About the property
- House1550 sq. ft.
- Separate WC's1
- Minimum Stay7 nights
A TRULY SOPHISTICATED VILLA ON THE TREMOLAT RIVERBANK WITH A HEATED SALT POOL
Featured as #12 of the "Top 50 Holiday Villas in Spain, France and Portugal" in the (UK) Times April 2009 and AGAIN 28 Feb 2010, our light and airy home, Le Chabrol, sits in a prime location in walking distance to the gorgeous village of Tremolat, under mature trees, by a vast open meadow running out to the riverbank beyond. The open yet separate spacious gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances will please the most demanding cook. Shop every day in a different farmers' market, then enjoy your treasures under the cherry tree by the pool, at the table on the riverbank, in formal grace under the grapevines on the terrace, or indoors at a fine oak table seating 6 to 10 in easy comfort. The gardens are full of cutting flowers for you to pick, plus snackables like strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cherries, figs, pears, grapes and physalis, each in its season. Elegant 'American' bathrooms with strong spacious showers and unlimited hot water. Enjoy hot air ballooning, cliff-top castles, antique markets, the Bergerac and Bordeaux vineyards, canoeing, Cro-Magnon caves, fine dining and much more. 8-speaker BOSE surround sound, TV, high speed WiFi internet and free calls within France.
More About the House: Passionate about French countryside, style, food and wine, we take great pride in this place and love spending time here with friends and family. To have a beautiful home here is a long-standing dream come true: a tranquil, romantic spot located on the banks of the Dordogne in what we believe to be the loveliest corner of France. This is an area of exceptional natural beauty, steeped in history, glowing with sun and fine weather, with outstanding cuisine at every turn. The former owners had superb taste. They designed the renovation to be in harmony with the region's architectural heritage, and decorated the house in muted colors, with subtly elegant fabrics and authentic French country antiques.
We love a bit of luxury, which you will find aplenty inside this house, and we love outdoor living and a really good barbecue!
We feel that the house is intimate yet expansive, cheerful but calm. In summer we live by the sparkling salt-water heated swimming pool, lunching under the cherry tree with a great bottle of the local Bergerac wine and gorgeous local produce on the Weber BBQ. In winter, we love that big fireplace! Come enjoy our happy home - we think we've set very reasonable prices for what you get!
The Restaurants: There's a list of our current favourites in the kitchen, and you'll surely have done some research on your own. Tempting though it is to eat at home every night (and al fresco, at that -- NO BUGS!!!), there is fantastic food to be had here at every price range. Trémolat alone has its renowned Michelin-starred Le Vieux Logis AND the best pizza restaurant in the region. Within a half-hour radius you can find restaurants ranging from world-class refinement to L'Assiette Gourmande, run by a retired french couple who serve the best confit and foie gras in the world on tottering little tables in their pretty back yard. Note to autumn and winter visitors, GET THEIR CASSOULET!! The classic cuisine of Périgord features, besides duck and goose, the other key regional products which it grows and ships throughout France and around the world: strawberries, walnuts, truffles, Bergerac wines and the elegant Sauternes-like Monbazillac. In summer, don't miss the night markets, where you dine outdoors on regional specialities in rustic village squares throughout the region - live music, locally-prepared delicacies cooked on-site, long, long trestle tables, happy, chatting and laughing French locals and visitors from all around the world .
Enjoying the River: The Dordogne, shallow in summer and rather slow-moving in many spots, is considerably warmer than you might expect, and a delight to swim in. There are many beaches along the roads from which swimming is fun, quiet and easy. Our own bit of the riverbank is protected for the blue herons, wild swans and ducks that have adopted it. It's very scenic and we love swimming from our little jetty with the beautiful Tremolat bridge just 50 metres upstream. Canoe rentals are available throughout the region so you can enjoy any number of leisurely hour-long scenic spectaculars. Waterskiing and pedalos are available at the Trémolat Bassin Nautique, where you can also hire a canoe or kayak for a few hours, or for your entire stay -- there are locking rings on our little boat dock so you can keep it secure during your stay.
