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Dramatic Hilltop Stone House Stunning Private Pool & Views All In Rural Setting - Saltre Grande plus Saltre Petite - a total of Four Double Bedrooms

People8
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms4
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Private Pool
  • Internet
  • Parking

Overview

Description

Saltre Grande plus Saltre Petite - a total of Four Double Bedrooms

Saltre Grande offers 2 bedrooms/two bathrooms in a high-quality, architect-designed modern home. This double-height stone house has a real wow factor with a layout that encourages family mixing. The Master Bedroom has beautiful wood floors and a stunning dressing/bathroom and Bedroom 2 is triple aspect with doors to the garden. This property is fully described on our other entry on Owners Direct. Petite Saltre provides the two other bedrooms to take Saltre to a 4 bedroom property suitable for 8 people. Petite is a cosy, well-appointed stone cottage which is over 100 years old ... fully refurbished however! It offers a double bedroom and 2 singles both room having access to private shower rooms. There are 2 terraces for al fresco eating and a bright, pretty kitchen and inside dining area. Sitting between is the Pool Barn so a welcome degree of separation should you wish to stay at Saltre as a 2-family holiday or perhaps with teenagers in your party who could use some separation


About the property

FR6179

Saltre, an old fruit farm comprising around 16 acres, sits on top of a hill in the beautiful farming countryside of the Lot et Garonne with panoramic views across this outstandingly beautiful part of France. We have the main house - Saltre Grande - which sleeps 4 in two beautiful bedrooms, a grand and impressive property which was designed by a local architect. Saltre Grande was built on the footprint of one of the oldest properties in the area - the site taking full advantage of the incredible, far-reaching views. This is a unique opportunity to stay in a rather 'grand' property on a more intimate basis - summer months only. Many homes have the reception rooms which wow but offer 5 plus bedrooms - Saltre Grande, with two bedrooms, gives you that space and wow factor without multiple bedrooms and increased costs. However, if you do need more bedrooms, just 50 m away is a pretty, old stone cottage - Saltre Petite - which has been fully refurbished and modernised and is available as add-on accommodation to Saltre Grande which takes the accommodation to 4 bedrooms - 2 in each property. NOTE If you choose Saltre Grande only, Saltre Petite will remain empty for the duration of your stay. The Pool Barn - an old cow barn which has had the roof removed, the walls lowered and a violet-coloured pool inserted to grand effect, sits between the two houses offering a good degree of separation. The whole 16 acre property is for your exclusive use so provides utter privacy. This is a real 'get-away-from-it-all' property. Saltre Petite offers two bedrooms, a pretty sitting room, a roomy kitchen and a separate dining area. There are also two terraces, one to west for those gorgeous sunsets and a spectacular view, the other directly outside the kitchen which makes an al fresco lunch or supper very easy. For those of you who are nature lovers we have an enormous list of wildlife spotted on our land from deer to wild hogs - from hares to the amazing winged predators; various kites, owls and hawks. The double-height kitchen/dining area of the main house with a walk-around open fire leads to the dramatic sitting room with exposed beams. This house, of high quality and design, is brand new (a local architect was charged with the brief to provide a beautiful home on a grand scale ensuring the property 'sits well' in the ancient surroundings. The interior may be modern but the exterior is in keeping with more traditional local properties. There are two terraces - one to the east overlooking the well - ideal for breakfast or early morning coffee, the other, to the west - ideal for sun downers, lunch or supper. Saltre was built as a refuge away from the high-octane lifestyle from which many of us need stress-relief and literally wraps her arms around guests cocooning them. It makes for a very hard place to leave! The head-turning 12m x 6m violet swimming pool enjoys the outstanding views from the intimacy of the old cow barn. Saltre is approached via a long drive through private woods and offers privacy and peace like no other. Monflanquin village, one of France's prettiest, is 8km away and the lively town of Villeneuve sur Lot, 11km. Local attractions include Chateaux, wine tasting, brocantes, lively markets, picturesque stone villages and delicious local restaurants. For children there is the Parc au Ciel (tree-swinging, canopy walking) and up-market go-cart rental nearby. The rivers Lot (10 mins), Dordogne (30 mins) have boat hire/picnics/swimming and there is golf, horse-riding and tennis courts available within 15 min drive. Saltre has magnificent views towards the beautiful 12 Century bastide village of Monflanquin - one of the 'prettiest villages in France' with its weekly market (going since the 12 century), shops and restaurants. For much of the farm land sun flowers are the crop of choice many years and to see these bright and happy flowers stretching in vast numbers to the horizon is a truly magnificent sight.

