This location has multiple holiday properties
|Le Chai Au Clos Du Verger||Self Catering||Thursday||2||4||1||No extras beyond 4 occupants, incl babies.|
The Chai is an attractive, simple and spacious conversion of a former wine barn, one of 2 holiday homes amongst the buildings of "Le clos du verger". The property is in the country but only 5 minutes by car to Bergerac. We are very flexible about arrival and departure dates so please don't feel restricted to a particular day.
This was once a small, thriving and self sufficient farm, now thankfully restored to life. We spent the last years rescuing the abandoned buildings and saving some of the artefacts that made the old farm tick. Le Clos du Verger could be roughly translated as Orchard Farm. We leave you a small pot of our fruit jam in the welcome basket, as well as local wine, paté and cheese. A few animals grace the paddocks - goats, chickens, and maybe a couple of sheep. Geothermal pipes under the paddocks collect the heat from the soil which we transform very efficiently into constant hot water for the property as well as heat for the buildings in the winter. Photovoltaic roof panels provide half our electricity.
Visitors recommend le Clos du Verger as a well placed base for exploring the many interesting aspects of the Dordogne area. They equally enjoy chilling out on the terrace and maybe taking a picnic hamper down to one of the seats by the stream edge, where a little waterfall acts as a calming backdrop to the peace of this verdant corner. This is also a play area for ball games, with net and badminton racquets, and a small goal.
We are nestled in a valley between vineyards and forests, but with quick road links. The motorway is only 15 minutes away. There is a small airport on the other side of Bergerac with exceptionally good links to the UK and other parts of northern Europe. A local firm can provide bike hire, including electric bikes incase the local hills and valleys are a little too demanding. The nearest vineyards are a walk away, and good eating places a 5-10 minute drive.
The Chai is a ground floor self contained wing behind the main house. The accommodation is well-appointed, with comfortable beds, good quality equipment, plenty of freshly laundered towels, and dressing gowns too if you need them. A large terrace behind the Chai looks out over gardens, fruit trees and the countryside beyond and is equipped for outside dining as well as a space to relax.
As well as the outside dining table and barbeque, inside there is a dining table and a well equipped kitchen to one end of the large living room.
Fridge-freezer, microwave, dishwasher, induction hob, multi-function oven/grill, kettle, coffee filter machine, toaster and a good choice of cooking utensils and equipment.
Kitchen and table linen provided.
Large living room, incorporating the kitchen at one end and the dining area.
At the other end there is a comfortable sitting area with large French windows onto the terrace, a corner fireplace with woodburner flanked by 2 sofas, tv, a dvd player, a box of maps, guide and walk books and and other tourist information, and a bookcase full of interesting reading in English and French.
Two bedrooms, each one for 2 people. We can provide a travel cot if required (but note that toddlers and babies are included in the maximum of 4 people in total).
- Double bedroom with 5'/150 cm double bed, clothes storage and dressing table. French window to outside.
- Twin bedroom with two 3'/90cm single beds, and clothes storage. French window to outside.
One shower room with twin wash basins, double size shower cubicle, wc. Towels and face cloths provided as well as a selection of toiletries.
Constant hot water on demand. Hairdryer and basic first aid kit.
Underfloor heating from late October to mid May - this is normally sufficient to keep you warm and cosy during the colder months, but we also supply wood for the woodburner throughout the year.
Tv with a French freeview satellite connection, a dvd player and small library of dvds, as well as a radio/cd player, and a bookcase full of interesting reading in English and French.
Wi-fi internet connection is usually of good quality.
Toy cupboard for younger children.
Large terrace with pear tree and tubs of flowering shrubs looks out onto a lawned garden area. The terrace is equipped for outside living with gas fired barbeque, dining table and sitting area.
You are welcome to use the paths that skirt our property to take you past the animal paddocks and down to the stream - with its seating areas, bamboo "jungle", and ball games area. One of the paths is known as the "wild walk" where orchids and other wild flowers are establishing themselves between recently planted shrubs and trees. Please note ours is not a swimming stream - but we can direct you to a local lake where swimming is encouraged during the summer months.
Car parking in our dedicated visitor car park so that most of the site is car free. Walking access to the Chai from the car park (we help you with your luggage transfer).
The ground floor accommodation and higher beds than the French norm suit most of our visitors, but if you have any specific questions about suitability please do not hesitate to ask.
For babies: Travelcot, highchair and baby bath available.
