Now a welcoming and delightful holiday house, Le Couvent was once a convent school for the education of 'jeunes filles', and was built in 1837. Upstairs rooms that were once dormitories and the school room are now romantic, light-filled bedrooms and bathrooms. The bedrooms are large and airy with antique beds and armoires, and the two large bathrooms - a family bathroom and one en-suite, have roll-topped baths and showers.
The house stands on the edge of the tiny and beautiful medieval village of St Martin de Vers, surrounded by a high stone wall and a large terraced garden.
The welcoming and sun-drenched, double front-door opens to a cool, tiled entrance hall. A fine wooden staircase spirals up to the floors above. The well-equipped family kitchen with a wood burner leads to a a large back kitchen with all the necessary appliances. The elegant salon, full of light, with a marble fireplace, antique French mirrors, chandeliers and painted furniture provides a cool and relaxing refuge from the heat. The dining room leading from it has a limed -oak dining table made from a neighbours ancient wine vat. Many happy meals with family and friends are enjoyed around this table.
Unusually for a village house, there is a garage for private parking and the garden extends far behind the house leading up into higher woodland with a natural 'source' (spring), for flora and fauna. The terraces in the lower walled garden with its old well, plum and lilac trees provide a shady setting for outdoor living. Higher grassed terraces are private yet perfectly positioned with views over the valley and rooftops of this outstandingly beautiful village. A choice of sun loungers, parasols, dining and relaxing areas make sure that you can relax after a day of sightseeing, or there is badminton and table tennis for the more energetic.
The little River Vers meanders gently around the village providing paddling and swimming/dipping places. A baker and general store is five minutes away. Labastide Murat, 10 minutes away by car, has all amenities including a fortnightly market and summer Sunday morning market and monthly foire de brocante for French antique hunters. The historic towns of Cahors, Figeac and Gourdon are all within easy reach and visitors mustn't miss the spectacular cliff-top villages of St Cirq Lapopie and Rocamadour. Canoeing, caving, tennis and horse riding are all available and the house has two bikes.
The house is well equipped for cooking and enjoying the fine local produce and the Cahors wine. There are numerous restaurants to choose from - both Michelin star and simpler menus.
Le Couvent has been featured in 'Maisons sud Ouest' and '25 Beautiful Homes' (French and English interiors magazines).
Get a much more detailed experience of what it is really like by viewing our video at the end of our entry.