Short barge trips can be booked in the fantastic carved-into-the-cliffsides village of La Roque Gageac on the road to Sarlat. Rent a bike and cycle the tranquil towpaths beside the local canals which skirt the occasional rapids which made it rough sailing when goods from the region drifted downriver to Bordeaux two centuries ago. Climb Richard the Lionheart's spectacular fortified castle in Beynac.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- English, French, Italian
- Calendar last updated:
- May 22, 2018
About Donald Collie
My love for France began when, as a young Australian doctor, I was lucky enough to work at L’Hopital Americain de Paris in Neuilly, suburban Paris. The experience changed my life. I came to appreciate the 'joie de vivre' of the French, I learnt to love the French culture, style, food, wine and countryside. I travelled to the Dordogne in that first year, 1978, and was spell-bound by the beauty of the region, the river and all that it encompassed. After my time at the L'Hopital Americain, I returned to Melbourne, completed my training as an eye surgeon, had further specialist training in Holland, the UK and in Cleveland, Ohio in the USA and then set up practice in both private and public hospitals in Melbourne. For many years, I was involved with Aid trips to treat blindness in the Pacific Islands – Vanuatu, Solomons, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu. Wonderful people, simple lives, beautiful places, bountiful natural supplies. These are the things I love and in its own way, the Dordogne embodies all of them. In April 2014, I travelled to the Dordogne and met Gary Gunas who, with his partner Billy Rosenfield, had restored this magnificent 300 year old barn on the riverbank, now known as Le Chabrol, just a stone’s throw from one of the loveliest villages in the region. Gary and Billy were reluctantly selling the property to purchase an apartment in Paris and we were able to purchase Le Chabrol with all their beautiful, original art, superb furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen. We were also able to keep their wonderful staff: Brian and Cheri as managers, Corinne to keep the house spotless, Simon Batt to keep the lawns perfect and Jan of Jardins de Perigord to maintain fine gardens.
Donald Collie purchased this House in 2014
Why Donald Collie chose Périgord
We love this property for the way it addresses that great rule of Location, Location, Location. Location #1: The Dordogne itself. We've vacationed in this region since the late 1970's and we believe it's the loveliest corner of France. This is an area of exceptional natural beauty, steeped in history, glowing with sun and fine weather, with outstanding cuisine at every turn. Our fellow expats here claim, and we agree, that for certain people there's a definite magnetism here that draws you in and just doesn't let go - kind of a mystical, visceral pull, in fact. Location #2: Our little corner of the Dordogne. The Périgord Noir, as it's called, is the heart of the heart of the region, known for its indigenous black truffles and the black shade of the pine forests that still stand in many areas, however open to farming and scenic vistas it may be today. We have far less of the tourist-jammed traffic of the Sarlat area, 40 minutes to our east, and far more of the sumptuous tranquility which is the region's greatest asset. Location #3: Our own plot of land. Turning our backs on our quiet little road, we overlook our own pool and gardens, and beyond that the open fields and river, with our own land blending into the neighbours' as far as the eye can see. Giant sky, total privacy. Sweet. When our now good friends, Gary and Billy bought this property, it was a very tired working barn - cows were still living on its mud floor! They designed the renovation to be in harmony with the region's architectural heritage. From the street, it still looks rather like the barn always was - large-scale louvers around the front door reflect the house's original heritage as a tobacco-drying barn. But from the back - the side facing the river - it's clearly more like the 'Relais et Chateau' properties that inspired its design. More than one friend has called our house a Tardis - a seemingly-modest box by the road, with a whole other UNIVERSE inside and out back.
What makes this House unique
We love to cook -- elaborate meals, for lots of friends and the kitchen was designed to suit this joy. It's got everything you could possibly want in terms of equipment -- fish poachers, cherry pitters, cake and tart pans of all sizes, the works. And given the quality of even the most basic foodstuffs here -- from the daily farmers' markets or the superb Grand Frais shop in Bergerac and other specialty shops like Arvouet Foie Gras in Le Buisson -- well, you can cook the same recipes you use at home and come up with flavours you never thought possible! But you can also use our many French cookbooks (all in English) and cook like you've never cooked before. What sets us apart from most other rental houses in the area is that it's really a HOME, and not a calculated, Ikea-furnished rental property. The house was designed and furnished with basic calm and good taste and decorated in muted colors, with subtly elegant fabrics and authentic French country antiques. When you compare ours to many other properties, you won't find 'that' sofa here (as one of our guests recently exclaimed with relief)! Further, while it's indeed our home, we always de-clutter it completely before any guests arrive, so that you're never living with any of our 'stuff' -- every closet and cupboard is completely empty and sparkling clean. No clothes, photos or toys. You're not working around us; the house is all yours when you're here. We rent HomeAway homes on our own holidays, and a key factor for us is just this -- not feeling like we're bunking in with strangers! We want this to be your very own home away from home.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Quintessential French country house of the highest quality.
The house, pool and furnishings are superb and better than the excellent pictures and descriptions provided on the website. The property is beautifully maintained with loads of flowers, fruit and nut trees, a small her and strawberry garden, and expansive lawn. The location is great, with most caves, prehistoric sites, some well-preserved bastide villages being within a 30 minute drive. Some of the most picturesque villages are also a short drive. Communications with the owner were excellent, and support provided by Cheri, Brian and Corinne who live in the next village over, was perfect. Highly recommended.
