About the property
- Farmhouse2368 sq. ft.
- Half Baths2
- Minimum Stay3 - 7 nights
Farmhouse near Beaulieu Sur Dordogne - peaceful and perfectly situated for the Dordogne and many of the most beautiful villages and sites In France.
This is a renovated period farmhouse set amid walnut groves. The pool is in an enclosed secure area bordered by shrubs and plantings for increased privacy and set well away from the road through a lockable gate. The pool area can be illuminated at night and includes electric points, a refrigerator, decking, shaded decking, a grassed area and is fully paved. The heated pool uses a filtered salt water system which ensures maximum cleanliness without the use of chlorine or chemicals. It is simply the best pool system available. The pergola by the pool will comfortably seat twelve in the shade for barbecues or al fresco dining and there are several loungers, a hammock, table tennis, a solar shower and a variety of pool floats. The pool is filtered continuously and cleaned every morning.
Although the hamlet of La Chauvarie has a population of four( including us two) and is an oasis of peace it is within easy reach of all facilities, the motorway and airports. The house offers good modern accommodation tastefully renovated to a high standard with well kept gardens and a larger than average private pool.
There are terraces front and back in addition to the pool area. The main terrace is next to the kitchen and has seating for ten and a large table which is ordinarily used daily by holidaymakers for breakfasts, barbecues or just comfortable socialising. There are two barbecues provided. Although romantic by candlelight the terrace areas have pleasant carriage lights and security lighting for the steps. The sun rises on the breakfast terrace, passes over the rear vine covered terrace and sets on the pool. The large garden provides plenty of further space for relaxation with simple recreational facilities such as boule, badminton, swings and a slide available. Four bikes and helmets are available for guests use at no cost. The bikes are 'VTT' and suitable for offroad cycling. This is to be undertaken entirely at the guests own risk.
The house is ideal for extended families providing space to retreat as well as room for comfortable living. There are two double bedroom equipped with double beds and one kingsize bedroom which has an en suite large shower room. There is a single bedroom equipped with two single beds and a large landing area with two further single beds.. A family bathroom with a bath and a separate shower serve the second floor. Continuous hot water is provided.
The large and very well equipped beamed kitchen/lounge dining area covers the entire footprint of the house. Originally it was a ground floor 'barn' used for wine making and animal husbandry. The old space has changed entirely and now offers comfortable modern living featuring oak and stone and marble with both an open fireplace and underfloor heating (for winter use only !) The large fridge incorporates an ice-maker/cold water dispenser which always proves popular in the summer heat. The kitchen includes an induction hob, a domino grill, microwave oven and a multi purpose fan oven/steamer/grill. There is a dishwasher and an American fridge freezer with water and ice dispenser. A separate utility room offers a tumble dryer, washing sink and a large capacity washing machine as well as a further fridge freezer and extensive storage. All kitchen utensils are provided and if a visitor has a particular request for an item not already available in the kitchen we will do our best to provide it upon request. Those who like cooking should like working in this ergonomically designed kitchen.
The internet is WiFi and available throughout the house. Both English and French TV is provided. Traditional DVD machines, CD player and even a VHS format player are available along with a good range of DVDs, CDs and VHS including many children's favourites.
There is a separate beamed living room with comfortable seating, a stove, piano and television. This is perhaps the most traditional room in the farmhouse with stone, original beams and leather furniture providing a relaxed ambience. One of the settees can, at a pinch , be used to extend the sleeping accommodation to provide a further double bed. Although the house is most comfortable for 8 people with five bedrooms there are beds for ten people and twelve people may be accommodated using the pull down settee.
There is ample off road parking for several cars. Children are well provided for, a cot, high chair,push chair, stair gates, toys and mats are all available for toddlers and babies on request in addition to the swings and slide.
Those who enjoy wildlife and the stars at night will not be disappointed! The sky is unusually clear, bright blue by day and star filled at night. Light pollution is not a problem here. British visitors are often surprised by the range and variety of birds here. It is not uncommon to see Golden Oriole, Hoopoe, Redstart, Woodpeckers and a variety of large birds of prey. Nightingales sing in the woods at night. We are regularly visited by rabbits, red squirrels, deer, wild boar and a variety of lizards.
