Maison de la Paix, Issigeac, Bergerac, Perigord Poupre, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France.
2019 - NOW BOOKING FAST.........!
Situated in the very HEART of 100 YEAR WAR country, bastides, medieval villages, troglodyte caves, chateaux, huge winding rivers, vignerons par excellence, truffles, village markets, the home of foie gras and to cap it all – the most beautiful countryside imaginable!
Day outings to Bordeaux, St Emilion, Limoges - famous for its fine pottery, Cahors – the seat of fierce resistance to the German Occupation in WW2, to name but a few.
Few European areas are richer in history than this. Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man bivouacked here, Richard the Lionheart was killed here, the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) ended here and French resistance to World War II, occupation by Nazi Germany and the Vichy government began here.
There is so much to see and do in this greater area that one could, literally, spend a lifetime immersed in its exploration.
What better place to do it from, than one of the most authentic and well preserved medieval villages, with roots dating back to the 3rd Century – ISSIGEAC !
MAISON DE LA PAIX – FRANCE a Medieval Village house par excellence.
Maison de la Paix - France is all about living and the ‘joie de vivre’ of everything that makes life in rural France so special.
This historic house, with original features and materials dating back to the early twelve to mid thirteen hundreds, was selected and featured as ‘The Mystery Property’ in the popular BBC documentary ‘Escape to the Continent’ – the first airing of which was on 28 May 2015!
Having been sympathetically restored in the early 2000s, Maison de la Paix has an interior that, whilst retaining and embellishing authentic period features - has all the mod cons and flow necessary to make it a really comfortable and easy living space to be in and accommodate up to eight guests, in true French style.
Entering through a stone gateway, leaving the slow hustle and bustle of 'medieval' village life behind you, one finds a magical, sunny and very private, South facing garden, unique to only a few houses in our village and Maison de la Paix is one of the best.
To your right, a shaded garden dining pavilion, set in a semi-formal French garden, which is just perfect for you to enjoy alfresco, suitably long and typically French lunches, or dinners by candlelight.
To your left, a romantic terrace with comfortable sun loungers for that lazy afternoon snooze under the Maple tree.
Enter Maison de la Paix’s doorway - hewn in later years through the 13th century outer limestone wall of the village - into a cool, stone floored living area - that can only be described as 'incredibly special'.
That unique ‘French’ country sunlight streams into this South facing living area, and tracks back to it’s source, through the French doors and windows that open through the immense rampart wall, to the beautiful, sunny and private court garden, from which you have just entered.
The warmth of the strikingly beautiful French stone fireplace.
The immense rough ancient wooden beams supporting the high ceilings, with lighting options to cater for every mood.
The inch thick, natural stone floors hewn from the hills of the South of France - so perfectly functional - cooling the interior in the heat of summer and then oozing warmth underfoot in the cooler months of winter.
This living area flows seamlessly through to the kitchen bar area and onwards deeper into a kitchen, so well equipped, it would satisfy the most demanding gourmet chef in you.
Through an ancient doorway - the fun medieval dining ‘hall’, decorated in French period finishes and equipped with a wine sommelier for storing and chilling up to 120 bottles of your wines.
The décor - a combination of French antique and period styled medieval fittings, coupled with stylish current furnishings necessary for your absolute comfort.
A true marriage of stone, steel and timber if ever there was one!
A variety of seating and dining options - so comfortable, adaptable and accommodating – catering for all sizes of guest groups - from single to eight - allowing as much privacy, or not, as your mood dictates.
Follow the ancient, hand crafted wooden staircase, which gently meanders upwards to the sleeping quarters, where sumptuous beds await contented bodies and souls.
A reading and IT area on the landing, opening out to a romantic Juliet balcony. A perfect spot to catch up on emails back home, or print that important information for tomorrow's outing and - oh yes – uncapped FREE wifi is provided throughout the house as are telephone calls back home!
Boasting four genuine double bedrooms – all on the first floor - three of which are ensuite, Maison de la Paix is equipped to accommodate up to eight guests in style and comfort.
Each bedroom features luxurious, high quality, brand new, XL King size beds furnished with 100% Percale cotton bed linen and huge high quality fluffy white towels for bathing.
