|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
The summer of 2017 at "Le Chabrol" , just across the river from Tremolat, is filling quickly - we must be doing something right!
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.
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
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.
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.
Reflecting on four delightful weeks at Le Chabrol has me reaching for the thesaurus to come up with a suitable list of superlatives; let me start with effortlessly stylish, lush, pretty, wonderfully situated, impeccably decorated, casually elegant – get the idea? This is no ordinary gite.
We had a delightful family holiday. Le Chabrol is wonderfully livable for families. Our children loved the pool, the lawns (the local lawn man happily mowed a cricket pitch into the grass, resulting in some epic father-and-son cricket contests) and exploring the paths down to the edge of the river. The cable tv and excellent wi-fi were useful on the days when the Perigord was unseasonably wet. While our children were not super-keen market-goers (“Dad, do we really need more cheese and duck fat?”), there are plenty of attractions nearby: amazing castles, horse-riding, canoeing, caves and so on.
The little details push Le Chabrol up into the highest category of holiday accommodation: things like sharp chef’s knives and a truly bewildering array of wonderful cooking paraphernalia, luxurious linens, super-comfortable beds, bunches of flowers from the garden, and underfloor heating (great on chilly mornings). And there are lovely surprises, like a herb garden: on many occasions we picked a few leaves and added basil, or parsley, or tarragon to our cooking. We feasted on fistfuls of ripe strawberries and raspberries. Fantastic.
The local village, Tremolat, (an easy ten minute walk away) is beautiful and has all the basics (two bakeries, of course, a small supermarket and several cafes) but those who like a bit of bustle will be disappointed: Tremolat is very quiet – sometimes almost too quiet. Tremolat does boast a sensational restaurant, Le Vieux Logis, a buzzing bistrot and a great pizza bar. Further afield lie many market towns full of the best produce of this region.
We must mention Brian, the genial, talented and astonishingly helpful manager. He, and his formidable wife Cheri, helped us with humour and good grace when a couple of unforeseen problems arose. The owner, Donald, is always ready to assist via e-mail if required.
Le Chabrol is sophisticated, inviting and comfortable. Stay as long as you can and let the many delights of the Perigord work their charms on you. We left Le Chabrol relaxed, slightly more rotund, and longing to return.
Le Chabrol offers many things for a traveler in search of a restful and enjoyable vacation. The beauty of the country cottage is instantly relaxing, and being complete with stunning bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen, it's tough not to feel at home. We particularly enjoyed its proximity to Tremolat, which made for easy walks or bike rides into town for morning visits to the boulengerie and afternoon trips pour un biere pression. Our days were spent swimming, eating underneath the cherry tree, and reading in the garden. A perfect destination for a quiet and laid back trip away from home. Thank you!
My Husband and I spent 5 glorious days with the Shaws at LeChabrol. Such a lovely comfortable home with all the amenities anyone could ask for. It's closeness to villages made day trips very easy. We loved walking into Tremolat for delicious baquettes and croissants every morning! A truly relaxing home away from home!
K & A Petersen
The reality is even better than the photos. Le Chabrol is wonderful. The house offers everything you could need - it is extremely well appointed and comfortable and every room is decorated charmingly. The garden is delightful and we had several meals sitting outside. It was not warm enough to use the pool during our stay although one of our party did swim in the river. Tremolat is a delightful village and we enjoyed walking there for a coffee and croissant or a drink. I would highly recommend this property and hope to make a return visit before too long.
Frankly , LeChabrol is beyond all our dreams and expectations!
It is a treasure! Within less than 24 hours we were totally at home. The house is beautiful, cozy ,comfortable , with luxurious bathrooms and a fabulous kitchen to cook in. It lacks for nothing!
On our arrival Le Chabrol looked like a decorating mag feature, beautifully appointed, pristine, so welcoming and flowers in every room. The Collies and Cheri and Brian Hewitt who manage the property in their absence made us feel like we were their house guests. We haven't looked back! Each day we swim in the gorgeous pool and celebrate every meal in a different location on the property ....under the cheery tree, on the pea gravel terrace surrounded by roses in full bloom or on the edge of the Dordogne with the sun high in the sky until late in the evening. It is heaven!
Here's to our first 2 weeks in
and to LeCabrol with love!
From the moment Steve and I arrived at Le Chabrol we felt completely at home and very relaxed after our easy 15 minute drive from the airport at Bergerac. We loved being right on the Dordogne River and in close proximity to the beautiful village of Tremolat. Our daily walk into town was a lovely ritual and bikes were provided to explore a little further afield. We loved it that there were so many villages nearby with markets, restaurants and wonderful bakeries.
The river provided many activities - canoeing, swimming and beautiful views whilst walking along the banks and all at our doorstep! The area is know for its agriculture, friendly people and historic villages with beautiful churches and homes.
We spent quite a bit of time sourcing somewhere to stay in this area and we were so pleased we chose Le Chabrol which really was a standout. The house has three large double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a powder room which was perfect for our group. The sitting and dining areas downstairs were complimented by an open fireplace and an excellent kitchen which was wonderful when we decided to stay home for dinner. The barbecue was in pristine condition and we enjoyed many barbecue lunches outside whilst relaxing by the pool. The house, pool and garden were all beautifully maintained and we felt very comfortable knowing that we could contact the owner and the manager if needed however we did not have to do this.
We are very much looking forward to making our way back to Le Chabrol in the future and in the mean time we have been encouraging our friends to discover this little pocket of South West France using Le Chabrol as their base.
Just half an hour from Bergerac Airport (Ryanair) or a couple of hours from either Bordeaux or Toulouse, we are situated directly on the Dordogne River in the tiny, friendly village of Calès, just across the bridge from Trémolat, halfway between Sarlat and Bergerac, at the very heart of this fabled part of the Aquitaine. A leisurely 30 or 40 minute drive to either city 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. An easy walk to Trémolat village brings you 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. Though we prefer picking the wild flowers along the quiet country lanes, you will also find places for quad biking and go-carts if you really need to! Or enjoy your own golfing holiday and send the others off to one of the many canoe hire places or equestrian centres. 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.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||£434|
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