French Cottages by fso11775

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									  French Cottages
     Make yourself at home in France

Your complete guide to organising the best
 French itinerary you’ll ever experience!
 Travellers’ French CD – learn French at the wheel!

DVD video – Travellers’ French and Guest Interviews
The French Adventure                                              1
   The Romance of Being "At Home"…                                3
   Your home in France                                            5
   The Little Things Count!                                       7
   How to get there (and enjoy the trip)…                         8
   Plan your whole French itinerary on-line!                      10

PROVENCE                                                          11
   Your home in Uzès, Provence                                    11
   Climate                                                        11
   Architecture                                                   12
   Landscape and Scenery                                          13
   Leisure Activities                                             13
   Savouring the Provençal cuisine: restaurants.                  14
   Shopping and Markets in Uzès                                   15
   Antiques and Collectables (brocante)                           15
   Provence Cottage 1 - “Le Duché “                               16
   Provence Cottage 2 - "Le Petit Manoir “                        18
   Provence Cottage 3 - "L’Appartement"                           20
   Provence Cottage 4 - "Le Moulin                                22
   Provence Cottages 5 and 6 : "La Résidence" and "La Bourgade"   24
   Provence Cottage 7 - "La Grange"                               28
   Provence Cottage 8 - "Le Logis"                                30

DORDOGNE                                                          34
   Your home in Monpazier                                         34
   Architecture                                                   35
   Landscape and Scenery                                          35
   Sports and Leisure Activities                                  36
   Savouring the Périgordian cuisine: restaurants.                36
   Shopping and Markets in Monpazier                              37
   Antiques and Collectables (brocante)                           37
   Dordogne Cottage 1 - "La Bastide"                              38
   Dordogne Cottage 2 - "Le Séjour"                               40

THE LOIRE VALLEY                                                  42
   Your home in Chinon                                            42
   Climate                                              43
   Architecture                                         43
   Landscape and Scenery                                43
   Sports and Leisure Activities                        44
   Savouring the Touraine cuisine: restaurants.         44
   Shopping and Markets in Chinon                       45
   Antiques and Collectables (brocante)                 45
   Loire Valley Cottage 1 - “La Touraine"               46

PYRENEES-ATLANTIQUES-BASQUE                             48
   Your home in Biarritz                                48
   Architecture                                         49
   Landscape and Scenery                                49
   Sports and Leisure Activities                        50
   Savouring the Basque cuisine: restaurants.           50
   Shopping and Markets in Biarritz                     50
   Language, Folklore and Traditional Music             51
   Places to visit nearby and further afield.           51
   Basque-Pyrenees Cottage 1 – “L’Escale”               52

Make your Adventure a Reality!                          54
   How to book                                          54
   Cancellation or Change Policy                        54
   Minimum and Maximum Stays                            55
   Costs                                                55
   What’s included                                      55

Tips for our guests                                     56
   Car Hire and other transport matters                 56
   Money and Banks                                      59
   The Importance of speaking (just a little) French!   59

Testimonials and Tributes                               60
   French Cottages - our postcards page                 60

Travellers’ Survival French Word list                   61
   Learn more French here!                              62

Payment Options                                         63

                           The French Adventure
                           Some years ago, when
                           we first visited France,
                           we made Paris our only
                           port       of        call.
                           We loved it. Abounding
                           in    cafes,    galleries,
                          beautiful boulevards and
a stylish ambience uniquely French, Paris seemed
like a dream destination.
How limited we were!
It was only on subsequent visits, bristling with Eurail tickets
and hire cars, that we discovered the enormous wealth of things
to see and do in rural France, and how varied were its regions.
The wine villages of Burgundy, Brittany’s diverse coastlines,
the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, the haunting alpine
vistas of the Auvergne, the Canal du Midi in the Languedoc
and the fairy tale towns floating in the clouds or nestling
in the Massif Central, were just a few of these.

But amongst this dazzling diversity, four
particular regions captured our hearts and
imaginations: Dordogne, the Loire Valley,
Provence and the Basque Pyrenees.
We couldn’t stop thinking about them.
Each of these totally different places has a
dimension that goes beyond anything else in
our travel experiences.
The charm of the Dordogne, with its rolling green hills, châteaux towering
above the surrounding Chestnut forests, its Medieval Bastide villages, the
dramatically beautiful river, and the amazing variety of cultural, historic,
artistic and leisure activities available there puts it squarely on our list of
essential destinations in Europe. On the other hand…

How can your French love affair be
complete if you have never courted the
Valley of the Kings?
The Loire Valley, often styled the
Garden of France, land of the great
Châteaux, ancient abbeys, rugged
fortresses staring imperiously over the
wandering waterways and pretty little
villages sprinkled along them is the heart
of modern France. Home to poets,
artists, philosophers and Kings, this
living tapestry is so rich that, like the
fine wine grown there, it is hard to
A favourite of the Empress Eugénie and
Napoleon III, the Basque-Pyrenees region
manages to combine a strange folk culture with stunningly contradictory
scenes of snowy mountains alongside sweeping beaches and is a traditional
stepping stone in the celebrated pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella.
But then mesmerizing us in a totally different way we have… Provence.
It’s a mystery. What is so compelling about Provence? The rugged beauty,
the vestiges of Roman architecture, its Impressionist artistic heritage, the
                               great wine and food, the lively outdoor
                                 markets, the friendliness of the people
                                 who have retained the art of living, the
                                 lavender fields basking in the warm
                                 Mediterranean sun all conspire to exert
                                 an irresistible appeal. The Romans loved
                                 it, Cézanne and Van Gogh fell under the
                                 spell, and we can’t resist going back,
                                 every time…
Yes, these places were wonderful but…
There was something not right, some missing ingredient in an otherwise
perfect experience. What was it?

The Romance of Being "At Home"…
It was not too long before we understood.

Hotel stays, though pleasant enough at first, left us with a disturbing feeling
of being mere itinerant tourists, without a base, having no real sense of
being "at home" in this country we so much enjoyed.

Simple pleasures such as buying fish at the local market, cooking at home
and relaxing with a bottle of wine over lunch whilst your French neighbours
do the same, were not possible; dining out at restaurants was obligatoire.
Moreover, being always on the move prevents you from discovering those
secret out-of-the-way places – you’re confined to the typical and over-

So we decided to buy our own cottages where we, our friends and people
like yourselves, could move in, relax, be independent and really feel a part
of the daily French life - if only for a week or two. Or three…

But where should these cottages be?

The first part was easy - in Provence, Dordogne, the Loire or the Pyrenees.

But should they be in the country, a small village, a big town, a well known
place or somewhere out of the way?

Much thought was given to this. There seemed to be so much to consider!

Large, industrial towns were definitely to be avoided; but so were the
picturesque but remote hamlets without a bakery or café in sight.

We steered the middle ground.

The houses should be located in beautiful, lively villages with all the
amenities – where you can just walk around the corner to buy a croissant, a
newspaper or a cognac - but still be only a few minutes ride or drive from
the many fascinating attractions of the French countryside.
                                                            So far, so good.

But there was one more factor – a very subtle one, but really the most
important of them all.

The towns chosen must be living towns.
Not towns that had ossified into tourist museums and
not the “summer vacation” towns that had already
been invaded and bought up by expatriate foreigners
whose French character has been virtually lost.
Of all the villages and towns we visited, many very
pretty and interesting, only four really satisfied all of our stringent
And it happened that the choice, which had seemed
perplexing and difficult, was suddenly made
without any effort at all!
This is how it happened…
The moment we passed under the ancient
stone gateway of the picture book bastide of           Monpazier – pronounced
Monpazier, we realized that it was our clear              mon-puz-zee-ay
choice for Dordogne.
And the instant we motored down the clipped plane
tree lined boulevard, passing the remarkable 13th
Century fenestrated tower, it was impossible to think of
anywhere else in Provence that could offer as much to
the visitor as Uzès.
And again, the first glimpse of Chinon cradled between
                                                             Uzès – pronounced
the beautiful river Vienne and the rocky escarpment        YOU-ZEZZ( not you-zay)
crowned by the Plantagenet château-fort, told us
that this was the place we were searching for. We
breathed a sigh of relief.
Home at last! But were we really? Home…
                                                  Chinon - pronounced shee-non

What could we do to make you, our guests, really feel at home?

Your home in France
It’s not enough to have a house - you need a home.
Then you can really settle in happily and just enjoy being in one of the most
beautiful places in France.
We have provided the necessary ancillary services that ensure you will:
   Enjoy the comfort and convenience you are used to in your own home and
   Find all the little household essentials waiting for you when you arrive yet
   Experience a style of accommodation different to anything you’ve known before, and
   Not have to worry about language difficulties, and
   Not have to worry about parking, and
   Not have any problems about keys, and
   Have full access in the cottage to a telephone and free adsl broadband internet
   Be fully informed of things to see and do, where to eat, where to shop, current festivals and special
    events, previous guest recommendations, etc, and finally
   English speaking assistance can be arranged if the need arises by calling our hotline number and
    leaving a message. Our manager will then call you back promptly.

