The Artspace Gîtes project is now permanently closed.

We spent two fantastic weeks at Ursula’s lovely cottage. Right in the middle of beautiful Fointaine Daniel, we had everything we needed and more to feel right at home from day one. The space itself was super spacious, luxurious but cosy and comfortable. Next door to l’epicerie, a deli + organic cafe selling the freshest local products and across the street, a bakery, owned by the cutest and nicest baker ever. Ursula was a total delight, she came one afternoon to give us a very interesting historical tour of the village. We’ll be back!

Diego – July 2021

I cannot recommend this gem enough. It was a little piece of heaven and so thoroughly peaceful. The gite has a gorgeous farmhouse feel in the midst of a small but lively village. It’s the most charming community, and feels right out of a book. Would stay again in a heartbeat.

Gemma – August 2020

We had a wonderful week! The gîte has everything you need and is decorated beautifully. Ursula is very friendly and gave us an interesting tour through the unique village. St. Suzanne and St. Céneri le Gerei are both worth the trip. The baker is just across the street. We warmly recommend this to friends and family!

Dieke – July 2020

Such an incredible gem! Amazing space, design and location. Loved the wood stove, bath tub and design. The village and community is so special and I can’t wait to return. Ursula is so lovely and her passion is expressed throughout the flats. I did not want to leave!

Mary – March 2020

We would highly recommend staying here after spending a fantastic week in Fontaine Daniel. It was spotlessly clean, and had everything you’d expect. It’s obviously a loved property which is well looked after and would be great for either individuals or couples looking to find inspiration in wonderful surroundings.

Lucy - March 2020

What a truly amazing place, we loved Ursula’s gite and the beautiful village of Fontaine-Daniel. Ursula provides everything needed to enhance your stay, the gite is well equipped and comfortable. And yes as most people have said ‘the bath’!!!! best bath ever!! The L’épicerie and the Boulangerie are excellent too. We don’t very often revisit places but we would love to stay here again.

Melanie - March 2020

We totally enjoyed staying here. If you're looking for some peace and quiet with all the comfort you need this is the place to be. We enjoyed sitting on the bench in front of the house, eating our baguette in the sun and having our dinner outside while the cat came to keep us company. Ursula was very communicative and welcoming. Would love to come back again.

Solange – July 2020

The gîtes

The Gîtes are located in the centre of the beautiful village of Fontaine-Daniel, in the Mayenne region of France. Fontaine-Daniel was nominated as one of the most magical villages in the region.


There are two different types of accommodation, Maylis and Reflet are for couples or single travellers. These  are on the ground floor, and are very close to the village bio-epicerie and boulangerie.


ArtSpace8 is on the second floor and is  is suitable for families and can accommodate five people. It has two double bedrooms and is next to the lake. This quiet apartment overlooks the village square which has a friendly, family run creperie and michelin starred restaurant.

The extraordinary story of fontaine-daniel

Inhabited for 800 years, firstly by Cistercian monks, then it became home to the Toiles de Mayenne fabric manufacturer, whose ownsers developed the village as a social enterprise, it is a unique village with an extraordinary atmosphere.

location of the gîtes

In the heart of the village ArtSpace gites are at the centre of Fontaine-Daniel - next to organic epicerie and just a short stroll to the restaurants.


This video was made a guest on the first day of Fete de la Terre, 2019.

Fête de la Terre 2021

It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves at this year's Fête de la Terre. The gîtes were host to some of the entertainment, and the kitchen was put to good use for preparing food!

The village

Fontaine-Daniel is a friendly village with a tranquil atmosphere. 


It has a wonderful organic co-operative épicerie which has a bar, library and bookshop, food shop and bistro. You will regularly find music and cultural events there. Fontaine-Daniel also has a cozy cafe in the friendly village bakery which regularly holds art exhibitions. Take coffee in its secret garden around the back, or enjoy a galette in the friendly creperie or indulge yourself at the excellent restaurant.


After you can relax with a wander around through the allotments, see the cabanas or walk around the lake and see the chapel.


Alternatively, if you wish to visit the convent of Bois-Salaire which nestles in the woods within walking distance of the village, (whose nuns makes beautiful candles and tissanes), it can be visited by appointment.


No trip here is complete without a visit to the Toiles-de-Mayenne shop to touch the beautiful fabric which is made right here in Fontaine-Daniel.

The host

The ArtSpace Gîtes project is the brainchild of author Ursula Benjamin and are located at the heart of Fontaine-Daniel in the Pays-de-la-Loire, close to Mayenne. The Gîtes combine the best in design, location and local knowledge to ensure a unique experience for your stay. the two gites occupy the ground floor of a building at the heart of the village.


The Gîtes are designed for individuals or couples and it's unique village location is unparalleled. You will get a welcome hamper on arrival as well as a private guided tour of the village.


Why ArtSpace?


These spaces are available throughout the year for guests and also for Professional artists, film-makers, writers and creatives who wish to come to Fontaine-Daniel for inspiration. Your stay at the Gîte helps to fund the Artist residencies, which in turn enriches the cultural experience of the village.


More information on artist residencies can be found here.


Discounts on ArtSpace Gîtes are also available for members of The Society of Authors and The Federation of British Artists.

Art and craft - get quirky

If you are interested in art/craft workshops with local artists, you can email ursula for a full list of workshops.


If you would like a one-to-one day arranging, it can be arranged (subject to the artists availability).


With reasonable prices, amazing artists, you will have an experience which will stay with you forever.

Toiles de Mayenne

Fontaine-Daniel is home to Toiles de Mayenne, the historic fabric manufacturer and has been inhabited for around 800 years.


Initially home to a Cistercian Abbey, many of the buildings still in use around the village date from that period.

The village of Fontaine-Daniel itself was created by the founding family of Toiles de Mayenne as a social enterprise to house its workforce.
After the Revolution the buildings and land were bought by the founders of Toiles de Mayenne, and espousing a philosophy of social housing that was similar to that of  Saltaire and Bournville in the UK, subsequent generations of the founding family built homes, a church and a school for its workforce.

Toiles de Mayenne is a cultural heritage label and still a family business. You can discover the beautiful fabric here for yourself.

Instagram Feed