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Straw Angel Mill is a converted sawmill located in a nature reserve in Puy De Dome ( Parc Livradois Forez ), the heart of the Auvergne, France's most unspoilt region. It is 900 metres above sea level and surrounded by forest and pastures, with many tracks and trails accessible from the house. It is ideal for those who love to be outdoors; whether hiking through the natural environment, relaxing by the stream in the privacy of the secluded wild garden or exploring an authentic region that hasn't been overwhelmed by tourists. Despite the house's secluded setting, both basic needs and special treats are within easy reach - a 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk to Viverols, a small medieval town with a traditional French bakery open daily for fresh baguettes and pastries, and 5 minutes from a mountain pass with a restaurant serving delicious local food. There is a mountain lake with a family friendly beach for a cool dip in summer & a ski station in winter, 20 minutes away as well as horse-riding, tree top activity centres, and marked mountain-bike circuits nearby.
By Cédric L.Rue on 31-May-2019
Nous avons eu enormement de plaisir dans cette magnifique maison renovee. 2 familles avec 4 enfants...le bonheur et plein de balades, jeu au bord de la riviere, visite, accueil incroyable,... merci pour tout
Stayed Oct 2016
Superbe expérience pour toute la famille
By Jérémie G. on 20-Jul-2018
Partis en famille, nous avons passé un excellent séjour à Eglisolles. Le cadre est fantastique et la maison parfaite pour des vacances au calme.
Le contact a été particulièrement agréable avec la propriétaire.
Au total, une expérience 100% positive !
Stayed Jul 2017
Un excellent séjour!
By Florence P.Paris, France on 09-Oct-2016
Dans cette maison, on trouve tout ce dont on a besoin, et même des choses auxquelles on n'aurait pas pensé. Et si, par hasard, il manque malgré tout quelque chose, David et Charlie, qui s'occupent du lieu en l'absence des propriétaires, se font un plaisir de fournir généreusement leur aide. La literie est très bonne, la vaisselle vraiment agréable, les revues anciennes sont vraiment intéressantes... chaque objet a une raison d'être. On a plutôt l'impression d'être chez des amis très discrets... Nous avons fait un excellent séjour!
Stayed Oct 2016
We had a great time in the house.
By Ullrich M. on 25-Sep-2016
We liked the nice house located in the nature. Everyone who is looking for a nice and calm holiday in nature will be delighted. We will come back again.
Dear Annette and Ulrich,
Thank you for your kind words! We are very glad you enjoyed the house and the area and your stay, and we would love to see you again in future.
Great place to stay
By Hilary C.Ashurst Wood on 01-Sep-2016
Stayed Aug 2016
We had an excellent week here, the house is beautiful and very comfortable. The sound of the stream sends you to sleep every night and having breakfast on the deck was a lovely start to the day. We cycled in to Viverols most days to get croissants and the walks around are amazing. The property is particularly well stocked with maps, walking guides and information. The mountain activities place above St Anthelme was fantastic: the 800m zip wire is quite an experience. We also walked to the local Auberge (Relais du Vermont) for an excellent lunch - really good food. Would definitely go back.
A great get away from it all place!
By David C. on 20-Oct-2015
Stayed Sep 2015
We had the most fantastic 2 weeks here - Clean air, lovely walks in the woods and characterful villages.
We received a warm welcome and the house was is good shape. Hope to return next year.
A charming retreat lovingly renovated
By TCaernarfon, Gwynedd on 30-Aug-2015
A former sawmill, this property is situated in the SE corner of the Livradois-Forez National Park, between the towns of Ambert and Usson-en-Forez. It's been lovingly restored by the owners keeping many of the original features and giving a very different feel compared to many more standard holiday homes. The whole house is cool and airy - good in a hot climate - and there is a large verandah to the side which we really enjoyed. The furniture is a quirky mix of pieces from the Middle East and more easily recognisable stuff from a well known Swedish furniture manufacturer. There is a large and well equipped kitchen and a good sized lounge. Outside there's lots of meadows and woodlands for the kids to explore, though care should be exercised with the stream if you have young children. There are also loads of other fringe benefits such as use of two bikes that come with the house, hammocks and a barbecue, and a well stocked library of guide books and maps that we made good use of, and the owners kindly left us a welcome pack including some essentials such as a bottle of the local wine.