                                     Our local managers

      In each village we have a local manager/cleaner who will ensure that
      everything is prepared in the house for your arrival.
      Beds will be changed with fresh linen, towels provided, the house cleaned and
      set up for you.
      A few essentials - tea, coffee, soap and ‘papier hygiénique’, for example, will
      be there to get you going.
      Should you need assistance with anything in the house, medical attention, or
      any other ‘emergency’, help is not far away.
      All your parking needs are provided and you need not worry about them.
       Parking is provided freely outside the houses (Monpazier), on-site (Chinon and
       Uzès) , in a private garage or in a reserved spot in secure public parking areas.

     The houses themselves are very cosy, attractive, cheery and comfortable.

     Traditional in style and construction, they are nevertheless equipped
     with all the conveniences you would find in your own home: central
     heating, full kitchen with dishwasher, fridge, microwave, stove and full
     cutlery and crockery sets, laundry with washing machine, clothes dryer
     iron and an ironing board. The living areas have books in English, a
     radio/cassette/CD player with CDs supplied, local television and
     International satellite TV, games for children, an unrestricted telephone
     and free broadband internet. Most houses have air-conditioning, either
     entirely          or         in       the         main         bedrooms.
     Access to the house is by a digital lock with a unique code.
     This popular feature provides for security and great convenience. Your
     arrival time is not critical (no appointments to keep) and there are no
     keys to juggle or lose.

     In each house there is a house manual with clear explanations and
     photographs so you will quickly master all appliances.

     There is also a house book with suggested local tours, places to go,
     recommended restaurants, local medical and dental services where
     English is spoken, as well as secrets and discoveries made by previous
     guests. You are encouraged to add your own ideas and findings to this
     growing resource! Brochures of current events and activities are also

Apart from feeling so much at home in this way, there will be one final
element that will complete your French Cottage experience:

   You will be given, before, during and after your stay with us friendly, helpful,
   informative and very efficient service, of the old-fashioned variety!

                                                           What does this include?

The Little Things Count!
As our guest we want you to have the very best holiday experience.
So we provide to our French Cottage guests…
   Friendly, knowledgeable, efficient service and advice to help you during the planning
    stages of your trip
   A smooth and easy booking experience
   Prompt responses to your questions, calls, letters or emails
   Advice on your travel arrangements: how to book the TGV, what are the best car
    rental deals currently available, how to arrange your internal airline flights easily,
    and many other tips and tricks to simplify your itinerary. We will save you a lot of
    time and money by listening to our hard-won counsels.
   Detailed maps and pictures showing how to move from one region to the other

We often get letters and emails from our guests saying that dealing with us
was everything they could hope for. See our testimonials on page 60.
We appreciate it too when you recommend us to your friends, and will
honour this by giving them the same high standard of service.
Ok! Let’s start by thinking about your itinerary.
Even if you are in the early planning stages it is a good exercise to think
through the possibilities.
   Should you visit Provence, Dordogne, the Loire, the Pyrenees or a combination?
   How practical is it?
   How will it fit in with other aspects of your European holiday?

In planning any extensive trip like this the first things to consider are:
   What does each region have to offer?
   What options do you have to get there from other parts of Europe?
   How easy is it to get from one to the other?
   What style of accommodation is going to enable you to enjoy the richest experience

                                                        Well, here are the answers…

How to get there (and enjoy the trip)…
Many of our guests visiting France also have other countries such as the UK,
Italy, Spain or Greece on their agendas. For the French leg, the lucky ones
have time to fit Provence, Dordogne, the Loire and the Pyrenees into their
itineraries, spending a week or more in each place.
They find their experiences of these places complement each other.
(We’ll have more to say on this in the next few pages)
But for now, here is some practical information showing times and
distances – after all, there’s a lot of logistics involved in getting your
itinerary together! This first map shows how easy it is to fly directly from
          The map shows some of the more major airports that are worth considering in your planning.






London (or other UK) airports directly to airports within one hour of our
villages. You can also depart for other parts of Europe without returning to
Paris. The airports marked with red dots are close to our cottages. You can
find out timetables and excellent fares if you visit the SKYSCANNER page on
our website at
This amazing tool is extremely useful for planning how you can get to and
from all parts of rural France from other European or UK destinations.
Try it!
      For routes and times by fast train (TGV) or by car see the following…

   The schematic map below shows the main train times and driving times
   between Paris and our villages as well as for getting from any one of our
   villages to any other. For complete details of times and distances please
   visit our webpage


                                                                       2 hrs 30 mins

2 hrs 30 mins


                                   Monpazier             Avignon

     Rome is about 8 hours drive from Nice; Barcelona is about 5 hours from
    Nîmes; Calais is about 11 hours from Nîmes; London is about 3 hours from
    Dover; Madrid is about 6 hours from Barcelona; Santiago de Compostella is
     about 6 hours from St Sebastian which is about 4 hours from Monpazier.
                     Chinon is about 2 hrs 45 mins from Paris.

   Now you are in the picture about getting to each region, let’s take a closer
                 look at what you can expect from each one…

Plan your whole French itinerary on-line!
Many first time visitors to France and even those who regard themselves
as veterans become quite confused when they try to plan their itineraries.
To match a certain range of dates and requirements with a list of things to
see and do in this diverse and beautiful country can become a real
mathematical tease – like a SUDUKO puzzle - and it’s especially difficult
when you are not sure what to include and what not to.
Some call us to ask our advice over the phone – a thing we are more than
happy to give, by the way – but others prefer to be more independent and
would rather work out their ‘tour de France’ themselves. In fact this can be
fun to do as you get a sort vicarious pleasure akin to the doing the actual
trip itself.
So given you are going to try to design your own plan, where do you start?
We have thought about this and come up with something of a ‘French
revolution’ in itinerary planning and you can see how it works by visiting:
It works a bit like the SkyScanner site: you draw on the map of France the
places you think you might want to visit and put in some rough dates. Even
more simply, just put in your arrival and departure dates (even if
approximate) and the site will cleverly suggest some ideas that you can
then expand upon or modify.
Now this is not just some gimmicky software – we have input the results of
our own knowledge and experience into the system and we’re continuously
feeding it with new material so that the results created provide you with
rich and varied ideas for your trip, as well as solid practical advice about
transport, etc. It will even incorporate your ideas if it likes them!
Using the resources and tools on this site, you will soon fashion a most
wonderful visit to France that will advise and assist you on all aspects of
your forthcoming adventure.

    Try it! We think you will be quite surprised!
      Now let’s look into the first, and most famous of our regions…

Your home in Uzès, Provence
"Oh little town of Uzès", wrote André
Gide (whose father was a Uzètien)
"Were you in Umbria, the Parisians
would flock to visit you!"
Well, years later, Uzès has been
quietly discovered as a town rich in
art and history. In 1962 it was
selected as one of France's 500 villes d'art and since then much money has
been lavished on restoring and repairing the tumbling façades. Recently,
Uzès created the perfect stage backdrop for the Gerard Depardieu film
"Cyrano de Bergerac".

Summer in Provence is warm with long weeks of perfect weather, average
daytime temperatures ranging from 24°-32° during the months of May to
September. Sunset is quite late and the nights are comfortably mild.
In autumn the evenings are cooler but very pleasant for an evening walk.
Even in the colder months of Winter the skies are blue and you can often sit
outdoors in the winter sun. The only exception to this is when the
celebrated Mistral wind descends from
the North-usually in February. This
period of wild clear skies (Van Gogh's
"Starry Night"), though severe, usually
only lasts for a couple of weeks
The Mediterranean light of Provence
has a poetic luminosity, which inspired
many French painters: Cézanne, Monet,
Van Gogh and Picasso. Each of these produced works portraying this
quality. It underscores the atmosphere of nostalgia in the writings of Marcel
Pagnol (Jean de Florette). There is a marvellous quality in the landscape that
is really very different to our own harsher terrain.
One of the winter specialties of the region is the elusive…

Truffle!! Hidden away in the forests of truffle oaks growing in the region,
these can only be found with the aid of a pig or truffle dog. You can
discover this rare and highly prized fungus at the market held weekly in the
Place aux Herbes. But beware; the price can give you a shock!

There are many historical influences at play in
                            the architecture of
                               Uzès and in the
                               Uzège. The legacy
                               of the Greeks and Romans is particularly
                               obvious with many ancient temples,
                               coliseums, monuments and other buildings
                               still standing today. The most famous
                               monument is, of course, the Pont du Gard,
                              located only 15 km from Uzès. This
marvellously preserved portion of the original 52km long Roman aqueduct
is well worth a visit.
In the heart of Uzès you will find the grand fortified residence of the first
Duchy of France. Its oldest section, the rectangular dungeon called the Tour
Bermonde, dates from the 11th century. You can climb the
steep spiral escalier d'honneur to the top for views over the
shimmering tiles of Uzès' rooftops. The interior is well
stocked with period furnishings, complemented by wax
dukes and duchesses in their 16th-century finery. Unique in
France, the 12th-century Tour Fenestrelle is a cylindrical six-
storey gem, named after the rows of double-lit windows
that encircle it, inspired by the towers of Ravenna and
                             Lombardy.        Inside       the
                              Cathédrale St.Théodorit, is a
                             splendid organ of 1670, the only one in France
                             to have retained its original painted shutters.
                             Recently restored, it is the centrepiece of the
                             end-of-July music festival, Nuits Musicales

Landscape and Scenery
The countryside around Uzès - where
fields of asparagus, cherry orchards,
forests of truffle oaks and vineyards
alternate with scrublands - is dotted
with attractive old villages. Stark
geological features contrasting with
these cosy little places nestling
amongst them make outings in it
continually surprising.

