'À Bois Mort' is owned and operated by Richard Smith,
an experienced and award winning chef from Scotland.

Surrounding countryside

Surrounding countryside

Countryside Living

Ideally situated in the Poitou Charente, we are based in a beautiful farming hamlet, perfectly located for touring and exploring this little known part of France, and all it has to offer! We are also ideally situated for exploring the wine routes of the Haute Poitou and the Loire Valley.  Keen cyclists and walkers will be spoiled by the many routes on offer, including a Petit Chemin de Saint Jacque de Compostelle - right outside your door!

Our vines

Our vines

Local Produce

Our aim is to grow and cook as much of our own produce as we can and to utilise the fantastic store cupboard of wonderful organic ingredients from the countryside, and from our neighbours - keeping everything local and fresh.

Authentic cuisine

Authentic cuisine


Upon your arrival you’ll be welcomed with a bottle of something local, freshly baked bread, fresh eggs courtesy of the “girls” and you will also find numerous handy items in your larder to help you along until you get to market.  Also, if you wish later, dine in the summer kitchen and eating space ‘La Petite Cuisine’.  Menus and prices are displayed daily, and are based on what’s fresh and of the season.  Another option is to take advantage of the ‘chef at your door’ service; to make your stay that little more special!

Discover the history and beauty of this authentic region in Western France.


Gourgé is a commune in the Deux-Sevres department in the
Poitou-Charentes region in western France.
It is 10km (6.2 miles) from Parthenay.

The tiny farming hamlet of Bois Mort is located in the Deux-Sevres department, one of four that make up the Poitou Charente region the other three being Vienne, Charente and Charente-Maritime.

The Deux-Sevres, sits in the north of the Poitou Charente region, just below the Loire Valley, which makes it an ideal staging post to sample the wines of the Haut-Poitou and the Loire, with the picturesque fairy-tale city of Saumur only a 55 minute drive away.

The Deux-Sevres is an unspoilt, farming area, so in the summer expect sunflower fields, swaying golden wheat and tall lush fields of maize.

We are close to two beautiful villages, Gourgé with its Romanesque church, beautiful ancient roman bridge and old water mill, where you can fish and picnic – its also possible to hire horse drawn gypsy caravans at certain times during the summer! Within the village is a small store and bakers.  In the opposite direction lies the medieval village of St Loup Sur Thouet, a Petit Cite de Character, with bars, restaurant, auberge, baker, newsagent / bar tabac and village store.  Also in the village is a small chateau and church, with beautiful stained glass windows and interesting history being linked to two local saints.

 We are blessed in this region with a wonderful climate and diverse geography, making it a fabulous place to come and enjoy your holidays, whatever your interests gastronomy to kayaking, walking, cycling, or simply sitting by the pool and relaxing - it can all be found here!

Bois Mort poplars

Bois Mort poplars

Le Thouet at Gourgé

Le Thouet at Gourgé

St Loup Sur Thouet

St Loup Sur Thouet



Our favourite things to do...

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   Chateau at St Loup Sur Thouet

Chateau at St Loup Sur Thouet

On your doorstep (up to 30 minutes away)

  1. Beautiful country walks and cycling routes (see links below).
  2. Fishing on the river Thouet (permit required and can be purchased locally in Gourge / St Loup Sur Thouet).
  3. Gourgé character village, with shop, bakery and Romanesque church, various fetes throughout the summer, horse drawn gypsy caravan rental.
  4. St Loup Sur Thouet, Petit Cite de Character’ – stunning medieval village with half-timbered houses and small chateau, newsagent / bar tabac, shop, bakery, restaurant, bars and auberge.  There are various fetes throughout the summer.
  5. Airvault beautiful medieval town with a stunning cathedral, ancient covered small market held on a Saturday, a supermarket, variety of shops, museum, bars, restaurants, bakeries and local tourist information.
  6. Parthenay our principle town, with a sizeable market on a Wednesday, a historic medieval quarter, all the commerce you would expect and home to many festivals throughout the year, including the 'festival of games' in July.  Also of note is the newly refurbished public swimming pool with chutes and flumes, sitting in its own beautiful public park.
  7. Oiron with a renaissance chateau and church, local wine tasting and summer fetes. 