The Mill is a great place to bring a dog and the owners allow pets, even providing a basket on the verandah (which is also nice and cool even during the day). Your dog will need to be able to climb some quite steep steps though (as will you) so this house won't suit if any in your party have mobility problems. The house has plenty of parking and although it's just off the equivalent of a French B-road, there is little traffic noise.
There are two potential drawbacks with the Mill, both of which are most likely to be an issue if you are a large party. There is only one bathroom, which can lead to congestion especially in the morning. Also, the open plan - including the upstairs mezzanine containing some of the beds - means that you can hear a lot of what's going on elsewhere in the house. For us these problems were more than made up for by the charm of the place and we felt at home in no time.
Overall I would definitely recommend the Mill. It's a great place to get away from it all in an area that's a bit off the beaten track but still has plenty to do, see and taste. Even if you're not feeling energetic, it's a pleasant place to relax and soak in the mountain air. We were in a group of six aged between 5 and 70ish, and we all had a great time.
Fabulous house & setting.
By Wendy T. on 09-Jun-2015
We had a lovely time at Straw Angel - loved the house and the area. The house was beautifully presented and the welcome provisions were extremely welcome at midnight when we eventually arrived. Charlie was very helpful and pointed us in the right direction for a Vide Grenier and a high wire activity place near Le Puy - we picked up a handful of leaflets and left them in your activity folder - Canopy en Foret I think they were called. We went there on the Monday and the guys who now run it were excellent and the afternoon good value. We hired extra bikes one afternoon and suffered for it riding from Usson to St. Bonnet Le Chateau visiting the Resistance Museum on the way. Towards the end of the week the weather was fabulous and we went rafting near La Privat (?) - again left leaflets at the house. That was fantastic and I would strongly recommend it to everyone - you travel down a particularly beautiful gorge and there is just enough leisurely paddling and white knuckle riding to suit everyone in the family and again the guys who run it were excellent at their rather enviable job.
I think your house is lovely and well equipped, comfortable and warm and your guests, like us, very lucky to stay there. I'm sure we'll be in touch again soon to book another week.
Stayed May 2015
Perfect for a relaxing holiday
By Alex F. on 06-Oct-2014
We had a lovely week at Straw Angel Mill - the accommodation was wonderfully quirky and had everything we needed, and more! The local area is beautiful - ideal for walking and hilly cycling.
From breakfast overlooking the garden in the early morning sunshine to lazing around in the hammock by the river - time slowed to the perfect holiday pace!
Stayed Aug 2014
By Gill And Peter, Devon on 14-May-2014
I think Straw Angel Mill must be enchanted; I woke up to our first morning with ideas for my new book already flowing fast. I find time out in a beautiful, wild, peaceful place such as this is essential for reflection, restoration and inner renewal.
One of the advantages (to us) of going to the Forez in the spring is that all the creatures are so much more visible: on walks from the house we saw a young grass snake, red squirrel courtship, newts and tawny owls; during one quiet hour sitting on the hangar a mountain hare ran across the hillside beyond the stream, a black woodpecker visited the pines, and a vole popped out from a hole in the wall to eat stitchwort flowers. Wagtails, coal tits and redstarts were nesting all around us, and on our last morning a fox trotted across the garden and jumped the stream.
The Auberge at the top of the hill gave us two extremely good meals and accommodated our particular diets very well, and we were able to buy all our provisions in the friendly town of Viverols. There is a shop in nearby Saillant selling eco-friendly products but sadly it was closed for holidays for the duration of our stay. We came on the train this time and really appreciated having the bikes, which made it easy for us to get into town for essentials (such as the excellent local liqueurs!), and to check emails in the lovely old library with its helpful staff. We enjoyed choosing from the films and books in the evenings, and watching the stars through the skylights at night. Special thanks to Sarah in England, and David and Charlie in France, for helping with travel arrangements!
Stayed Apr 2014
An amazing week in auvergne
By Spacey87Warwickshire on 27-Apr-2014
Myself and 7 university friends (all in our mid-twenties) spent a week at the heavenly Straw Angel Mill in June 2013.