Leisure Activities
Swimming (at the local swimming pool
or at the Pont du Gard “beach”),
canoeing (along the Gardon river),
golf,     Montgolfière      (hot     air
ballooning), abseiling, walking, bicycle
touring, and an aquatic park for kids
are just some of the many sporting
activities in immediate reach of the
Cultural activities include art and
pottery exhibitions, theatre, concerts,
dance performances and the famous
International festival of Ancient music
(Nuits Musicales d'Uzès) held every
year in July in the precincts of the
Château. Full details of these are
available in our guest's guidebook
available in each cottage and at the
Tourism Office.

                     Now let’s discover the real secret of Provence’s fame…

Savouring the Provençal cuisine: restaurants.
More than anything else, it is the celebrated cuisine that has put Provence
in the public eye. A chilled rosé, slices of fresh saucisse, salty olives and
                                 goat’s cheese under the Pont du Gard have
                                  made a heavenly repast for many visitor
                                 including Marcel Pagnol and Lawrence
                                 Durrell. The range of restaurant dining is
                                 staggering - stretching from quaint cafés,
                                 Carmarguais fishermen’s eating-houses to
                                 three-star Michelin elegance.
                                      In each of our cottages you will find a
                                      visitors’ house book full of suggestions –
                                     both our own and also the discoveries of
                                    past guests. Please add yours too! French
                                restaurants and bars always have their menus
prominently displayed in their windows for passers-by to read and check
the prices. The "set menus" offered are generally excellent value.
Restaurant hours are usually 12pm till 2.30pm and 7pm till 10pm. Lunch is
France's most important meal: you may need to book at the popular ones
or arrive very early to ensure a place. Restaurants abound in unlikely
locations (off the tourist track), which are often truly excellent.
You can tell fairly quickly when you discover one of these gems (perhaps in
a basement, an old railway building or in nearby hamlet) by the number of
locals patronising it and the happy hum of activity there.
Look for the ones surrounded by many cars and freight trucks at lunchtime
for a gastronomical experience extraordinaire!

Shopping and Markets in Uzès
Uzès is blessed with a most wonderful open-air market selling fresh food,
an amazing variety of delicious fungi and
other local produce, crafts, local artwork,
books, antiques, brocante, curios, and
clothes. The days and times this is held, as
well as other notable markets in neighbouring
towns, is listed at each house.
It is well worth a visit!
Uzès also has an amazing variety of shops and
boutiques, bars and restaurants, cafés and
bakeries, a cinema, jazz-clubs, and galleries. All of
this is within two or three minute walk from the house.
Food prices are similar to those at home,
sometimes even cheaper. You can buy
excellent local wines for as little as 2 Euros per
litre! Food shops are open all week - some
closing Sundays or Mondays.
Most shops close from 12midday till 2pm but
the "hypermarket" on the outskirts of town is
open all day. Banks and Post Offices close at 5pm on Saturday and don't re-
open till Tuesday, but you can use the ubiquitous ‘distributeurs de billets’ to
obtain cash easily with your credit card at any time.

Antiques             and        Collectables
Uzès also boasts no less than 19 antique and
brocante shops within its walls. There are
also some world-class antique boutiques at
the nearby villages of Argilliers, Castillon du
Gard and along the route to Avignon.

          For your stay in Uzès you have eight excellent choices as follows…

    Provence Cottage 1 - “Le Duché “
    Located in a quiet cul-de-sac, just a short
    stroll from the central market square and the
    grand château, our lovely 17th century stone
    cottage “Le Duché” offers you both comfort
    and charm, having been beautifully
    decorated and designed to engender the true
    Provençal ambience. Named after the central ducal palace, this lovely
    cottage has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a cellar. It will be greatly
    enhanced at the end of 2010 and early 2011, by an extensive building
    program including:
        the renovation of an existing bathroom
        the addition of the second bathroom,
        a new sitting room which opens through French
         doors on to
        a delightful roof terrace with views across the
        the conversion of the former lounge into a light
         and airy main bedroom with French windows
        a new kitchen with all modern appliances and

    This very comfortable, well-equipped house
    can accommodate up to 6 people.
    Ground Floor
        Custom built kitchen with wall oven, cook-top,
         microwave, fridge, dishwasher and all
         kitchenware and utensils
        Double bedroom, private bathroom with
         shower, basin, toilet, washing machine,
         clothes dryer & hairdryer, portable phone

       Storage and 3rd WC, clothes dryer, washing machine and
        ironing table.

First Floor
   Tiled floors with rugs
   2nd bathroom, fully tiled with shower, basin and
   Double bedroom with queen sized bed , air-
    conditioned, with French windows and
    wrought iron « porte garde » giving views
    over neighbouring houses and the old yew

Second Floor
   3rd bedroom with 2 single beds, air-
    conditioning, with garden and roof top views
   Circular stairs lead to Lounge/Dining room with
    comfy seating and a dining table which seats 4-6
   Free Wireless broadband internet, TV with
    satellite connection, DVD player, CD player, CDs
    and DVDs
   Opens through French doors onto a roof
    terrace with an outdoor furniture setting and
    wrought iron balustrade – just the place to
    relax on balmy evenings after a busy day of
    sightseeing with a glass of local wine or for
    alfresco dining.

    A two-minute walk takes you to your private lock up garage .

Provence Cottage 2 - "Le Petit Manoir “
A few more steps down the same street leads you
to our delightful "Maison de Village", or Village
Townhouse,      which     we      have     called
"Le Petit Manoir".
Still close to the Place aux Herbes, the grand
château and the famous Tour Fenestrelle, this
traditional three-floor building has been beautifully
renovated to create a delightful little home suiting
couples, families or four people if required. Air-
conditioning, central heating, a rooftop terrace and an en-suite bathroom
are just a few of the attractions this house offers.

Ground floor
   Tiled floors with rugs & arched stone
   Kitchen with professional gas cook-top &
    oven, microwave, dishwasher, &
   Dining table for 4 and sitting area with
    a sofa.
   Television (satellite), a music system
    with CD, radio, tape player and books.
   Portable telephone; free broadband
    wireless internet available.
   Washing machine and dryer.

First Floor
   Master Bedroom tiled with rugs, Provençal
    furniture, ducted air-conditioning and a large,
    comfortable Queen-size bed.
   A few steps lead to an
    en-suite bathroom with spa-bath, separate
    shower enclosure, washbasin & WC.

Top Floor
   Very attractive living area with divan and

    rattan armchairs.
   Flexible in use: the divan converts to a King
    sized bed or either one or two single beds as
    There is a third single sofa-bed available if
    needed. Air-conditioned.
   French windows open out onto the rooftop
    terrace garden where you can enjoy en-
    plein air dining and the bracing air of

A two-minute walk takes you to your private lock up garage.

Your third choice, again just a few steps away, has this magnificent view…

Provence Cottage 3 - "L’Appartement"
If you saunter along the same street where our previous cottages are
                           located and make your way towards the
                             beautiful central square, "La Place aux
                             Herbes" then, just before you reach this
                             square you will see a grand old apartment
                             building on your right opposite the great
                                         Our lovely little
                                         "L’appartement" is
  View of the château from your balcony
                                        located    in  this
building on the second floor. Light, airy,
comfortable and with a stunning view of the
château, it’s an ideally situated base for a couple
wanting to watch the lively scenes of village life
Air-conditioning, central heating and a modern bathroom are just a few of
the attractions this attractive apartment offers.
Living Area, Dining and Kitchen
   Tiled floors with rugs, traditional high-beamed
   Kitchen with vitro ceramic electric cook-top &
    oven, microwave, dishwasher, & refrigerator.
   Dining table for 4 and sitting area with a sofa
    and armchairs.
   Television (satellite) and music system with
    CD, radio, tape player and books.
   Portable telephone and free wireless
    broadband internet.
   Washing machine and dryer
   Small Juliet style balconies with French
    windows overlooking the
    street and market stalls and boutiques.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms
   Bedroom with Queen sized bed. Air-conditioner.
   Bathroom with twin hand basins, shower and bathtub. Hairdryer provided
   Smaller alcove area for visitors with full single bed and wardrobe.

   Secure parking is also provided nearby for your car in the underground car park.