Absolutely stunning property and fantastic location.
This property is exceptional. It is beautifully decorated and luxurious and has all that you need for your visit to the Dordogne. Tremolat is a beautiful village just across the bridge. Our morning bike ride for our breakfast baguette was a real treat for our teenage daughters.
outstanding property and location
Fabulous ! We have rented a number of properties in Europe and North America but I must say that this property exceeded our expectations in terms of the comfort of the home and the incredible location. No complaints and I hope that we can return.
Thank you for your enthusiasm Jill and Rick - great guests and so glad you enjoyed Le Chabrol and all the surrounds have to offer. Love to have you back
This review is long overdue from our May to June stay at Chabrol. This is our second time renting his beautiful home. We keep thinking we should go somewhere else in the area, but I have never found a house that equals the standards of this one. Every little detail was thought of when the original owners, Gary and Billy, built this house. The gourmet kitchen is quite large and fabulous. My husband loves to cook and it was so fun to spend time in the kitchen preparing meals and drinking wine. It's such a wonderful place that there really is no reason to leave. We had almost every meal for the entire month at home. It is a great home for entertaining due to the design of the great room with the open living and dining area. And the bedrooms are all perfectly appointed, right down to the wonderful Italian linens on the beds. (If I could steal those from you, Donald, I would!)
And then there is the outdoor area! I love the large dining area and all the chairs around the pool. There is also a round table which you can move around depending on where the sun or the shade is. I love putting it under the cherry tree in the shade in the afternoon when we have lunch! The outdoor area is such a peaceful place to relax while reading a book and lounging by the pool. It's hard to think of staying in a big city in Europe after the quietness of this countryside.
I would be remiss if I did not also mentioned the caretaker, Brian. He's a very fun and happy guy, always ready to pop in whenever you need anything. And his wife, Cheri, always puts beautiful flowers in the rooms.
A must for us when we rent a home in Europe is to be very near a quaint little village. This home fits the bill as it is a 10 to 15 minute walk into town. Thanks to the lovely Vieux Logis Relais et Chateau, the little village of Tremolat has a couple of really good restaurants. There is something for everybody in terms of dining choices… The Vieux Logis for fine dining, their bistro restaurant across the street for more casual dining, and the even more casual Les Tartines. Les Tartines is a new addition from our trip two years ago. The duck burger is incredible! We made more than one trip for that burger while staying there this time!
There are so many wonderful small villages, outdoor markets and restaurants, all within short drives of the house. It really is a great location to base your Dordogne travels from. A stay in this charming home is a must!
Brenda and "Jean-Claude" - thank you so much for coming back again this year. Since our first communication a couple of years ago, it has always been a pleasure to be in touch. We would love to have you back yet again, as would our managers, Brian and Cheri.
Magical week in the heart of the Dordogne
When the beautiful photos and enticing description of the Le Chabrol listing caught my attention more than a year ago, I quickly forwarded the information to our travel buddies, who immediately said that they were in - so I booked the house for the four of us (two couples) for the last week of September. My only regret is that we only booked for a week, instead of two or more!
The house is everything we had hoped that it would be. The open layout of the first floor is bright and functional, and the furnishings are comfortable and tasteful. The huge kitchen is well designed and well stocked, and the appliances are top notch. It really is a home chef’s dream kitchen. The upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms are also comfortable and efficient. There’s not much to add to the property description that is in the listing, except to say that it’s all true.
We had exellent weather, so we took advantage of the pool, the outdoor seating areas and the outdoor grill - we made dinner at the house several evenings. We also biked or walked into Tremolat most days to pick up morning pasties at the boulangerie or to have lunch or dinner at the various dining options there.
The house “booklet” was especially useful, filled with useful information on the area, from where to find the daily village markets, tips on daily excursions, what sights to see, and detailed reviews of places to eat - many of which you would never otherwise find. We tried our best, but we just scratched the surface of the listed recommendations.
This little corner of France is loaded with a fascinating history and a rich culture, and Le Chabrol is the perfect base from which to explore. I can’t recommend it enough.
This house is probably the most beautiful place we have ever stayed in. The thought and love that has gone into the décor is amazing - everything we needed was there (and more). We left with the best memories. Eating lunch under the cherry tree, swimming in the crystal clear waters of the pool, picking herbs, grapes and tomatoes from the vine. Evenings spent by the river, enjoying a glass of wine accompanied by freshly picked pears and the best French cheese. The 10 minute pretty walk into Tremolat to buy fresh bread, eat pizza and just chill. I only wish we could have stayed for more than a week. This place is an absolute gem and we would have no hesitation in staying again and again and again. Thank you for sharing your home with us Donald - fantastic!!!
