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on 2 February 2005
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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on 30 August 2001
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The only problems that I can see with the book is that the information can run out of date quickly if the book is not researched and reissued on a regular basis.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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on 2 February 2005
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. Take one more example from Provence where I emailed to ask if there was a television in the room because I wanted to watch the french news to improve my vocab - Andre instead proposed that we sat round the pool, drink vin rose and read the daily papers together (which we did!)
I'm not sure I want to go on about this, because I'm nervous that the more people who become Sawdays addicts, the more organised I will have to be in booking up these B&Bs!
Anyway, the guides themselves are excellent. Good quality paper, accurate descriptions, lovely photos. I can't praise them enough!
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on 11 April 2017
Excellent item, delivered within stated time, thank you
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on 10 July 2017
I know I can use the internet but for planning my holiday this book was invaluable. All the properties we went to were great.
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on 12 December 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. but the owner has promised that over the winter she is planning to build new en suite shower/toilets - to enable her to remain in the Alastair Sawday guide! We will be back in 2007.

We plan to use the guide again next year in France, with trips planned to explore Alsace further and also to south west France, where Alastair Sawday lists a number of interesting looking overnight stops and bed & breakfast places to try!
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on 18 February 2005
This book does equally well whether you are planning a holiday in a particular area or just looking for inspiration. My only problem is the embarrassment of choices. The layout is excellent. Personally I'd rather not choose a place to stay without knowing what it looks like, so the photos are invaluable. In addition, you know that each property has charm and character : exactly what I look for in a B&B. Highly recommended.
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on 27 July 2017
Good but too snotty
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on 27 September 2017
Very informative as usual
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on 7 December 2017
Very pleased with the book which arrived in perfect condition.
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