Washing machine: in separate guest laundry
Cleaning: If you don't want to lift a finger, that's fine if you ask us for an end of stay full cleaning service - this costs 35 euros. Otherwise we ask you to do a basic clean up before you leave, including the oven, loo and shower. We provide you with cleaning materials, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, a couple of loo rolls, and washing products for the laundry.
Note that we are very flexible about arrival and departure days so choose holiday dates to suit you best (subject to availability).
Please ask in advance if you wish bikes to be delivered during your stay.
We can also offer a link to a company who provide themed short courses in the area, at a reduced rate to our guests. Photography, walking, art, wine tasting and bird watching - please ask for more details.
We never intended moving to France, but the abandoned farm house and buildings seduced us! Our French neighbours have been most welcoming and are delighted to see the site back in use. This is very much our home, we married in the village, and love living here. It gives us a great buzz that visitors from all over the world choose one of our gites for their holidays, and we work hard behind the scenes to make sure that the gites live up to your expectations.
|Year property purchased||2009|
|Why this location?||A bit of land, several buildings, kind neighbours, in the country to suit our rural lifestyle, but easy access to a thriving and attractive town for a bit of extra pizzazz!|
|Unique benefits of property||A comfortable and well presented holiday cottage makes a relaxing choice for a holiday base. Add to that the mix of town and country, the range of outdoor activities close at hand, the wide choice of local restaurants, the beautiful countryside, the amazing history of the area, and the vineyards - all within easy reach - and you have a full pot of choices for your days out. Bergerac has a busy programme of events - and much of it is free, especially in the summer evenings. Check on our Facebook page Le Clos du Verger for ideas. Or you may be happy to laze away your days without going anywhere much - many visitors do just that, for they enjoy the peaceful and natural setting, meals on the terrace or in the local village restaurants, the walks and bike hire, and summer swimming in a nearby lake.|
We leave a booklet in the property with a variety of suggestions of things to see and do within half an hour's drive
Old town and port
Layers of history to explore, starting with the medieval buildings of the old town. During the summer months the old port and the main squares throughout the town centre buzz with a variety of summer events, many completely free.
The river was absolutely vital to the town's development as a centre for the wine industry. Timber for barrel making came from upstream and wine could be exported down river towards Bordeaux. The Maison des Vins overlooking the old port is a great place to ask for an introduction to a few of the local wines.
Canoe hire and boat trips are available from the old port during the summer months.
Join the French way of spending the summer! Just outside Bergerac, 10 minutes drive from us, is the parc de Pombonne. This is a countryside park with jogging routes, and footpaths winding through trees and meadows. At the centre of it all are the lakes - one dedicated to wildlife, the other used as a free swimming lake during the summer months. There is a "guingette" just behind the swimming beach, providing ice creams, snack meals, drinks and on some evenings live music. And to burn off any excess energy there is a rustic play area including a zip wire.
There are many opportunities for an active holiday.
Many of our visitors enjoy hiring canoes during their stay. The Dordogne river is beautiful to explore by canoe and there are many businesses along its length offering canoe hire. The nearest is 15 minutes away.
Another way to explore is on horseback. There are two excellent riding schools nearby where you can hack out through the hills, valleys and forests. You may need some previous riding experience.
And as for cyclists, a paradise of discoveries awaits you as you explore the country lanes and little villages around us, and maybe stopping off at a country restaurant for a bite of lunch. We provide links to local bike hire companies, as well as maps and we can advise on possible routes. Or follow the world's top riders - the Tour de France passed right by our door a couple of years ago and their route is keenly followed by regular groups of cyclists. It takes you up past Maurens and through the beautiful forests to the quaint little town of Villamblard.
There are three great markets that we enjoy, but others good ones around too. This is a foody area with wonderful local produce from the orchards, market gardens and vineyards. Add to that the exceptional local meat and patés, the cèpes and other mushrooms direct from the forest, the products from the walnut groves, the semi dried prunes from the plum orchards - why would anyone buy from the supermarkets (although many of these also source their produce locally)?
Bergerac market was voted as one of the top markets in France last year and takes place round the church and in the old town on Wednesday and is particlarly good on Saturday mornings. My favourite there is the bearded man with the tiniest of stalls selling portions of delicious home made walnut tart.
For Saturday arrivals we often recommend a visit to the splendid Sunday market in the wonderful medieval village of Issigeac (within a half hour drive).
And I've recently discovered the Saturday market at St Foy la Grande is well worth a visit.