                      View of the château from the apartment at night

Provence Cottage 4 - "Le Moulin
Passing through the pretty stone archway into the
“Impasse du Moulin” – so named because it was
once the entrance to an olive-pressing farm – and
continuing your stroll past our cottage Le Duché,
you’ll soon arrive at the end of a quiet and sunny
cul-de-sac. It is here that our cosy and very
comfortable cottage, Le Moulin stands facing the
warm southern Mediterranean sun.
Named after the old mill that once stood in this
protected corner, a corner where even the
celebrated Mistral seldom enters, the cottage
faces south and has a view across the rooftops to
the central château where you may often see the
family standard flying in the breeze.
Air-conditioning, central heating, two modern
bathrooms and a sleek well-equipped kitchen
are just some of the facilities you will enjoy
when you stay at Le Moulin.
For ‘en-plein-air’ living, there is a little balcony,
just off the kitchen, which sports a table big
enough for two and, for bigger groups; you can also open the French doors
on the ground floor and expand out into the virtually private courtyard in
front of the house.

Ground floor
   Sitting room with divan that converts to a very comfortable
    Queen sized bed when larger groups stay.
   Bathroom with shower, hand basin and toilet. Hairdryer
   Laundry with two washing machines and two dryers.

First floor
   Sitting room (air conditioned) with tiled terra cotta
    floor, comfortable 3-seater sofa, armchair and
    Provencal style rug.
   Kitchen with induction cook-top, wall oven, microwave,
    dishwasher, refrigerator and all necessary kitchenware and
   Dining table for 4-6 and sitting area with a sofa and
   Television (satellite and DVD), music system with CD,
    radio and books.
   Portable telephone with unrestricted service.
   Free wireless and wired broadband internet
   French windows leading onto a balcony overlooking the
    court and with a table big enough for two

Top floor
   Master bedroom with Queen sized bed and air-
   Sitting room/second bedroom, air-conditioned with
    divan that converts to a comfortable Queen sized
    bed.Can be used as a dressing room when only one
    couple occupies the top floor level.
   Bathroom with hand basin, shower and toilet,
    adjacent to the bedrooms. Hairdryer provided.

   A two-minute walk takes you to your private lock up garage.

 Provence Cottages 5 and 6 :
"La Résidence" and "La Bourgade"

Within a short distance from central market square ("La Place Aux Herbes")
you will discover a fascinating pair of streets
which circumscribe one of the oldest
parts of Uzès: la Rue de la Petite
Bourgade and la Rue de la Grande

"Bourgade" means "small town" and this
area was once an almost independent
village within the village of Uzès - hence
the curious name.

Wandering down the
cobble-stoned Grande
Bourgade, you will
come     across    an
unpretentious double
entrance door which leads
into a grand 17th century stone building with a vaulted foyer, central
courtyard and turret. The turret, pictured above, belongs to our two
apartments: La Résidence and La Bourgade.
These twin apartments, similar in size, layout and comforts, offer you a
choice of two styles: a traditional French ambiance (La Résidence) or a
more contemporary Provençal style of décor (La Bourgade).
Both share the luxury of high, oak-beamed ceilings and beautiful honey-
coloured stone walls and whichever you choose you will enjoy the pleasure
of being in a central position in Uzès in one of its oldest quarters.

Provence 5: "La Résidence"

The apartment is totally on one level and
   Large sitting/dining room with view of the old
   Bathroom with bath/shower, hand basin,
    toilet, washing machine and dryer adjacent
    to the bedroom.
   Queen Bedroom at rear (quiet).
    Extra single bed available for a third person or
   Air-conditioned, centrally heated, satellite TV, music and
    DVD player, books and phone (unrestricted)
   Free broadband internet (as in all our other cottages)
   Compact corner kitchen with all necessary appliances
    (dishwasher, microwave, induction cook top and high
    quality oven).
    A full complement of cookware and dinnerware so
    you can practise your Provençal cookery and eat in
    grand style!

   A private lock up garage is provided nearby.

Provence 6: "La Bourgade"
The apartment is also totally on one level and
   Large sitting/dining room with view of the old
    street. Sofa converts to bed for visitors.
   Bathroom with shower, hand basin, toilet, washing
    machine and dryer adjacent to the bedroom.
   King-sized bed in double bedroom at rear
    (quiet and air-conditioned).
    Can be configured as two King single beds as well.
   Sofa in sitting room converts to a separate Queen sized
    bed for occasional visitors.
   Air-conditioned, centrally heated, satellite TV, music
    and DVD player, books and phone (unrestricted)
   Free broadband internet (as in all our other cottages)
    with computer supplied.
   Completely custom built kitchen with all necessary
    appliances (dishwasher, microwave, induction cook
    top and high quality wall oven).
    A full complement of cookware and dinnerware
    so you can prepare meals that will put Elizabeth
    David or Julia Child to shame!

   A private lock up garage is provided nearby.

Provence Cottage 7 - "La Grange"
In the same private cul-de-sac as our other cottages, le Duché and le Moulin
and on the site of the ancient hay-loft or barn once belonging to the local
olive-pressing farm, is a tastefully built
maison de village which is named
La Grange in honour of its past history.
Though quite newly constructed, it is built
in the traditional style harmonising
perfectly with the older houses
surrounding it.
It is centrally located in the heritage
quarter of Uzès and sits under the shade of a
300-year-old yew tree.

The house is very comfortable and suits
one couple, two couples or a family up to
five people. It is fully air-conditioned,
centrally heated, and has on-site parking,
and a small terrace area where you can
enjoy a crisp rosé on a warm day or an
evening meal under the kind skies of a
Provençal ‘starry night’. Or if you prefer to watch the world go by, stroll
down to the central square – it’s only a two-minute walk there.
The cottage is on two levels and is laid out as follows…

Ground floor
   Large sitting/dining room/kitchen area.
    Dining table for four to six persons.
   TV (satellite), telephone (unrestricted),
    books and music system.
   Free broadband internet (as in all our
    other cottages) either wired or wireless.
   A pair of French doors leads onto a
    paved outdoor terrace area with
    shade sail, table and chairs.

   A small bathroom with toilet, shower and hand basin.
   Small laundry with washing machine and dryer.
   Completely custom built kitchen with all
    necessary appliances (dishwasher,
    refrigerator, microwave, cook top and high
    quality oven).
   A full complement of cookware and
   Entire cottage is air-conditioned and
    centrally heated.

First floor
   Two Queen sized bedrooms, one with an
    extra single bed available for a third person or
   Bathroom with shower, handbasin and toilet adjacent (en-suite) to both bedrooms.
    This is decorated in a Moorish style and is very attractive.

   On-site, private, secure parking is provided within the small walled garden area.

                                             And now for the ‘pièce de résistance’

Provence Cottage 8 - "Le Logis"
A caveat … of sorts.
You couldn’t really say that this beautiful edifice is
a “cottage” but neither is it a “villa”.
It is really what was once referred to in French as
“Un Hôtel Particulier”, which roughly translates as
“A Gentleman’s Residence”.
Only a very short distance from central market
square and belonging to the oldest part of Uzès,
“Le Logis” dates back to the 14th century and was
once a part of the magnificent central château
which abuts it still. Standing on one of its three
outdoor terraces and gazing upon the principal
towers and colonnaded arches of the grand Duché
you’ll really feel that you belong to a part of
France’s ancient history.

                     The house is on three levels and is laid out as follows…

Ground floor
   Large dining room with open fireplace
    and view onto the old street.
   Study and library which also serves as a
    fourth bedroom if needed.
   Fully equipped vaulted kitchen with gas
    cook top, electric oven, microwave
    oven, dishwasher, etc.
   Laundry with washing machine and two
   Free broadband internet
    (as in all our other cottages)

   Telephone with free, unlimited use to fixed phones
    anywhere in the world.
   Laptop computer so you won’t need to bring your own
    (in 2011)
   A full complement of cookware and dinnerware so you
    can practise your Provençal cookery and eat in grand
   Vaulted cellar leading off the entrance vestibule for
    retreating from the midday sun.
   Extra double or twin bedroom for larger groups. (see

First floor
   Three Queen sized bedrooms,
    two with en-suite bathrooms
    and luxuriously comfortable
    Queen sized beds. Both are
    equipped with Provencal
    armoires (robes).
   Shower room in addition to the
    two other bathrooms.

Second floor
   Large sitting room with open
    fireplace and view onto the château ramparts
   Entrance leading to beautiful three-level terrace and arbour (perfect for dining in the
    warm summer months!)

   A space supplied in nearby underground car park.

Your home in Monpazier
Monpazier, founded in 1284, is regarded as the model of all bastide
villages because of its perfect layout, and the quality of its buildings.
Perched on the summit of a gentle hill,
Monpazier is an ideal base to explore
the rich variety of attractions of the
Summers in Dordogne are sunny, and
can actually be hot (24°-27°) at any
time from June to the end of
September. This is a beautiful season,
and a good time to visit. In some
summers, hot weather is interrupted by
violent storms, but others have no storms at all. It is possible to eat outside
all summer, but evenings in early May and late September can be a little
fresh. Summer often continues right through October, when the autumnal
tints make walking and wandering a real pleasure. Autumn (October and
November) has average temperatures of 16° to 23°, and spring (April and
May) reaches 17° to 24°. Winter, usually mild but sometimes cold and dry,
is the season when you can buy fresh truffles and other local specialities in
the market. Visitors to the many caves in the Dordogne should think of
suitable clothing; the weather can be 17 degrees cooler underground than
on the surface!

