Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4
|Papillon||Self Catering||Flexible||2||5||2||Cots and put up beds|
Relax in the charm of 'Le Papillion', with lounge, fully-fitted kitchen, UK satellite tv, dvd's and wi-fi provided. Private patio with table, chairs and bbq for outdoor dining.
Situated in a rural hamlet with panoramic views over the surrounding fields and woodland, Domaine du Sourire offers the perfect location for those seeking rest and relaxation. Our local town,Villebois is a 10 minute drive, offering local facilities such as supermarket, bank, pharmacy, bars and restaurants, whilst numerous sporting activities can be enjoyed in the surrounding area.
The floodlit solar-heated pool is fully enclosed, with a lockable gate for child safety. There are toilet and showering facilities beside the pool.
On-site facilities include an external children’s play area with football goals, swings and sandpit. Badminton equipment and a boule court are also provided. There is a games room which includes a full size ping-pong table, table football and large amounts of wooden/plastic Thomas trains/track, and lots of small-scale play toys. Soft play room with ball pit, (who doesn't love a ball pit), sensory room and sensory gardens
A welcome pack is provided, including bread, wine, pasta and home-made sauce to ensure a simple first night meal.
A large library of dvd's, board games and books can be borrowed by guests, as well as tennis equipment for the local free courts. A selection of bicycles are also available, at no cost, for exploring the surrounding countryside
Personal kitchen which is well equipped with breakfast bar, fridge-freezer, microwave, washing machine, & ironing facilities.
The lounge is spacious enough for the entire family to gather around the wood-burner and make full use of the dvd player or English/French satellite tv.
Downstairs bedroom with en suite shower room and wc. Double bed
Upstairs bedroom with en suite family bathroom and wc. Double bed and single bed
Downstairs en suite shower room and wc
Upstairs family bathroom and wc
Wood burner and electric central heating
Tv with English satellite tv and dvd player. Large selection of books, dvd's and board games available. Free wi-fi on-site.
Large solar-heated pool with ramp access. Grass area with football goals, swings and sandpit. On site gamesroom equipped with lots of toys, pool table, hand football table and full sized table tennis table. Soft play with ball pit and sensory room and sensory garden. Selection of bikes, badminton and tennis equipment freely available.
Parking on site at back of gites.
All adults and children welcome! Dogs welcome if kept under supervision and not in main courtyard. Gite is accessible
All linen and towels are provided (just bring pool towels). Cots, highchairs and babysitting available by arrangement. Welcome pack provided with supplies for your first night's meal and fresh vegetables offered when in season.
Two years ago Terry and I decided to go and live somewhere warmer in the beautiful French countryside. This was when an exciting opportunity for some hard and rewarding work presented itself, in the form of a Gite holiday complex. After much research and planning, we discussed with the friends Dawn and Mark Camilli about buying into this unique gite complex. Domainedusourire is accessible and family friendly, we do not discriminate and welcome everyone
|Year property purchased||2018|
|Why this location?||The stunning beauty and the peacefulness of the countryside, the way of life, the challenge of something new.|
|Unique benefits of property||we cater for all, non judgemental, sensory room and garden, solar powered heated swimming pool|
The village is best known for the imposing Chateau de Villebois that stands on a raised promontory above the village. The extensive defensive walls and six incorporated towers, in the attractive white stone of the region, were built in the 12th-13th century* and wind around the hilltop, giving access to the inner castle through a gateway between two substantial round towers.
* Earlier structures in the same location include settlements by both the Gauls and the romans, and an earlier castle
During your guided visit you will discover this untypical place: 12 rooms can now be visited and you will pass from one discovery to the next until you reach the final room, the Salon de Béruges, with its surprising secret.
You can also visit the exterior of the castle with its parkland, reconstituted rose garden, an arboretum and the tomb of the Réthoré brothers.
Visits to the Chateau de la Mercerie take place from April to November, in French every afternoon, in English tuesday mornings, and in Dutch on thursday mornings.
Although small, it is a pleasure to take a stroll around Charmant (the name of the village translates as 'charming') taking in the atmosphere and admiring the setting and village centre.
There are a couple of notable sights to enjoy here, the most important of which is the Church of Notre-Dame, a picturesque church surrounded by ancient linden trees. The roman style church dates from the 12th-13th centuries, although the octagonal belltower is a 19th century reconstruction of the original, which was destroyed by a storm.
Inside the church you can see some wall murals and attractive capitals, while next to the church there is also a pretty garden.
The Chateau du Charmant, while much less ostentatious than many castles, has an impressive frontage with ornate stone doorway and windows, while the priory in the village is another notable historical building. The chateau is a private building and cannot be visited.
Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is in the south-east of the Charente department, and 20 kilometres west of Riberac (in the Dordogne department), on a meander in the Dronne river. The village is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Poised on a steep hill above the Dronne River, Aubeterre is a very pretty village. The houses are in the local white stone, some with traditional first floor galleries, others with multi-levelled galleries, and many with attractive roofs. A large number of the houses have been carefully renovated.
Start your visit in the 'lower town' and in the Place Trarieux and the streets around this square where you will find most of the shops and restaurants in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne.
The big attraction in the village is the church of Saint-Jean, an extensive troglodyte church (also known as the monolithic church) dating in part to the 5th century and not far from the Place Trarieux. This monolithic church in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne was an important stop on the pilgrimage route to Compostella in the Middle Ages.
The main body of the church is 20m high and is the tallest hewn-out church in the world. There is a full-immersion baptismal font carved out in this part and a reliquary which is claimed to have once housed a holy relic. It is possible to climb the steps up to the first floor from where you can really appreciate the height and size of the church.
To the side of the main chamber is a burial area where 80 burial holes have been hewn out of the stone. Each with the head pointing to Jerusalem. A very eerie sight!
The church of Saint-Jacques is another notable highlight on a visit to Aubeterre sur Dronne, especially for the quality of the stonework around the portail and facade of the church. In the highest part of the village you can also see the Clarisses convent and the Cordeliers and Minimes monasteries.
Start your visit in the Place National which is at the centre of the town. From here the road meanders towards the Eglise Notre-Dame.
This is a fairly new church (built in the 1930s) but has been built in the romano-byzantine style reminiscent of the nearby cathedral of Perigeux. It is quite striking with its multiple domes and separate tower.
Keep walking up the hill and you will reach the older church, the 12th century Collegiale Notre-Dame. This church is one of the many Romanesque churches which dot the landscape in this area.
From the church you can also get some nice views of Riberac and the surrounding countryside.
On the other side of Riberac is perhaps the most impressive building in the town, a lovely residence built in the 19th century and now the Hotel de Ville. The Palais de Justice and the Office du Tourisme are also impressive buildings in the town.
Riberac is at its best on a Friday, market day for reputedly the biggest market in Perigord.
Parks and gardens surround much of Brantome, where the traditional Perigord houses are built of the local stone with tiled roofs. Added to this there is a fabulous troglodyte cave with scenes of the Last Judgement carved in the stone and nearby is the Dolmen of Pierre Levée.
The Abbey in Brantome has its origins in the 8th century. A Benedictine abbey, it was founded by Charlemagne who allegedly donated the relics of Saint Sicarius, one of the children massacred by Herod.
The original abbey was destroyed by Vikings and then rebuilt in the tenth century and again in the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. It was then radically restored in 1850 by the architect Paul Abadie, a student of Viollet-le-Duc, so the abbey buildings we see today span a period of almost 800 years.
One of the oldest parts is the bell tower which dates officially to the 11th century but may be even older and is one of the oldest in France.
Around the heart of Angouleme historic centre (which is classified among the French Towns of Art and History) there are more than two kilometres of the ramparts remaining intact, while the boulevards that follow the walls are wide, open streets with good views across the surrounding countryside.
Start your visit at Angouleme Tourist Office towards the east of the centre and near the 19th century market halls, a good example of the iron and glass buildings of the period.
Cathedral and boulevards in Angouleme
From here you can head into the town centre and the Town Hall, one of the most important monuments in Angouleme. The Town Hall was built on the site of an earlier chateau, of which just two towers now remain and are incorporated into the Town Hall building. The towers date from the 13th and 15th centuries, while the remainder of the building was constructed in the 19th century.
The other side of the square in front of the Town hall you can see the elegant facade of the Hotel Saint-Simon, a 16th century townhouse with an ornately decorated facade.
Close by you can see the neo-classical style Palace of Justice and the Church of Saint-Andre. The church was originally built in the 12th century although substantial additions are in the later gothic style and the facade dates from a 19th century reconstruction. Near the church take a look at the curious 'lanterne des morts'.
The Theatre, on the southern side of the Place New York, has a decorative facade and was also built in the 19th century.
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 5
Bedrooms 6, Sleeps 16
Bedrooms 4, Sleeps 8
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4, Ratings 2 10/10
Bedrooms 3, Sleeps 6, Ratings 3 9.9/10
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4
Bedrooms 1, Sleeps 2, Ratings 6 10/10
Bedrooms 3, Sleeps 6
Bedrooms 1, Sleeps 2, Ratings 18 9.9/10