NOTE: REVIEWS ON THIS SITE FROM GUESTS WHO BOOKED THROUGH ANOTHER WEBSITE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SHOW STAR RATINGS. BUT WHAT THEY WROTE TELLS THE STORY.
We checked out 40 houses in the Périgord Noir until we found this gem of a manor house. It’s 10 minutes from the A89 motorway (exit 17) and a quarter of an hour from the pretty town of Montignac, home of the famous Lascaux caves. From Montignac, it is a 20 minute drive to the beautifully preserved medieval city of Sarlat. There are castles and chateaux, medieval towns and hundreds of ancient sites everywhere in the Périgord Noir, the most picturesque and historic region of the Dordogne.
Our house is in the quiet historic quarter of the town of Thenon, surrounded by well kept mansions near the ancient church and its chateau. The house is built of stone and oak. You enter the garden through iron gates to reach the front door, which is at the rear of the house facing the view across the rolling hills. To your left on the main floor is a large and fully equipped gourmet kitchen which features a “cantou” or “inglenook” fireplace large enough to hold a Fiat 500 car. To your right is the large living/dining room with it’s two fireplaces. This comfortable living area has beautiful views, antique furniture and a flat screen TV. The dining area has a table for 8, a little office area with computer printer and WIFI and a nice sitting area.
Upstairs are 3 large bedrooms with exposed stone walls, views and fireplaces. One bedroom is ensuite and there is a second bathroom off the corridor.
The wifi works in every room of the house. The telephones feature free long distance calls to 200 countries around the world. There is a dishwasher in the kitchen. Down stairs is a washer and dryer, but you can dry your things in the open air in the garden. There is a flower-filled garden surrounding the house and the old barn. There’s a barbecue and lots of lawn furniture.
A bakery is 2 minutes away from our door on foot and there is a supermarket, gas station, several restaurants and bars in the town. A few minutes from the house is L'Etang de Thenon, a lake and swimming hole with a waterside restaurant open all summer, referred to locally as "Steak on the Lake". You can rent a canoe in Montignac, to drift past ancient castles on the lovely Vézère River. There's water parks, golf, caves, restaurants, castles and ancient towns to explore in the beautiful rolling hills of the Dordogne. You must visit the preserved medieval city of Sarlat la Caneda to wander the ancient car-free streets. To the north is Hautefort (15 minutes) with it’s grand chateau and a fascinating museum of ancient medicine. Further north is the great city of Limoges and it’s ceramic industry. We love Beynac castle to the south, which has been totally restored, where you are free to wander wherever you like without any nattering tour guides. It sits in the magical Valley of the Five Chateaux. Castlenaud and Millandes are two more that are well worth a visit. There are vineyards everywhere, especially to the south around Bergerac. And ancient caves, the homes of Cro-Magnon man, especially at Les Eyzies.
Our house is a calm refuge from the bustle of the big tourist centres. Return to the ancient stones for a barbecue or your own gourmet creations from the fully equipped kitchen. On a cooler night, sit by the wood fire in the living room for a quiet glass of wine and browse through the 60 channels of English TV (including CNN), the 60 channels of French TV or relax with your favourite music from the i-player.
We have no pool. However, there is a beautiful public pool in the town of Azerat, which is 6 minutes away by car. Also, 3 minutes away by car is L'Etang de Thenon, a lake with a sandy beach, a dock and a nice restaurant which often features live music. You can google both of these as Piscine Azerat and L'Etang de Thenon.