         The perfect view from Hautefort Château, near Périgueux

Visitors to the Dordogne, long regarded as
one of France's most architecturally diverse
regions, should look out for the very
distinctive houses, often limestone with
steeply pitched roofs, chartreuses (manor
houses), quercy houses, dovecotes and dry-
stone huts.       Ecclesiastical and military
buildings are striking too: churches,
châteaux, and the remarkable bastides (fortified towns); Monpazier was
one of the first, and is now considered the best preserved of these, with
more than 32 buildings classed as historical monuments. Its perfect
rectangular town plan is built around the central market place, with
galleries and houses constructed between the 13th and 17th centuries.

Landscape and Scenery
The region of the Dordogne is also known as
the Périgord. Périgord Blanc (white) is
named from the frequent chalky outcrops
of rock; Périgord Noir (black) after the dark
foliage of oak trees; Périgord Vert (green)
after its lush green forests; Périgord
Pourpre (purple) after the deep purple of
much of the wine produced there.
The area is characterised by river valleys
and undulating hills, scenery on a peaceful,
re-assuring human scale. Its most famous
geological feature is undoubtedly its caves;
many of them noted pre-historic sites.
Primitive people used the caves for shelter
and to create remarkable engravings and
paintings, such as those at Lascaux (near
Montignac), most of them about 40,000
years old. Other notable caves are at
Rouffignac and Combarelles.

                                    Other such activities abound, such as…

Sports and Leisure Activities
Swimming, cycling, canoeing, fishing, horse
riding, golf, walking and visiting local
wineries and restaurants are just a few of
the leisure activities available. For the
more courageous, you can even take
breathtaking flights over the tops of
châteaux in a locally hired ultra-light plane.
There are numerous opportunities for
swimming too: a lovely natural swimming
lake with clear, fresh water just 15 mins
walk (2 mins by car), a number of river
beaches (safe for children) and of course
the Dordogne river itself.
You can also hire pushbikes right in Monpazier to tour the surrounding
villages. For those intrepid people (who aspire to follow in the footsteps of
Jules Verne) you can also take a boat down the underground river in the
Gouffre de Padirac.

Savouring the Périgordian cuisine: restaurants.
Rich and filling cassoulets, duck confit, the
most exquisite foie gras are to be found in
abundance in the Dordogne. For this is the
traditional home of producing every
conceivable delight from the gaggles of duck
and geese running about the idyllic
countryside. Foie gras is especially delicious
when accompanied by a glass of the sweet
Monbazillac or Cadillac dessert wine. Trout
and truffles, omelettes aux Cèpes and many
other heavenly delicacies are to be found in
the numerous wayside restaurants – many
unpretentious     and      charming,       others
You’ll find our house book bulging with a host of tantalising suggestions!

Shopping and Markets in Monpazier
Monpazier is a living village and
consequently has a complete range of
shops: alimentation
 (fruit, vegetables and groceries),
butchers, charcuteries (delicatessens),
fromageries (cheese), patisseries
(pastries),    boulangeries    (bread),
tabacs,     newsagents,     bookshops,
cafés, bars, restaurants, pharmacies,
ice-creameries, antiques shops, electrical
goods shops and much more are all within a two minute walk from your
door. Every Thursday there is seafood and poultry market under the
Medieval Marché aux Cèpes; and every October for three weeks the square
is alive with shoppers haggling over this ugly but delicious fungus (Cèpe).
There are many other markets in the neighbourhood – see the current
listing in our house book.

                             Antiques and Collectables (brocante)
                             Monpazier has four or five shops selling
                             brocante and antiques. The hours of these
                             vary according to the season and the
                             enthusiasm of the proprietors! There is also a
                             rather good boutique of pottery and terra
                             cotta that, though new, are made according
                             to traditional designs. A specialty of the
                             region is the various types of earthenware,
                             some quite old, as shown in the picture on
                             the left. You’ll have much fun seeking out
                             treasures like these in and around Monpazier.

    For your stay in Monpazier you have two excellent choices as follows…

Dordogne Cottage 1 - "La Bastide"
"La Bastide" is a traditional stone house located in
the heart of Monpazier and only a few steps from
the central market place. The minute you enter
the town by any of its 3 arched gateways you feel
there is something special and exciting in the air; a
peaceful charm about the shops and the people
that is not lost on any visitor to this ancient
Standing on the corner of a quiet street and a
charming "ruelle" (small lane), the house is built from a mixture of ash and
honey coloured stone. Solid and imposing, with
walls over 2 feet thick, its façade boasts a beautiful
double entrance door surmounted by a crest, a large
semi-glazed French door and, higher up, a graceful
window looking out onto the street.
There are two storeys and an attic, with open living
areas on the spacious ground level, and with
bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. You will feel
immediately at home as the atmosphere is light and
cheerful. With its thick ancient stone walls, the house
is cool in summer and the automatic electric central heating makes it cosy
and inviting in winter.
The cottage is ideal for a couple, but has the flexibility to comfortably
accommodate two couples or a family.

Ground floor
   Terra cotta tiling floors with rugs, rendered white
    stonewalls and exposed oak beam ceilings.
   Large open space comprising a living room, dining
    area and kitchen at the rear.
   The living room has a lounge, comfortable
    armchairs, a coffee table, large open fireplace,
    Satellite TV and stereo with CD and CDs,
    telephone and bookshelves with some books in
    English and French.
   The dining room has a long table seating 6 - 8
    people. You can open the French doors give a
    feeling of "en plein air" dining.
   The kitchen has a stove, microwave, dishwasher,
    fridge, cupboards with all utensils and cutlery, etc.

First floor
   Polished oak floors with rugs, fabric wallpaper
    and exposed oak beam ceilings.
   Two double bedrooms: one with a Queen Bed and
   Tiled bathroom adjacent to bedrooms with
    washbasin, WC and enclosed shower recess,
    washing machine and clothes dryer.

   Three single beds and second bathroom with
    shower, hand basin and WC.

                                   Your second choice is just a few streets away…

Dordogne Cottage 2 - "Le Séjour"
"Le Séjour", as the name suggests, is
a very comfortable village house in
which to spend time enjoying the
unique atmosphere and history of
the 13th Century village of
Only a few steps from the central
market place, Le Séjour is a
traditional “maison de colombage”
or “half-timbered” house.
A thoughtful restoration has made this cottage spacious and suitable for
larger groups, as well as couples, with several bathrooms and large kitchen.
There are three storeys, with living areas on the ground level.
First floor, 3 bedrooms (2 air-conditioned) with Queen sized beds and 3
bathrooms, one with Spa bath. The grenier (attic) has 3 single beds suitable
for children. With its thick ancient stonewalls, the house is cool in summer
and the electric central heating makes it cosy and inviting in winter. Parking
is available just outside.

Ground floor
   Large open space comprising a living room, dining
    area and kitchen at the rear.
   Semi-separate TV and music area.
   Terra cotta tiling floors with rugs, rendered white
   The dining room has a long table seating 8 - 10
    people and is looked over by a reproduction 18 th
    century tapestry giving a baronial air to your
   Laundry with washing machine and dryer and toilet

    The living room has a lounge, sofas, coffee table,
     Satellite TV connection, with VCR and tapes Radio
     and CD player, CD’s, telephone and bookshelves
     with some books in English and French. Also games
     for children.

First floor
    Three double bedrooms, (with Queen size beds) two
     with ducted air-conditioning.
    Three bathrooms, (two en-suite to bedrooms). One
     bathroom has a spa bath and a decorative
     traditional stone sink as well as modern hand basin
     and toilet.
    Electric instantaneous hot water showers to
     accommodate the demand of even the largest
     groups staying.

Grenier (top floor)
       Extra bedroom for children with three single beds.

    An equally beautiful but totally different region awaits you just a little to the north…

Your home in Chinon
Chinon, Chinon, Chinon
Petite ville, grand renom,
Assise sur pierre ancienne,
Au haut le bois, au pied de la

Chinon, Chinon, Chinon
Little town of great renown,
Perched on stone of long ago
The wood above, the Vienne below.
                                                                François Rabelais
Chinon, whose origins go back to Roman times when it was a
Castrum (Gallo-Roman fortress), became an English possession in the 11th
century. It was the favoured home of Henri II
Plantagenet, who became King of England in
1154, and it was he who commissioned the
basis of the present day château. Thereafter
followed a prosperous development; fine
medieval houses with beautiful decorative
features were built – many surviving today -
particularly along the Rue Voltaire. With so
many corners to explore, from the heights of
the château, to the vineyards with little
restaurants hidden away to the peaceful banks of the beautiful Vienne
River, abundant with fish and wild birds, you’ll be hard pressed to find the
time to fit in the celebrated castles and other historic attractions all so
temptingly close!

The Valley of the Loire is exceptional in Northern France for its soft and
gentle climate – a garden where you will see palms and plants normally
associated with warmer regions. Its unique
geographical position allows the warm
Atlantic breezes to penetrate and accounts
for a relatively mild winter, long and peaceful
autumns and warm summers.

