|Le Bourg||Self Catering||Sunday||3||7||2|
From the moment you arrive in St. Amans de Pellagal, you'll be seduced by the peace and quiet, the lovely views, and the warmth and character of our home. Originally a stone barn, it has been converted into a very spacious 3-bedroomed home, with lots of oak beams and exposed stone walls, including in the bathrooms. St. Amans is a little hamlet, high up on the edge of the Lendou Valley, with far-reaching, stunning views over the local countryside. You can walk or cycle for miles along quiet lanes, or just relax in the secluded garden, book and glass of cold rosé to hand. The nearest town with shops, bars and restaurants is Lauzerte, a short drive away. Lauzerte is one of France's 'plus beaux villages' and deserves the accolade. It has many mediaeval houses, and a lovely village square, where the small Saturday market is held. A half-hour drive away is the historic town of Cahors, famous for the St. Valentré bridge (also mediaeval), Malbec wine, bustling market and river boat tours. Another famous town, Moissac, with its cathedral, is also half-an-hour away, and if you want a day trip, Toulouse, Montauban, Albi, Cordes sur Ciel and St. Antonin-Noble-Val (where 2015's gentle film 'The hundred-foot journey', with Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal, was filmed) are within easy reach.
The house is situated between the church and the cemetery, and there is minimal traffic. On a busy day, 3 cars drive by! On hot summer evenings you can also sit on the front steps of the house, with a glass of wine, and watch the sun go down and chat to people walking by.
The heart of the house is a very large kitchen-diner, which opens into the garden. The large table seats 8-10, and there is a separate table for outdoor dining. It is very well-equipped, with a 5-ring range-style gas cooker, large fridge-freezer, microwave and dish-washer. There is a good supply of plates, glasses, cutlery, and top-quality kitchen equipment.
Leading off from the kitchen is a separate laundry room, where the outdoors dining table, cushions for the sunloungers and outdoor seats, are stored. There is a washing machine, tumble-dryer, and ironing board. This room also leads onto the garden.
The living-room is above the kitchen, and has a double aspect, looking out over the Lendou Valley, facing south. This is the side to sit if you want to watch the spectacular sun-sets. The other window looks over the garden and beyond. It is perfect for watching the birds. The room is spacious, with a comfortable sofa, and 3 arm-chairs. There is a fireplace with a woodburner, flat-screen tv with Freeview, and a good quality stereo-system. As this is our second home, there is a good selection of dvds, cds, and books (in English).
The biggest bedroom has a queen-sized bed, and lovely views over the valley. The second bedroom has a double-bed, and leads into the main bathroom. The third bedroom is under the eaves and has a sloping roof, so has limited head-room. It has a double bed and a single bed, and its own bathroom. All bed-linen is 100% cotton. Pillows are English oblong-shaped, and filled with feather/down. All the duvets are also duck or goose-down. All bed-linen is 100% cotton.
There are hair-dryers in each bedroom, and ample drawer and cupboard space in the two double bedrooms. The under-eaves bedroom lends itself better to children/teenagers who probably don't need to hang so many clothes up!
The main bathroom has a large walk-in shower, and a generous corner bath with shelving surrounds which provide room for books, candles and glasses of wine, as well as all your toiletries. It is a perfect spot to enjoy an early-evening romantic apéritif.
The under-eaves bathroom has a large bath with shower attachment, and a velux window for watching the stars while you relax.
Both bathrooms have toilets and sinks. Towels are bath-sheets in bright colours.
There are 2 woodburners, one in the sitting room and one in the main bedroom. They are only necessary in winter. There are oil-filled radiators to take the chill off any spring or autumn days, and in summer you will be grateful for the thick walls, which keep the rooms beautifully cool.
There are two bicycles, available on request.
The house does not have wifi, but data roaming and hot-spots work well and allow most devices to connect for around £1 a day.
There is a flat-screen tv, with Freeview channels, and a good selection of dvds. There is a stereo in the living room.
St. Amans has plenty of open spaces for playing football!
Leading out from the kitchen and laundry room is a private, walled courtyard garden. In summer it gets the sun for most of the day and its seclusion means that you can sunbathe without being overlooked. If you fill the bird-feeder, and put bread out on the walls, you will have a constant stream of pretty birds visiting, including a very tame pair of turtle doves.
The grass is artificial, but you would not know unless we told you! Because of that, please do not stub cigarettes out on it!
There is ample parking outside the house.
The house is not suitable for wheelchairs, and we are not sure it is suitable for tiny children, as the staircase from the kitchen upstairs to the living room and bedrooms is stone, and open to the room, so without a handrail.
The kitchen does have a low beam running across it, so anyone over 173cm will need to duck occasionally! The door from the laundry room to the kitchen is also very low. Neither of these has ever been a problem.
As this is our second home, rather than purely a rental property, we ask people to pay a refundable £250 deposit against damages or breakages, which will be returned once the property has been inspected. If you do accidentally break something, please tell us asap, so that we can source replacements in good time.
We live in rural Kent, and have always loved France and the French lifestyle. Our second home in St. Amans is where we go to relax, enjoy superb food and wine, and see the many friends we have in the area.
|Year property purchased||2012|
|Why this location?||It is a beautiful and friendly part of France, with easy access to Spain, beaches, the Pyrenees. There is plenty to do, and the summers are long and hot.|
|Unique benefits of property||It is a beautiful quercy stone barn, with spacious rooms which stay cool in the summer. The garden is ideal for outdoors eating and discreet sunbathing. St. Amans is a tiny hamlet on the doorstep of stunning scenery and lovely walks. It is tranquil and sleepy, the ideal getaway for a relaxing holiday.|
St Amans de Pellagal lies between three departments, the Tarn et Garonne, the Lot and the Lot et Garonne. Each has a distinctive landscape: the rolling hills of the Tarn et Garonne, the dramatic cliffs and perched villages of the Lot river valley and the open spaces of the Lot et Garonne.
This area is famous for its open air markets (Cahors, Caussade, Moissac) selling truffles, melons, Reine Claude plums, the deep red wine of Cahors, goats cheeses, peaches and confit de canard. The Saturday market in Cahors is always bustling, lively and colourful and was featured in one of Jamie Oliver's tv programmes.
The plentiful waters of the Lot, Tarn and Garonne rivers ensure the area is lush and fertile - in spring the fields are covered with blossom from the fruit trees, in summer sunflowers follow the path of the sun and you can buy melons direct from farmers for very little. There is even a local lavender farm. The Lot River carves its way through the countryside with villages like St Circ Lapopie and Rocamadour perched high above the water. Down on the river you can hire boats, canoes, or just fish or admire the world drift by.
Cahors is a beautiful mediaeval city with the famous Valentre bridge over the River Lot. Toulouse, Montauban and Albi are the three 'pink' towns of the region, named for their distinctively coloured brickwork. All three have stunning cathedrals, cloisters and historic quarters, museums, restaurants, bars and fantastic shopping. Other local towns worth visiting include Lauzerte with its mediaeval square and breathtaking 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside and several excellent bars and restaurants. Caussade 50 minutes away, was the historic hat making centre of the region and still has its famous Monday market.
Perche Merle lies an hour north, it is one of the few prehistoric caves where you can still see the original 25,000 year old rock paintings of mammoths, bison and horses.