IMAGINE approaching down our 400m drive and discovering at the end of your journey our 2 STOREY CONVERTED BARN, situated in a tranquil location surrounded by farmland, with beautiful views in all directions...especially in sunflower season.The house is adjacent to a similar property but has its own PRIVATE POOL (alarmed), large garden and private paved terraces to 2 sides, one facing the pool and covered by a porch to provide shade. Both lounging and alfresco dining on the terraces are catered for by good quality furniture and a large gas BBQ (gas provided). 8 sun loungers are available to tempt you into luxurious indolence! A covered car port provides shaded parking for 2 vehicles and incorporates a log store and lockable storeroom containing a freezer which guests can use.
Across the pool another small patio area surrounded by colourful flowers is perfect for morning coffee in sun or afternoon tea in shade. An old plough and a well (filled in for safety) complete the outside space in fine rustic French style…not counting the numerous sightings of wildlife of course!
INSIDE, the house is cool and shady with white walls, exposed stonework and original beams upstairs. The GROUND FLOOR is open plan with terracotta floor, comfortable seating around our original stone Charentaise fireplace, dining area to seat 8, very well equipped modern kitchen with integrated appliances, utility area with washing machine and condenser drier, and a shower room/WC. Most areas of the house are redecorated each spring.
UPSTAIRS, a light and airy furnished landing area leads to 4 tastefully appointed bedrooms each comfortably sleeping 2 and with lovely views, plus a second bathroom with large shower. A cot, high chair, stair gate and other baby equipment can be provided at no extra cost.
AMENITIES - Bedlinen, bath and pool towels are included in the rental as are pool and garden maintenance. There are table fans and hair driers in every bedroom, and a selection of books, games, DVDs, iPod dock and pool inflatables for guests' enjoyment. A WELCOME PACK is provided for every party of guests.
The SURROUNDING AREA is one of great natural beauty and historic interest. Our house is situated close to the Charente/Dordogne border, making it ideal for exploring the delights of both regions and enjoying the long hours of sunshine.The beaches of the Atlantic coast (e.g: La Rochelle and Royan) are around 2.5 hours drive away, achievable as a day trip but also great for an overnight stay, maybe if there are keen surfers in the family! River beaches with good facilities for families can be found at Aubeterre (6Km), St. Aulaye (15Km) and Grand Étang de la Jemaye (man-made lake beach around 25Km away).
The Dordogne region with its rivers, wooded hills and valleys, prehistoric caves, chateaux and so on is easily reached for days out, as are the great vineyards of the Bordeaux region and the distilleries around Cognac, with ample opportunities for wine and Pineau tastings. St. Emilion (a UNESCO world heritage site) is a must-see for wine lovers.
ANGOULÊME AND PÉRIGUEUX, the 2 regional capitals, are each about 45Km away and both have lovely old town quarters where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many pavement cafes, indulging in one of the regional specialities such as foie gras. Each town also has big hypermarkets on the outskirts, plus lively street markets in town. In summer, various festivals take place in both large towns and many small villages, often with musical events, markets, funfairs, communal meals and the most spectacular firework displays after sunset.
For GOLF enthusiasts, Manoir de Longeveau Golf and Country Club is visible from our terrace, being only a 5 minute drive away if you feel energetic enough for a round of golf on this 9 hole course (English proprietors - also with TENNIS COURTS and seasonal social events open to non-members). 18 hole golf courses are to be found at Angoulême, Périgueux and further afield at Royan, Cognac and Bordeaux. Families with children should enjoy the MINI-GOLF course, located just outside St-Sęverin.
Further tennis courts can be found in St-Severin and beside the river at AUBETERRE-SUR-DRONNE (6Km), a listed medieval hillside village popular for its river beach, canoeing, nearby horse riding, fascinating monolithic church, craft shops, cafes and bars at which to enjoy a drink while people-watching in the pretty shady square or browsing the little Sunday morning market. In summer, look out for notices advertising concerts and events in the square or by the river.
RIBÉRAC (12Km) is our nearest market town with good facilities including a hypermarket and an excellent Friday morning street market. Bargain hunters will also find Lidl, Aldi and Netto!
There are plenty of great RESTAURANTS to suit all budgets (details of some of our favourites are included in guest information in our house), but with so much wonderful local produce to choose from why not just chill out round the pool and enjoy a BBQ while waiting to marvel at the incredible sunsets and amazing starry skies. If you're still awake after all that, why not enjoy a dip in our floodlit pool to top off another perfect day!
So much to do and see, but our home never fails to work its magic if it's peace and relaxation you're after.