The Loire is celebrated for its great châteaux,
but there is also a large range and variety of
other interesting buildings to see: mills,
slate-roofed cottages, grand abbeys and
monasteries, the peculiar troglodytic
dwellings, frequently still occupied, and the
characteristic half-timbered houses that
defy gravity with their expanding upper
storeys. The “Maison Rouge” in Chinon is a very fine
example of this genre.
Chinon has a wealth of historic buildings including
the Hotel Gargantua with its magnificent tourelle
(tower), the 15th Century Hotel du Grenier à Sel,
just opposite our cottage and the Chapel of St
Radegonde embellished by a beautiful 13th
century Romanesque fresco. You’ll discover new
corners every time you go out for a stroll!

Landscape and Scenery
Apart from the beauty of its buildings, from
opulent to rustic, the Loire is a region of both
natural and cultivated beauty. Picturesque
streams, fields, forests, and formal gardens make
up a varied landscape that has something to offer at every turn in the road.
Armed with a picnic lunch (“pique-nique”) and a bottle of Chinon red, you
can lunch by the Vienne, the Loire or one of the many other charming
locations after your visit to a stately home just around the corner.

Sports and Leisure Activities
              Swimming, cycling, canoeing
              down the Vienne, fishing, golf,
             walking and visiting local
            wineries and restaurants are
             among the many pleasures
There are many riverboat and barge trips that operate along the Loire and
its tributaries. For horse lovers and equestrians, a visit to the Château of
Saumur is a must.

Savouring the Touraine cuisine: restaurants.
                             Exquisite river fish, hazel grouse in truffle
                               sauce, rillettes, fine cheeses of an
                               unimaginable variety accompanied by one
                               or two of the many fine wines produced in
                                 Touraine – reds, whites or rosé - and
                                  topped off with a slice of Tarte Tatin
                                  swimming in crême fraîche is just one
                                example of a truly kingly repast that, alas,
                               won’t be kind to your figure. But this is the
                               region of a highly delicate and
                               sophisticated cuisine: whether you cook at
                               home or visit some of the many little local
                             restaurants, you’ll be pleased to take a
holiday from your customary sensible diet.
The combination of climate and rich soil
enables the production of some of France’s
best fruit and vegetables and it is here that the
true champignons hail from, called erroneously,
“Champignons de Paris”
Don’t forget to order some “Poires tapées”
(overripe pears) a specialty of this region to top
off your Pantagruelian debauch. You’ll make Rabelais dance in his grave!

Shopping and Markets in Chinon
Chinon has a complete range of shops of every description: alimentation

 (fruit, vegetables and groceries),
butchers, charcuteries (delicatessens),
fromageries      (cheese),     patisseries
(pastries),     boulangeries     (bread),
chocolateries,    tabacs,    newsagents,
bookshops, cafés, bars, restaurants,
pharmacies, ice-creameries, antiques
shops, electrical goods shops and much
more are all within two minute's walk from your door.
On Saturday, there is a small local market in the square. For entertainment
                                         in the evening visit the many jazz
                                            clubs, pizzerias (French Style) or
                                            quaint bars like the Café
                                            Français shown here. Or, if your
                                            French is good, you can visit the
                                            local cinema.

Antiques and Collectables (brocante)
Chinon also sports a good selection of shops selling antiques, both old and
reproduction. The best places may be found on its outskirts.
Keep an eye out for the BROCANTE signs where you’ll find fine furniture,
paintings, sculptures and decoration items for your garden such as stone
statues and wrought iron gates. Your only problem here will be getting
them home on the plane…

                           For your stay in Chinon there is one clear choice!

Loire Valley Cottage 1 - “La Touraine"
Chinon! The beauty and fame of this town has
been praised by many French poets, the most
famous being François Rabelais, who thought that
there could be nothing better than to eat, drink
and be merry in his blessed birthplace. As you
wander through the medieval quarter where
many important events in French history have
taken place, you will discover many quiet corners;
and tucked away in one of these our cottage “La
Touraine” may be found. This attractive stone
house with its little courtyard garden, Virginia
creeper and mansard roof makes a very
comfortable and centrally located base for your
explorations of the town and surrounding
countryside. It is centrally heated.
On-site parking, grand master bedroom with a
stone fireplace and royal atmosphere are just
some of the appealing features of the cottage.
The cottage is ideal for a couple, and can
accommodate an extra visitor, or up to two young
children with the visitors’ beds supplied.
Street level
Double entrance gate opens onto a small, private courtyard. Under cover
lock up parking and laundry under the house with washing machine and

                                            A small set of stairs leads to…

Ground floor
   Table for 4, sitting room framed by double French
    windows opening onto a small Juliet-style balcony
    overlooking garden and street.
   Sitting room has Television (satellite) and music
    system with CD, radio and tape player and books.
   Telephone (unrestricted), Wifi Internet (free).
   Ground floor toilet and hand basin.
   Well-equipped modern kitchen with stove,
    microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and all
    necessary utensils and kitchenware.
   One of the two sofas converts to a comfortable
    double bed for visitors. A beautiful wooden staircase
    leads to…

First floor
   Spacious Grand Master Bedroom with rugs, four-
    poster-style Queen sized bed, château quality wall
    hangings. Ducted Air Conditioning.
   Very comfortable sitting area with armchairs and
    open stone fireplace.
   En-suite bathroom with separate shower
    enclosure, washbasin & WC.

Your home in Biarritz
At the beginning of the 19th century Biarritz was
merely a small Basque fishing harbour standing
on the doorstep to Spain, just 5km from the
more famous Bayonne. But it was popular as
seaside getaway and was mainly frequented by
the Bayonnais who could only reach it by donkey
or                                                                    mule.
But in 1838 it was suddenly discovered by the Spanish nobility. Princess
Eugénie, the future Empress of France, commenced her annual visits and
even persuaded Napoleon III to accompany her; it soon became a famous
resort. The Emperor was captivated by its charms, as well as hers, and
when they made their first trip together in 1854 he had a palace built – the
Villa Eugénie , which is now the Hotel du Palais. The little fishing village
suddenly became sought after by the rich, famous and aristocratic from all
over Europe and the procession of these illustrious visitors has continued
ever since: Edward VII, Sarah Bernhardt, Maurice Ravel, Stravinsky, Jean
Cocteau, Ernest Hemingway, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Frank
Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Gary Cooper are amongst their number.
The Atlantic Coast generally is one of the
sunniest regions in France and Biarritz enjoys
excellent weather most of the year. In fact, in
winter the geography of the Basque mountains
conspires with the warm breezes from the
Atlantic to create a micro-climate with a
distinctly exotic, almost tropical feeling. For those fond of bathing, Biarritz
                       is blessed with a beautiful, sweeping sandy beach
                         with the best rollers for surfing in France and a
                         water temperature reaching an average of 20
                         degrees from May – September. Those keen on
                         Winter sports can visit the stunning slopes of the
                         nearby Pyrenees between December and April.

Two quite different styles of architecture
are to be found side-by-side throughout the
region: the traditional Basque farmhouse,
similar to the chalets of the Alpine regions
in Europe, with its red painted wood and
white walls contrasts starkly with the
grandiose palaces and mansions built in the
19th century Eclectic ‘style’ and the early
                            20th century Art Deco manner.
                                The Basques are extremely proud of their
                                homes and even some quite humble ones
                                often display the date of construction or
                                even the original owner’s name over the
                                entrance doorway.

Landscape and Scenery
The picturesque Pyrenees appeal strongly to
romantics: steep-sided valleys with rushing
torrents leading in their higher reaches to
vast upland pastures populated with picture-
book cows and set off by snowy peaks
mirrored in the tranquil lakes. This is an
image that inspires artists and nature lovers
alike. It is hard to believe such a contrasting
landscape can be found less than two hours’
drive from coastal Biarritz, but even more
surprising to learn that you will also find hot
springs there!
For those lovers of hiking or walks in the
woods, there are many mountain paths well
worth exploring. Sprinkled with little Basque
villages or shepherds’ keeps, these delightful
byways recall ancient traditions and stir the

Sports and Leisure Activities
Swimming, cycling, skiing, surfing, fishing,
horse riding, golf, walking and visiting local
wineries and restaurants are just some of the
many leisure activities available. Even white
water rafting is available, if you dare!

Savouring the Basque cuisine: restaurants.
Fresh sardines grilled over an open fire
accompanied by the best olives you’ll ever
taste and a glass or two of txakoli (a Basque
sparkling wine) is a culinary experience that
                       you       don’t     find
                           anywhere       else.
                           Spain is only 45
                          minutes away (San
                          Sebastian)        and
                          there you can also
                          indulge in tapas, shaved ham and other Spanish
                          delicacies. But you needn’t go that far: just 20
                          mins away is Bayonne; try a slice of Bayonne's
                          finest cured ham, Brebis (sheep’s) cheese, the
                          confit of Bearn (sauce Bearnaise!) or indulge and
order a garbure soup, poule au pot, the salmon de Gaves, ttoro,
piperade…you’ll find out what the word hot really means when you savour
the red peppers of Espelette!

