The old windmill "Le Moulin de Bel Air" can be seen from a long way off and offers a wonderful view of the Pays de La Loire region with its nature and fields. The windmill has been around for more than two centuries and has survived quite a bit, has been expanded and cared for, and tells its very own story.
Since summer 2020 it has been accommodating guests under the direction of the host Estelle. Her great-grandfather was once a miller in the mill and later it was run and animated by other relatives: Her grandmother was born there and her parents saved the windmill from being destroyed and took care of the renovation. The windmill has been welcoming guests from all over the world since 1980. Estelle himself grew up in the accommodation and describes the windmill as follows: “As a child, it was my castle, a place where all nations and cultures could meet and exchange ideas. My father called it the windmill of peace. I would like to continue the dream and make it more ecological and a place for artistic and cultural encounters ”.
Inside the property there is recycled furniture, a kitchen made from old wooden boards, organic bed linen in the bedrooms and organic towels in the bathrooms. The rooms are designed in different colors, wood and stone walls can be seen everywhere. The guests can feel completely at ease here and experience a relaxing holiday, in the garden in summer, in front of the warm fireplace in winter.
ArchitectureThe windmill was built from local granite stones in the 18th century and is still in very good condition today. However, it was only half as high as it can be seen today. Because in the middle of the 19th century, three more floors were added, so the tower height was doubled. A flour mill was later added, which today serves as the living and dining room, as well as a shop that now houses the guest rooms. The windmill has been open to guests since the end of the 20th century and has been repeatedly restored in small steps; in 1990, for example, it received new sails. In 2020 the windmill was renovated again and opened as an ecological holiday accommodation. The renovations took place exclusively with craftsmen from the region and only using sustainable or recycled materials. The kitchen, for example, was created from old wooden boards and is therefore an upcycling product.
Various, friendly companies from the organic, the cooperative movement and the social economy are supported by buying their products (e.g. soaps and food) or handicrafts and presenting them in the windmill. Currently only family members work in the accommodation.
EnvironmentSince the hostess took over the windmill in August 2020, she has been taking care of improving the water supply and its quality: She has installed filters for water treatment everywhere. For the wastewater, she opted for a plant-based filter system using waste stabilization ponds. She is currently working on recycled barrels to collect rainwater from the roof and use it to irrigate the plants. Regional plants grow in the garden - from grass to flowers to berries. Bees and birds of all kinds, which Estelle takes care of, also feel at home there.
Well-BeingThere is a sauna and a room for practicing yoga and qigong. The host is a trained meditation teacher and offers Qigong courses herself. Estelle can organize massages on request. 100 m 2 are available on the property for various workshops; courses on bodywork as well as artistic and cultural courses can be practiced there.
The mill can be reached from Nantes in around 45 minutes (42 km). Angers is an hour away (79 km), Rennes is also a good hour (94 km) and from Paris it takes just under 4 hours (372 km). The nearest TGV train station is in Ancenis (27 km). The exact address can be found on the website.
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