La Vieille Boulangerie (the old bakery) is a charming two bedroom cottage set in the beautiful countryside of the Perigord Vert region of the Dordogne.
Whether you want to get away from it all and lounge by the pool, explore the countryside (on foot or by car, bike or canoe), or take in the towns, local cuisine and the many tourist attractions in this part of France, La Vieille Boulangerie provides a great base from which to enjoy your holiday.
The house, which is at least 200 years old, was completely renovated to a very high standard in 2010. Many of the original floor boards and beams remain, as does the main fireplace and much of the stone work, preserving the building's essential character.
The accommodation is surprisingly spacious - the drawing room and master bedroom would not be out of place in a grander residence. The kitchen has all the modern appliances you would expect.
The house sits at the edge of Les Graulges, a quiet village in the picturesque valley of the river Nizonne. This is 'La France Profonde' - deeply rural and far from the madding crowd. Opposite stands the village petanque pitch; the chinking of steel boules and occasional French expressions of triumph or frustration may enliven your Saturday afternoons.
The area around La Vieille Boulangerie is ideal for walking and cycling. The country roads are in excellent condition and there is little traffic. The gently rolling landscape, dotted about with many chateaux, means there are always delightful views to be enjoyed and pretty hamlets to be discovered. For those who seek a more vigorous work-out, the local hills will provide plenty to challenge you.
The gite has a (10m x 5m) heated salt water swimming pool, shared with the owners and family in the main house, when in residence, . There is a large garden of about 2 acres, which is mostly meadow with walnut and fruit trees.
The nearest shops are in the small, market town of Mareuil some 5kms away. One of the best kept secrets of the region - Le Petit Restaurant, serving delicious food at a price that does not break the bank - is equally close.
Better known locally is the stunningly pretty town of Brantome - nicknamed the Venice of the Perigord - which is about 20 minutes by car. Brantome and many of the other historic towns along the river Dronne are excellent places to visit and, for those so inclined, to go canoeing. A quick search on the Internet will show how rich this region is in places of interest for visitors.
The cottage forms part of a small ensemble of buildings, including the old village bakery and grocer's (both long since defunct). On one side is the rarely used, small holiday home of a Parisian family; on the other is a traditional French barn. There are open views of the countryside to the front and rear.
The garden and terrace at the rear provide privacy and calm at all times - perfect for al fresco breakfasts and barbecues. Typically, the only noise you will hear, as you sip an aperitif in the golden evening sunshine, is the mating call of the cicadas and, perhaps, the scratching of visiting free range hens.