Shopping and Markets in Biarritz
Biarritz is a vibrant town and you will find                             a
full range of shops, markets and even
several casinos! Don’t forget this is where
the élite meet and you will soon discover
why it boasts the highest real-estate
values in all of France – even higher than

Language, Folklore and Traditional Music
The mysterious origin of the Basque language, Euskara, which bears no
resemblance to any other Indo-European
language, is reflected in an equally unique
culture. The musical tradition is still strong
and the most famous example of this is the
Fandango, which is in fact a dance often
described as both passionate and chaste. If
you can catch a performance of this
strangely formal yet energetic dance, don’t
miss it!
Basque songs are haunting melodies, reminiscent
of the American blues, with lyrics drawn from
everyday life.

Places to visit nearby and further
The unique position of Biarritz on the Spanish
‘doorstep’ enables you to visit the capital of the

Basque region, San Sebastian, in less than 45
Other celebrated destinations in easy reach of
Biarritz are: St-Jean-de-Luz (where Louis XIV
was married), St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, resting
place for pilgrims trekking towards Santiago
de Compostella in Spain and recognizable by
their talismanic Scallop shells, Bayonne (they made bayonets there!), Pau,
Lourdes, Bilbao, and many fascinating lesser known places.

Basque-Pyrenees Cottage 1 – “L’Escale”

Taking up the major portion of the ground
floor of an attractive old apartment building,
L’Escale is comfortably large, centrally located
(just a few steps from the esplanade) and all
on one level.
It is excellent for one or two couples or a
family of five.

Ground floor
   Parquetry floors with oriental rugs, and
    traditional style furniture in the
    bedrooms and sitting room.
   Large sitting room with TV, cassette
    and CD player, music and books.
   The living room has two sofas, a small
    traditional dining table that seats 4, a
    coffee table, and an open fireplace.
    (But this is not in use).
   The kitchen has a gas cook top, oven,
    microwave, dishwasher, fridge, cupboards with all utensils and cutlery, a washing
    machine and a dryer. There is a granite topped dining table which can seat eight

Ground floor Bedrooms
   Master bedroom with comfortable Queen
    sized bed and traditional armoire for
   Second bedroom with your choice of either
    three single beds or one Queen and one
    single (depending on your travelling party),
    also with armoire for clothes and
   Modern bathroom with shower.
   Hydronic central heating throughout.
   Separate toilet room.
   Parking is easily available just outside the
    building and during the busy season, we will
    provide a convenient space in the nearby
    public car park.

    Having chosen the cottage(s) for your stay, read on for information regarding costs
                                                                     and how to book…

Make your Adventure a Reality!
How to book
Firstly, please contact us by phone or log into our website to verify the
week(s) you want are still available. Then complete the booking form at the
end of this brochure and send it to us as soon as possible with your first
instalment. (Or full payment if you select that option)
If you wish, you may make payments by cash, bank transfer, or credit card
over the phone by quoting your credit card details, or faxing them to us. If
you are using our Easy Instalment Plan (see page 63) then automated
credit card debits are really the only practical method of payment. The total
due for all your reservations must be paid in full no later than 3 months
before your departure. Once paid, we then provide you with an
information pack with maps of how to find the houses, entry codes and any
useful last minute information.

Cancellation or Change Policy
If you cancel your entire booking, we refund you the sums paid towards
those weeks of your booking that we successfully rebook with a new client.
If all weeks are rebooked, you will receive a 100% refund – there are no
cancellation fees.
If for some reason you find it necessary to cancel a booking, either
completely or in part, please inform us immediately to maximise the
chances of refunding the sums paid for those cancelled weeks. The earlier
you tell us, the better!
Booked weeks are not transferable to another time once confirmed.
Shifting booked periods normally requires cancelling the week(s) no longer
required then rebooking new weeks, paying a new first instalment on these
new weeks. Your instalment(s) for the original cancelled week(s) will then
be refunded, if and when we rebook them. We're sure you would
appreciate the reasons for this.
We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance before you book any travel services; it is no
more expensive than taking it out later and will protect you if we are unable to rebook your cancelled

Minimum and Maximum Stays
Ordinarily, the minimum period you can book is one week. All our guests
say that one week was good, but they could easily have stayed longer! So
bear     this    in    mind     when     planning      your     itinerary.
Normally the maximum booking is six weeks in any one cottage, but
longer stays can be arranged if you have special circumstances.

Each cottage is available for bookings on a weekly basis, from 5:00 pm
Friday afternoon until 9:30am the following Friday morning. These arrival
times allow our guests to enjoy the experience of the Saturday morning
markets and to obtain the week's supplies – far better than a Saturday
starting day, which forces you to miss this great experience. Tariffs are from
$1880 AUD per week all-inclusive. The individual tariffs for each cottage are
detailed on our reservation form and the latest information may be viewed
at or downloaded from our website at
See page 63 for details on payment options.

What’s included
This price covers everything (including bed linen, towels, telephone,
broadband internet, electricity and gas, initial cleaning, parking, local
manager support, etc) for up to two people staying. Also included are all
the little extras discussed back in the section entitled “Your Home in
France” earlier in this brochure.
If it is your intention to accommodate more people, for either your entire
stay or just part of it, please advise us so that our manager can make the

Tips for our guests
Car Hire and other transport matters
Many of our guests arrange hire cars for their

transport in France.
Firstly, there are the famous "lease" deals where you choose not only the
model and type, but also even the colour of your brand new car. (Renault
or Peugeot)
 Leasing is the best option
If you want a car for more than 17 days, but you must organise your lease
car at least 4 to 6 weeks before you travel.
There is a little more paperwork involved in arranging a lease car initially,
but much less later. If you plan to have a car continuously for 17 days or
more then leasing is by far the better option under most circumstances.
Once you are in France the process of
pickup and return is often more
straightforward – especially with the
highly organised Peugeot Open Europe
or Renault Eurodrive companies. As you
can see by the map below, there are
many locations for collection and return.
Cars can also be returned to major
locations in Italy, Spain, Portugal,
Belgium, Holland, Germany and the UK.
You can even collect your car in London
and drive it to France!                      Agencies in Europe for Renault Lease Cars

A car in Paris?
When collecting in Paris, you should consider if you would need a car during
your stay there.
You probably won’t.
In this case a downtown depot is the best
collection spot. Otherwise the airport depot will be
more convenient for immediate collection after clearing customs.

When you collect your lease car you will be shown over it as if you were its
new owner - which indeed you are till it is returned for recycling.
For shorter stays, hiring is the way to go.
Note that you will usually get dramatically better rates if you book your car
(Avis, Budget or Hertz) from back home - often half the price of the same
car from the same company booked on French shores. But check the extras
such as the almost compulsory insurance excess waiver fee before booking
and don’t let them make you pay this if your TRAVEL INSURANCE already
covers the excess – you’d be paying for nothing.


For our latest recommendations about who to hire from, please visit our web page:

A holiday from driving
Par contre, much can be said for having a holiday from driving along with
the other stresses of their daily lives. Some people prefer to get about by
train, or to be whisked through the French countryside at 330km per hour
on the marvellous TGV.
Nevertheless, it is convenient to have a car during your stay in rural France,
so you can ramble about the villages and countryside, or perhaps make a
pilgrimage to Montpellier or Aix-en-Provence for a dose of cosmopolitan
French art and culture.

What is the best way to go?
There are a number of options, for example…
One - which is suited to a couple travelling together- is to use the French
railway system for the longer journeys, then hire a car locally at or near
each village. The SNCF (French National Railways)
offers rail/drive options that you may well wish to
For families, and groups of four or more, hiring a car
is usually the cheaper option. If you are hiring from
a major company, you can often arrange to return
the car to another depot in France, or even in another country. The smaller
local companies can’t offer you this. There are car hire depots for both
small and large companies at Nîmes, Montpellier and Avignon in Provence;
in Bergerac, Bordeaux and Périgueux in Dordogne; and in Tours in the
Those of our guests visiting our Provence cottages who wish to be ‘car-free’
will find that the local EDGARD bus network will carry them to many of the
places and attractions they wish to see. The buses are heated /air-
conditioned and spacious. Here is a map of the network…


                                  Uzès                       Avignon
                                                          Palace of the Popes

                          Nîmes                       Beaucaire
                Roman Amphitheatre                    Canal du Midi

                                                       Van Gogh
             La Grande Motte

Money and Banks
Sadly, the Franc (abbreviated with an F) is a thing of the French past.
Now the Euro reigns supreme. Banknotes come in denominations of 500,
200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5; coins in 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 eurocent.
The most widely recognized credit card is VISA which is accepted almost
everywhere and will allow you to draw from most cash dispensers.
Conversion rates for withdrawing cash with your VISA or MasterCard are
about the best available. Banks are generally open from 8.30am-12.30pm
and 1.30-4pm; they close on Sunday, and most close either on Saturday or
Monday as well. Many banks now no longer offer a bureau de change so it
is really best to take your credit card one of those special traveller’s cards
offered by many banks. But beware when using the latter that they may
not be accepted for security deposits as discussed on page 57.