The Lot et Garonne is a beautiful area of France comprising of mainly rolling farmland and wineries, many of which are world-renown. With the Bastide villages, many of which make France's 'best vilage' list and a multitude of good, reasonably-priced restaurants this area ticks the box in so many ways to offer a relaxed, unhurried and beautiful holiday.

PLEASE NOTE Saltre Grande is available to rent for part of the year only - beginning May to end Oct. Saltre Petite however (sleeps 4) is available throughout the year for rental so any prices quoted outside of the summer season are for the Saltre Petite ONLY. This includes Christmas. SPECIAL OFFER - for the week of the 26th August, Saltre Petite (sleeps 4) is available at a huge discount - £500 for the entire week, all cleaning etc., inclusive. This is the perfect cosy, rural hideaway for 2 or 4 people (two beds, one double the other, two singles) and offers a warming real fire, very effective heating and an opportunity to explore this gorgeous region without many visitors around. For further information and now to access our own website for Saltre please contact Jennifer.

More Details

Owner
jennifer solomons
Member since: 2010
Speaks English, French
Calendar last updated:
16 August, 2017

About jennifer solomons

We currently live on the island of Penang, Malaysia having moved from Europe some 8 years ago. Neil is a surgeon at a busy hospital here and I'm at home with our three gorgeous dogs. The island is wonderful and we have both enjoyed the huge change to our lives by coming here. However, we do sometimes find the distance between us and our families hard to deal with at times. Living so far away also means our visits to Saltre are few and far between, sadly. We always meet up with our family, who live in Europe, and this is when having the two properties at Saltre is just perfect. We use Saltre Petite as a guest cottage but always arrange meals, socialising etc., at Saltre Grande. This system works so well as it gives everyone a chance to have time alone and is particularly useful with small grandchildren or if there are teenagers around!. I don't think we really appreciated how useful splitting the accommodation would be - and we know many of our guests delight in having late night or early morning privacy. Having a terrace at Saltre Petite means a very late night brandy under the stars doesn't intrude on anyone else or perhaps taking a very early morning swim is possible without worrying about waking up the whole house ... One day it would be wonderful to think we might retire to Saltre as having such a beautiful home but rarely using it does seem a little crazy. Once we're at the house time seems to disappear so fast and what seemed like a long holiday ahead evaporates into setting off on the return journey to S E Asia far too quickly. We built a beautiful home here in France and still pinch ourselves that it is really ours. The blood, sweat and tears (not to mention fast-disappearing funds!) is soon forgotten when we drive up through the woods and see our wonderful French home.

Please note Saltre Grande is available for rentals from beginning May to end Oct only. Prices quoted for rentals outside of these months is for Saltre Petite ONLY.

jennifer solomons purchased this chateau / country house in 2003

Why jennifer solomons chose Savignac-sur-Leyze

We first visited the area when my parents bought a house close to Saltre around 30 years ago. We fell in love with it then and had always kept an eye on properties in the area as it is a perfect sanctuary for pure-escape holidays. We bought Saltre in a moment of madness (thank goodness!) as we were blown away by the peace of it all and mostly because of the magnificent views - being a hilltop property the views are simply outstanding. We built the swimming pool in 2004 and enjoyed many holidays using the cottage - Saltre Petite - but have, most recently, just completed the building of our main house - Saltre Grande which was our dream project. The area around Saltre is so beautiful - farmland with a few stone houses and stunning fields of sunflowers, crops and orchards. The Bastide 12th Century village of Monflanquin is picture-perfect and we love to have dinner in the Square and visiting the weekly market which has been going since the 12th Century! There's lots to do in the local area including exploring, river activities, horse riding and of course, eating! This area is where many of the French themselves choose to holiday mainly due to the beauty of the area but also due to the fabulous local produce.

