|Lavinsotte||Self Catering||Saturday||3||6||2||Cot available|
Lavinsotte, near the border of the Lot et Garonne and the Dordogne, offers complete peace and tranquillity in a property which is equipped to a very high standard.
The massive original oak beams, stone walls, soaring ceilings and antique French country furnishings create a delightfully original, light and airy 150 square metre open plan living space. On the ground floor, interconnecting entry, kitchen/breakfast, dining and seating areas all have French windows giving onto 3 separate private terraces for your morning breakfast or evening barbecues, all with wonderful views.
The best bread in the area comes from our local bakery - just 1 mile away. Fresh croissants, pain au chocolat, tarte aux pommes etc are there to tempt you every morning together with a variety of freshly baked breads to suit every taste.
The small medieval bastide town of Villereal was founded by Alphonse de Poitiers in 1269. The weekly market has been held without a break every Saturday since 1269 when the large covered market or "halle" was constructed in the central square. During the summer there is also a mid-week farmers market and a weekly evening food fair where you can sample local dishes. There are 2 lively cafes overlooking the square where you can enjoy live jazz during the summer. There is a horse-racing track for "le trotting" races which take place regularly. You can be sure of finding fresh local produce every day of the week at the markets in surrounding towns. A Medieval fair is held in Monflanquin for a week every summer. For a city break, Bordeaux and Toulouse are each 2 hours drive away with great selection of museums, concerts, exhibitions, theatres and wonderful buildings. Throughout the area, there are many restaurants to discover, from the very chic, Michelin starred to simpler establishments offering good country cooking.
"Perfect" pretty much sums it up ! *****
We had a short, one week break in the Spring.
The house is perfectly equipped with everything you need and all the modern facilities you'd hope for...but retains all the charm reflecting the age of the building.
Bill and Anthea are perfect hosts, always there when needed and great company.
We must have stayed in 10-12 houses in France over the years and this one ranks as one of the best.
Every review in the guest book (from many different countries) was massively positive, including ours.
We would certainly recommend the house...and look forward to returning.
Lucy and Richard
A perfectly equipped gite in a picturesque setting. *****
We found Lavinsotte had everything we needed (and more!) for a gite wonderful holiday - stylishly decorated, perfectly equipped, fabulously laid out, stunning views, a great pool and plenty to see and do. Bill and Anthea were wonderful hosts - on hand to offer advice, figs (!) and even booking us a meal in a brilliant restaurant we would have never found on our own. We very much hope to return - and would whole-heartedly recommend a stay.
Andrew and Victoria
Just perfect. *****
We had a wonderful time at this beautiful place, which I could almost call "home" as it had everything one could need and imagine in a home.
The owners very just so friendly and lovely and available whenever we had a question about restaurants and places to visit, of which one of our favorite towns was Sarlat, a great place to visit on their market days.
The home itself offered so many nice seating places to enjoy lunch and dinner outside, surrounded by lavender.
The pool was perfectly clean and so refreshing, we loved it.
We will come back, that is for sure!
Thank you for all your great tips while we were there,
Neil, Gabriela, Alessandra, Annie and Alicia
Perfect tranquility in a home from home. *****
We had an extremely relaxing holiday at Lavinstotte. The gite was set in breathtaking tranquil countryside that enabled us all to relax and fully recharge. The gite was expertly equipped with everything that you would need especially with a toddler. We would love to return one year and would fully recommend to all our family and friends.
Alicia and Steve
Bill and Anthea have lovingly restored and converted an old limestone barn adjacent to their farmhouse ‘Lavinsotte’ in the northern end of the beautiful region of Lot-et-Garonne region. The guesthouse is spacious and comfortable, and easily accommodates six people.
The quiet couple was always friendly, patient and eager to share their extensive knowledge, helping to make our stay as enjoyable as possible…from setting up and resurrecting that warm fire, equipping the kitchen very well to take advantage of the varied seasonal fresh produce, transporting our hired bicycles, booking restaurants for us, inviting us to a local jazz concert, and that welcoming basket full of local treats and wines. I think they were a bit worried that, as we had arrived before the usual accommodation season started in early April, the weather it might be too cool and overcast. In fact we were very happy to escape the prolonged hot summer in Australia.
The factually-accurate listing description perhaps understates just how pleasant is it is to stay in this farmhouse furnished and decorated in such an eclectic fashion. Much attention has been given to equipping the house for outdoor activities, and taking advantage of its many niches. I have already recommended this property to many friends.
The farmhouse is far enough away from adjacent farm properties to make it quietly restful, but sited close enough to ride or even walk to nearby towns. Each of those nearby towns has its own little gems including that much sought-after boulangerie in Montaut, the market days of each town, heritage walks through narrow streets, and charming local people who invite you into their house for afternoon tea, even though we barely spoke French!
Bill and Anthea's recommended restaurants were all good and I see could cater to a broad range of tastes. The Blue Marine in Villeneuve-Sur-Lot and Les Ganivelles in Villebramar were real finds. So much enjoyment is gained from simply riding around on the narrow but quiet country roads often lined with tall sculpted trees, among wheat and broccoli fields, prune and hazelnut plantations and duck farms. One morning a small group of deer ran across the field adjacent to the farmhouse.
I also realize this whole area will look amazingly different in each season, with dramatic changes in the colour and texture of the fields, varying produce and attractions making it worthwhile arranging future stays at many different times of the year.
Cooker, hob, large fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and microwave.
Plenty of workspace and well equipped with quality implements and pots and pans.
Ample glasses plates and crockery
Outside dining on a covered shady terrace with barbecue.
