Gite | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 6
Pallade Vieux is a restored 19th century cottage which forms part of a traditional Querynoise farm on a chalk ridge in beautiful rolling hill country. The main house is the owner's family home but will normally be unoccupied when Pallade Vieux is let.
The farm is surrounded by 5 acres of wild flower and grass meadow, sloping away on three sides from the ridge to give uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside and on a clear day the distant peaks of the Pyrenees.
There is a cherry orchard and a wide variety of other trees scattered around the farm including figs, apricots, nectarines, plums, walnuts and olives. The trees attract a variety of birds: woodpeckers, nuthatches, tree creepers, bee eaters and the elusive golden oriel are all regular visitors. The barn is home to black redstarts and nesting swallows in the summer. Roe deer often stray onto the property from the surrounding woodland and there is a wide range of other visiting or resident fauna.
An Ideal spot for children, who can have the run of the property and the oak wood beyond, and who will of course love the salt water pool which is for the exclusive use of Pallade Vieux guests.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Narbonne plage ( Mediterranean) 150 km|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Access||Car essential, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest Amenities||4 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Toulouse (Blagnac) 80 km, Nearest railway: Mountauban ( TGV) 25 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||3 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Swing set, Trampoline|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
|Further details indoors|
The cottage retains many original features, including exposed beams and an ancient well ( child-safe) built into the structure of the building. There is a large salon/studio with a traditional functioning fireplace with a wood-burning stove, and French doors onto a small terrace. The salon has two single beds which are equipped for use as daybeds/sofas when not required. A double sofa bed is also available, so there is scope for expanding sleeping capacity. There are two bedrooms, one of which opens onto the terrace by the pool (please see comments below on pool safety), a small but well-equipped kitchen (converted from the old stable) and a bathroom with a standard size bath and shower attachment..
|Further details outdoors|
The 11 metre pool is normally open from mid-May to the end of September ( and occasionally in to October). Very child friendly with easy-access Roman steps at the shallow end and because it's a salt-water system which needs no chemicals very easy on the eyes and skin. Equipped with an immersion alarm, it is also completely enclosed with exterior lockable gates and direct access from the pool terrace bedroom. The pool surround is paved (non-slip), with plenty of space for sun loungers and other poolside furniture. There is also a pool-side sun shelter with a comfortable day bed.
The cottage is approached up a short drive from the small country road below the farm so most people - including the owners - are happy to leave their cars on the large white-gravelled area between the cottage and the barn.
Some well-used adult/child bikes available ( and one toddler's trike) for guest's use - but please repair any punctures with the kit provided! Definitely not Tour de France standard, but ok for short local rides.
Other "facilities" include petanque ( one set of boules supplied), a very challenging cricket wicket in front of the main house ( bat, wicket and practice balls available), and a tree house/wildlife viewing platform in the row of oak trees below the cottage.
In France household insurance for rented properties does not cover third party liability, the assumption being that anyone renting the property will be covered by their own policies. Guests should bear this in mind when taking out holiday insurance.
Pool safety is regulated by law in France.There is full guidance in the welcome pack on safety measures and procedures. Children must be accompanied by a competent adult at all times in the pool area ( which includes the pool terrace bedroom which has direct access to the pool)
The Midi-Pyrenees region
The Midi - Pyrenees is a diverse region stretching from the Pyrenees and the Spanish border in the south to the Lot river and the Massif Central in the North. Toulouse is the capital, a vibrant and fascinating city on the Garonne river known as the Ville Rose from the pink-toned bricks used in the construction of many of the older buildings.
Tarn et Garonne is the smallest department in France, divided geographically by the rivers for which it is named between Quercy to the north and Gascony to the south. Cazes Mondenard is in Bas Quercy, a region of rolling hills and chalk ridges dotted with bastides ( fortified towns), small farms, orchards and vineyards. The bastides are evidence of Quercy's turbulent past, when it was on the front line between the French and the English in the 100 years war.
There is much of interest to see, from the Gorges of the Aveyron river to the Romanesque architectural treasures of Moissac and the historic city of Montauban on the Tarn river - a mini version of Toulouse with a similar pink-hued aspect.
The local climate is very agreeable. Summers are warm ( and occasionally hot) and fairly dry, with the odd rainy day when the tail end of an Atlantic weather system passes through. Winters are fairly mild with moderate amounts of rainfall and the odd cold snap when the wind blows from the east. But spring comes early and the autumn lingers on well into November.
Guests will be given a welcome pack with details of local amenities,events and activities, but highlights include:
- Cazes Mondenard( 4 kms).The local village with all the basic services (bank,post office,garage,pharmacy, doctor) and shops (boulangerie, mini-supermarket,etc). The nearest large supermarket is the Carrefour on the outskirts of Moissac(15 kms)
Places to visit:
- Lauzerte ( 10 kms). One of the "Plus Belle Villages de France" , an imposing bastide(fortified) town on the old pilgrim route to Santiago de Campostella.
- Castelnau Montratier (15 kms). Pretty traditional Lot stone bastide town with a Sunday morning market selling local produce.
- Moissac ( 20kms) . A charming town on the Tarn river with a splendid Romanesque abbey, restaurants and lively weekend market. The Canal des Deux Mers - better known later on its rout from the Atlantic to the Med as the Cana du Midi - passes through the town and over the river on the famous Pont-Canal.
- Montauban ( 25 kms). Historic pink-brick city on the Tarn. Arcaded central square, some good restaurants and an excellent museum with works by Ingres, who was a native of the city. Hosts an international jazz/blues festival in July.
- Cahors (40 kms). Medieval city on the Lot river. There are several vineyards to visit en route.
- St Antonin Noble-Val (50 kms). Atmospheric small medieval town on the Aveyron river with a popular Sunday market. Access point for canoeing trips down the Aveyron Gorge.
- Golf: there's a very pleasant 9 hole course 10 kms away. The nearest 18 hole course is near Montauban (20 kms).
- Cycling: there are bikes for the use of guests at the cottage; lots of pleasant rides locally, but for something flatter the towpath along the Canal des Deux Mers at Moissac is highly recommended.
- Tennis.There's a municipal court in the local village, and another in Durfort (8 kms).
- Fishing: lots of small lakes in the area hold fish, including black bass.The Aveyron ( 10 kms) and Tarn (20 kms) rivers have good stocks of wild carp and some big catfish. The confluence of the Tarn and Garonne at St Nicholas de la Grave ( 30 kms) is good for pike and zander. Boats can be hired locally.
- Canoeing/Kayaking.The Aveyron gorge near St Antonin is the place to head for, although check that water levels are not too low before you go. Nothing extreme, but lot's of fun
- Walking. Some delightful local itineraries on the doorstep: descriptions/maps available at the cottage. All fairly gentle stuff; for something more challenging a 2 to 3 hour drive will get you the start of some serious hikes in the Pyrenees.
- Wine-tasting. There are several good wine producing areas within striking distance. Cahors is probably the most well known, although some of the smaller appellations like Fronton and Gaillac are also worth trying. Castelnau Montratier (15 kms) has a wine festival in August featuring the local robust Coteaux de Quercy reds.
- Theme parks: Parc Walibi near Agen (60 kms) is highly rated by discerning children (and adults because of the short queues for the rides).
- Lauzerte, Moissac and Montauban all have extensive summer entertainment programmes, and each village has it's own fete.There are also numerous specialist fairs: antiques, crafts, pottery, agricultural, wine, local produce - with the bigger events often combining all these elements. And of course every town (and many large villages) has a regular weekly market.