Slightly further afield (up to one hour) 

  1. Thouars slightly north, framed with its imposing 17th century chateau Chateau Des Ducs de la Tremoille is well worth a visit, especially on a Friday when the town hosts the areas largest market.  Also of note is the resistance museum – ‘Centre Regional Resistance et Liberte.  There is also a variety of bars, shops and restaurants.
  2. Bressuire - a large market town, also in the north of the Deux-Sevres, is host to the highland games world championships each year, usually held in August.  There is also a ruined chateau to explore, a church with a nave that managed to survive the revolution - so well worth a visit!
  3. Saumur and Loire Valley although not in the Deux-Sevres, well worth a mention due to its close proximity to Á  Bois Mort .  Here, sample some famous wine names, such as Ackerman, Gratien & Meyer and Veuve Amiot, to name but a few.  All the beautiful chateaux of the Loire Valley are all within easy reach.
  4. Poitiers the University city of Poitiers is well worth a visit, with its gorgeous old cathedrals, bustling squares and medieval architecture, as well as a wonderful selection of bars, restaurants and shops its a people watching paradise.  You can also catch the TGV from here (Paris is a little under 2 hours away!)  You also cant mention Poitiers, without mentioning Futuroscope.  One of the worlds top rated parks, offering 25 attractions based on future technology, cinema, audio-visual and all things futuristic.
  5. Niort our principle city for the Deux-Sevres, and one of the most beautiful and green.  Set on the banks of the river Niortaise, and still Frances major cultivator of Angelica (and all things related), Niort has a large covered market Thursday to Sunday.  It also has beautiful riverside walkways.  Kayaks can also be rented here and in the summer it joins many French riverside towns and cities by creating a beach thats open all summer long with many attractions.
  6. The Marais Poitevin just outside Niort, lies this beautiful and tranquil spot.  An area of marshland, stretching for miles which is made up of man-made waterways. There are many small villages along the canals, one of the better-known ones being Coulon, where you can hire barges that are tied up along the riverbanks.  For a small additional charge a guide will puntyou along the canals and explain the history and bio-diversity of this fascinating area.  A truly remarkable visit and one that is very cooling and relaxing on a hot summers day.
  7. La Rochelle the capital of Charente-Maritime area has, as you would expect, a rich seafaring history.  The bustling Vieux Port (old harbour) is dominated by the imposing two towers, the port itself is lined with seafood restaurants and lively cafés and bars.  The old town has been very well preserved, and you can meander the many streets and browse the variety of goods and products on offer in the wide range of shops.
  8. Ile de Re just off the coast from La Rochelle and accessible by an awe inspiring bridge, lies the chic island resort of Ile de Re, home to two Plus Beauvillages Ars-en-Re and Flote, a truly stunning island.  The island is very popular with chic Parisians who have been coming here for decades.  Another popular town on the island is Saint-Martin-de Re, with a lively harbour front café-restaurant scene, where you can while a way an hour or two people watching and marveling at the beautiful yachts in the harbour.
  9. Cognac the historic town of Cognac, situated next to the river Charente and close to the large towns of Angouleme and Saintes, is as the name suggests, a mecca for enthusiastic oenologists.  Here you can sample and visit all the major cognac houses of France, Courvoisier, Otard and of course Hennesey, the oldest cognac producer in the town itself.  The surrounding countryside is well worth exploring, here you will discover all the independent producers (and in our opinion) some of the best makers of the delicious Pineau-des-Charentes.


Nearby attractions (not in any particular order!)


A.   Chateau DOiron (renaissance chateau and modern art gallery)

B.    Futuroscope

C.    Zoo de la Fontaine (Zoo de Doue / Zoo de Doue la Fontaine)

D.   Aquarium La Rochelle

E.    La Valee des Singes

F.    Marais Potevin

G.   Vouvant – ‘Plus Beauvillage

H.   Puy du Fou

I.      Chateau de Cherveux

J.     Les Geants du Ciel


Useful links









An selection of photographs that set the scene of our wonderful location.

click on an image to view the slideshow