The farm was once an asparagus farm in living memory but since then moved entirely to walnut production. Previously the local farms were all wine producers but that economy was badly hit by the phylloxera disease and never recovered. Our front terrace still has an ancient variety of grape, alive and well and very much in prolific production. Our neighbour previously made wine for us with our grapes and one day (soon) we intend to create our own wine, anyone for Chateau La Chauvarie ! In the season there are more walnuts than we can possibly cope with. Bilhac is very much a farming village, truffles were once in abundance here and the village once boasted four restaurants with a truffle based menu in each but climate change has moved the truffles elsewhere and the last restaurant in Bilhac closed some twenty years ago although the aged proprietor is still alive and is a very kind local neighbour. The one road through does run along the high ridge to Beaulieu sur Dordogne, but the route is only used by local traffic and it is certainly not busy.
The garden provides seasonal harvest and the garden produce is available for our visitors use. In season there are potatoes, strawberries in abundance, courgettes, beans, apples, peaches, cherries, grapes, and the contents of a well stocked herb garden. The outbuildings include an old piggery which now houses the pool equipment, a workshop, a large stone barn and an old tobacco drying barn which we have converted to our own use as a living space. Ultimately that too will be available for holiday letting but facilities are not yet appropriate for holiday use. With several months of labour during the winter season, the barn may be available next year, we shall see. Until then, we live in that space working slowly but surely towards the final renovation during the close season.
We have tried to create a period property with very modern facilities and we hope that our visitors get the true French experience and enjoy living here as much as we do.
- Response time:
- within a few days
- english, french, Very basic German.
- Calendar last updated:
- Apr 15, 2018
About Kevin O'Connell
France has been home since 2007, in the UK home was, at various times, the North East, Yorkshire, Kent, London, Devon, Cambridge and Suffolk. We were teachers for over thirty years and discovered this region through friends. Somehow our annual holidays in France with our three young daughters missed this region out completely so it was a great surprise and a pleasure to discover what is, in our opinion, the best of all regions in France. We bought our farmhouse home in 2005 and have steadily worked on modernising and renovating the property and gardens. The farmhouse was in poor condition when we purchased it, but now we know and understand every last inch of the building and have genuinely' renovated' the property in the true sense of the word. Through this we have learned a great deal about renovation and have developed a healthy respect for the skill of French craftsmen and the quality of their work. We understand the pitfalls and errors that can be made by English newcomers having made many of them ourselves. We will be very happy to share our insights with any visitors contemplating starting a new life in France We keep close contact with family and friends in the UK through the excellent broadband available here. We sing with a local French choir and cycle with a local club. The cycling club meet weekly for a varied and always unusual ride both on road and offtrack followed by a meal at a different restaurant each week for the cheap and cheerful lunchtime menu. Any visitors are more than welcome to join in using one of the bikes available for your use at La Chauvarie. Life is varied, lively and often surprising. We particularly enjoy the clean air and the peace. The air is so clean here your lungs almost thank you for breathing it. We love life in France and continue to be surprised and entertained by the beauty of our surroundings and the traditional quality of life here that emphasizes community and kindness. Life in France is good
Kevin O'Connell purchased this Farmhouse in 2005
Why Kevin O'Connell chose Bilhac
Brive airport is only 30 minutes away with flights from City airport London and with Ryanair from Stansted. The motor route to Paris and beyond to the ferry Ports is free moving and un-crowded making travel to the UK easy. Our home is in a quiet hamlet of three households. One mile from the Dordogne and set amongst walnut orchards and hilly forests. Local shops and facilities are nearby. This region is a walkers and cyclists paradise. Good routes are available from our doorstep. Horse riding, fishing and canoeing are also less than a mile from our door. Holiday fishing permits are easily available and the variety and opportunity for fishing, (angling or fly) is there to be taken. Most interests can be accommodated locally, from hot air ballooning to micro light flights and most visitors take the opportunity to canoe down the Dordogne. There is no better way to really see the region than from the river passing through areas inaccessible to vehicles, the true reserve of nature. The sun, the light, the sound of the water and the cool beer just around the corner make this an activity to remember. The valley below us is dotted with castles and ancient buildings and the local towns are amongst the most beautiful in France and the perfect setting for a relaxed, romantic evening at a cafe beneath the stars. Our daughters, their partners and young families visit us regularly, we are certainly used to the sound of children playing and families are especially welcome here. The accommodation was designed to make it possible for different generations and families to live happily together with enough space to have privacy and also enough good space to enjoy socialising together. The house adapts well to both family groups and parties of friends. Although we are nearby to help and support visitors we respect privacy too, the best visitors are those who enjoy their holiday and our intention is to do our best to allow you to do exactly that.