If you want to spend a week (or more..which you will) away from everything, the idyllic hamlet of Paillange is perfect for you.
Far enough out in the country that you feel at peace and have space to relax, yet the nearest town Eglisolles is just a 5 minute drive or 20-30 min walk. and further afield there is a plethora of charming French villages, sights and larger towns to explore.
The house has been beautifully renovated whilst still retaining its charm, with lots of exposed woodwork and beams, it easily slept all 7 of us! with 2 beautiful double bedrooms overlooking the stream and an open plan attic space that easily sleeps 6! The house is fully equipped with everything you could need to enjoy your time there.
We particularly enjoyed BBQ-ing outdoors, clearing the mezzanine dining are for morning yoga sessions, walking up the stream, spending the day at the local lake in St. Antheme, wandering round the beautiful Ambert and just generally enjoying the peaceful surrounding with some good drink and food.
The owners Sarah & David are charming, polite and very knowledgable about the area, happy to answer any questions about the Auvergne and make recommendations for things to do, see and eat! You can tell they have put all their enthusiasm into the house!
They couldn't have made the booking process easier either, all in all an idyllic house in a glorious location. I would definitely go back over and over again!
Stayed Jun 2013
An Abundance of Life!
By Gill And PeterDevon on 16-Oct-2013
Last July we stayed at Straw Angel Mill for the first time, and we loved it so much that we went back again this September. We were delighted to find that there were still wild flowers everywhere, and an abundance of crickets, grasshoppers, moths, butterflies, bats... on walks from the house we saw a red squirrel, a polecat and tawny owls, and were lucky enough to see a deer, a stoat and a hoopoe in the garden! This area truly is a wildlife lovers' paradise. Lots of foraging possibilities too: hazel nuts, sweet chestnuts and blackberries, whereas last July it was mostly wild strawberries and raspberries. The house is lovely; a peaceful space with some beautiful touches and an emphasis on natural materials. I love the Straw Angel symbol in the wooden shutters! We enjoyed sitting at the end of the beautiful wild garden to catch the last of the sunshine, and it was so hot for most of our two weeks that we were able to make good use of the delightful hammocks in shady areas by the stream. I'm sure there is lots to see and do in the wider area but we only got the car out three days in two weeks - there are so many beautiful walks from the house, and everything we needed in town, not to mention the wonderful Auberge at the top of the hill - a must for a high quality, good value lunch! Thanks for providing the bikes: Peter cycled in to town most days while I was writing (the Mill is a wonderful space for creativity), and we went out for a big ride one day. So now we know how lovely it is there in summer and autumn, we think that next year we will have to try late spring, when I believe the wild flowers are spectacular!
Stayed Sep 2013
Peace at last!
By SAMANTHA BROOKS on 15-Oct-2013
We live in the Alps and were looking for a get-away-from-it-all location for a long weekend with our dog. Sarah was kind enough to let us rent the mill for a few nights (as it was out of season) and we couldn't have wished for more.
We loved the fact that there was no Wifi and phone reception only from the kitchen window. It meant that we just enjoyed the countryside, eating, drinking and playing Scrabble! Viverols is small but has all the amenities you need, the food at the Auberge up the road was local & totally scrumptious and the various footpaths near the mill kept the dog happy.
It snowed, which is very unusual for this time of year, but the mill was toasty warm. It did mean we couldn't make much use of the garden, but I can imagine how lovely it must be in summer, particularly with the covered outside space.
The mill is well-equipped in the kitchen and with games & books. Luckily the wood-burner, tins of candles and gas oven came into their own when we had a power-cut!
We hope to return one day, next time with a group of friends. It was a great cosy weekend getaway, but is also definitely a place for summer BBQs and late-night guitar playing!
Stayed Oct 2013
By Justin H.Amsterdam on 10-Sep-2013
The pictures on the website give an inkling of this charming getaway. We wanted a place off the beaten track away from the hordes of tourists in Europe in July but with modern comforts and plenty of room. My teenage daughters discovered that there is life without internet.
We all had a marvelous time. We visited the neighboring village Viverols and the nearest market town Ambert had everything we needed. The mountain lake was quite refreshing so we went there often.