The Importance of speaking (just a little) French!
The French are a friendly and polite
people, but it is important to
observe a simple precept: Open
your conversation with them in
French, even if you must revert to
English after only a few words.
The response will be warmer!
Here is how to do it…
   Bonjour! Meaning "hello" or "good-
    day!" (Pronounced bon-jour -jour
    sounds like tour but with a soft "j"
    instead of a "t". A soft "j" is between
    "j" and "sh".
   Merci Meaning "thank you!"
    (Pron: mare-see)
   S'il vous plâit Meaning "please"
    (Pron: sill-voo-play)
   Au revoir! Meaning "good-bye"
    (Pron: oh-rev-vwar)
    C’est ça …That’s it!!
    If this has whet your appetite to
    learn more, please visit our
    website where you will find a
    longer list of useful words,
    complete with audio
    Simply click on the following button
    on our home page…

Testimonials and Tributes
French Cottages - our postcards page
Every so often our guests find the time to send us a postcard. We really
enjoy receiving these, as it is encouraging to hear about their experiences in
France. The often send us emails too expressing their heartfelt appreciation
for the wonderful times they have enjoyed at our cottages.
See some of these testimonials at our website:

 Travellers’ Survival French Word list
Yes                                                       Oui
No                                                        Non
Hello, Good morning, Good-day, Good afternoon (on first   Bonjour
Good evening (on first meeting)                           Bonsoir
Please                                                    S'il vous plaît
Thank you,                                                Merci
Where are the toilets? Or Where is THE toilet.            Ou sont les toilettes?
How much?                                                 C'est combien?
Do you speak English?                                     Parlez-vous anglais?
I don't speak French (really at all)                      Je ne parle pas français.
I am Australian                                           Je suis Australien(ne)
A (glass of) white wine please                            Un vin blanc SVP
A (glass of) red wine please                              Un vin rouge SVP
Where is the Office of Tourism please?                    Ou est l'office du tourisme SVP?
Unleaded petrol                                           (Essence) sans plomb (SP)
Diesel fuel                                               Gazole
Excuse me (in the sense of "sorry" or "pardon me")        Pardon
Excuse me (in the sense of "can I get past you please")   Excusez-moi.
It is good                                                C'est bon
Good                                                      Bon(ne)
Rue Sigalon, Uzès please (to a driver of a taxi or bus)   Rue Sigalon Uzès, SVP.
One                                                       Un
Two                                                       Deux
Three                                                     Trois
Four                                                      Quatre
Five                                                      Cinq
Six                                                       Six
Seven                                                     Sept
Eight                                                     Huit
Nine                                                      Neuf
Ten                                                       Dix
Twenty                                                    Vingt
Thirty                                                    Trente
Forty                                                     Quarante
Fifty                                                     Cinquante
Sixty                                                     Soixante
Seventy                                                   Soixante-dix
Eighty                                                    Quatre Vingts
Ninety                                                    Quatre Vingt Dix
Six francs                                                Six francs

Eight francs                                                   Huit francs
Ten francs                                                     Dix francs
One hundred                                                    Cent
One thousand                                                   Mille
Some cash on my VISA card please                               De l'espèce sur ma carte bleue
One thousand five hundred francs                               Mille cinq cent francs
How are you? (a familiar way of talking)                       Ça va?
How are you? (polite and formal)                               Comment allez-vous?
I am well, fine, etc. (in answer to "Ça va?")                  Ça va.
I am well, fine, etc. (in answer to "Comment allez-vous")      Très bien, merci.
Please (only to family or close friends, never to strangers)   S'il te plaît.
A coffee please                                                Un café, s'il vous plaît.
That one please (when pointing to something in a shop)         Ça, s'il vous plaît
Do you have a menu in English?                                 Vous-avez un menu en anglais?
Where is…….?                                                   Ou est….?
I don't speak much French.                                     Je parle un tout petit peu de
I am lost                                                      Je suis perdu.
I don't know                                                   Je ne sais pas
I would like a cold drink please                               Je voudrais une boisson fraîche
I would like a mineral water please                            Je voudrais de l 'eau minérale
I'd like a beer please (from the tap)                          Je voudrais une bière SVP
Where is the railway station please?                           Ou est la gare SVP?
I am looking for…                                              Je cherche.
(I am) sorry                                                   (Je suis) désolé.
Is there someone here who speaks English (here)?               Il y a quelqu'un qui parle anglais
Bad                                                            Mauvais(e)
Terrible                                                       Terrible

 Learn more French here!
 We offer a number of resources at our website for brushing up your French,
 or even starting from scratch. See this page:

 Payment Options
 See page 55 for the tariffs for various cottages and group sizes or visit this
 page on our website for the latest information
  You have a choice of two convenient payment options.
 For bookings made 3 to 9 months before the date of departure,
 Option A - payment in full, is recommended.
 For more advanced bookings, six to eighteen months before the date of
 departure, you may prefer to use Option B - our easy instalment plan.
 With this latter option, a $100 surcharge per booked week applies but we
 will honour the tariffs in force at the time of booking, no matter how far in
 advance you reserve your weeks; you will therefore be protected against
 any price rises we may have in the interim.
 All payments are in Australian dollars, so you need not worry about
 currency fluctuations when you book with us.
 OPTION A* (Full payment)
 Full payment on booking
 OPTION B (Deposit followed by balance instalments later)
 A first instalment of $580 per week reserved is payable on booking.
 The balance (which is the balance of the total tariff plus the surcharge
 mentioned above) can then be spread over four equally spaced instalments
 by pre-authorising us to charge your card on a certain day of the month
 that suits you or your credit card cycle. The last of these instalments must
 be paid no later than three months before your departure for your holiday.
 Payments may be stopped at any time should you decide not to go ahead
 with your booking. Refer to page 54 for our refund policy.

*If you are booking at a time that is less than 3 months before your departure, then Option A is the only
    valid choice.


air-conditioning, 18            Gouffre de Padirac., 36       Picasso, 11
André Gide, 11                  Greeks and Romans, 12         Place aux Herbes, 12, 18
Antiques, 15, 37, 45            Hautefort Château, 34         Plantagenet,, 42
Architecture, 12, 35, 43, 49    heritage quarter, 28          Pont du Gard, 12, 13
Art Deco, 49                    Hertz, 57                     Post Offices, 15
Avis, 57                        holiday from driving, 57      pre-historic sites, 35
Banks, 15, 59                   horse riding, 36, 50          Provençal cuisine, 14
BASQUE, 48                      hot air ballooning, 13        Provence, 1, 11
bastide towns, 1                hot springs, 49               PYRENEES, 48
bastide villages, 34            How to book, 54               quercy houses, 35
bastides, 35                    How to get there…, 8          Rabelais, 44, 46
bed linen, 55                   International festival of     Roman aqueduct, 12
bedrooms, 38, 39, 40                 Ancient music, 13        rooftop terrace, 18, 19, 46
Bergerac, 11                    jazz-clubs, 15                San Sebastian, 50, 51
Biarritz, 48, 49, 50, 51        keys, 5, 6                    Santiago de Compostella, 9,
bicycle, 13                     Kitchen, 18                        51
brocante, 15                    L’Appartement, 20             satellite TV, 6
café, 3                         L’Escale, 52                  Shopping, 15, 37, 45, 50
Car Hire, 56                    La Bastide, 38, 40            skiing, 50
caves, 34, 35                   La Grange, 28                 SNFC, 58
CD player, 6, 41                La Touraine, 46               Sports and Leisure
Cézanne, 11                     language difficulties, 5           Activities, 36, 44, 50
Champignons de Paris, 44        Lascaux, 35                   Starry Night, 11
chateau, 18                     Lawrence Durrell, 14          surfing, 48, 50
chateaux, 1, 35                 Le Séjour, 40                 Swimming, 13, 36, 44, 50
Chinon, 4, 9, 42, 43, 45, 46    living towns, 4               Tarte Tatin, 44
cinema, 15                      LOIRE VALLEY, 42              telephone, 39, 41, 55
Climate, 11, 34, 43, 48         Lourdes, 51                   Testimonials, 60
Costs and Booking               manager, 55                   TGV, 57
    Procedure, 55               Marcel Pagnol, 11             theatre, 13
cycling, 36, 44, 50             markets, 15, 55               Tour Fenestrelle, 12
Dordogne, 1, 34, 35             Mediterranean, 2, 11          Touraine cuisine, 44
dovecots, 35                    Minimum and Maximum           truffle, 12, 13
English, 39, 41, 59                  Stays, 55                truffle dog, 12
Eurail tickets, 1               Mistral, 11                   txakoli, 50
Euro, 59                        Monet, 11                     Uzès, 11, 12, 13, 15
Euskara, 51                     Money, 59                     Van Gogh, 11
exhibitions, 13                 Monpazier, 34, 35, 37, 38,    Villa Eugénie, 48
Fandango, 51                         40                       vineyards, 13
first Duchy of France, 12       Nuits Musicales, 12, 13       VISA, 59
France's 500 villes d'art, 11   Paris, 1                      visitor's book, 14
French painters, 11             parking, 5, 55                walking, 13, 34, 36, 44, 50
French restaurants, 14          patisseries, 37, 45           wine, 2, 3
Geology and Landscape, 13,      Périgord, 34, 35              wineries, 36, 44, 50
    35, 43, 49                  Périgordian cuisine, 36, 50

                     FRENCH COTTAGES
   TELEPHONE: Australia 03 9016 4199; International +613 9016 4199

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