Set in the extensive grounds of a 17th century Manorhouse is our cute and rustic family holiday Cottage in the Dordogne.
The cottage has 1 large double bedroom and 1 twin bedroom (+ sofa bed and cots), along with a family sized bathroom. It is perfect for one family.
(It should be noted that the swimming pool is shared with our other 4 bedroom gite).
The Cottage originally housed the cook/housekeeper, her husband the farmhand/handy man and their children. Now it welcomes four to six guests. The kitchen/breakfast room is traditional in style with terracotta tiles and a wood burner in the hearth. It has the essentials for holidaying with the fridge freezer, gas cooker, microwave and a selection of Le Creuset pots and pans. The antique wooden table easily accommodates six people.
The bedrooms are two in number. One has two singles and is airy and bright whilst the double has a unique double bed the likes of which you will never have seen before.
The bathroom is also unique and can accommodate a family of four without too much difficulty. Some have said it's a little like a rugby club bath alternatively it could be regarded as Turkish in design. However if showers are your thing it has one of those too.
The lounge has a sofa bed, which can sleep two and hosts the television and Skybox so English telly is still there if you need it, along with the WIFI point. There is a selection of DVDs and books to help care for your children if appropriate.
Outside is a pub bench for eating en plein air with a parasol if it gets too hot, surrounded by lavender. Opposite in the lean-to we keep the BBQ.
The Garden, it's big, some might say too big but it's great for the kids, 16 acres in total. The pool is 10x5 metres in size with a Roman end (curved bit with steps). It is surrounded with a rendered walled garden on three sides and the outer walls of the courtyard on the other. There are gates at either end with a sliding lock and clip to keep little ones out when unattended. There are raised beds all around with exotic plants to make you feel you really are on holiday. Guests are invited to enjoy the salt pool. This does not mean salty like the sea but salty such that you don't need chlorine to keep it clean which can hurt your eyes and irritate your skin. We ask that you use it responsibly and respect the other guests who maybe sharing it with you.
The courtyard is surrounded by gorgeous Perigordine natural pierre apparent walls and a pigeonnier. Under the roof of the pigeonnier there is a sofa and a day where you can sit and while away the day whilst enjoying some locally produced vin in a responsible and health conscious kind of way or if you prefer by the bottle. In the centre of the courtyard is a raised pond with aquatics and goldfish, which I believe are closely related to the aforementioned rabbits as they have multiplied so fast.
Grassy bits are quite large and we have one patch we have kept mown for large groups, usually with kids who need regular exercising, to use as a baseball /rounders pitch. Positioned outside of the swimming pool there is also a full sized table-tennis table, where many a grudge match has been played on a final night.
Down by the river L'Isle there is another pub bench. This is a great spot to watch the river just flow by. We use it for picnics, supporting the local viticulture industry as the sun goes down, swimming and checking up on the local wildlife. Watching aquamarine kingfishers perform low level flying with their underbellies reflected in the water is great. Creeping up on water rats, who have to be the deafest, blindest creatures around is kind of fun. Marvelling at dragonflies making more dragonflies on the wing is incomprehensible but incredible to watch.
We have a wooded area of a couple of acres where you can go "on a bear hunt". Only adults with children will understand this last sentence. Here you will see or more likely hear woodpeckers doing what woodpeckers do. Hear cuckoos cuckooing and maybe see herons in flight, which look like aerial battleships to me.
We have created a child-friendly play area with a trampoline, a set of swings and cabin on stilts where you can bounce, swing and peek out from respectively.