Much of our holiday is spent lazing at the pool or simply enjoying the peace and privacy of such a large property but we also love to explore the area. We have taken many day trips to places like the wine lands of Bordeaux and the impressive coast line at Arcachon. There is something for everyone in this beautiful part of France and we feel lucky to have a home here. The beauty of well-cared for and loved land is obvious and if you're lucky enough to be in residence during the harvests Lot et Garonne is particularly interesting. We love to shop at the markets and often buy supplies during the day with a everyone-joins-in cook in the evening. A glass (or 3!) of wine before supper sitting on the terrace at Saltre is still one of our favourite things to do

What makes this chateau / country house unique

The beauty of Saltre has always been the peace, the privacy and the beauty of the land The property is an old plum farm and sits on top of a hill so enjoys beautiful views and wonderful sunsets. Building Saltre Grande has been hard work with hiccups along the way but the results speak for themselves. Spending time at Saltre is the perfect antidote to modern living: peaceful, relaxed, with a high degree of privacy which, for us, is an essential. Saltre Petite is simple, friendly and uncomplicated - perfect for our guests and is available for you as add-on accommodation only - it will remain empty if you just choose Saltre Grande . The stone pool barn works very well and is an ideal place to laze the day away and enjoy long, relaxed lunches with amazing views over the countryside. A unique point about Saltre and one of the reasons we bought the property is the two-home accommodation available to those who require it. We always enjoy having guests stay with us and having this separate accommodation means both parties can relax and perhaps have a lie-in one morning or a late night drink on the terrace without disturbing anyone else. This makes it perfect as a two-family rental or, as we do, separate accommodation for either those with babies - no 3 am wake-ups for us! or with teenagers in the group - that little bit of distance works wonders on inter-generational relationships!

Most of our land is simply 'empty' - just fields which surround the house - but we also have trees, old vines and lawns. Many of the old fruit trees from the farm days are still going strong and producing fruit so feel free to help yourself if you come across any.

PLEASE NOTE - Saltre Grande is only available to rent during the summer season - beg May to end Oct. All prices quoted outside of these dates are for the Saltre Petite ONLY (sleeps 4). Saltre Petite is also available at a huge discount for the week of the 26th August, 2017 at £500.00 fully inclusive (more than 40% saving)

Available Rentals

Enter dates for accurate pricing

Notes

PLEASE NOTE - The Main House is only available for rental during the summer season - beginning May to end Oct. Saltre Petite (sleeps 4) is available at any other time so any prices quoted outside of the summer season are for Saltre Petite ONLY.
Book/Enquiries through Owners Direct please. A 25% deposit is required at time of booking with the balance due 8 weeks before arrival. A Security Deposit of £450.00 is also due 8 weeks before arrival (to cover any accidental damage) and is fully refundable as appropriate after your departure. You will be asked to sign our Terms & Conditions during the booking process.
Changeover Day:
Saturday - departure before 10 am and arrival after 5 pm during June, July and August to allow for necessary cleaning. Other months changeover day may be flexible, please ask.

Notes on prices:
Prices are for the property per week in UK pounds. As previously mentioned, Saltre Petite is only available as 'add-on' accommodation to the Saltre Grande. We not offer 'shared' holidays at the house (unless you request it) therefore the grounds and swimming pool are completely private and for your family's sole use.
Saltre Grande is only available for rental from May until October. However, Saltre Petite is available throughout the year.