The 90 square metre ground floor comprises spacious areas for dining at a wonderful 12 foot long 18th century refectory table, comfortable seating around the central fireplace with satellite tv, dvd, cd player with ipod dock and wifi internet connection.
Description of sleeping capacity:
Sleeps 6 (3 Bedrooms)
Notes on bedrooms:
Bedroom 1 with double bed and en suite bathroom,
Bedroom 2 with double bed,
Bedroom 3 with two single beds,
Double beds are both king size, all beds are super comfortable, with high quality linen supplied.
En-suite bathroom with shower, wc basin and bidet.
Family bathroom with bath/shower over, wc and basin.
Large fluffy bath and pool towels are provided.
There is a large central fireplace (firewood included in rental).
Bedrooms and bathrooms have electric heating.
UK satellite tv.
The property is set in 2.5 acres and has 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside.
The 11m x 6m pool is for guests exclusive use and has a large poolside terrace plus another raised shady terrace with dining table and chairs.
Parking in front of the property.
All bedrooms are on the 1st floor and the ground floor is split level.
There is a stair gate for very young children.
Bill and Anthea Quick. We are both in the antiques business and Anthea is also a qualified interior designer. We have lived in this beautiful part of France for 20 years.
|Year property purchased||1991|
|Why this location?||We travelled a great deal throughout France in the course of our business and spent a long time looking for the area in which we would like to live. As soon we arrived in the Lot et Garonne we immediately fell in love with its rolling countryside,beautiful ancient towns and villages and the warmness of of the people who live here. We love it for its tranquility without isolation and the hot summers and mild winters. La vie est belle.|
|Unique benefits of property||When we bought the property in 1991 it was in a very poor state, hadn't been lived in since 1953 and had no mains water or electricity. It was built in 1721 and had all its original character and features which was exactly what we were looking. It took nearly ten years of hands on restoration to complete, we scoured the country searching for antique pieces to furnish and decorate the house to make it something that is very characterful and individual that stands out from other rental properties yet at the same time a very comfortable home with a relaxed atmosphere|
The area is full of good restaurants to suit all budgets. An excellent four course lunch including wine, can still be found for 12 to 15 euros. There is a choice of over 25 restaurants just within 15 minutes drive, and dozens more further afield.
There is a local market every day of the week within easy reach offering an abundance of local produce.
Bergerac and Villeneuve sur Lot (both 20 - 30 minutes away) have a good variety of shops and large supermarkets.
Villereal - our "local" town (10 minutes) can provide everything you need for everyday shopping.
Every weekend throughout the summer there are Antique Fairs in towns and villages throughout the region.
Golf, there are several good 9 and 18 hole courses less than 30 minutes away.
Canoeing - canoes can be hired at various points along the Dordogne river. Trips of various lengths can be made, at the end you are collected and returned to your original starting point.
Fishing - a licence can be obtained locally for a small fee to fish in local lakes and rivers.
Horse-riding - There are several stables locally.
Cycling - bike rent available locally.
Other activities - Adventure Park, Boating, Go-karting, Rambling, Theme Parks, Lake bathing.
This is an ideal centre for visiting the vineyards of Southwest France - the largest wine producing area in Europe.
The area is steeped in history and there are many places to visit within a short drive, including the chateaux of Bonaguil and Biron, plus all the Chateaux that line the banks of the river Dordogne.
There are also beautiful historic towns and villages such as Pujols, Monpazier, Issigeac, Cadouin and - further afield - Sarlat, Beynac, Domme and Rocamadour have spectacular views.
Lavinsotte is a perfect family holiday retreat: beautiful, bucolic surroundings, wonderful accommodation which is fully equipped, most tastefully decorated, spacious and very comfortable, and plenty of outside seating areas for coffee, a lazy lunch, aperitif and a long, languorous dinner. Alternatively, one can dine in the lovely Bastide town of Villereal or neighbouring town of Castillones.
We all revelled in Lavinsotte's outdoor pool which is chemical free in that it is salinated rather than chlorinated; what a joy to swim in the late afternoon and early evening after a day visiting the Dordogne or the Lot valley. Our hosts, Bill and Anthea, greeted us warmly on the day of our arrival and our friendship blossomed during the course of the fortnight: drinks chez eux at the end of the first week and us hosting our hosts to dinner near to the end of our stay. Nothing was too much trouble and yet Bill and Anthea are busy with their own lives, too. It was such a treat to know that they were there on site at Lavinsotte, indeed, next door to us. We waved goodby as we left for Bergerac airport to fly us back to reality, knowing that we cannot wait to return next year. VIVE Lavinsotte!
Lavinsotte is situated at the end of a long drive, surrounded by trees and fields of sunflowers, a beautiful tranquil setting. The gite is attached to the owners house (but so discreet it's barely noticeable) wreathed in climbing plants and scented by the lavender growing on the terrace. So the exterior is aesthetically pleasing, but we have rented many gites that looked good only to be dismayed on entering, as such we reserved our enthusiasm, just in case... What luck, it was fabulous! Bill and Anthea have clearly considered their guests in fitting out the gite and it showed in numerous ways, from the well equipped kitchen to shaded areas around the house, spotlessly clean and well mainltained, too many to list but it was just so thoughtful, and as a result this is the first holiday in years where we have just stayed at the house for days rather than visiting the usual markets and sight seeing.
I would not hesitate to recommend Lavinsotte to anyone, it was the best holiday we have had in years and have returned home feeling completely rested.
Bill and Anthea were excellent hosts, and have created something very special.
My only nine out of ten score is for the mattress, but that's because I am so fussy!
Thank you so much for your lovely comments. We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay and it's good to know that you found Lavinsotte as peaceful and relaxing as we do!