When I got an email back in March from Eurocamp asking if we would like to go on holiday to one of their parks, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. I had to re-read it several times, confirm they were legit (I’d actually never heard of them), and then forward onto the other half who also couldn’t believe his eyes. I had only been blogging for 8 months and someone was offering us a holiday. At first, we didn’t know if we could afford it – whilst Eurocamp would kindly be arranging our accommodation and travel from Dover to Calais, we obviously had to find spending money and any other travel expenses. But how could we turn down a holiday?! In the end we just decided to go for it; opportunities don’t come up like that very often. We decided to book up and after much researching, we decided to go to one of the parks nearest to Calais called La Bien Assise as I would be driving at the other end – my first driving experience in Europe.
Last week was the big week!
We travelled down to Dover first thing on Sunday morning to catch our midday ferry. We had one seriously excited toddler on our hands as we going on a ‘big boat’ and we were all feeling pretty chipper, despite the weather being a little bit pants. To say the ferry crossing was a bit rough was a bit of an understatement, the water was very choppy but we all survived without any sickness and arrived in Calais an hour and a half after setting off.
Time for the driving nerves to kick in!
As I got myself ready to drive, I kept telling myself, “drive on the right, drive on the right”. I needn’t have worried because with an other half paying full attention to help me and the French country roads and motorways being a delight to drive on, we arrived at our Eurocamp park after about 20 minutes, pulling off the roundabout into the entrance.
When you arrive through the gates of La Bien Assise, there are three different cabins for the various companies that use the site. Eurocamp is white and green, with a flag banner outside saying reception. Of course, because we are a bit dim we pulled over to one of the other cabins who told the other half to run back the few steps to the correct one! I was in the driving seat and it was pouring with rain, I was staying put!
Upon arriving into the reception, the other half discovered a couple of other people checking in and then he came out saying that we were all to follow the small white car who was our courier. These couriers are the on site staff who show you to your home for the week and are then around for you if you need any help. Off we all went, following the little white car only we were in slightly the wrong order and initially we found ourselves in the wrong mobile home! This was quickly rectified by the courier, who in fairness had only been working there for two weeks and we soon arrived at the home which had been allocated to us. It was right at the back of the park. I pulled the car into the grassy space to the side of the home and leapt out and inside in seconds because the weather was so grim!
Eurocamp has a number of different styles of accommodation. There are standard tents, Safari tents (which do look super cool), mobile homes and in some parks, tree houses! Because we have a toddler and because I really do like my home comforts, we opted for a mobile home and when we arrived it was this one…
As arranged beforehand, Eurocamp had kindly supplied some extras for us. This was a welcome pack (priced at £12, an essentials pack (priced at £3), all of our linen (priced at £20.00 for a double pack and £14.00 for a single for 2015 holidays), and three sets of beach towels (priced at £12 per set). I have to say that it was lovely walking in and seeing everything there ready for us. I also booked in addition to this, a baby bath, a potty, a changing mat, a bed guard and a highchair – all of which were free to add on. Also available free of charge are travel cots but we didn’t need this. You can also pay for a toiletries pack at a cost of £3.
The mobile home had a lounge/dining area, a kitchen area, a bathroom (toilet, sink and shower), and two bedrooms, one double and one with bunk-beds and a single bed.
In the kitchen there was a microwave, a small fridge freezer and cupboards that were stocked with basic cooking supplies. For a list of what’s included, click here.
In the living area, there was a long corner seating area and dining table (seen in one of the photos above), and some cupboards. It also included a little digital radio and a gas fire which was used most mornings and evenings!
The bathroom was small but fully functional, clean and had a pretty good shower considering we were on a camping site!
Activities around the park
La Bien Assise is one of Eurocamp’s smaller parks. I was a little worried that we’d be stuck for stuff to do but on the five full days we were there, we spent 3 out on day trips (which will be featured in separate posts!), and two within the park. Admittedly, one of these days mostly involved hibernating as we were hit with very strong winds!
The park is absolutely beautiful to walk around. With hundreds of trees, a beautiful châteaux, some stunning buildings and a couple of gorgeous horses, we enjoyed exploring!
They have two children’s play areas. One for the toddlers and one for the slightly older children. Since no-one was on it and of course, for the purpose of this review, we let Zach go on the slightly bigger one too! The toddler side has two Little Tikes play centres, one with a smaller slide and one with a larger on. They also had a couple of pieces of rocking equipment. Zach had a whale of a time on all of these and happily played away while we sat and watched him. They also have a set of two swings that were a winner too!
The side for the older children consisted of a huge wooden playzone with large slide and a slightly smaller Little Tikes set. Again, he loved both of these things but we were very careful to be right beside him on the climbing frame! Unfortunately, he decided that we too needed to go down…sorry Eurocamp!
There is also a mini golf area for any budding golfers along with an outdoor exercise area! This was great and I definitely should have used it more! Zach liked to try it out too! Alongside this, there was a little games room with a couple of air hockey tables, a table football and a pinball. All of which require Euros to play, but nevertheless, a fun addition!
There was of course, also the swimming pool. It’s a heated pool that can be both indoor and outdoor as the cover opens up. There is also a small paddling area for the little ones and a slide. The water at the end of the slide was freezing so I didn’t use it but the other half did and it looked like great fun! Around the pool was also a sunbathing area – I managed to re-create one of the main photos on the website on the hot day! We loved the swimming pool. It was quiet, warm and large enough when the kids from next door came and joined us!
Me doing my best website image impression! See here for the original!
There are four different options on site when it comes to eating. Option 1 is to visit the nearby supermarket and cook yourself. Option 2 is the bar food. Option 3 is the restaurant and option 4 is the take-away. We used option 2 and 3 along with making our own breakfast and lunch.
The restaurant – La Ferme Gourmande
This is a lovely restaurant that has a wide variety of dishes. It is reasonably priced and we spent about €73 which included a bottle of wine! They have a few set menus, a children’s menu and an extensive wine list. The food was delicious and was definitely our best meal of the week.
The bar serves your basic style of food. They have no qualms to admit that it is mostly microwave food although they do serve freshly made pizzas too. Our favourite from here was the chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce. I had this twice! They could do with serving less chips and maybe introducing some rice or something similar but it seemed to be a generic thing in France – everywhere we ate the food came with chips! Even when we ate in the restaurant, Zach’s burger came with chips! The bar did have a side portion of veg that you could order and so we did because Zach wanted some and we wanted him to have some! Otherwise, the food was pretty delicious!
There is a little shop onsite that sells the basics. We picked up things like milk, eggs, ham, cheese and toilet roll, and you can place an order to pick up a fresh baguette or croissants the following morning! That was delicious! The shop is only open from 8-10am and 5-7pm. If you run out of loo roll between those times, I’d recommend nipping to the communal toilet blocks!
We definitely weren’t left disappointed with the food. Just a different side to chips would be beneficial!
Overall, we thought this park was wonderful and our whole Eurocamp experience was fantastic. We would absolutely return again for another holiday and would definitely look at going to other parks too – especially as my driving was better than I thought it would be!
Thank you so much to Eurocamp for having us and for giving us a wonderful family holiday. We’ll be sure to see you again soon. Cheers!
Disclaimer: We were given a complimentary holiday to a Eurocamp park of our choice in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
For more advice on Eurocamp parks see Holiday Park Guru.