What makes this Farmhouse unique
The farmhouse boasts very fast wifi and every modern facility combined with the joy of traditional architecture. The architect designed rooms are cool in the heat of the summer and the terraces give you the chance to take shade or sun with a table for al fresco dining should you wish. Both English and French TV and Radio are available in the house as are a wide selection of DVDs and books. The house has a good piano, four VTT bicycles, board games, table tennis, badminton, swings and a slide for youngsters, all in a safe, green, private and tranquil setting. This area is a wildlife and bird spotters paradise.The heated salt water filtered swimming pool is set amongst the walnut trees, a great place for lounging or swimming. The Dordogne also offers excellent wild swimming for those confident enough to take the challenge. It is probably not possible to run out of fresh places to visit or attractions to enjoy in the space of a three week stay. After ten years we are still discovering new and pleasing places to visit and things to do. Our visitors will be supported through their holiday with personal attention and advice on the where, the what and the how to enjoy the region, but equally with total respect for privacy. Our intention is for you to enjoy your holiday and we are happy to go the extra mile. This is only our second year offering holiday lets and we have really enjoyed meeting people and sharing something of the beauty of the region and the pleasure of the south of France. We hope that the pleasure we get from visitors enjoying their holiday works to generate a friendly and welcoming ambience to 'La Maison des Fleurs' and that each and every visitor returns from their holiday happy and pleased to have chosen this house in this region for their holiday stay. To wake in the morning with the sound of birds, to see the blue sky and feel the warm sunshine is to wake feeling the pleasure of a stay at La Chauvarie. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Great house, wonderful vacation!
3 generations (from 7 to 83) came to La Chauvarie and everyone had a wonderful stay (2 weeks+).There is plenty of space for everybody. The house is very well equipped and furnished. Beds are comfortable.
The owners have clearly thought through everything to make your stay enjoyable. Property is in great shape and has excellent outdoor living space. Pool is super nice.
Judith and Judith were such kind people, they were very helpful with everything during our stay there. Thank you so much!
We only wish we could have stayed a little longer but we will be back!
Thank you Isabelle for your kind review. It was a pleasure to welcome you to the farmhouse and a particular pleasure to know that the house worked well as a focus for your family stay. We really enjoyed meeting your mother and talking with her about her memories of the region in the past century. She was very patient with our French and we learned a great deal. We will be more than happy to welcome you back the next time you visit the region.
A bientot, Kevin and Judith
A great base for a family holiday
The O'Connells' traditional stone house down a quiet, rural country road, with its lovely pool in pretty gardens, is a fantastic base for a family holiday. Set over three floors, the accommodation is generous, flexible and well-proportioned. The first floor incorporates a quiet sitting room with piano, a master double bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and a second double bedroom served by the ensuite. The top floor has a double bedroom, a family bathroom and a small twin room (suitable for young children/cots), while two full size single beds are located on the large landing. The enormous kitchen/living room which occupies the entire ground floor leads out onto a comfortable dining/BBQ terrace and gardens and up to the pool, which is far enough away from the house to ensure that noise is kept to a minimum, but easily accessible. Everything you could need is in the house - it is incredibly well stocked with equipment, china, towels, linen, two big fridges, a larder, utility room, books, toys, games etc. Judith and Kevin are incredible hosts - nothing is too much trouble and they made us feel so very welcome. They live just across the courtyard, so they are at hand to help with anything or to give advice about local excursions, restaurants, etc, but they don't intrude in any way. There are several villages and a larger town within minutes' drive, so easy to get provisions and find local markets and restaurants. Lovely country walks through walnut groves. We loved it - the children in our party children said it was the best holiday they had ever had, and they've had plenty! The photos just don't do this lovely house justice.
Thank you for a very positive review. We enjoyed having you stay in our home and seeing the children enjoying themselves. We are flattered too by you trying out some of the suggestions for eateries and places of interest. We think it is a lovely, pretty unknown area of France, very verdant and very historic. We love living here and are particularly enjoy our new role as ambassadors for the area with our little rental business. Your family and extended family and friends were delightful company and thank you for leaving the place in good order. We would most certainly welcome you on a return visit. Meanwhile enjoy the West Country and any Indian summer.
