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Martina Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good!
I have already used the book to plan a stay in France. The information given was helpful in choosing here I would (or would not!) want to stay. Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2012 by hthomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for travellers, writers and dreamers
A great book for dreaming and scheming of holidays across France. Inspirational photos and descriptions that will have you reaching for your suitcase and running for the... Read more
Published on 31 July 2012 by Franky
5.0 out of 5 stars Alastair Sawday's Special Places to stay French B & B's
Having just returned from my first ever stay in a French B&B, inspired by this book, I'm very happy to report a great week's holiday near Avignon

Delightful hosts - who... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by John Evans
1.0 out of 5 stars French B and B. By Alistair Sawday.
I purchased this book for an up coming holiday only to find that the book was several years out of date and was no use
what so ever as most of the accomodation was either no... Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Lelliloo
4.0 out of 5 stars Pricy but fun
This is a lovely book, but the majority of the places are quite pricey. More to aspire to than to stay in. Read more
Published on 17 Sep 2011 by Brynhyfryd
5.0 out of 5 stars Sawdasy satisfaction
This Alastair Sawday French B&B guide arrived very quickly and was invaluable in helping us to find a very good B&B at short notice for our trip to France. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by H. Rimmer
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant holiday aid!
Bought this as a recommendation from a friend, and it's well worth buying if you are travelling through France. Read more
Published on 16 April 2011 by Mrs. J. G. Jelves
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best B&Bs in France
As I was thinking about my review of the latest French Sawday book I realized that I have been a fan of his books for so long that when I first used one there was no such thing as... Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2011 by Barbara Williams
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