|Maison Mireille||Self Catering||Saturday||2||4||2||Babies cot 1|
A truly delightful cottage, part of an historic manoir built for Lord Manieres, the Procurer of Louis IV around 1715. It is reached along a winding lane through flower meadows to where it nestles in the hillside. An authentic but modern cottage providing all you could possibly need for the perfect holiday.
An important feature of the property is the large conservatory looking out over the valley and perfect for that continental breakfast or late night dinner.
The whole of Maison Mireille and the gardens have a really nice relaxed ambience.
Kitchen and dining
The kitchen and the dining room are open plan and retain the "feel" of the original building.
The kitchen is fully equip for easy living with all the appliances you would expect to find. e.g full size cooker, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, kettle, toaster coffee maker fridge/freezer etc. There is loads of storage space and all the gear you are likely to need.You will also find sugar, some tea bags,dishwasher tabs, washing powder, cleaning materials and other bibs and bobs to get you started.The kitchen looks out onto the pretty courtyard.
The adjacent dining room is also roomy and comfortable You will find some walnuts (a local speciality) a jar of jam made in the village and a nice bottle of Bergerac to greet you The dining room looks one way to the conservatory and garden and the other way to the pretty courtyard.
Again spacious and comfortable, one side looking out into the charming courtyard and the other side opening into the conservatory with even more views. It is comfortably furnished with two large sofas, coffee tables etc. It has English and French t.v. a radio and a dvd player. There is a good wifi signal.
On the back of the cottage is a big conservatory furnished with table chairs and loungers. Its a really lovely place to take a leisurely breakfast, or to "chill out" with a book and a glass of wine Romantic dinners also spring to mind. It has lovely views over the valley and down the long private garden.
This is a lovely roomy bedroom with a comfortable king size bed and plenty of storage space (wardrobe, chest of drawers bedside cupboards.) It has a glorious view over the valley. There is an en suite bathroom
Again very roomy, this time with two single beds and loads of storage space.( wardrobe, chest of drawers and bedside cabinets) This room is double aspect with lovely views in two directions right over the valley. It contains the original "drop" toilet" (not in use) There is an en suite bathroom
There are two luxury en suite bathrooms both having full size baths with showers over, w.cs,and wash basins with illuminated mirrors over. The larger bathroom also has a bidet. They both have electrically heated towel rails so you can always be sure of dry towels.There is loads of hot water.
The cottage is fully centrally heated and suitable for year round occupation.It also has heated towel rails.
To the front of the cottage is a large private courtyard. (just for the use of Maison Mireille.) and a flower border of mainly lavender.
To the side of the property is a long raised flower border again planted to attract butterflies and bees. This is a really nice place to "hide away" with a drink.
At the rear of the property, running from the conservatory is a long grassed garden with splendid views across the valley. There is a picnic table half way down.
Here there is also a patio with table, chairs parasol, and a brick built barbecue.Again there are those lovely views.
Sun loungers, cushions, barbecues tools and anything else you may need are provided.
A number of bird feeders are strung up so what with all the flowers there is always a lot of nature going on.
There is a private parking area close to the cottage.
The gite is all on one floor with no steps but the gardens and surrounding countryside are sloping so probably not suitable for wheelchairs.
As a lifelong Francophile it was almost inevitable that on retirement I moved to France and after several months searching I found this wonderful old manoir much in need of care and attention . Since then I have carefully restored the property retaining original feature wherever possible while completely updating. Maison Mireille is a completely separate wing of this manoir and presents a beautiful modernised cottage with glorious views and a three star rating with the Tourist Board.
|Year property purchased||2004|
|Why this location?||This property will appeal to those wishing for some quality time away from the stresses of modern living. Blissfully quiet, in a region of outstanding natural beauty rich in wildlife but just walking distance from our pretty village and within easy reach of all the attractions of the Perigor Noir. Wonderful food, excellent wines, fairytale castles, bastide villages, street markets and, of course, the glorious river - what else is there?|
|Unique benefits of property||Set in peaceful, unspoilt countryside and yet just a walk away from our pretty village which has all the basic shops and an excellent restaurant. A comfortable and charming retreat after a day busy holidaymaking. Just to have diner on the pretty covered terrace, looking out over a beautiful wooded valley, with a nice glass of Bergerac - paradise? Well if your more energetic and want to explore the countryside on foot, the area is crisscrossed with clearly marked footpaths (the first one just 100 metres away) cutting through the most glorious countryside with stunning views at every turn and the prettiest of medieval hamlets and villages. Whether its just a saunter down to the village for the croissants or some serious hiking its all starts on the doorstep.
