|Castanet||Self Catering||Thursday||2||4||2||2 folding guest beds|
Not just a holiday retreat but our second home. This delightful unspoilt area offers the perfect combination of things to do and see; a superb place in which to relax and unwind. It is packed with chateaux, rolling countryside, charming villages, restaurants serving good food at reasonable prices, local markets, vineyards and historic Bastide towns. Many of the local chateaux offer wine-tastings and all the Bordeaux famous names are within easy reach.
Canoeing, cycling, golf, horse riding, tennis, quad-biking, ballooning and much more. Or just take it easy by the pool.
Conveniently situated only 8km from the market town of Marmande, yet tucked away in the Lot et Garonne countryside and completely private, Castanet is a sympathetically converted traditional farmhouse facing sunny south-west and set in its own 3-acre meadow. No nearby neighbours and no owners on site. Sleeps 4. Linen, towels and swimming towels provided. Two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, open-plan living/dining area and well-equipped kitchen. In the grounds there is a spacious poo lhouse/summer kitchen incorporating a large covered dining area.
Access is ideal for all, being only 2 shallow steps from the spacious parking area and then level throughout the garden and the house.
Castanet is a very well appointed, comfortable and attractive property fully equipped for a great holiday break for adults and children alike.
For a Booking Form and to view the virtual tour please go to our Castanet Farmhouse personal website which you will find under the "Contact the Owner" tab.
The well equipped open-plan kitchen, which forms part of the barn, has a dishwasher, washing machine, combination/microwave oven, 6-burner stainless-steel gas hob, built-in electric conventional/fan oven, large fridge-freezer, toaster and plenty of crockery, cutlery, glassware and kitchen utensils for the enthusiastic cook.....
The glazed entry doors from the terrace lead into the open-plan living space/barn. High ceilings, oak beams, white painted walls and ceramic-tiled floors throughout give a clean, bright, airy and spacious feel.
The impressive cathedral ceiling, original oak beams and roof windows flood the barn with afternoon and evening sunlight. There is a dining table to seat 6, a splendid chunky antique pine pew, pine dresser, comfortable seating for four and a powerful woodburner.
A beamed entry from the barn to the inner hall leads to the 2 bedrooms, both equipped with comfortable UK-style beds and pretty bed linen. The master bedroom, which features the original stone sink and chimney-breast, has a king-size bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers. The twin room has 2 single beds, wardrobe and chest of drawers. Both rooms overlook the front garden.
The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom with bath, separate shower, washbasin and wc as has the family bathroom. Both have plenty of storage space.
The accommodation is well insulated. For cooler evenings there is a 16kw woodburner in the living/dining area. There is a constant and plentiful supply of hot water.
There are meter-controlled heated towel rails in both bathrooms and an electric heater in the hall. Logs are charged as an extra.
Satellite tv, radio/cd player and dvd player are provided as well as plenty of books and a compendium of boardgames.
Wi-fi is available for your laptop or iphone. Log on to research the most up-to-date tourist information. Our team has also left an up-to-date information pack on site.
Garden games include Kettler 9ft x 5ft outdoor table tennis, badminton, boules, a full-size antique croquet set and some in-pool and poolside games. Unlimited space for ball games in our meadow.
There are flowering tubs and a large wooden picnic table on the paved terrace approaching the glazed entry doors.
The 10 x 5m solar-heated pool with side entry steps and underwater lighting is for your exclusive enjoyment. There is also a solar shower.
The pool has an automatic solar/security cover and is situated in a gated and fenced area for additional peace of mind. Adjacent there is a large, very private expanse of lawn with plenty of space for games and sunbathing. The 2 mulberry trees by the pool provide a cool shady place in which to sit on long, hot summer days. The meadowland beyond is mown regularly by our English caretaker.
The spacious pool house/covered dining area has a large fridge-freezer and barbecue. There is also a sizeable dining table for those al fresco meals in the shade and 4 comfortable rattan armchairs. On warm summer evenings as dusk approaches, this is an idyllic spot
Unlimited parking accessed by long private drive leading to a shady parking area.
Castanet is a comfortable and attractive property fully equipped for a great holiday break. On one level throughout (no staircases) Castanet is ideal for everyone: families, couples, children of all ages, groups of friends and those with restricted mobility.
Bed linen, towels and swimming towels are provided.
There is a baker, butcher and mini-supermarket in the village of Virazeil which is a 5-minute drive and the market town of Marmande, with everything you could possibly want, just 8km away.
Box of assorted toys available for younger visitors.
A baby-sitting service is available on request.
