|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Limousin-Cottage is a quaint, stone-built village home, thoughtfully renovated to retain all of it's 18C character, and is quietly situated, off-road, in the village of Mailhac sur Benaize. There is safe, off-road parking in a little courtyard directly in front of your door. The quirky little cottage has flagged floors and beamed ceiling. It is situated in the Haute Vienne department of the Limousin, known as the French Lake District. Limoges is just half an hour away, and Limoges airport 45 minutes, with Ryanair budget flights from several UK destinations, including East Midlands, Stansted, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester, Bristol and Southampton. Also Birmingham with Flybe and new for 2017, British Airways flights from Gatwick to Limoges.
The one-bedroomed, pet-friendly, cottage is a perfect retreat for a couple, but sleeps up to four. The spacious and quiet double bedroom is on the first floor, and has plenty of storage space for your clothing. There are open countryside views from your bedroom window. A fold-up single bed is provided and can be used in the bedroom if required.
The light, airy and spacious shower room, with power shower and heated towel rail is right next door to the bedroom.
On the ground floor is the comfortable sitting/dining room, with an excellent free Wi-Fi connection, plus UK and French TV. There is ample crockery and tableware in the cottage for four to dine in style, whether inside our outside. The log-burning stove keeps the cottage warm and cosy in Winter.
The compact but well-equipped kitchen also has a washing machine, and overlooks the outside patio and small garden area, with open countryside beyond.
In front of the cottage is a small residents parking courtyard, where you can park safely directly in front of your door. It is extremely well situated for access to the whole of the Limousin region, being just 5 minutes drive away from junctions 21/22 of the toll-free A20 motorway.
The quiet village is in no way remote, and the nearby town of St Sulpice les Feuilles is just a mile or so along the road, and has all the facilities you may need. La Souterraine, Creuse, is 10 miles away, for a much larger selection of supermarkets and amenities and is a lovely town to visit. There is a great newly-built swimming pool with sauna facilities, handy in case of a rainy day.
The cottage is available for lettings all year round, with 3 month stays available between October and March. It is very well-equipped for a longer stay. The log-burning stove keeps the cottage very snug and warm in Winter, and during the heat of the Summer (when 30+ deg Celsius is quite normal) the thick granite walls keep the cottage beautifully cool. When it is very hot outside it feels like you are stepping into an air-conditioned interior.
Behind the cottage there is open countryside, and you can watch birds of prey soaring on the warm air currents above the garden,, and deer often cross the fields behind.
There is an excellent FREE Wi-Fi connection for your mobile or tablet, plus UK or French television for your enjoyment. You can choose a book from our bookshelves, and if you don't manage to finish it during your stay, please feel free to take it with you in exchange for one you have read.
The cottage is a perfect retreat for a couple, but there is also a comfortable double sofabed in the sitting room, or a handy fold-up single bed. We can also provide a travel cot, safety stair-gate and highchair at no extra cost.
Just along the road from the cottage is a lovely lake Lac de Mondon, with an outdoor swimming pool in season, and a British-owned poolside bar restaurant, who do themed nights and have live music at weekends. You can take a walk along the River Benaize, passing through ancient forest, with caves and a waterfall. We can also recommend the Auberge du Lac de Mondon for a special meal. You can fish in the lake or the river - day permits are available at the campsite reception. Throughout the Summer there are events going on at the campsite, open to visitors, such as the barbecue and disco last Summer, where there were hot-air balloon rides! They also hold regular night markets, and on mid-Summers day there is a great, free, music festival going on all afternoon and into the night.
About a 15 minute drive away is arguably France's biggest market, Les Herolles, which is held monthly, on the 29th of each month, unless the 29th falls on a Sunday, in which case it is held on the Monday. There are car boot sales going on all over the region throughout the Summer. Le Dorat has horse-racing meetings in June, July and August plus a very popular farmers market, where you can buy fresh Limousin beef and join in the huge barbecue!
There is an outdoor dining set, two sunloungers and a barbecue. You can sit outside well into the night in warm weather, with exterior lighting for your convenience. The crystal-clear night sky is amazing to see with very little light pollution. We often sit and get a good view of the International Space Station passing over.
In the sitting room you will find a comprehensive information pack so you will be spoiled for choice with the range of things to do and places to visit. There is a good range of books to choose from in the cottage, plus a dvd player with a selection of films, and board games, plus a petanque (boules) set should you wish to join the locals in a game, just over the bridge by the Salle de Fetes.
If you decide not to cook, we can recommend the French chef in the village, Herve, who has a catering kitchen and does take out meals at weekends of authentic French dishes at a surprisingly reasonable price. For example, coq au vin at just €6,50 per head!
In the nearby small town of St Sulpice les Feuilles there are two very French bar restaurants, both of which do a great, home cooked lunchtime menu for €11,50 with wine and coffee. They both welcome your well-behaved pet inside with you. At nearby Lac de Mondon there is a lovely Auberge for a more upmarket meal, but still excellent value for money.
All in all, you can do as little or as much as takes your fancy if you choose to stay at Limousin-Cottage, and really relax and re-charge your batteries.
Although from the UK, with grown-up family and Grandchildren still living there, we have been fully resident in France since 2003. We are on hand to assist our guests during their stay at Limousin-Cottage, should they need any local information on things to do and places to visit, or there are any issues with the accommodation that require our attention.