All with rose coloured wooden floors, high volume beamed ceilings and period features, the accommodation compliments the living area below by providing such an authentic French feel. (See full detail under facilities.)
THE FRENCH WAY
For us, as a family, sharing the joys of freshly cooked meals and working and experimenting with the incredible ingredients to be ‘sniffed’ out at the numerous village markets, has always been a feature of our special holiday time together.
It's no secret - we love our food - and our kitchen at Maison de la Paix caters for this passion being excellently laid out and thoughtfully equipped.
At Maison de la Paix, cooking is definitely part of the daily entertainment ritual and conversation and inspiration flow seamlessly from the living and dining areas through to this well equipped kitchen, allowing those not involved in the day’s culinary art, to share a glass of wine and a chat with those that are.
VILLAGE LIFE AT ITS VERY BEST
Just thirty paces from your garden gate at Maison de la Paix, will find you at our favourite Boulanger - one of three in the village - where you can pick up that morning’s freshly baked bread, croissants or pastries.
What better way to start your day, than with a flakey croissant with cheese and preserves picked up from the fromage specialists, at the numerous open markets, you are sure to visit?
One hundred paces in towards the centre of the village, will find you at the door of the boucherie, charcuterie and traiteur in the Grand Rue, where Cyril LE MINDU will butcher your meat cuts to your personal specifications.
Regional delicacies are available from specialist shops dotted around the village and treats such as magret (duck breast), foie gras (goose liver), lapin (rabbit), regional wines and armagnac (local version of cognac) to name but a few, are all to be had just a short stroll away.
Pick up a flower arrangement for that special moment from the fleuriste Davide or have a treatment or massage by Sylvie at Centre Zen Shiatsu. There’s even a health food shop!
Just a short walk around the Tour de Ville will lead you past 3 restaurants with the furthest at 300 metres!
All special in their own way, from really good pizza and specialist regional salads with walnut and gesiers (duck gizzards) at Casa Del Seyrat, to really excellent traditional French a la carte or the menu de jour (daily menu) at La Bruciliere and Chez Alain / El Borini. Also, don’t forget Le Relais de l’Ancienne Gare about 600 metres along the Eymet road – a really excellent family run restaurant.
Other businesses to be found a short stroll from Maison de la Paix include: various art studios, pottery studio, glass blower, basket weaver, unique clothing boutiques, hair dressers, pharmacists, doctors, dentist, brocantes, cafés, bistrots, antiques, interior decorator, two well stocked, small franchise grocery stores, a Presse / Tabac and even a taxi operator.
On the other hand though, a short stroll in the other direction could easily find you on one of the unsurpassed, tranquil and comfortable country walks and cycling trails (boucles). France is famous for these boucles and Issigeac has some of the best that we have experienced.
These clearly marked routes meander through lush French forests, farmlands and vineyards, past churches and through surrounding ancient hamlets, past ancient windmills, across babbling brooks, past numerous view sites and historic features and countryside abundant with wildlife.
One can safely say that - everything that you will need for an unforgettable stay at Maison de la Paix - is available just a short stroll from your door.
Issigeac is a small intimate and secure little village, inhabited by many local French people, but is also a bit of a commercial hub of the immediately surrounding farming community.
What this means is that, even though it is so small and peaceful, it has just that right mix of activity and tranquility, that truly let’s one experience French country village life in the flesh and at it’s best - and the Sunday Market....?
NOT TO BE MISSED AT ANY COST- OUR SUNDAY MARKET
By far the most festive in the region – our village market is so popular and so much fun that people drive from all over the region for the experience!
With stalls lining the winding medieval streets and alleyways - in and out- the ambiance - the colours, smells, textures, sounds, cultures and of course the food!
Fresh Bordeaux oysters, rotisseried pintade (guinea fowl), cailles (quail), farm chicken, roti de porc (rolled pork), chèvre (goats cheese), pâté de foie gras, duck confit, saucisson, café, cassoulet, paella, wine, art, music, clothing, stone cutting, fresh flowers, artisanal breads….the list goes on.
What better way to enjoy it than from your own village house, just a few steps away from all the activity and then to retire to your OWN quiet cool sanctuary – Maison de la Paix.
For us there was no choice - it just had to be Issigeac