Set in the extensive grounds of a 17th century Manorhouse is our bright and spacious barn conversion in the Dordogne.
The barn has 2 large double bedrooms and 2 twin bedrooms (+ sofa bed and cots). There are also 2 bathrooms. It would be perfect for 2 families, ideal for 8 people.
(It should be noted that the swimming pool is shared with our other 2 bedroom gite).
In October 2007 the only occupants were mice and rabbits, but 8 months later the barn had been transformed and we welcomed our first guests. Gone was the wood store, the chicken coups, the tobacco drying racks, the mangers for the cows and various pieces of antiquated farm machinery. Where the chickens used to roost we now have a mosaic wet room, where the cows used to dine is the kitchen and salle à manger, large enough to cater for 16 or more. Where I used to park my trailer is the salon with its wonderful collection of Antique French armchairs and sofas. Here we have the television with its obligatory Skybox so CBeebies and the BBC News are still at your fingertips.
There is a mezzanine with a large L shaped sofa, an ideal spot to relax and stare at the frames and original beams, or even read should you choose. There are two doubles with magnificent beds and two other bedrooms each with two singles, one of which is large enough to fit in a third single bed. There is a large cast iron bath in the salle de bains where you can soak away your aches and pains. Alternatively you can hose down all the kids en masse in the walk-in wetroom, great for rinsing off after splashing in the pool.
In the downstairs snug where previously some of the rabbits used to have their interior warren we have installed a WiFi access point so you can still pick up the emails and both you and your children can surf to your heart's content.
On a practical note the U shaped kitchen is very well equipped with an American style fridge freezer, a wine fridge to ensure you never run out of beautifully chilled rose and biere, a dishwasher, a 90cm SMEG oven and gas cooker, a microwave oven and a wide selection of pots and pans ideally suited for French cuisine. Mornings are aided by the expresso machine and Dualit toaster. We like to think that every kitchen utensil is available, from your essential corkscrew to your oyster shucker. Let us know if we have missed something out.
Outside there is a secluded decked area with table and chairs where you can knock up a barbecue and stare at the stars.
The Garden, it's big, some might say too big but it's great for the kids, 16 acres in total. The pool is 10x5 metres in size with a Roman end (curved bit with steps). It is surrounded with a rendered walled garden on three sides and the outer walls of the courtyard on the other. There are gates at either end with a sliding lock and clip to keep little ones out when unattended. There are raised beds all around with exotic plants to make you feel you really are on holiday. Guests are invited to enjoy the salt pool. This does not mean salty like the sea but salty such that you don't need chlorine to keep it clean which can hurt your eyes and irritate your skin. We ask that you use it responsibly and respect the other guests who maybe sharing it with you.
The courtyard is surrounded by gorgeous Perigordine natural pierre apparent walls and a pigeonnier. Under the roof of the pigeonnier there is a sofa and a day where you can sit and while away the day whilst enjoying some locally produced vin in a responsible and health conscious kind of way or if you prefer by the bottle. In the centre of the courtyard is a raised pond with aquatics and goldfish, which I believe are closely related to the aforementioned rabbits as they have multiplied so fast.
Grassy bits are quite large and we have one patch we have kept mown for large groups, usually with kids who need regular exercising, to use as a baseball /rounders pitch. Positioned outside of the swimming pool there is also a full sized table-tennis table, where many a grudge match has been played on a final night.
Down by the river L'Isle there is another pub bench. This is a great spot to watch the river just flow by. We use it for picnics, supporting the local viticulture industry as the sun goes down, swimming and checking up on the local wildlife. Watching aquamarine kingfishers perform low level flying with their underbellies reflected in the water is great. Creeping up on water rats, who have to be the deafest, blindest creatures around is kind of fun. Marvelling at dragonflies making more dragonflies on the wing is incomprehensible but incredible to watch.
We have a wooded area of a couple of acres where you can go "on a bear hunt". Only adults with children will understand this last sentence. Here you will see or more likely hear woodpeckers doing what woodpeckers do. Hear cuckoos cuckooing and maybe see herons in flight, which look like aerial battleships to me.
We have created a child-friendly play area with a trampoline, a set of swings and cabin on stilts where you can bounce, swing and peek out from respectively.Get the full listing »