Facilities

Accommodation and facilities for Saltre Grande plus Saltre Petite - a total of Four Double Bedrooms in Savignac-sur-Leyze in Lot-et-Garonne

Property Type:
  • chateau / country house
Meals:
  • Self-catering
Location Type:
  • rural
  • village
Theme:
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Farm Holidays
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
Bathrooms:
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 Saltre Grande ensuite to Master Bedroom - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
    Bathroom 4 Saltre Petite - Shower Enclosure , Next door to Bedroom 2 but not en-suite
    Bathroom 2 Saltre Grande - Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 3 Saltre Petite ensuite - Shower Enclosure , This is en-suite to Bedroom 1
  • Sorry, the above is rather confusing! Each of the two houses has two bathrooms. Each house has one ensuite bathroom plus a shower room for the other bedroom. All bathrooms have been recently fitted/decorated and in Saltre Grande there is a bath as well as a large walk-in shower.
Bedrooms:
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 2 Saltre Grande - 2 Single Bed , 1 Sofa bed/Futon , A pretty twin bedded room. triple aspect, doors to garden
    Bedroom 4 Saltre Petite - 2 Single Bed , A pretty bedroom with access to a shower room
    Bedroom 1 Saltre Grande Sleeps 2 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 1 Cot , The Master Bedroom at Saltre Grande - beautiful views
    Bedroom 3 Saltre Petite Sleeps 2 - 1 Double Bed , With en-suite shower room and views over a well and farmland
Entertainment:
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
Outside:
  • Balcony ...
  • Boat ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Veranda ...
  • Tennis ...
Suitability:
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool ...
Attractions:
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • duty free shops
  • forests
  • museums
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • equestrian events
  • golf
  • rafting
  • swimming
Notes:
Notes on accommodation: Saltre Grande, built around 8 years ago on the footprint of the original farmhouse, was designed by a local architect briefed to provide a 'wow' factor. It provides very comfortable, light and airy accommodation. High quality materials were used throughout the build with emphasis on the interior design. The house, traditional from the outside in keeping with the local area yet modern inside, boasts high ceilings with a multitude of windows to provide a calm, spacious and modern interior whilst honouring its beautiful surroundings of farms and fields. We have a fully refurbished old stone cottage too - Saltre Petite - ideal for extra guests/older children providing a double bedroom, a twin bedded bedroom together with two shower rooms, a well fitted, bright kitchen and cosy sitting room. Available for rental ONLY in conjunction with the Main House; ideal for two-family rental, young family guests or if you have teenagers in your party. The pool barn sits between the two houses with separate (locked) access to it from each. Outside: There are 16 acres of completely private land. Saltre was originally a plum farm and is thought to be the oldest farm in the hamlet of Savignac-sur-Leyze. There are fields, orchards and vines. This area is known for its sunflower growing together with plums which become the 'prunes of Agen' (to be found world wide as we have discovered!) The architect-designed, swimming pool (12m x 6m) with a large terrace has been set in an old stone barn (roof removed, walls lowered) and enjoys the same impressive views over the countryside as the main house/cottage. There are sunbeds provided. PLEASE NOTE: THE POOL IS OF ONE DEPTH ONLY (APPROX 1.5 M) NO 'SHALLOW' END. There are farm tracks only (no fencing) between us and our neighbours and there are rambling walks in the area. We do not live at the property so, apart from the pool/ground maintenance, Saltre is for your sole use and is completely private.

Reviews

4.8/5 -
(4 traveller reviews)

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Saltre Grande plus Saltre Petite - a total of Four Double Bedrooms
average rating of 4.75 based on 4 reviews
Brisbane
5

Saltre

  • 5 of 5

What a fabulous surprise. We received very detailed instructions on how to get to Saltre from Bergerac and it worked perfectly. Even though I'd seen the photos of the property, the real thing surpassed our expectations. The main house is exquisite and has everything you'd have in your own home plus extras. The cottage was very comfortable and gorgeous. The pool barn came in very handy as the temperature got up to 28degrees and stayed that way for the whole stay. The views of the countryside and of the beautiful bastide Monflanquin were fabulous. Even though the property is in a very rural setting, the area is very well situated with quaint villages and towns a very easy drive away. Monflanquin has a number of lovely restaurants and small shops and of course has a weekly farmers market where you can stock up on fabulous local produce. There is also a large hypermarket only 10 minutes drive from the house that has a fantastic selection of groceries and fresh cheese, meats, fish and wine. You won't want to shop at Woolworths ever again! Don't miss going to the Gam Vert shop and getting your wine from a petrol bowser for 1.50 euro/litre! We're going back next year to enjoy this lovely part of the world again. Even though it's a long flight from Australia, after having a couple of nights in Paris to recover, it was a lovely train ride to Bergerac travelling through extensive vineyards and sunflower fields. Just stunning.

