Spacious country cottage apartment for 2 people set in the Gascon countryside.
- english, french, german, spanish, Gaelic Irish & Esperanza
The owners, an Irish/French couple, have lived in the area since 2010. They bought the property in 2014 and spent 2 years renovating the lovely old stone and oak beamed farmhouse which dates back to about 1820 - possibly older. The cottage is attached to the owner's house, but is private and has it's own entrance, parking, garden and terrace. The owner's bide their time between France and Ireland.
Jonathan purchased this Cottage in 2014
Why Jonathan chose Nérac
Gascony remains relatively undiscovered and an absolute gem for those who find their way here. There is a reason for this - Gascony has no obvious or well known tourist attractions so to speak of. Whilst the likes of the Lot, Perigord and Dordogne are trampled down every year, Gascony remains authentic, intact and off the beaten track. In summer the fields are abundant with bright, smiling sunflowers (figuratively speaking) and rolling hills (figuratively, again) dotted with oak woodlands and pine forests. There is no light pollution at night, making the clear night sky an enormous canvas of stars - something of great interest to normal people and nerds alike. And what better way to wind down every day with local seasonal produce you can cook at home, sit outside on the terrace and marvel at another day truly well spent in such a delightful and charming part of the world - even if you have managed to really do bugger all other than buy some ripe and delicious cheese.
What makes this Cottage unique
There is nothing particularly extravagant or magazine worthy of this property. Simplicity, on the other hand, has its own subtle beauty. And it is a perfectly simple stone cottage in a very special region of great natural beauty. Dating back to the early 1800s, the cottage has many of the original features such as the thick stone walls, wood burning fireplace and traditional oak beams. It's the ideal country base from which to set out on mini excursions of the area, unravel its history and culture. Yet the cottage is still only a short drive into the lively town of Nerac. It's also very hard to find a small property for two that is not a hotel room that offers 72 sq m (775 sq ft) of living space, separate king bedroom, kitchen, salon, dining area, a separate office (ideal for writers) and large bathroom, along with a private terrace and gardens. For a couple seeking a quiet, personal break or holiday in an unspoilt, non touristy, charming and pretty region of France - it's about as perfect as anyone could find or wish for. As yet, we've no pool - but don't let such small matters deter you - there are plenty of public recreational swimming options in the area, including a hilariously 'Roman Ruins' themed swimming park in the local town. As even the brashest of budget airlines seem to charge an absolute king's ransom for weekend flights in the high season, the cottage is available to rent on the less prohibitive days of the week - so guests can book Tuesday-Tuesday or Wednesday-Wednesday if they wish and take the advantage of the economies to be made. Guests taking their own car can also avoid the nightmare of Saturday travel through France in peak season.
100% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if cancelled at least 14 days before arrival date.
OUTSTANDING PROPERTY AND OUTSTANDING OWNERS
I can not recommend this property highly enough. The property is situated just outside of the town of Nerac in south west France. It is quite isolated in the middle of the countryside but that it is very attractive because it is so peaceful. The property itself is very roomy but only has one bedroom. The owners are fantastic. Jonathan is Irish and his wife Isabelle is French. Both were very welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for them. I ended going on holiday there on my own as my partner could not make the trip. Jonathan and Isabelle more than made up for the fact that I was at the home alone. They never intruded if I wished to be alone but if I wanted company they were fantastic hosts and great conversationalists. Obviously as Jonathan is Irish all the conversations were in English as Isabelle speaks good English too. This was also a bonus. As I say I thoroughly recommend this property as a holiday home particularly for single people or couples. I do not recommend it for couples with children though as there are not enough bedrooms and it does not have a swimming pool at present. It is however very pet friendly so it is ideal for people with dogs. All in all though great and I have reflected this in my ratings.
Paul, you are a fantastic guest and we'd be more than very happy to see you back anytime - hopefully with partner and dogs. So thank you for your kind words and company. Glad you got home safely, take care and stay in touch. Johnny and Issy
Home from home
It is not easy to find good accommodation for 2 people and a dog but this cottage ticks all the boxes. The rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated, a very well equipped kitchen, stylish bathroom and overall a very homely feel. Although attached to the main house the charming owners, Jonathan and Isobel, are totally discreet, respect your privacy but are on hand should you wish to make use of their wealth of information on the area. Situated in the midst of farmland, the cottage ensures rest and relaxation but the vibrant market town of Nerac is just 8mins drive or 35 mins walk away. We had a wonderful holiday. Thank you Jonathan and Isabel, we will definitely return. For the sun lovers amongst us a sun lounger might be nice. Jane and Mike July 2018.
Mike and Jane,
it was such a pleasure having you both to stay and thank you for your kind words. We're delighted you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and found a bit of peace and quiet - along with a the odd tipple of wine with us. So sorry to hear about Gracie - that is so sad and so soon after you got back to Dorset. She was obviously very dear to you, poor mutt.
Thank you both again and the door is open should you ever find yourself in Gascony again - although maybe less driving!