Many of the footpaths can be used by mountain bikers but some cyclists may prefer the less taxing roads in the bottom of the valleys, many of these following rivers or the old railway tracks.
For many the blissfully quiet location will be an opportunity to just relax, while others will want to walk, cycle or horse ride in the surrounding countryside and enjoy the rich and varied wildlife - deer, red squirrels, kites, golden oriole, nightingales, nightjars, hoopoe, a miriad of butterflies and abundant wild flowers. The number of orchids in the spring and summer is amazing. I've counted nine species in our lane alone.
The pretty village of St. Pompon is 10 mins walk away and has all the basic shops. There is a grocers (actually a mini market) a bakers, (also doubles as a paper shop) a butchers, a pharmacy, a bar and a good restaurant.
Take time to sit in the square with a cold beer and just watch life, or saunter through the delightful back lanes and soak in the ambience.
The village celebrates those long Saturday summer evenings with street parties - you sit at trestle tables, buy local food and wine from stalls and perhaps swap life histories with the French family sitting next to you. And later music is played and dancing in the street - great fun.
The picturesque village of Daglan is just five minute drive away. The village is very "arty crafty" and a walk along the winding high street will take you past art galleries, a potter, a hat maker, a wood worker, a jewellery maker and more so it’s a must visit for those who enjoy arts and crafts.
On the glorious little river "The Ceou" just outside of the village, in stunning countryside, a beach has been created. Here you can swim in clean natural water or just sunbathe and watch others larking about.
But perhaps the best reason to visit Daglan is to dine at the Petit Paris. The food and the service at this lovely restaurant is excellent and to dine outside in the street on a balmy summers evening is magical.....Very French.
All of the Bastide towns and villages (fortified) are lovely and many of them feature on the "Beaux Villages de France" list. Several of these are just a short drive from St.Pompon.
The romantic cliff side villages of Beynac and La Roque Gageac are unbelievably pretty and are must places to visit. You can take a barge ride from either of these villages (with an English commentary) and you'll see life from a different perspective. The history of the area is fascinating, the views spectacular and the wildlife rich and varied.
Perched high on a hill with wonderful views over the Dordogne, Domme is another must visit. Steep lanes, lots of shop restaurants and bars, underground caverns and ice creams to die for.
Belves, town of seven towers is another lovely bastide. The Saturday market there is very atmospheric and the Wednesday evening Marche Nocturne (street party) in the town square is very enjoyable.
Monpazier was an English bastide and is probably the prettiest of the lot. To visit for the Thursday morning market is brilliant. What with the architecture, the bustle, the cafes, restaurants and bars, and the buskers, you won't want to leave.
A holiday in this region would not be complete without a visit to the historic town of Sarlat, just a short ride away. This most beautiful medieval town, with its countless restaurants and colourful street markets, must be one of the best examples of good preservation in France. Every lane and alley has so much interesting architecture.
The cathedral and the Place de Liberte are more obvious places to visit but leave the two main roads of the town and explore the many narrow medieval alleys and twittens where there are all sorts of gems to be found...Galleries, tea rooms, craft shops, boutiques and more.
And so many people eating and drinking, they're in bars, restaurants, cafes, on balconies and terraces. And there's lovely shops, street artists, buskers, food venders, pavement theatre, chocolatiers, etc. What a great atmosphere!
The Dordogne boasts of having more than 1000 chateaux and they are everywhere. Most of them are impressive and many of them are spectacular. Some of them were occupied by the English during the hundred year war and many of them changed hands during that period. Lots of them are open to the public, too many to list them all but here are a few.
Castlenaud is probable the most imposing of all, towering high above the Dordogne and glaring down at the other chateaux in the area (Beynac, Marqueyssac Milandes, Fayrac etc). The view from the top is amazing and at that height you would have thought it unconquerable. It contains a museum of warfare and an exhibition of weapons and armour.
Chateau des Milandes. This really is a fairy castle though the unfortunate life of its one time owner Josephine Baker did not have a fairy tale ending.
This Chateau works on four levels. You have the original building and its history. You have the amazing story of Josephine Baker with many of her dresses and the art deco bathrooms etc. You have stainless steel water gardens. (sounds weird but it really works) And then you have a display of free flying birds of prey. So all in all a very good visit.
