|La Charrue Bleue||Self Catering||Saturday||3||6||2|
Recently renovated and brand new to the rental market, La Charrue Bleue offers high-quality accommodation for a fabulously comfortable and truly relaxing stay in the beautiful Dordogne countryside.
This three bedroom, two shower room gîte is completely self-contained with its own pool (being installed in March 2018 - photos will follow), parking, outdoor dining area and bbq.
The building itself is a testament to the history and traditions of the area, being constructed of the local limestone in the time-honoured fashion and having been lovingly restored to its former glory. We have taken great pride in furnishing La Charrue Blue in a fashion sympathetic to the age and character of the building, and the blue plough is just one of many authentic artefacts that characterise our beautiful gîte. Inside, we have created a cosy, comfortable and spacious living area, offering all the conveniences which modern life demands, whilst respecting the many authentic elements which give this property its unique character – like the old bread oven, which lends its name to the downstairs double bedroom.
Perfect for those seeing to unwind amidst stunning scenery but only a short drive from Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, designated 'un des plus beaux villages de France' (one of the most beautiful villages in France).
The surrounding area offers many attractions, activities and, of course, restaurants.
The kitchen is extremely well-equipped, with a ceramic hob and under-counter oven with grill.
There is also a microwave with convection oven and grill functions and a blender so you can continue to make your breakfast smoothies to accompany your croissants.
A full-size dishwasher and washing machine are installed for your convenience and a Nespresso machine and kettle are provided to satisfy the demands of the tea and coffee lover, with a welcome-pack of coffee pods, teabags, sugar and milk to keep you going until you visit the local supermarkets.
There is a full-sized fridge-freezer.
We provide an ample supply of crockery and kitchen utensils but, in the unlikely event that you should require something we haven't thought of, we will do our best to provide it. For those who like to cook, a choice of basic herbs, spices and condiments is also supplied. Just next to the kitchen, the dining area has seating for six at the country style table.
The downstairs living accommodation at La Charrue Bleue is open plan with dedicated sitting, dining and kitchen areas. Full height double doors (originally the barn opening) flood the entrance with light and lead on to the cosy sitting area, its two comfortable sofas the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing evening in front of the tv.
There is a Freeview box offering a variety of UK tv channels and also a dvd player with a good choice of dvds, plus a very well-stocked bookcase for the bookworms among you.
Wi-fi is also available, enabling you to post those holiday snaps on Facebook to make your friends at home envious!
Leading off from the sitting area, a wide corridor takes you to the downstairs double bedroom with king-size bed. Off the galleried landing are the two upstairs bedrooms, the spacious Master with its king-size bed and the cosy twin bedroom, both offering a host of original features with their characterful sloping ceilings and low windows.
All the bedrooms are dressed with pretty, country-style bedlinen and non-allergenic duvets and pillows, and you'll find towels are provided for both indoor and outdoor use.
Just around the corner from the downstairs bedroom is a fully-tiled downstairs wet room; adjoining the kitchen area, it's also really handy for those after-pool showers.
The two upstairs bedrooms benefit from an upstairs shower room with shower enclosure, wash-basin and wc.
La Charrue Bleue is equipped with a flat-screen tv with Freeview box offering the usual UK tv channels.
We also provide a dvd player with a wide choice of dvds and a very well-stocked bookcase.
Board games and playing cards are to be found in the dresser by the downstairs bedroom and wi-fi is also provided. Outside, there is a full-sized table tennis table.
The gîte is completely self-contained and the front is discreetly fenced off from our house, ensuring privacy for both you and us. You will enjoy your own access to La Charrue Bleue via a lockable, sliding gate from the lane which leads to the side of the gite and your parking, courtyard and pool areas. There are only three other properties served by this lane and, therefore, very little passing traffic. As we are situated in a rural area, however, the occasional tractor may pass by! This, and the distant lowing of cows and beautiful birdsong, are likely to be the only sounds to intrude upon the peace and quiet you will enjoy at this idyllic spot.
Guests at La Charrue Bleue will benefit from the sole use of an oval 24 foot by 12 foot pool perfect for cooling off after soaking up the rays. Due to be installed in March, the semi-in-ground pool will be cleverly set into a bank to the side of the gite, providing different levels including steps leading up to a poolside deck.