Take care and stay in touch,
Johnny and Issy
Quiet, comfortable and well equipped gite
We (retired couple) enjoyed a month at this quiet, comfortable and well equipped gite near the picturesque and historic town of Nerac. Jonathan and Isabelle are charming hosts, and provided lots of local advice to enjoy our stay. There are numerous villages, markets, restaurants and vineyards in the vicinity, with leaflets and very helpful notes provided. It’s a lovely spot in a nice area. Don’t hesitate.
It was an absolute pleasure having you to stay - safe travels and onwards. So happy you enjoyed your time on the less frequented route of sort-of-Gascony. It was fun and better for your visit. Thank you both so much. Johnny and Isabelle x
Gem in the ountry.
Our stay here for 8days was delightful. Jonathan is a very helpful host.
He provided spot on driving directions for our trip from Pao to Nerac and also suggested a wonderful place to have lunch. The gite is well equipped and roomy. It is a great location to use as a base for walking, biking or any activity. We would hope to return. A very nice welcoming basket was in the gite when we arrived, consisting of wine, cheese, pate and a baguette.
Thank you Charles & Ruth - it was a pleasure to have you stay and kind of you both to make the detour to us! Happy you got home safe and sound. Best from Jonathan & Isabelle
A Litle Bit of Heaven in the Country
The property is unusually spacious for a two person property. Surrounded by farm land, arable no animals, it is very well fitted out and very well equipped. Its location is very good for Nerac which is about 4kms away. It is not too close and not to far. It is very easy to reach ancient towns and many excellent vineyards by road. The are plenty of good restaurants close by. We found the local people to be very welcoming and helpful. The owners are charming. They are eager to ensure you enjoy your stay whilst being unobtrusive. They have a great deal of local knowledge which they are only too happy to share. The notes that go with the property are very comprehensive. This part of France is large areas of farm land with few people. That makes travelling by car very easy and it an enjoyable experience - not something that could be said about much of Europe today.
All in all a delightful property in a beautiful part of the world in which to spend a holiday.
Robert, it was an absolute pleasure to have you both to stay, and thank you for your kind words. We will happily welcome you back any time.
Jonathan & Isabelle
A Wonderful Country Escape
This well equipped country cottage is ideal for a couple looking for a quiet country retreat. Surrounded by numerous lovely villages, offering history, with good food and wine, the area is ideal for quiet travel and relaxation. You will need to brush up on your French, as the locals very rarely make any attempt to speak English. However, everyone is very friendly and with a little effort from both sides this minor problem is soon overcome. This is an area of France we hadn't visited before and we weren't disappointed. Richard and Isobelle couldn't have been more helpful, especially when we had a puncture, arranging for superb service at a local garage. Directions from Bordeaux airport were very clear, a beer, bottle of wine & milk in the fridge made for a warm welcome on arrival, and an aperitif with canapes on the last night was a lovely end to a lovely holiday. We would both thoroughly recommend this property unreservedly.
Gascony has some of France's prettiest villages that come into their own in summertime with lively day and night fetes/festivals featuring live music, local food, wine and fabulous local produce.
It is also home to Armagnac and some hidden gems for wine lovers where tourists are made extremely welcome for tastings.
Hikers and bikers are very much at home here too, as the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela paths come through the area next to the property, and cyclists love the region as it combines quiet, undulating roads with stunning countryside. Bikes can also be rented locally with free delivery to the property.
The nearby town is an historical landmark on account of Henri IV having resided here in the 16th century - and constructing the famous chateau that remains for the purpose. Today the town is a bustling hive of activity in summer with night markets, concerts and the busy Saturday market.
Apart from the expected requirements any holidaymaker may need locally such as an excellent choice of supermarkets, banks/ATMs, shops and so on, there are also daily boat rides along the river, walking parks, public tennis courts and a rather swanky new water & swimming park in the style of Roman ruins.
Slightly further afield, but not too far, are the extremely pretty villages of Fources - the only circular medieval village remaining in SW France - Vianne, Barbaste, La Romieu, Poudenas, Montréal, Mézin, Lectoure, Miradoux, St Puy, and Larressingle.
Gascon cooks have a reputation for not only feeding people, but feeding them well. The local Gascons are France's longest lived as a result of a cuisine that has perplexed and baffled The Harvard Medical Journal forever. In other words, great food is locally produced, relatively inexpensive, fresh, seasonal and tasty without too much fuss. There are also several shiny, Michelin starred restaurants in the region that fuss a little more over the same produce with brilliant results worth paying the extra for.
Anyone planning on a slightly longer stay have the beautiful and vibrant cities of Toulouse, Bordeaux & Pau within an hour and a half drive, which make for very rewarding cultural detours, or as we call it, 'clothes shopping'.
Keen cycling enthusiasts know the area well as Le Tour de France passes through the area almost every year.
But if it's simply a relaxing holiday with not too much fuss that you really pine for, you'd be hard pressed to find a simpler, rewarding and bewitching region.