Le Domaine de l'Aube is a restored stone farmhouse that stands on over 10 acres of landscaped grounds and retains many original features in stone and oak. There are three double bedrooms and three bathrooms, one en suite, and an attic with four beds (though due to the wooden beams that run across it the attic is more suitable for youngsters). The attached barn of the original house has been converted into a large open plan living area with a high ceiling that includes the kitchen, dining room and sitting room. The kitchen has a large central island and a 5 hob range cooker, with a large American-style fridge. There is also a library/TV room in the old house with TV, DVD player and a wide selection of books and movies. The 6x12m pool sits next to a semi-enclosed pool-house, constructed from wood and stone, with a dining area, shower/toilet and kitchenette with built-in barbecue and pizza oven (this is where the owners spend most of their time during the summer).
Le Domaine de l'Aube is a charming stone farmhouse that sits with its neighbour, Un Bis, a converted tobacco barn, overlooking the vineyards and pastures of the valley below. The location is very private and tranquil, but with the nearest neighbours hundreds of metres away no one will mind if you make your own noise! The gardens have plenty of lawn to play on (especially the main house), all maintained by automatic mowing robots, and Le Domaine has a lily pond that makes for a very relaxing reading spot. Le Domaine also boasts the larger of the two pools, which adjoins a semi-enclosed pool house with built in barbecue, wood-burning pizza oven, kitchenette, toilet and shower. For those that want to be out and about there are plenty of options, from canoeing and cycling for the more active, to wine-tasting and produce markets for foodies and trips to castles and ancient Bastide towns for the culture-vultures among you.
* Un Bis is suitable for all ages, from babies upwards *
** Please note that Le Domaine De L'Aube is not really suitable for the very young and as a standard, our minimum age for youngsters is 12 **
We are an English/South African married couple with two grown kids. After scouring southern France for five years searching for a second home, we finally found Le Domaine de l'Aube and knew immediately that it was the perfect location- when we viewed it we immediately fell in love, which has lasted 10 years now. The old stone buildings and quite wonderful location stole our hearts. Extensive projects have been realised to landscape all of the grounds near to the main house, build a new owner's wing, garages and laundry and wine cellar, add on stone paved patios and a quite wonderful Pool House and outdoor kitchen. In 2009 we bought En Bis, a separate adjoining home which had been the original barn as a house for Friends.
Cathy or Bruce purchased this farmhouse in 2004
This is truly a wonderful part of France - remote location, yet within minutes to an hour of everything one could ask for - Bordeaux with its architecture, culture and wines, Bergerac with its medieval city and the Dordogne, Foie Gras, fresh produce in the markets, Armagnac for its brandies, Sauterne for its world famous sweet wines, St Emillion with its World Heritage site, Golfing at Chateaux Vigier and easy access by plane, train and car. The list is a long one and there is much more we could write.
The tranquility, scenery, access to the worlds best wines, cuisine, market towns and much more within a short drive. Unspoiled, rolling countryside, vineyards, pastoral scenes, the most amazing sunsets and a big sky. No nearby neighbours, so its great for larger groups with youngsters or if you like to turn up your favourite music. Outdoor living, with the poolhouse as the centre, with everything one needs close to hand. We are a bit of a foody family, so the really large kitchen, with central island makes for wonderful cooking together experiences. Produce, culture, local major towns like marmande with its annual Tomato festival, visiting musicians, medieval pagents, canooing on the Dordogne, cycling and walking and wine, of course! We could just go on and on...
The cottage is on a hillside overlooking stunning countryside. It's a charming, traditional property but beautifully renovated and with all the modern utilities you could want. Being secluded it's perfect for a tranquil escape - to read, write or swim in the pool but for the more energetic there are tennis courts in the village down the road. There are villages and towns within easy driving distance for shopping in markets and generally experiencing France at its most French. We only managed to tear ourselves away for one day trip - canoeing down the Dordogne - but we could also have headed for the coast. Staying closer to home we did our bit to support the local economy by eating in great restaurants and investing in wine, bread, cheese and many other local delicacies. Nous will be back
Un Bis is a secluded, yet not isolated farmhouse in the beautiful french countryside. It has everything you would need for a holiday break and more. Un Bis is not just a convenient base from which to explore the dordogne, but a haven of tranquility where all the family can relax and take time away from the hustle of everyday life.
Having two teenagers to entertain did not present any problems, as the beautiful pool provided hours of fun. The farmhouse is very clean and well presented. It is simply and tastefully furnished and has been one of the best properties we have stayed in over the last six years of taking our holidays in the region. It was a particular pleasure to wake each morning in the light and airy master bedroom suite, and to take our morning coffee on the patio just outside. All the ground floor rooms flow well together and lead out to the rear terrace and poolside. This enables you to feel you are still connected to family members even if you are not in the same room, making meal preparation, dining, as well as barbecues on the terrace, just as much part of the holiday fun. There are good views from the farmhouse, and these will be improved with plans by the owner to further reduce the height of the hedge that borders the property.