It is possible to park one or two cars in the courtyard area of the gite but you may also park directly outside the gite.
Our gîte is perfect for families, couples or friends holidaying together.
As we are situated in a rural area, a car is essential in order to make the most of your holiday.
We, the owners, live on site and are very happy to offer such help and advice as you might require to make your stay with us the best possible.
We are Mike and Barbara Scanes, British owners of La Charrue Bleue, our lovely, new-to-the-market gîte. We are a former electronics engineer (Mike) and French teacher (Barbara) who took early retirement to follow our dream of a home in France. We have always loved France and, particularly, the Dordogne and have thoroughly enjoyed renovating our beautiful old farmhouse and gîte to a high standard. We very much look forward to welcoming guests to share in our love of this stunning part of France.
|Year property purchased||2015|
|Why this location?||The pretty village of St Paul Lizonne is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, characterised by plunging valleys and tall hills, streams and rivers, woods and forests. Aside from the delights of the scenery, there are many lovely villages and towns to visit, offering a host of attractions including châteaux and artisan shops, plus, of course, numerous cafés and restaurants for a great gastronomic experience! For wine-lovers, St Emilion and Bergerac are an hour or so away, with Bordeaux a little further, all boasting much in the way of culture and architecture as well as wine-tasting. Being an area rich in waterways, there is a wide choice of watersports available, from canoeing to swimming, or simply paddling on the edge of the lake and river beaches.|
|Unique benefits of property||La Charrue Bleue bears witness to the history and traditions of our area, being constructed of the local limestone in the time-honoured fashion and lovingly restored to its former glory. We have taken great pride in furnishing La Charrue Blue in a fashion sympathetic to the age and character of the building, and the blue plough is just one of many authentic artefacts that characterise our beautiful gîte. Inside, we have created a cosy, comfortable and spacious living area, offering all the conveniences of modern life, whilst respecting the many authentic elements which give this property its unique character – like the old bread oven located in the downstairs bedroom.
Outside, your private pool (being installed in March - photos to follow) awaits you, with sun loungers positioned to catch every ray of sunshine, in your own secluded garden area – the best place to watch the spectacular sunsets of this area, with wine in hand after a barbecue of local fare, all in total tranquility.
On the first Sunday of every month, the nearby village of Verteillac plays host to a huge brocante where visitors can have a go at haggling for a little piece of French history and then enjoy a well-deserved coffee or something stronger in one of the many cafés. Numerous other brocantes also take place in the area on a regular basis.
Aubeterre sur Dronne is officially one of France's most beautiful villages and offers a stunning natural setting, plus cultural and historical interest, and a vibrant atmosphere. The impressive monolithic church of St Jean is a must-see, perhaps after a ramble through the characterful narrow streets and a meal or drink in one of the cafés or restaurants in the lively central square. On summer nights there is often live music or the occasional open-air theatre performance plus an annual night market. There is also a small market on Sunday mornings.
Beautiful Brantôme is known as the 'Venice of the Dordogne' because of its situation on the river Dronne. The town is a photographer's paradise with the Benedictine Abbey, the mill and the enchanting views from the river towards the back of the shops and houses providing a plethora of interesting subject matter.
The town is well-supplied with cafés and restaurants, ranging from fine dining to a casual snack. There are also numerous interesting shops to visit.
The glorious medieval village of St Jean de Côle vies for top position on the list of France's most beautiful villages and is well-worth a small diversion after visiting Brantôme. Its superb buildings and delightful situation on the river makes for a wonderful visit.
Dominating the lovely medieval city of Périgueux is the magnificent cathedral of St Front, which forms the centre of the medieval quarter. This comprises narrow, winding, pedestrianised streets with myriad interesting shops. The Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum contains an excavated Roman house with the remains of baths and murals.
The glorious city of Bordeaux is well worth a full day's visit. It boasts pedestrianised boulevards and chic boutiques, stunning architecture, amazing cuisine and, of course, innumerable wine-tasting opportunities. It is also a Unesco world-heritage site.
