Connelles is scarcely a quarter of an hour from Monet’s garden at Giverny, and Le Moulin de Connelles is a fairy-tale sort of a place, with turrets and gables, beams and arches. It even has its own private 2-hectare island with a heated swimming pool. Unless you really mean it, be wary of wishing out loud for a boat because in the twinkling of an eye you will be issued with a rowing boat to go exploring in. And, as if the location wasn’t enough, the Petiteaus have also made a deeply comfortable hotel with a laid-back atmosphere, created by an enthusiastic, efficient and friendly staff, for whom ‘nothing is too much trouble,’ according to one visitor.
Spanning the mill-stream as it does, the (excellent) recently renovated restaurant seems to be hovering over the water. Steamed salmon parcels, baked sea bass, kidneys cooked in three kinds of mustard are sometimes part of the offering from a highly-regarded kitchen. Sitting under the terrace awning, looking down at the mill’s reflection and the lily pads floating in the quiet water, it is difficult to imagine wanting to be anywhere else on a summer evening.
The bedrooms are quietly and impeccably furnished and have the kind of bathrooms that you just want to take home with you. Suite 1 has beautiful, panoramic views over both sides of the hotel.