|Maison En Pierre||Self Catering||Saturday||3||6||3|
La Maison en Pierre is a converted 18th Century stone farmhouse set in a quiet residential hamlet 5 miles from Villereal, Lot et Garonne.
It is presented with:
3 Double bedrooms each with a double bed. A Z-bed can be added with advance notice for a small charge.
2 Bathrooms and a shower room,
A substantial fully fenced garden with its own 10 metres x 5 metres private fully alarmed swimming pool,
A covered verandah for al fresco dining with seating for up to 8 persons,
The house has been renovated using traditional local materials with a sympathetic neutral colour palette to create a haven of calm. Quarry tiles cover the entire downstairs walkthrough areas with whitewashed stone walls and exposed oak beams. Many of the beams have been whitewashed to add light and upstairs the floors have all been painted white.
The owners are not on site and the changeovers, house and pool are handled by a professional English speaking housekeeper and her team.
For cooks there is a beautifully appointed farmhouse kitchen with a huge antique French oak refectory table to seat 8 persons, a Smeg cooker and fridge as well as dishwasher, microwave and washing machine.
We have left you with high quality crockery and glassware enabling you to live the dream of a French country home without compromise. We also leave a welcome pack and regularly replenish our stock of herbs and spices for guests use.
The sitting room features a huge open fire and seating in leather armchairs and settee for 6 persons .
For musicians there is a beautiful grand piano taking pride of place in the sitting room together with an acoustic guitar and accordion.
La Maison en Pierre holds a narrative of charm with a nod to the owners sense of humour - you will find antique furnishings, mostly sourced in France and various quirky vintage objects trove dotted about in unexpected corners.
Upstairs we have painted floorboards and again whitewashed stone walls and beams throughout. High standard bed linen and designer towels are left for guest use.
There are 3 double bedrooms each with a double bed. A Z-Bed can be added. In order to arrange a Z bed and bed linen it is necessary that we receive advance notice. An additional charge of 40 Euros per week will apply.
Upstairs there are two bathrooms each with toilet, bath and handbasin.
Downstairs there is a shower room with toilet and basin.
The house has gas central heating and an open log fire for use in the winter (by individual agreement).
An electric immersion heater provides hot water 24/7.
Broadband wi-fi is provided.
We leave a CD player.
Boardgames (chess, backgammon) cards, draughts.
A substantial library of the owners books
Beyond the kitchen there is a large delightful bamboo covered verandah set up for al fresco dining with a table to seat 10. At night outdoor lighting illuminates the terrace, pathways, walnut tree and swimming pool. Its a pure delight.
The large enclosed private garden has a full sized alarmed swimming pool (10m x 5m) and we provide loungers and a large parasol for pool side shade.
We welcome well behaved dogs (see detailed terms and conditions). However dogs are not permitted in the pool. The garden is fully fenced so dogs can be left safely. The house is 200 metres from the nearest road.
For the more active we provide 3 mountain bikes, a rowing machine, heavy boxing bag, badminton net and rackets, a mini trampoline and a cross trainer.
It is only a one minute walk to footpaths through the surrounding fields - often featuring sun flowers. The garden sits high on a small hillside owning a perfectly stunning view of the summer sunsets. This is a very special place.
The house has a private driveway and there is room to park 3 cars.
The house is perfect for a family holiday. It is not baby proof although many families with babies have enjoyed their stays here.
The house is located in a quiet residential hamlet so not ideal for rowdy partying !
A car is essential and its a perfect base for touring the area. Its just a quick 8 minute drive to the Boulangerie and supermarkets at Villereal.
The pool is open from early May until mid/late October although by agreement this period can be extended.
The house has gas central heating for stays in cooler periods.
Anna and Andrew share their time between the UK and France. We love the French countryside and enjoy walking and cycling, particularly on canal towpaths. We are both avid collectors of French ephemera and antiques so most Sundays find us at a vide grenier in a remote muddy field searching for treasure. We are also both keen gardeners and grow vegetables, including giant pumpkins as well as cultivating our flower beds and hedges.
|Year property purchased||2007|
|Why this location?||We love the combination of unspoiled rural landscape with the charm of the bastide towns. The climate is wonderful, hot in the summer with little rain and delightful in spring and autumn. Even the misty winter mornings are charming. We visit the markets frequently including the local Villereal Saturday morning market.
Apart from walking and cycling we often hire canoes on the Dordogne river or visit one of the many chateaux, of which Chateau Milandes is our favourite.
In the summer we usually attend the local horse trotting races in Villereal.
The house is convenient for quick trips back to the UK via Bergerac Airport which is a 30 minute drive. Its also a short drive to catch the TGV to Paris or the South of France which we visit a lot.
Every year we update our own personalised guide to the local area with our recommendations for excursions, restaurants, markets and all the practical information that help make our guests stay easier and memorable.
|Unique benefits of property||The house is situated in a quiet private hamlet of 9 old houses set back from the road and only 5 Kms from Villereal and 10 kms from the delightful bastide town of Monflanquin. Other beautiful bastilles including Eymet, Monpazier Issigeac and Beaumont are all within a short drive.
The garden is fully fenced and we welcome dogs and features its own private pool ( 10x 5 Metres ) and a covered verandah with seating for 10 to provide shade for al fresco dining. For sports enthusiasts we provide 3 mountain bikes, a rowing machine and heavy boxing bag, a cross trainer, a marked out badminton net and a mini trampoline.
There is a charming fully fitted farmhouse kitchen with Smeg cooker and fridge, dishwasher and washing machine as well as a microwave. The sitting room features a yamaha grand piano.
There is a shower room and 2 bathrooms with 3 double bedrooms.
Broadband wi-fi is provided.
The house and pool are maintained by a professional English housekeeper and her team.