In short, we wish we were still there!
The house is perfectly set up with large, open plan, ground floor living space so even with everyone inside you don't feel like you are on top of each other. The house is really well equipped with pretty much everything you would need. The house is comfortable and remarkably cool even on the hottest days. The layout of the rooms means that everyone is well spread throughout the house with the top floor being a perfect, self contained refuge for the kids. The real bonus, however, is the outside space. The gardens are very lush and well tended and the patio area directly from the kitchen makes breakfast time outdoors extremely easy. The pool area for us was the best part of the house and the little considered details really went a long way - the tiles around the pool, for example, are smooth and because they are light don't get too hot in the sun, the large covered table makes dining together at any time of day a treat. The multitude of games and inflatables kept the kids entertained and the fridge by the pool is more useful than you might you think! there are plenty of parasols too meaning that you can easily escape from the sun. Kevin and Judith have obviously really thought about the things that go towards making a great holiday home.
The house aside, we loved the area and would definitely recommend visiting the monkey park (adults and kids loved it), Beaulieu is very pretty and perfect for an evening meal in the square, the little bar 'Porquoi Non?' in Flioriac is in a lovely, quiet spot and does great crepes and a huge selection of speciality beers and (although a 30 minute drive) Martel is well worth a visit and a meal in the square (you need to book in advance though). The whole area is just so pretty and there is more than enough nearby to keep everyone entertained.
Finally, just wanted to say thank you to Kevin and Judith for being such generous and accommodating hosts. Even before we arrived they kept in touch regularly to ask if there was anything we needed them to provide specifically, and during our stay they were on hand whenever we needed, without being at all intrusive.
We would definitely book again as the house and surroundings seemed to tick so many crucial holiday boxes
Thank you for your generous comments James and thank you for taking the time to make them. It is always a pleasure to read a good review but it is not as pleasing as the good feeling that people enjoyed their time at The Farmhouse. We know how important it is that families enjoy their time together on holiday. So much personal commitment goes into the annual holiday that it just has to be a good time for all. Thank you also for leaving the house in such good condition, you will always be welcome here. One minor correction though, the bar in Floriac is the ' Pourquoi Pas ? ' and I agree with you, it serves some excellent beer. In fact, who cares about the name, I am tempted to pay a visit right now for a pint of Vedette. Thank you James, hope to hear from you again.
Kevin and Judith
Gorgeous house in a great location
We had the most wonderful week in this beautiful, quiet and private house. It has everything you need and everything has been thought of. The garden is great for children to play in safely and the pool is perfect, gated so again, children are safe. The owners could not have been more helpful both prior to our trip and during our stay. We have done this type of holiday for a number of years but this has been our best week so far. We would thoroughly recommend it!
Thank you for your review Louise, we appreciate it. Thank you also for being such welcome guests. We enjoyed meeting you and your families and the little ones and were more than pleased to help where we could. Thank you too for leaving the place in very good order on your departure. If you ever feel like visiting us again you would be very welcome at a discounted price. Enjoy the rest of your summer, Jude and Kev
An authentic piece of France and French living
A fortnight of absolute bliss in an exquisite property. The house itself has everything a guest could possibly need and then more! We spent two weeks enjoying the surroundings, as it was a great base to explore the area. The keen cyclists and runners found lots of routes to keep them happy. The towns of Beaulieu, Bretenoux, Argentat all worth a visit and within easy reach. The four bikes there to loan means a group can cycle to Puyburn for daily bread and pastries, 30 minutes round trip. Canoeing down the Dordogne relaxing and with amazing views. Jude and Kevin are always there to help yet invisible at all other points. The pool and garden are well kept which means you can happily relax at the end of the day after touring or chill for entire days. We didn't want to leave and will certainly be returning. If you are extremely lucky your visit will coincide with Jude and Kevin's granddaughter Molly visiting who is an absolute delight. Jude and Kevin you have a dream home, thank you for sharing it so willingly with everyone.
Why thank you Louise, we really appreciate the review as well as enjoying your stay. Molly in particular did not want Seb to go, one day, when she's a bit older than 4 she will contact him! We are pleased that you enjoyed the area, we love both the tranquility and pace of life...slow but also the myriad of 'lovely villages of France'. You and your family and friends are more than welcome to return. Enjoy the rest of the school holidays and ' bonne chance pour Septembre'.
