Le Moulin is home to a growing number of animals as our farming enterprise begins to get underway.
But top of our list are our wonderful Bernese Mountain Dogs. A draft dog from Switzerland, they’re very popular in France as well as around the world, and you’re bound to see their distinctive black, tan and white colouring as you walk or cycle around.
We have four at Le Moulin and while we’ve had some guests ‘not quite so sure’ about large dogs, they’ve come to love them during their visit, seen them as part of Le Moulin family, and even leave wanting to take at least one of them home.
While we’re a dog-friendly establishment, our dogs are not allowed in the rooms, or (obviously) the kitchen, or around the dinner table while we eat. They love going for walks with our guests, helping to collect eggs from the chicken, or being poolside companions while you swim.
Two of our dogs, Ana and Bobb, are regularly shown in the UK and in 2022 Bobb was the top Bernese puppy in the breed, winning many best puppy awards and winning his class at the prestigious Crufts championship dog show.
Introducing the team
3 year-old bitch
Ana is the matriarch of the pack, keeping everyone in order and ensuring they do as they’re told.
She is constantly hungry, putting on that ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ expression while she hopes you’ll give her a tasty titbit. She’s always the first at the gate when visitors arrive, giving us some valuable warning, and loves her walks, her high speed zoomies around the paddocks making us all laugh.
She rewarded us with five stunning puppies born in the UK in August 2022 and all being well will return to maternal duties in the summer of 2023.
2 year-old dog
Bobb can only be described as the biggest baby of the bunch. His biggest fear is everything that makes an unusual or sudden noise.
He definitely has the biggest head, but perhaps not the biggest brain! He likes to think he’s in charge but, as in life, he remains ever hopeful that one day he will be, but only when the girls let him.
He has the most beautiful nature for a dog of his size. Quite vocal, very goofy and happiest when he’s the centre of attention.
2 year-old bitch
AKA Flora the Explorer. Always the first to try things out. Not afraid of a wee wander and absolutely gets lost in her own pursuits.
Considered the runt of the pack initially, you can tell Flora apart from the others due to her very dark face.
However, since having four beautiful pups with Bobb, she’s become very affectionate and loves to just put her head in your lap for a fuss.
2 year-old bitch
Sophie is a Dutch-bred dog bought from one of Europe’s top breeders and is sister to Flora.
She’s the softest and sweetest dog you’ll ever meet and loves every cuddle she can get. Unfortunately, she’s decided she likes giving us presents of dead chicken so we have to keep a constant eye on her as she walks around the farm. She has a passion for licking each dog’s ears and is a bit of a loner, often taking herself upstairs for a sleep.
We also hope to enjoy some puppies from Sophie in 2023.
Our dogs quickly become friends
Without exception our guests have enjoyed our dogs as you can see here. However, if you wish them to be kept away due to an allergy or concern, we’re able to move them to another area of the property so you’re quite safe. Please let us know in advance if you would prefer that to happen.
Our sustainable farming plans
At the moment we have eight Maran chicken who enjoy a great life down in one of our paddocks with a purpose-built chicken house and two runs to keep them safe from predators. They lay wonderful, brown-shelled eggs, usually seven or eight each day.
For Christmas we reared four turkeys and sold two to friends while keeping two for our table. We plan to continue with this enterprise, and to look at rearing day-old chicks.
We have to be wary of predators, we know we have wild boar, foxes and badgers, the odd rat or two and probably pine martins. All would enjoy a tasty chicken snack.
Moving forwards, the next animals to join our family will be some rare breed pigs – our favourites are the Gloucester Old Spots – and they’ll graze the woodland and help to maintain some of the paddocks where we have lots of brambles and bushes.
We’re not sure whether you can count fruit and veg as part of our family, but we have big plans to get a market garden going in 2023, and have already purchased cherry, apple, pear, plum and peach trees to start our orchard project. These will be accompanied by beds of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries along with blackberries, black currants and rhubarb. We make all our own preserves (served at breakfast) and look forward to offering tasty fresh fruit salads in the summer.