Chateau de Marqueyssac. Towering above the Dordogne with glorious views across the river to Castelnaud and Beynac, this is a very good visit. Mostly known for its gardens which run along the ridge of the hill for quite some distance and in-particularly for the box topiary. It also has a good restaurant with a marvellous view. On Thursday evenings the whole garden is lit by candle light and groups of musicians play their music in small spaces throughout the gardens.
There are many beautiful gardens in the Dordogne ranging from the very formal to the more natural. Some are quite well known tourist attractions but there a some lessen know that are worth a visit.
The gardens at Eyrignac have been in the same family for twenty-two generations and are world famous for the art of topiary. And amazingly since there there is so much work to be done it is still all done by hand. But it’s not just a lot of shaped bushes, there also beautiful flowers, a potager an orchard and, of course a good restaurant.
Chateau de Marqueyssac. Towering above the Dordogne with glorious views across the river to Castelnaud and Beynac this is a very good visit. Mostly known for its gardens which run along the ridge of the hill for quite some distance and in-particularly for the box topiary. It also has an good restaurant with a marvellous view. On Thursday evenings the whole garden is lit by candle light and groups of musicians play their music in small spaces throughout the gardens.
The water Gardens at Carsac are wonderful. Set on a hill and running down to the Dordogne these gardens are a series of ponds connected by canals rills and streams making its way, with the help of an original Roman drain to the river passing below.
The planting is exquisite and imaginative. As you walk along walkways over ponds and cross bridges you can see can see the plants and wildlife up close.
Loads of dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, newts and the most glorious collection of water lilies and tropical water lilies and an example of a natural swimming pond.
There is a retail centre and a cafe.
The Cloisters at Cadouin. The abbey at Cadouin is a good visit but perhaps even better is a walk around the cloisters. These gardens date from the fifteenth century and you do not have to be religious to be "moved" when you walk around this serene space. Cadouin is a very pretty village with a very good modern arts and crafts gallery.
The Vezere Valley is known as the Valley of Pre - History and the cave paintings of Lascaux are famous all over the world. Unfortunately the cave paintings at Lascaux are no longer open to the public but the big new Lascaux IV centre gives a replica of the complete cave system and the paintings and is highly acclaimed.
If however you want to see original cave painting you can still see then at La Grotte du Pech Merle, La Grotte de Font de Gaume, Abri du Cap Blanche and Rouffignac.
Be warned it can be quite an emotional experience.
The caves at Gouffre de Padirac are sensational. You take stairs or a lift down some 100 metres, then a boat along an underground river and finally a walk to the huge "great dome room" The views are breathtaking and it could be the highlight of your holiday.
Gouffre de Proumeyssac is another incredible chasm. This time you walk down into the ground into the sensational Cathedral of Crystals. You can be lowered down in a basket if you prefer. Originally lowered by donkeys but now by machine.
Grotte de Domme. This huge cave is situated under the bastide village of Domme. A lift from the centre of the village takes you down into this vast cave of stalactites and stalagmites. The view from the lift out across the Dordogne is also pretty spectacular.
The Dordogne seems to attract artists and craftsmen, perhaps it’s the light or maybe because it’s such a beautiful area. You will find them everywhere. Most towns and villages will have something artistic to seek out. There are studios,workshops,galleries, art shops, art and craft fairs, craft markets art exhibitions. And many towns and villages actively encourage the arts and have their own artisan fairs.
St.Pompon has a growing reputation for supporting the arts and holds several art exhibitions through the year. Our neighbouring villages of Daglan and St.Laurent are also quite "artisan"
There is a Route des Metiers d'Art which you can follow through towns and villages in each area of the Dordogne calling at the studios of painters, potters, sculptors, carvers, glass blowers,iron workers, furniture makers etc. great fun.
My nearest neighbour Jean-Claude Maladain is a highly respected water colourist and runs one day courses in the village through the summer.
A visit to the area would not be complete without time on the rivers. As well as the Dordogne river (large and majestic) there is the smaller Verzere (slightly smaller scale but very pretty) and our local Ceou (smaller still and cutting through the most beautiful scenery). The rivers pass by or through some lovely towns and the most picturesque of villages.
Whether it’s taking a boat trip, floating about in canoes, sunbathing on a beach, picnicking on the banks, swimming to an island, or just standing in the shallows it’s all brilliant.