Thank you Darren. It was a pleasure corresponding with you before your stay and we are delighted you enjoyed not only the house, pool, gardens and river but also the local area.
We would love to have you and your family back!
Just half an hour from Bergerac Airport (Ryanair) or a couple of hours from either Bordeaux or Toulouse, we are situated on the banks of the Dordogne River just a short walk across the bridge to the centre of the gorgeous village of Trémolat, where we usually collect our morning croissants. Tremolat is perfectly situated halfway between Sarlat and Bergerac, at the very heart of this fabled part of the Aquitaine.
A leisurely 30 to 40 minute drive to either town takes you through all the tourist attractions of this justly-famous region -- pastoral farm scenes of sunflowers, corn and wheat, cliff-top castles on the riverbank, roadside foie gras shops, the amazing farmers' markets, bakeries, vinyards and wine shops. Stunningly beautiful bends and cliffs along the river, pre-historic caves and caverns, tranquil canoeing on the river, hot air ballooning, it's all here.
The walk to Trémolat village brings you to the glorious Michelin-starred, Relais-et-Chateaux inn, Le Vieux Logis, and its popular Bistrot d'en Face. And just down the road you can rent canoes, pedalos and bicycles, or board the train to Bordeaux and Paris.
Other Activities: Chat with our French, English and Dutch neighbors. Play petanque in any village square. Picture the troglodytes who hunted in our fields. Fish!
Golf: There are a dozen golf courses within a 40-minute drive. Many will rent clubs if you haven't brought your own.
Pick wild flowers along the quiet country lanes, forrrage for wild strawberries, figs or walnuts.
The area is wonderful for cycling and we have a couple of bicycles to get to town more quickly or for a lazy jaunt to nearby villages or along the river. Fishing (pike and perch, in particular) and horseback riding are a treat here, and public tennis courts are everywhere. The more sedate of you can take in the historic towns and villages, including the fortified bastide towns which still bear the scars of the 14th-Century Hundred Years' War, or see Europe's earliest art treasures, the cave paintings of early man at Lascaux. Or visit Les Milandes, where Josephine Baker raised her rainbow tribe of orphans, or gape at the stunning natural rock formations in the region's many spectacular caverns. Or cross from our Perigord Noir over to the Perigord Pourpre, where you can visit the vinyards of Bergerac and Bordeaux.
Or stay home by the pool and enjoy all the modern conveniences of your home-from-home, 'Le Chabrol'.
To 'faire le chabrol' by the way, is to swirl your last drops of wine across your plate at the end of dinner, then slurp up the 'soup'. Leave it to the French to find a socially-acceptable way to lick your plate!
Superbly located minutes from many villages and their weekly markets, river swimming and canoeing from our own jetty, picnic at our table by the river or 10 minutes away on the lovely little pebble beach at Limeuil (classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France). Drive up the road out of Tremolat for lunch high above the river at the charming restaurant, Ferme Auberge Belvedere. From here, the view of the bends in the river (google the 'Cingle du Tremolat'), the bridge into Tremolat and our house, was described by the french author, André Maurois, as one of the wonders of the world.
Limeuil is on the way to Le Bugue, a gorgeous village on the Vezere, and the Le Bugue market is one of the best in the region. Limeuil itself has some fine restaurants and is at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vezere rivers. When in Le Bugue, don't miss the Julien de Savignac wine shop or Le Bugue's best boulangerie, the Moulin.
Sarlat, Domme and Beynac are less than 45 minutes drive. The famous Sarlat market is on Saturday but beware Sarlat traffic can be horrendous on market days. If you are in Sarlat in the evening, you will love the lighting in this beautiful town and the buskers are noit to be missed near the Sarlat town hall.
Beynac has a wonderful castle with views along the river to the castle at Castelnaud. Beynac and Castelnaud were constantly at war and the fortifications are still present at Castelnaud. The film "Chocolat" was filmed, in part, in Beynac.
The beautiful Jardins de Marqueysac are 10 minutes from Beynac, above La Roque Gageac. Just across the river, Domme a lovely bastide village high up on the hill, has the best ice-cream in the area and the view from Domme down the river is spectacular.
The lovely village of St Cyprien is about 15 minutes away. St Cyprien also has a great market, shareing the same vendors as Le Bugue, and at the St Cyprien market, don't miss the marvellous fromagerie.
One of France's most visited museums is at Les Eyzies. This museum tells the story of pre-historic and troglodytic life in the area. There are some marvellous caves near Les Eyzies, including Lascaux, with extraordinary pre-historic wall art. Les Eyzies is easy to reach on the alternative road to Sarlat
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