2 stunning gites, each with private heated pool set in 20 acres with all the comforts of home.
Deep in the Perigord Vert, hidden in a small valley just outside the village of Busserolles is the estate of Chez Bigot (the ‘t’ is silent!), a small Chateau built in the 1600’s and once a forge supplying cannonballs for the Napoleonic wars.
The buildings have been extensively restored to provide the owners main residency and two holiday cottages within the 20 acres of pasture and woodland. The grounds are bordered on three sides by the river Trieux.
The Guardians Cottage is a beautiful, large two bed-roomed cottage (with only 1 step) with en-suite bathrooms and all modern facilities. Sleeping 4-6 it is suitable for a family or group of friends.
River View Cottage, newly renovated, is a spacious 2 story gite, with two en-suite bedrooms and views over the meadows to the river.
Both cottages have been renovated with a blend of new and old. Traditional lime walls with original oak beams prevail. Antique furniture compliments new comfortable sofas and beds.
Being passionate about the local food, the kitchens are fully fitted enabling you to prepare the fresh produce from the markets.
Both cottages have there own private space outside, with large patio doors leading to terraces with gardens beyond, perfect for outside dining. Each cottage features a private salt water pool with heating, extensive decking and comfortable loungers.
At River View Cottage, there is a wonderful natural bathing area shaded by large oaks.
Additional details can be found at www.chezbigot.com
Summary of things to do:
Explore our river and land: We have 20 acres of fields, pasture and woodland, much of it bordered by the river, to wander within, fly kites or simple find a shady spot by the river (perhaps at one of the hammocks) and while away a couple of hours. There are pigs, chickens, ducks and sheep, usually with lambs, and we encourage supervised visits and petting. The river, mostly paddling depth with the occasional deeper pool to swim in, it is extremely tranquil and picturesque. An area through the woods has been cleared to provide a river walk – find a shady spot and try your luck at fishing. I’ve been informed that trout are even to be found, but they have evaded my attempts so far.
Other swimming spots: Busserolles village, a 10 mins walk has a lovely river fed swimming lake. It is only 3 feet deep with sandy edges, enticing streams through the woods and plenty of dragon flies, frogs and minnows to keep the children amused.
St Estephe lake: Recently restored, the lake and surrounding woods provide a wonderful and safe beach with lifeguards, free canoes and pedalos, wonderful walks in the woods and a pontoon to traverse the lake itself. There is a restaurant with great views over the lake and several snack bars providing simple refreshments.
Markets/Food: OK, so one of the gems of French rural life are the markets. This area is recognised as the Gastronomic centre of France with particular focus on cheese, especially goat cheese, duck, foie gras, prepared meats, vegetables and fruit (the local strawberry's are fantastic). There are markets most days of the week dotted about the place and each has a distinctive feel and flavor and are worth stopping for.
Many of the local restaurants specialise in regional fare, fois gras, duck, confit and truffles often feature on their menus and we can advise on the best places to go.
Walking/cycling: The Perigord Vert is still extensively wood covered with gentle hills and each commune has marked trails, ranging from 5 kms to 25 kms. Rarely used (but still well marked) the trails weave through woodland, past farms and small villages, over rivers, often providing arresting views. Maps and advice can be provided.
We can also arrange the hire of bicycles from a nearby company and have the (fully serviced) bikes delivered when required. The roads are quiet and cycling is an excellent way to explore the area.
This is one of our favourite activities. Montbron (20 mins) and Brantome (40 mins) are the closest and suited for half or full days canoeing. Indestructible plastic one, two or three person vessels are available, with lifejackets and drums to dry store your belongings provided. Montbron is quieter and perhaps slightly less picturesque than Brantome, but both provide miles of quiet water with the occasional weir or mini rapid to provide the adrenaline. Years of erosion has provided small caves and overhangs within the limestone walls, with the occasional fairy tale chateau perched high. You have ample time to either let the gentle flow do the hard work or paddle ahead, find a private cove to picnic and explore. At the end of the day, you are collected and transported back to your car, taking 15 minutes by road to cover the 3 hours of canoeing! Children must be six or over and be able to swim. Our kinds love it and so do I!
Fishing: I've mentioned you can fish in the stream here on the property and with a license, there are rivers in abundance in the immediate area. However, fishing has been taken to more professional levels with a number of fishing lakes in the area. Many can be utilised for the half day/day and stock mostly Carp with sizes exceeding 50 to 60 lbs, Perch, Roach, Zander and Pike.
Places to visit: Despite being rural, there are a multitude of places to visit. The Chateaus of La Rochefoucauld and Rochechouart are nearby, Brantome is our own 'Little Venice' and St Jean de Cole is one of the prettiest villages in France. Organised Tree Climbing adventures, superb Karting and Horse Riding cater for all age ranges if a little adrenaline is required. The cities of Angouleme, Limoges and Perigeux are all within one hours drive and have wonderful historic centers to get lost within and plenty of boutique shops.
More details of activities, places to visit and restaurants are detailed within our website, www.chezbigot.com