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.