|Maison De La Vallee||Self Catering||Saturday||3||8||2||One cot|
Maison de la Vallee is a large mellow stone farmhouse with original shutters and pretty features. It is attractively situated in its own delightul grounds, away from neighbouring properties. The house has been modernised and equipped to a good standard but with regard to retaining its original Lotois characteristics. To the side of the property, across the narrow track that is a beautiful 20 minute back route to Les Arques, there is a large pond where you can fish.It is also full of frogs but they tend to disappear when someone approaches they got wise to the French habit of eating them. At certain times they make a racket but you get used to it. Snails are a more favoured local delicacy and and the lotois can often be seen along the banks collecting them for their table.
The property's generous size and grounds of about 4.5 acres offers a quiet and secluded place in which to enjoy a relaxing holiday with your family and friends but provides a private corner if some peaceful solitude is required: there are numerous secluded spots for a quiet and gentle snooze or after-lunch nap, though the birds and other wildlife might provide a lulling backdrop.
Traffic from the D road at the front of the house is minimal except on Sunday market day or the occasional brocante or other summer festival but you'd probably not notice. Such activities take place in our nearest village, situated 5 kms away along the same road. It's only an easy 15 minute morning cycle ride to the wonderful boulangeries in Cazals.
There is a large stone barn adjacent to the house which contains the bikes, a full-size table tennis table, a small billiards table and further supplies of garden chairs and tables.
THERE ARE 6 BIKES AVAILABLE FOR RENTERS' USE: 4 ADULT SIZE
2 x 7 YEARS+.
ALSO AN ADULT TANDEM
There is a very large and useful tiled kitchen.Iit is very well equipped with almost everything you might need, a great space for those of you who want to enjoy cooking and serving the fresh and delicious produce of the region, especially that to be found in the numerous local markets ( though our favourite is in nearby Cazals). We leave a large array of condiments, herbs, spices, as there's no point in storing them.
There is a large table and 6 chairs in the kitchen for informal eating and food preparation.
The usual white goods are there, oven, dishwasher, microwave, 2 fridges and a freezer as well as an iron, ironing board, pegs, linen basket. There is a large larder cupboard where all crockery and glasses are stored.
Outside,between the barn and house, there is a covered/roofed area, open to the front where there is a large dining table , a kind of alfresco area that we use most as a dining area, a great place to eat by candle or electric light in the evening.
The living room is huge but cosy. It has exposed beams and one exposed stone wall with a large inglenook fireplace and traditional stone sink. Tiled floor.
WORLD CUP 2018 VIEWING
A 55 " tv (connected to British freeview networks) and DVD and CD players are there for your use if required.We leave a variety of books and DVDs for your use, as well as board games and jigsaws for all ages and some very useful Lego ( all stored in a large cupboard at one end of the room).There is a large curved leather sofa and armchair near the tv.
At the other end of the room, there is also a large oak table and 6 chairs. There are rugs, lamps and pictures to make this room a pleasant place to sit in though during summer months we as a family seem to live outdoors and in the kitchen.
This room remains cool even in the hottest of days so it can provide a haven when you need some quiet shaded coolness.
There are three carpeted bedrooms:
1. A larger double with a good firm mattress, armchair, side tables, lamps and storage cabinet, plus hanging space.
2. The middle bedroom has 4 bunk beds with fairly firm mattresses, lamp, chest of drawers and hanging stand.
3. A small pretty double bedroom with hanging stand, shelved wardrobe, side tables and lamp.
All have pretty views across the front garden.
There are two modern tiled shower rooms and 2 wcs.
1. Ground floor shower room and wc. well equipped with good quality cubicle shower and inset hand basin unit.
2.On first floor, a spacious shower and handbasin unit.
There is an adjacent separate wc.
In the winter there is a wood burner and this has never been used during the summer months.
There are electric heaters in the bedrooms and showerrooms plus electric towel heaters in the shower rooms.
Smart tv ( British Freeview network connected plus Netflix, etc )
Cc player and radio
Weber gas bbq
Extensive gardens and woodland. Surrounding area is likewise wooded with pretty fields and paths. A natural paradise.
there are apple trees which you are welcome to pick from if the deer haven't got there first.
Close by, along a tributary of the Lot which runs about 200 yards in front of the house, there is a signposted and guided nature walk.
The extensive drive has been relaid this spring.
A really good swimming pool. This year there will be a new liner and new surrounding paving stones immediately adjacent to the poolside so ought to be in perfect condition. Its 12m x 6m size means you can have a good swim and it is 2.5 metres deep at one end. The pool is alarmed for safety of young children though I'm sure no parent needs reminding that young children must never be left unsupervised. There is just one back door so it is easy to lock to prevent over enthusiastic young children taking a dip. Loungers and chairs plus a large gazebo and some parasols are provided.
Ample parking. There are garages but they are locked.
Great for families and groups of friends.
Not suitable for those with wheelchairs. There are stairs but for those who are unsteady on their feet there is a downstairs wc so the stairs need not be negotiated all the time.