Linda or Sam purchased this cottage in 2006
The Limousin region is known as the French Lake District, and there are so many lovely places to visit. The landscape varies from rolling hills, lakes and forested mountains, all within easy driving distance from the cottage. We loved this village for it's peace and quiet, and for the beautiful countryside right on the doorstep, but we didn't want to be remote. It's in an ideal spot to fully explore the Limousin. The region was the favourite choice for famous artists such as Renoir, as the light can be astonishing and so special that you have to see it for yourselves. Our children and Grandchildren absolutely adore coming every Summer and never tire of it. You can completely chill out and unwind once you are here, and can do as much or as little as takes your fancy. We have had previous guests who have barely ventured out of the back garden, preferring instead to make the most of the tranquility, to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with a good book and a glass of the very inexpensive and very good wine you can find here, and have barbecues every day! Our French guests also greatly appreciate what the cottage and the region have to offer.
The cottage was in a very dilapidated state when we first saw it, and had been unoccupied for at least 30 years, but we loved it's charm. It was built around 1750, the second house in the village after the construction of the neighbouring cottage, which was the priests home. It is quietly tucked in behind the village church, which is sadly no longer used for regular masses, but is still fully functional and you can look inside. It holds the remains of two saints, St Gervais and St Protais, and there is a yearly ceremony where the remains are taken outside in a little procession along the lane to the cemetery. Years and years ago the little courtyard directly in front of the cottages was a graveyard, which was subsequently moved to the cemetery. We have a little momento of this, as our doorstep is actually one of the old granite gravestones, with a Saxon cross on it! Behind the cottage is open countryside, and we often see deer crossing, and once even sat in the garden watching two young deer playing hide and seek around a bale of hay. From the little garden you can watch birds of prey, or bats in the evening. There is a nightingale who sings his little heart out all through the night, a beautiful sound to drift off to sleep to.
Before committing to rent this holiday cottage I came to France in August to check out the area to buy my own place, I contacted Sam and Linda and asked to meet with them first and look at the property first hand. They kindly picked me up from La Souterainne train station and I viewed the cottage, it was lovely and perfect for me. I provisionally booked from October and am staying until early Jan.
Linda and Sam are incredibly helpful and kind. They have been supportive in my search for a French home of my own which is great, and also recently took me to Chateroux to look around a massive brocante.
The property is a good size, is lovely and clean, well maintained and nicely furnished, I've just started lighting the wood burner and it gets nice and toasty. In addition to this it has lovely clear views from the bedroom window out onto beautiful countryside. The night sky is a treat as there is little or no light pollution.
Nearby is a little village with a well stocked supermarket, petrol station and pharmacy etc.. for daily commodities.
I would definitely recommend this property to anyone that loves peace and quiet, and loves rural France at it's best summer or winter. I will be sad to leave.
This holiday cottage exceeded all expectations. Spacious. comfortable bed, great shower, full of character and equipped with everything you need and more. The next door neighbours are Sam and Linda and they could not be any more welcoming and helpful. One damp evening we set off on the 30min walk to the restaurant at Lac de Mondon. We had obviously been spotted because after 100 yards Sam pulled up in his car and insisted on giving us a lift. Customer service? You bet!
The local area is very rural and peaceful, yet it catered for all our wants and needs. Great bars selling good food, a well stocked supermarket, pharmacies, bakeries, butchers, swimming pool, beautiful walks, cycle rides ( bikes supplied by Sam and Linda ) and a very reliable and friendly local taxi service.
Access to the motorway network is only 6 miles away and direct trains to Paris are only 12 miles away in La Souterraine.
All in all, a great holiday and if you are visiting from Northern Ireland, bring Tayto crisps and potato bread. Sam and Linda deserve them!
The area is a paradise for bargain hunters, with car boot sales and fleamarkets going on all over the region for much of the year. There is also a great Aladdin's cave just along the road from the cottage, where you can find just about anything, from reclamation and furniture to bric a brac!
A visit to Oradour sur Glane is not to be missed. This is the ruins of a village after a WW2 massacre which has been left as a tribute to the victims. There is a visitor centre and you can walk around the whole of the village. The site attracts visitors from all over the World. It is about half an hour from the cottage.
The nearby pool at Lac de Mondon is open to visitors in season, and there are amazing riverside walks from the lake, where you pass through medieval forests with waterfalls and prehistoric caves. There is a lovely Auberge, where you can get a superb meal, lunchtime or evening, Tuesday to Saturday. The lunchtime menu changes each day, they use home-grown and locally sourced produce, and it is just €13 for three courses. There is also a great poolside bar restaurant, Le Repos. Although a little further afield, we can thoroughly recommend ZooParc Beauval for a wonderful day out. It is rated amongst the top ten zoos in the World and the best in France. It is 90 minutes drive from the cottage, but well worth the drive. New for 2016 - see hippos swimming underwater!
Limoges is a lovely, open city, surrounded by hills and lakes, and has a beautiful river, the Vienne, passing right through the city. You can walk on pathways along much of the length of the river, visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral (which is set in lovely botanical gardens) and have a wander through the flea-market in the medieval streets around the cathedral. Limoges is renowned for porcelain manufacture, and there are factory and museum visits.
A 20 minute drive away from the cottage is the huge monthly market at Les Herolles, which is also a stock market. Held on the 29th of each month, unless the 29th falls on a Sunday, and then it is on the Monday. The fresh produce is top quality. It is arguably the biggest market in France.
If you would like an authentic French meal freshly prepared for you to enjoy in the cottage, one of our neighbours, Herve, is a Paris-trained chef and has his own catering kitchen. You put your order in the day before, ready to be collected at a time of your choice. Weekends only. He doesn't speak English, but don't worry - we can always translate if needed.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$160|
Arrival time is 16h00 or later and departure time is up to 10h00, except by prior arrangement with ourselves. Logs for the stove in Winter can be pre-ordered from the local woodman (we will arrange this for our guests) The nightly rate includes electricity and logs. The cottage owners are on hand to help or advise guests or to promptly deal with any issues that might arise in the cottage.