These are a notable local highlight and depending upon the season you can pick up local delicacies such as oysters, wild strawberries and mushrooms as well as locally distilled eau de vie ( try Pruneaux or Poire William.. delicious but deadly !!). We buy duck eggs each Saturday from an old lady who has a pitch on Villereal Market
Market days are as follows
These charming free evening events in the main squares of the Bastide towns in July and August feature a wide range of food stalls , local wines and a band ( traditional as well as the ghastly 'dad dancing' which is a regrettable feature of the area.) Tressle table tables are set out and a good time is had by all !
Villereal Monday night 6.30pm
Monflanquin Thursday night at 6.30
Montaut Friday night 6.30
Local specialities include duck(canard) , foie gras and rabbit ( lapin). Locally grown prunes and walnuts are superb. The local Bergerac wine is a decent and quite cheap . Chateau Jaubertie located join the N21 near Bergerac airport is worth a visit and is probably the leading producer of quality Bergerac wines. see do.chateau-jaubertie.com
Monbazillac, one of the world's leading producers of desert wine is close by Bergerac and a visit is a worthwhile excursion.
There are numerous restaurants in Villereal, Monpazier and Monflanquin and further south Penne D'Agenais and Pujol boast some fine eating places.
Our nearest restaurant is also in our view the best in the region. Bassiviere is a chic boutique hotel with excellent dining. It gets very crowded during the summer so booking is essential tel 003355 30 12 31. See www.bassiviere.com
The Dordogne river is about an hours drive north via Monpazier and Belves and is a truly spectacular site. We particularly recommend two chateaux
Chateau Milandes . The home of singer and actress and hero of the resistance Josephine Baker see www.milandes.com and
Chateau Castelnaud overlooking the river. is truly astonishing. There are frequent battle enactments and firing of siege engines to entertain the visitors. See www.castlenaud.com
For the more active you an hire a canoe on the Dordogne or Vezere rivers to the north ( about an hours drive ). Both rivers are generally regarded as safe and shallow and drifting downstream with some wine past beautiful chateaux is a lovely excursion.
See www.a-canoe-raid.com ( tel 0033 553 3164) and
www.canoe-courreges.fr ( tel 0033 68 62 67 288 )
The lake at Lougratte, a 15 minute drive away on the N21 is a relaxing spot with a beach and lifeguards in attendance. You can fish there as well as swim and hire pedalos. See www.lougratte.com
There are a couple of options. The very relaxed and charming 9 hole course at Tomobeboeuf, a 25 minute drive . See www.golfdebarthe.com
For a more serious event the 18 hole Villeneuve Golf and Country club situated on The N21 a few miles north of Villeneuve. See www.vslgolf.com
There are literally endless cycling opportunities in this area. We leave 3 mountain bikes +tools for guestsand its 2 minutes to paths through the fields.
We frequently visit the canal path which runs east from Bergerac through Lalinde which makes a good place to stop for lunch.
Bikes for children can also be hired locally in Villereal Cycles Boucheyrou Route D'Issigeac tel 0033 5 53 36 01 21
VIde Grenier ( literally translated "open Attic" ) markets are held across the region virtually every Sunday ( and on the numerous public holidays ) throughout the high season. Check out www.vide-greniers.org For listings. They are also advertised locally in the tourists office and supermarkets.
The major events each year at Eymet, Villereal and Beaumont sometimes boast over 300 stalls and often what the French throw out seems so much more charming than what we could find in a uk boot sale. However its the tiny remote village sales which often produce the most interesting items so standing in a sunny field at 8 am on a Sunday morning drinking Cafe aver use chocolatine and deciding whether to commit 4 euros for a ragged print of Charles de Gaulle can be a charming interlude.
Brocantes ( antique markets ) are generally more serious events and there is one in the Main square in Villereal on the second Sunday of each month.
Horse trotting takes place at the stadium on the outskirts of Villereal frequently during the summer months. Its quite a spectacle as up to 15 chariots compete in each race with jockeys and horses of all shapes and sizes. Its a real family event and you can reserve a table for dinner or simply turn up and eat sausage and chips ! You can bet small sums which adds to the event . See www.lescourseshippiques.com
For walkers and dog walkers there is an extensive network of paths running round the fields and backroads near the house. We leave local maps but for guests but these can also be purchased at the Tourist Office in Villereal.
In addition charming reservoir walk can be found a few miles outside Villereal on the Beaumont road where there are two reservoirs. Lac du Ganne ( 45 minutes walk ) and Lac du Bayou ( 90 minutes walk ).
Very popular in France and the rules are complex. The Tourist Authority can provide you with a comprehensive guide to the fishing available and the licence requirements etc. The Lot river is particularly beautiful and stocked with a lot of carnivorous fish including metre long pike .Its also possible to fish the reservoirs already mentioned above.
Situated just outside Montaut ( 5 Kms drive ) , this is an old priory which features a range of classical music concerts and recitals throughout the year. You can usually attend the concert and enjoy a picnic in the grounds . See www.musimesnil.fr
We can honestly say this was our most favourite holiday for a very long time. The house and garden were lovely. The pool was perfect. A wonderfully quiet and peaceful hamlet allowed us all to chill and relax completely. The bedrooms all comfortable and the house was big enough to allow each of us personal space when we needed it. The grand piano was a special bonus, my eldest played to us every evening as we sat and watched the sun going down over the valley. Memorable!
The neighbouring towns have everything you need. We shopped at the weekly markets for our food and found lots of amazing treasures at the various 'Vide Greniers' held in the surrounding villages.
The housekeeper was very helpful and came to our rescue when our car broke down! so we regard her as a saint. All in all this was a very special holiday in a very special place. We will definitely be returning.