Suzanne & Kevin have owned the house since 1999 and have enjoyed numerous relaxing and memorable family holidays in this very beautiful and historic area of France which also provides a wealth of activities to suit all interests.<br/>Suzanne is a former teacher and Kevin is a notary and lawyer in Sussex. 'We never tire of this region and the delights it offers. Its slow pace of life and continuing rural traditions never cease to give us pleasure.'
|Year property purchased||1999|
|Why this location?||The Lot is quieter than the Dordogne but in our opinion, more beautiful, more mysterious. Offering both gentle and stimulating pleasures: there is a wealth of activities to cater for many and varied interests, for both adults and children. Its famous vineyards, wines - the Black Malbec wines of Cahors - are to be seen and sampled everywhere; its historical past and architectural treasures await discovery; its traditional fetes and markets, its wide variety of musical concerts regularly held in local towns and villages, cafes and restaurants; its annual international Gindou film feastival that takes place in August; its prehistoric caves and paintings as well as exhibitions devoted to dinosaurs, their tracks and skeletons found in the region. Furthermore, for children there are nearby activity centres including a water park, zoo, fun and friendly farms and history brought to life in pageants and spectacles.
And Les Arques is central to their exploration and discovery.
|Unique benefits of property||The property is situated only 5 kms from a pretty bastide village, Cazals, its origins dating back to the medieval 100 Years War - yet it provides all amenities: supermarket, 2 boulangeries, a butchers, delicatessen, epicerie, electrical store, a pharmacy, bank, 3 hairdressers, a beauty therapy salon, 2 cafes and three restaurants.
sited well back from a quiet D road, the nearest neighbours well out of sight.
Its 4 acre grounds, including woodland and grassed areas are mostly to the back and side of the property. A big 12m x 6m swimming pool with paved terrace is at the back of the house and all around there are green and pretty views and excellent walks. It is a quiet, idyllic and relaxing location where you can escape from the bustle of busier lives. As a consequence wildlife abounds, often noisily so. There are deer, wild boar, badgers, red squirrels and wonderful bird life ( bird lovers bring binoculars). We provide bikes as cycling is a rewarding way to explore the area.
Prior to your holiday we send detailed house notes about the area and where to visit.
At the house we keep these notes in a book which we annually update with new restaurants, shops, museums or regular events for example, the cafe/bar/restaurant, Bar a Truc, in a neighbouring - exquisite - medieval village, L'Herm , now holds almost weekly music and dinner events, always great value and excellent entertainment whatever style of music is preformed. Sitting under the starry unpolluted sky can be truly magical.
likewise we leave information about activities on offer for children and events for adults , for example, large music festivals like the Cahors Blues festival which is a stunning event with top artists.
There's a tourist office in nearby Cazals where all local events are listed and information happily communicated. Likewise there are local posters and flyers to keep you well informed about what's on. .
The small but beautiful medieval city of Cahors is certainly worth a visit as is our very local museum, a 15 minute walk from the house, dedicated to the famous sculptor, Ossip Zadkine who lived in the village during the summer months to get away from Paris. Some of his famous works are inside as well as outside the stunning church and the museum is well worth the 3 euro visit by any art loving visitor.
Other historic bastide medieval villages are situated within easy driving distance, along routes that are both charming and well signposted.
Lovely property in beautiful setting with a pool (all we needed with 3 children).
Inside is spacious and comfortable with TV for playing DVDs. The barn is a positive Aladdin's cave with bikes, pool and table tennis tables albeit the opportunities for cycling far from the door with young children are limited - the road into the nearest village is very steep.
Would definitely recommend and visit again.
Thank you for your very positive review and recommendation - and delighted that you would visit again.
The road to Cazals, our next nearest village, is a 15/20 minutes cycle away and much flatter than the indeed very steep route to Les Arques. The TV also has a satellite connection to British TV as well as a DVD device.
The inside of the property needs a bit of updating and modernisation. Some of the ceilings had paint flaking off and was quite dusty in some places and could do with a bit of a 'spring clean'. We would have expected hand towels to be left in the bathrooms as we couldn't find any there. There is no bath, which would be a problem for families with very young children.
The house is in a great setting with a fantastic pool and garden which the family loved.The exterior is stunning and the owner provided excellent customer service and was really helpful prior to our arrival with helpful information on places to visit, recommendations for restaurants etc and we really enjoyed our stay here.
Thank you for your review: we’re very pleased you and your family really enjoyed your holiday.
Your comments on the interior of the house are a little surprising as we’ve never had such a complaint in the 18 years we’ve let it.
It’s a fine example of 19th century Lotois farmhouse, a style usually much appreciated by visitors and thus we have kept as many of the original features as we can.
Nonetheless we have installed, and regularly maintained to a high standard, two modern shower rooms ( no baths, as clearly stated in the advertisement- and, likewise, no towels either ). The well equipped kitchen has modern, up-to-date, quality appliances but is deliberately designed as a rural farmhouse kitchen.
I’m sorry to hear about it being dusty in some parts. Yours was the last let and though it is cleaned for 5 hours after each let, I cannot guarantee there will not be some areas of dust in less accessible places. I myself was there when a very thorough, pre-let spring clean was carried out and can vouch not a spot was left in any room. I also arrived the day after you left, after its usual 5 hour clean, and I thought how spruce it looked after the summer season, and yes, there were some dusty parts when I looked closely but overall it looked fine: it’s a large rural holiday-let house and not a hotel.
Apologies about the patches of peeling ceiling paint: extreme heat this year caused that- the two rooms affected had been redecorated just two months before.