Cathy and Bruce were excellent hosts and very flexible and accommodating, especially when we had to inform them that we may have had to cancel at short notice. Thank goodness we didn't, as we may not have discovered this hidden gem. After a summer if ill health, our week in Un Bis was the perfect place to convalesce. So much so that we cancelled our hotel in Bordeaux and stayed on for an extra two days. Thank you again Cathy and Bruce.
Fantastic vacation. Perfect. If you are looking for a villa in French countryside with all that it would seemingly entail then look no further. Book now and getting ready to enjoy. Wonderful place.
As a family of 5 (2 adults and kids aged 11,8 and 8) we have stayed in plenty of Villas and Gites in France and Spain. Un Bis has undoubtedly been the best so far. Although they are good pictures, the website photos don't really do the house justice.....it's a classic traditional farmhouse that has been updated beautifully. The private garden and swimming pool are heaven and all the facilities in and outside and well maintained. We really enjoyed being in the rural quiet countryside, but having the ability to easily reach the quaint French towns for lunch or dinner when necessary. Cathy and Bruce could not have been more helpful before and during our stay. Would we return ? Absolutely.
We stayed in Un Bis for a week with four children aged 9 to 14. The house itself was beautiful and extremely comfortable. Fresh flowers, together with cold beer in the fridge and ice creams in the freezer for the kids, added to a lovely welcome.
The surrounding countryside is charming and relatively unspoilt. The lovely pool, large selection of games and books ( and even DVDs) and the great outdoor eating area meant however, that we were very happy to spend our time relaxing at Un Bis.
Our hosts, Cathy and Bruce, were very welcoming and helpful. We enjoyed a lovely time in beautiful surroundings, and would certainly consider coming back!
What a beautiful location! We spent a week at Un Bis in July and have not stopped talking about it since! Set in beautiful green fields and surrounded by lovely little typical French villages, we all thought Un Bis was delightful- two children aged 5 and 7 included! So lovely that we hardly moved for a week but spent our days lazing by the pool, reading and eating! Un Bis itself is beautifully decorated and was perfect for our family. Plenty of space, furnishings and bathrooms were all of a very high standard and Cathy and Bruce, the owners couldn't have been more welcoming. We are already planning our next stay!
Arcachon and its beaches are 1 hr 40 mins away, including the Dune de Pyla, the tallest sand dune in Europe, with lots of water sports on offer. On the other side of the Arcachon Bay there are the long white beaches of Cap Ferret (2 hrs) for those that prefer their beaches undeveloped (bring water and umbrellas!). Biarritz is 2 1/2 hrs away if you are keen on your surfing.
Since the properties are in the countryside it is essential to have a car, even though bikes and trains are great for day trips. The nearest airports (both with car hire) are Bordeaux Merignac (1 hr) and Bergerac (1 hr 10 mins). Toulouse airport is also 2 hrs away by car. The TGV travels from Paris to Bordeaux, where there are frequent trains to Marmande, our local rail hub.
Bordeaux, Bergerac and Agen are all about an hour away by car. Marmande (25 mins) is the nearest town for shopping, although many of the local Bastides (ancient fortified villages), such as Monsegur (15), Duras (25), Eymet (45) and Bazas (45), hold market days throughout the week. The wine Mecca of St Emilion and the Sauternes region are 45 mins away and the Bas-Armagnac area is about an hour to the south.
Upon request we can make available our 6 bikes for touring the local towns (we've made it to Eymet and back in a day but be sure to bring water!), as well as a badminton net and racquets (also tennis racquets). There is a tennis court in the nearby hamlet of Lorette that can be used for a small fee.
Markets are a great place to meet local artisans, try local food and wine and pick up souvenirs for friends and family. The nearest bank and supermarket are in Monsegur, although there are larger supermarkets along the road into Marmande. There are also boutique clothes stores in Marmande, but why not make a day of it and visit Bordeaux for great shopping, culture and food along the river?
Although it is a bit of a drive, we highly recommend a trip to Beynac-et-Cazenac on the Dordogne where you can canoe or kayak down the river past beautiful chateaux perched on the limestone cliffs above. You can also visit the Chateau de Beynac, a beautifully restored 12th century castle that was a key location during the Hundred Years' War.
We also recommend visiting local vineyards to pick up both great deals and a new appreciation for the work that goes into each bottle (markets and wine cellars can offer some good leads).
As befitting a region world-renowned for its food and wine there are many great restaurants in the area where you can sample local delicacies such as foie gras, duck and the famous Marmande tomatoes.