  • Review Submitted: 05-Oct-2014
  • Date of Stay: August 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Lisa, so pleased you and your family had such a wonderful time at Saltre. It was lovely for us to think of guests coming from the other side of the world to our area and even better to hear they were so impressed with not only the house but also the Lot et Garonne and all it has to offer. Please come and stay again!
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0 0
4

A slice of rural luxury

  • 4 of 5

This is the 2nd time we have stayed at Saltre and I don't think we will ever tire of it. We holiday with another family and between the house and the cottage there is plenty of room and space for us all to sleep, chill and dine. The main house is beautifully decorated and is a peaceful haven away from the stresses of everyday life. Part of me thinks that the addition of wifi would be really great but the other part of me feels that this is why we relax so much when we are there!

The grounds and the views are spectacular- amazing sunsets, a plethora of wildlife (deer, owls, bats) and plenty of lovely french markets nearby.

  • Review Submitted: 04-Sep-2014
  • Date of Stay: August 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're delighted that Saltre means much to our valued, returning guests like Philippa; the house and grounds that make up Saltre seem to work their magic on many people, not just us. I totally agree re the wifi remark by the way, on the odd day it seems the most important thing in the world but on the other 99 days out of a hundred it doesn't matter a jot and there's something rather wonderful in leaving the chaos of the modern world behind - especially if you have children! I've had many emails delightedly telling me that guests have never chatted so much with their children after a holiday at Saltre.
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London
5

Wonderful!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in the cottage in 2011 and stayed in the main house in 2013. We loved the cottage and the pool and enjoyed a great holiday in 2011. Two years later we were back to stay in the main house which was the most comfortable rental property we have ever stayed in!

The description of both the location and facilities were accurate and both properties were very well maintained and clean.

The owner was so helpful and we were made to feel very welcome which was a lovely added dimension to the holiday.

I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending the properties. Our holiday in 2013 staying in the main house has gone down in our history of holidays as the most relaxing and unwinding holiday ever! Our two kids aged 7 and 10 had a fabulous time by the gorgeous pool, rambling through the extensive grounds and canopy walking at Pac au Ciel. We ate out in restaurants recommended by the owner and mooched and wandered through the beautiful local towns.

We absolutely adore Saltre and we really hope to return one year!

  • Review Submitted: 08-Jan-2014
  • Date of Stay: July 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Bonnie for such a wonderful review of Saltre and I'm so happy to hear how much you've enjoyed staying at the house. I'm delighted you've chosen to return to the house again and to hear Saltre is listed at the top of your ' most relaxing and unwinding holidays' is a real compliment. We are fortunate in having many guests who return year-on-year - the quality of the house speaks for itself and the privacy and seclusion it offers is a real draw. We let out our property exactly as we use it ourselves - it is a much-loved home and it is just wonderful for us to hear our guests speak as passionately about Saltre as we do ourselves.
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1 0
Surrey
5

Magical Saltre

  • 5 of 5

What a delightful surprise when we arrived at this beautiful holiday home. The main property is a stunning stone house newly rebuilt to the highest quality, beautifully furnished and with everything you could possibly need.

My husband and I were staying in the main house for a weeks holiday and my son, his wife and two children stayed in the cottage which is located only 50m away, this worked perfectly as we all had our own privacy and space but we could also be together as much as we liked.

The cottage is also very well equipped with two very spacious bedrooms and plenty of living space. W

The swimming pool is located between the main house and the cottage and is cleverly encased within the old barn walls. The views from the pool area are spectacular you can see the village of Monflanquin in the distance, in fact the whole property, which is set in several acres of its own land, has uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside.