We are now both retired after careers of John in IT management and Chris as a PA. We’ve been welcoming guests to our house in France since around 1990, and during that time have established a very good relationship with our first-rate English local management team. Victoria handles all the week-by-week management, greets the guests and sorts out any problems.
|Year property purchased||1987|
|Why this location?||Having travelled to various other Western European countries, we settled on France after many years of happy camping holidays there which eventually developed into touring caravans. We fell in love with Aquitaine because of its rural location, climate, superb views, quaint villages and chateaux. Not forgetting the splendid restaurants – very cheap compared with the South-East or, indeed, the coastal areas - and the friendly welcome given by the French. Even today when Brexit doesn’t count, it’s just their wish to keep the Brits coming to pump up the tourist coffers!|
|Unique benefits of property||We bought our farmhouse in 1987 for the princely sum of FF 9,000 (about £9,000). We initially camped on-site as it was a wreck with not much left in the way of roof, windows and doors or even level floors, and it only possessed a 5 watt electric supply and an outside tap. We’ve gradually turned it into a comfortable house, with all mod cons, a solar- heated pool, large shady terraces and parking, all set in around a peaceful three acres, and plenty of self-watering pots to keep the geraniums alive in the summer heat.
The heavy-duty log burner enables us to spend three 3-week holidays there every year, one of which is at Christmas. Although snow is a rare occurrence, the main barn can reach 28c even when the outside temperature has been -5c. The insulation, thick stone walls and logs combine well together.
Whilst the more energetic among you can try your hand at flying and paragliding from Montpezat-d'Agenais or quad biking at St Sernin de Duras, why not take it easy by choosing a more relaxed way to enjoy the beautiful countryside either by floating down the river Garonne on a barge or by catching a hot air balloon from just outside Duras.
Bike hire, including safety equipment etc., is available locally for periods of 3 days or more with a delivery/collection service. Please ask us for details. It is advisable to book in advance especially if required during the peak season. You can join a marked cycling circuit 450m from the house.
Those who enjoy walking will find guidebooks in the house showing the many footpaths to be found in the surrounding countryside.
Most villages hold their own street festivals throughout the summer and visitors are very welcome. Look out for the advertising placards by the roadside and leaflets which you can pick up from the many Vide-Greniers and Brocante fairs held during the summer months.
Capital of the Tomato, this is the principal large market town of the area having a picturesque old quarter with narrow cobbled streets leading down to the river Garonne. Every Saturday morning there is a very colourful, bustling and interesting market, bringing together the old outdoor and the more recent covered venues. You can buy anything from clothing through to plants and flowers, fish and seafood, meat and dairy produce, fresh fruit and vegetables and even live animals and birds! After shopping, relax, sit back and watch it all happen from one of the watering holes which surround the square. Marmande also has a museum, up-market shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants. There is a railway link from Marmande to Bordeaux, Toulouse, the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts and Paris. We have left a complete list of market days in other towns you may like to visit.
Here are a few of the spectacular natural caves not to be missed: Grotte de Fontirou and Grotte de Lestournelle, both in the Lot-et-Garonne, and in the neighbouring Dordogne you will find Grotte de Domme, Villars, Grand Roc, Carpe Diem and Gouffre de Proumeyssac.
In the house you'll find a comprehensive list giving weekdays/times of all the markets in the area.
Visit Seyches where you will find Le Vieux Porche (9km). Full of atmosphere, this is one of the best family-run cheap restaurants in the area with a 4 course menu, including wine, for only 13 Euro. On a sunny day, dine on the shady terrace overlooking the picturesque square and narrow winding streets. It's very popular with both locals and visitors alike, so booking for Sunday lunch and public holidays is strongly recommended. N.B. Open for lunch and dinner every day except for Friday evening and all day Saturday.
The farmers' market at Soumensac is held on Sundays for eight weeks during the summer. Just take knife, fork, plate and glass.......
For a day's outing you might like to visit the Atlantic coast, perhaps taking in La Dune du Pyla (or Pilat). Situated in the south of the Arcachon Bay at La Teste de Buche, it's the biggest sand dune in Europe at 107 metres and a 1 hour 45 minute drive away. At its summit the view is spectacular, with the ocean coast, the inlet of the bay, the large pine forest and when the sky is very clear, the Pyrenees mountain range. If you are on the Atlantic coast, a visit to Bordeaux is well worth the deviation.
Up-to-date information is provided on site, but we would encourage you to visit the local tourist offices at the start of your visit to have a browse. Most towns have their own and are well signposted. The Tourist Office in Marmande is situated near the covered marketplace in the pedestrianised town centre. Or if you've brought your laptop with you, just log on to our on-site internet to access all the up-to-date information.