We have masses of leaflets and guidebooks in the cottage and our guest manual contains maps showing where you can get to within different driving distances from the house, ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours away. Here is just a taster.
Simple, inexpensive meals are available in Ambrault, Maron, Vouillon and Meunet Planches. Le Chat Noir in Maron is particularly to be recommended! For something a bit grander try the Auberge de la Petite Fadette at Nohant Vic.
The market at St Aout takes place every Tuesday morning and is the best for miles. The local farmers go to purchase livestock - there are some rare and interesting breeds. In early summer, gardeners know they'll find a colourful selection of annual flowers. Cooks decide what fish to buy from the amazing display on offer and pick up locally produced cheese for lunch. Go early while you can still park. If you miss breakfast, munch a freshly cooked croissant or slice of potato pie (much nicer than it sounds) as you stroll around, or enjoy with a hot drink in one of the village cafes. There are also weekly markets in Lignieres and La Chatre.
The nearest golf course is the friendly 9-hole course at Sainte Fauste with a refurbished stable for its charming clubhouse. The most beautiful is Villedieu, just the other side of Chateauroux in the grounds of a ruined chateau. It's stunning in autumn when the skies are clear and the leaves have turned. And if two are not enough, in the opposite direction, at Pouligny Notre Dame, is a third, part of the Dryades Hotel complex.
There are several rivers for fishing. The nearest is within walking distance of the house through the fields. You can buy a licence (carte de peche) at the restaurant in nearby Meunet Planches (5 minutes' drive from the house) and fish there on the river Theols.
There are some excellent vineyards in this part of France. The whites from around Quincy and Reuilly are made from the sauvignon blanc grape, creating a wine similar to Sancerre but less expensive. Reuilly and Chateaumeillant are also well known for their vin gris, an elegant, pale rosé that tastes fabulous lightly chilled on a hot summer's day. Chateaumeillant and Valencay also make some good, quite full-bodied reds. You are assured of a warm welcome and the opportunity to taste the full range available when you visit the wine producers who are justly proud of their wine.
Nearby Towns Worth a Visit
Lignieres is a small town with lots of restaurants and cafes. It holds a special donkey fete in May or early June every year but if you can't be here then, there is a donkey centre in nearby Celle-Condé, signposted from the town.
Issoudun is best seen on foot. Park in the car park at the southern end of town and walk up the narrow medieval streets to the attractive square.
Bourges is slightly further afield but full of character and well organised for visitors. If your legs are giving up, take the little tourist train or do what the locals do and use the free bus which runs very frequently, allowing you to hop off whenever something catches your eye. A most imposing sight is the massive cathedral at the top of the hill but look out as well for the post office with its Art Nouveau sign!