There is a "wine house" by the river in Bergerac which features a small exhibition on the history of wine growing. In the Bergerac area, 1,200 wine-growers cultivate an area of 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres). The Bergerac area contains 13 Appellations d'origine contrôlées (AOCs) for red, white (dry, medium-sweet and sweet), and rosé wines.
Saint-Émilion's history goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux along with the Médoc, Graves and Pomerol. The region is much smaller than the Médoc and adjoins Pomerol. The primary grape varieties used are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon also being used by some châteaux. Visits are possible daily by appointment at the Tourist Office in the centre of the town.
The Bordeaux wine-growing region represents a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. The vast majority of wine produced is red, with sweet white wines (most notably Sauternes), dry whites, and (in much smaller quantities) rosé and sparkling wines (Crémant de Bordeaux) collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by more is made by more than 8,500 producers or châteaux. There are 54 appellations. Chateau visits are possible by appointment.
There are many rivers and streams in our area of the Dordogne and the neighbouring Charente and these constitute one of its principal attractions. Chief amongst these is canoeing, with a great many companies offering visitors the opportunity to rent canoes from a variety of different bases. The service includes being picked up from whichever base the hirer decides is their destination and being driven back to the departure point. It is undoubtedly one of the best ways to enjoy the flora and fauna of the waterways with the possibility of spotting otters, among other wildlife.
There are numerous river beaches and lakes in the area. The nearest to our gîte is the Base de Loisirs de Poltrot at Nabinaud (10 minutes' drive) which offers plenty of free activities, including an adventure park for children with long wobbly bridges leading to a small beach on the river. There are also many picnic and barbecue spots.
At Aubeterre sur Dronne (15 minutes' drive) there is an extensive, sandy river beach with a roped-off section of the river specifically for river-bathing. Nearby there are tennis courts and also fishing, both by arrangement.
The huge lake at La Jemaye (30 minutes' drive) is a wonderful outdoor space for walking, swimming, kayaking and sun-bathing on the clean sandy shore beside the water. There is ample free parking and a couple of beach side cafes sell salads, burgers, ice creams etc . An on-site shop also offers a selection of bats, balls and inflatables.
The village of St Aulaye (30 minutes' drive) also offers a man-made river beach with its sand renewed annually. Between 1st July and 31st August the beach is under surveillance by qualified lifeguards. There are two bathing areas, the first 2500 square metres in size and the second, for children, is less than 90cm deep. The water quality is tested weekly. Nearby there is also a water park with four water slides, a 1.9m deep pool and paddling pool.
With the national sport of France being cycling it is not surprising that you will see many cyclists on the roads at all times. With so many wonderful, stunning views at every turn of the road, there are few better ways to appreciate it than on two wheels or two feet! Take a picnic or stop at one of the many local cafés or restaurants for refreshment and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the natural scenery.
The first stop, and the closest, for everyday essentials is the friendly little village of St Séverin, 6 minutes away by car. Here you will find a small Spar supermarket, open every day from 9am until 7pm (with lunchtime closure from 1230-3pm) and on Sunday mornings. This is your one-stop shop for fresh meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, bread, dairy produce and household necessities. There is also a more traditional 'Alimentation' on the main street of the village. A very well-stocked pharmacy, bank, tabac and post office are also on the main street, as is an English bookshop for any bookworms who have forgotten to pack their favourite novels. Lastly, there is the boulangerie - a must for any holiday in France - a hairdresser's, two bars, an Italian restaurant and a café.
The sweet little village of Verteillac, 10 minutes' drive away, is home to a unique shopping destination which has become something of a tourist destination in its own right. Merlaud et Ses Fils is a veritable 'Tardis' of a shop which must be visited to be appreciated! It sells the most incredible and large variety of goods from foodstuffs to washing machines and is very well worth a visit.
For a greater choice of supermarkets, Ribérac is 15 minutes' away by car, with a huge Leclerc, Aldi, Lidl and Netto and also, most importantly, a massive open-air market - the largest in the area - each Friday morning.
If you have ever had a yen to channel your inner Robin Hood then we can recommend Archery Dordogne, situated in nearby St Martial (5 minutes' away). Your instructor, Ian, will guide you through the basics of launching your arrow towards the target and you will be delighted when you hit it! Highly recommended by the owners, who are converts!