Peace and tranquility in a wonderful setting
Jude and Kevin, apologies for the delay in my review. My excuse is that I was thinking about what superlatives to use! A fabulous property and location enhanced by the welcome received from you both. The property has clearly been painstakingly restored with much love and attention to detail. The quality of each bedroom is fabulous and very tastefully decorated and the relaxing areas are all that you would wish for. In addition, the kitchen is stocked with everything that you could possibly require. One could easily spend one's whole break here lounging in and around the excellent pool, other than to venture into the nearby village for your provisions, but this would be to miss out on what the local area has to offer. Bikes are also provided and it was a pleasure to accompany Kevin on a ride through the local peaceful country lanes, of which there are many. Brilliant property and location and wonderful hosts. What more could one ask for? We'll certainly be returning soon!
Peter and Wendy, Mersea Island
Thank you Peter and Wendy for your very positive review and for being perfect guests. We enjoyed sharing our hone with you and Margaret and Steve and would welcome you back at any time. We are booked until Easter 2017 but would love to see you return and spend more time exploring the area. Thankyou also for leaving the house in such good order.
Travel: The nearest airport is Brive Vallee de la Dordogne about thirty minutes away. Ryanair fly into Brive from Stansted. Limoges and Rodez Airports are about 1 hour fifty minutes away (Ryanair). We are approximately 500 miles from the channel ports, about seven and half hours if travelling via Paris by car. It is possible to make almost the entire journey by train including the final short stage from Brive to St Denis le Martel from where it is fifteen minutes by taxi. Distances: Bilhac village is 800 metres away. Puybrun and Betaille have supermarkets, bakers and butchers at five minutes! Bretenoux is a beautiful river town with banks, post office, restaurants, cafés and one of the best weekly markets in France at just over ten minutes. Beaulieu sur Dordogne is outstandingly beautiful and sits on the river with all facilities at 15 scenic minutes away. One of the 'most beautiful village of France', Collonges la Rouge is 14 miles away. Rocamadour is only 16 miles away. Turenne, Curemont, Autoir, Martel, Carennac are spectacularly beautiful villages to visit all within quarter of an hours drive. Farther afield but within easy travelling are the attractions of Sarlat, Brantome, Domme, Roque de Gageac and St Cirque la Popie etc There are hundreds of caves in the region, from the commercially presented caves at Padirac, to the carefully preserved world heritage site at Lascaux. From troglodyte houses at Gluges to the Foret de Singes and the steam train at Martel, there are too many hidden gems to fit in! This property is almost equidistant between the Atlantic and the Med. it takes about two and a half hours to get to either coast and similar time to get to the Pyrenees. Two hours to drive to Toulouse. Biarritz approx. three hours drive. The tarn gorges (white water), Spanish border, Barcelona, Lourdes, even Paris are easily driven to within a morning. Further Details: The property is ideally situated for the Dordogne. The river is about 5 minutes drive away or a twenty minute walk, as is the nearest of two canoeing stations and a water park. We are a couple of hundred yards from the boundary of The Lot. With an exceptional heritage, castles, churches, ancient sites, ruins and villages of outstanding beauty are all on the doorstep. The history of the region and romance of the landscape are spellbinding. This is an ideal region for outdoor activities. The cycling opportunities are superb, quiet and varied roads and limitless offroad routes through genuinely unspoilt natural landscape. For walkers too the opportunities are tremendous and you are never too far from a good stop off point for the lunchtime 'menu du jour'. The natural features of the Correze has remained unchanged for centuries, the footpaths which criss-cross the region are waiting to be discovered and offer walkers an immense sense of freedom. Correze by bike is equally enjoyable. There are routes for all abilities for road bikers and mountain bikers. For fishermen, Correze offers 4000 hectares of lake, 5500 km of streams and rivers of the first category teeming with fish. Fly fishing and angling are equally good. Canoeing is a speciality of the region with competitive courses available in addition to the miles of river open to canoeists. Climbing, hot air ballooning, hang gliding and horse riding are also part of the tapestry of activity available in the region. Travel from Bilhac to any other part of France is quick and stress free! The excellent motorway system is nearby and offers a refreshing change to any driver from their experience of the motorways of the UK.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
Booking Notes: Please contact owner. Changeover Day: This is flexible but Saturdays are preferred.