Nicole’s former job as financial director of a medico-social association drew her away from the hamlet of La Herbechère where she grew up and where several generations of her family had lived. The bond with home, however, was very strong and has never been broken. She made her grandparents’ farm her country house and it is today the main residence of the family.

Her parents’ home is now her daughter’s home: “I’ve passed on my love of this place to her. She’s learning all there is to know about the gîte and says she hopes to run it one day.”


Nicole Royer - Gîte la Petite Vallée -St-Calais-du-DesertNicole Royer - Gîte la Petite Vallée
©Nicole Royer - Gîte la Petite Vallée -St-Calais-du-Desert
Nicole Royer

“When they arrive, people often say: 'we loved the pictures you put on the internet but we never thought it could really be that lovely in real life, yet it is! What they like, I think, is the mixture of old world authenticity and the modern layout of the house. We designed it as the kind of place we'd like to stay ourselves. Our visitors are looking for calm, in a beautiful place, to relax and recharge their batteries. That's the spirit of the Slowlydays idea in Mayenne. "

Nicole loves
  • Showing guests round
  • Decorating
  • Travel

Estampille Slowlydays

A little house on the prairie…

The Gîte de la Petite Vallée has brought a building that had not been inhabited for thirty years back to life. A veritable “little house on the prairie” as the family calls it, is now a haven of peace for city dwellers in search of a bit of peace and quiet: “We are seeing more and more Parisians coming to get away from it all” she says.

We’re ideally placed for a country visit not too far from major towns and air connections. The appreciation we get from our guests is the best reward for our efforts.”






“An alternative to the gentle river Mayenne with its towpath, is an altogether wilder watercourse, not very far from its source.

Through the undergrowth a path connects the gîte to the river. The landscape has a picturesque quality, which one of our guests, a film director, was particularly charmed by! Everyone seems to appreciate its beauty, and there are lots of routes to take a country walk around us. “

The cottage overlooks a beautifully well-preserved valley. It was once threatened by a dam project which would have flooded the whole area. Thankfully that was abandoned…



We like to ogffer our warmest welcome, that’s what gives us the most happiness. Our greatest joy is meeting so many different people.

Our promise:

  • to do everything possible to please you with attention to detail, like picking flowers from the garden and making bouquets for our guests, cooking our apple pie and serving it with a glass of cider from Fournier, a local producer in Lacelle.
  • sharing our little corner of paradise, a haven of peace in the heart of this unspoiled countryside. It’s a whole state of mind.
  • sharing our ideas for things to see in the region: Carrouges, Bagnoles-de-L’Orne, the Alpes of Le Mans and also lots of walks and rides. Didier and I are keen cyclists, and we sometimes go along on rides with our guests


Where to find

Nicole and Didier

Nicole's favourite place in

Chateaux de LassayChateaux de Lassay
©Chateaux de Lassay

“Located at a point where a number of départements meet, we’re spoiled for choice… In Mayenne, you have to see Lassay-les-Châteaux – for the cheateau, of course – but also for the village itself, a particularly beautiful place.