The closest village of Monflanquin is approx 10mins drive away, there is a excellent supermarket as you approach the village and a bakery for your fresh bread every day ! There are several excellent restaurants around the pretty square and at night the square is a beautiful setting to sit and eat. It is also safe for the children to play whilst we relaxed after finishing our meal as it's easy to keep an eye on them from the comfort of your restaurant table !

We all agreed it was the ideal combination for a shared holiday, having your own space so everyone felt relaxed and enjoyed the time spent together but with the independence to do your own thing.

There is plenty of sight seeing to do with chateaus and village markets to explore and some wonderful scenery too.

We would really recommend this property as a holiday destination, the quality of the facilities and the beautiful setting makes it a magical experience, we will be going back !!

  • Review Submitted: 05-Jan-2014
  • Date of Stay: June 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Location

Nearest Airport
44 Kilometres
Bergerac
Nearest Barpub
7 Kilometres
Monflanquin
Nearest Ferry
678 Kilometres
St Malo
Nearest Golf
15 Kilometres
Villleneuve sur Lot Golf & Country Club
Nearest Train
48 Kilometres
Agen
Nearest Motorway
48 Kilometres
Toulouse
Nearest Restaurant
6 Kilometres
Le Bon Chabrol St Aubin
Nearest Beach
200 Kilometres
Arcachon
Car: necessary

Coast/Beach:

The beautiful beaches of Arcachon are approx 2 hour drive away.

Getting here:

Bergerac Airport 40 mins drive.

Bordeaux/Toulouse Airports 1.45 mins drive.

Approx 10 hrs drive from Calais.

Approx 6 hrs drive from St Malo

6 hrs from St Malo.

Car essential.

Distances:

Monflanquin 8kms.

Villleneuve sur Lot 11kms.

Bordeaux/Toulouse 1.45 mins drive.

Sarlat 1 hr drive.

St Emillion 1.30hr drive.

Further Details:

Monflanquin (8 kms) is the nearest village for a variety of family-owned/run restaurants offering many local specialities (the duck is divine!), elegant, complex dishes, menu compris (great value) and good quality pizzas/pasta dishes. There is a local wine co-operative just outside the village where various wines are available (no Grand Crus however!) made from local grapes including a delicious, light rose, fruity reds and, our favourite, a dry white. A couple of these wines have recently been awarded gold stars in Paris which has delighted the producers and makes their very reasonable prices seem even more so. The 12 Century village square of Monflanquin provides a home for the weekly outdoor market where vats of olives sit side by side wheels of cheese, buckets of flowers parade next to pots of locally produced honey. There are also a couple of bars, speciality shops, a large and well-stocked supermarket, tourist info and banks together with a small grocery store and a florists The village is a wonderful place to spend the famous Quatorze Juilllet (Juy 14th - Bastille Day) as the bunting comes out and the village celebrates with open-air eating, dancing and fireworks. The Medieval Fair appears each August as the village turns back the clock and celebrates its impressive history.

Villeneuve-sur-Lot (11 kms) is a much larger town with many more restaurants, a cinema, twice-weekly market, and multiple shops.

For children/young adults there is a Parc au Ciel (park in the sky) which offers canopy walking, tree-swinging together with picnicking. The two nearest rivers, the Lot and the Dordogne are a short drive away and offer canoe hire, boating, swimming and again beautiful picnic areas. There is an excellent, very professional go-kart track within a 30 minute drive which is hugely popular with all the boys in our family. Prices are reasonable and the karts are impressive.

This area is choc-a-bloc with pretty villages and town which are all well worth exploring. Many hold bric a brac sales during the summer period and of course the famous marche-nocturnes (night food markets) are very popular. We always visit the one in Villereal as it offers such a pretty setting with delicious, home-produced dishes together with plenty of wine available and even music for dancing.

Our favourite restaurants in the area include La Jardin and Le Prince Noir in Monflanquin and Le Moulin de Dausse in the village of Dausse which offers stunning, original and exciting food for a very reasonable price. For fabulous value try the restaurant at Lassou - 4 (on Sunday's it's 5) courses of delicious, home-cooked food under 14 euros p person (inc wine). Further suggestions will be found in our Visitor's Info book in the house.

Photos