Berniès - Heart of Gascony
Farmhouse | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 10
Enclosed by its own grounds filled with established orchard of peaches, apples, pears, plums and walnuts, you can pick your own breakfast, lunch and dinner, staying in a historic home that dates to the 100 Years War and that lies at the heart of historic Gascony, with guaranteed sun for at least nine months of the year.
Down a driveway lies the house and private grounds, where you can eat in the shade of our mature trees or on the flag-stoned terrace. Explore our 35 acres of sunflower fields and oak woods. We have our own newt and crayfish ponds, a stream, small fishing lake and large, secluded field, ideal for camping, complete with a stone fire-pit.
In a walled garden with its own pigeonnier, a three-storey dovecote built from stone and wood, sits a spacious swimming pool, with a shallow, stepped end for small children, and a deeper end with a water slide. Here also is a kitchen garden stocked with onions, leeks, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuces, raspberries and herbs. Over the wall, is a large garden with a swing, football nets and a netted trampoline that make this a holiday location where children can safely roam free and will not easily get bored.
Inside this large, traditional Gascon noble-man's home there are four high-ceilinged double-bedrooms, and a spacious kitchen with two dining tables. In the kitchen there is a large fridge, a chest freezer, a new gas stove and Bosch fan oven, and every kind of pot and pan to cook yourself a Gascon feast, sourced from the near-by Agen Sunday market, staffed by small producers - the best in a region of gourmands.
If you can't find what you want there, many other fruit and vegetables farmers are close-by, including our friendly neighbours, Denis and Fatima Duffour, growing the best organic melons, Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes and Gariguette strawberries in the area. You can also visit Monsieur Laffargue, an award winning Blonde d'Aquitaine beef cattle farmer who sells direct to the public. A couple of kilometres away are yet more farms selling chapons, pintards and all kinds of free-range poultry. Our local village, Pergain-Taillac is five minutes away for your bread and croissants and Madame Juin will sell you milk and eggs direct from her farm.
At night, fill a glass and watch the bats and barn owls from the terrace. Visit one of our local Michelin-starred restaurants or flop in front of the large plasma screen and catch a movie on the satellite TV or from the DVD library.
We are surrounded by historic towns and villages, thermal spas, waterparks and lakeside bathing. Close by there are three horse riding stables, and fields criss-crossed by mountain bike routes, with some of the best road riding in the region, on lanes that rarely see traffic. Surrounded by trekking circuits as well as tree-top zip-wire courses, there is plenty to do outside this house and its park.
With a clutch of (child-friendly) Michelin starred restaurants in the neighbouring villages, it is also only a little over an hour to the great cities of Toulouse and Bordeaux. The Pyrenees mountains are only a 90 minute drive away too. The enormous dunes and beaches of Arcachon and Cap Ferret can be reached in 90 minutes too, making this a great base from where to explore the region.
See also: http://bernies.pergaintaillac.com
|Size||Sleeps up to 10, 4 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Cap Ferret 130 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||1 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Toulouse 105 km, Nearest railway: Agen 21 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, Yes, smoking allowed|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Telephone, Fax machine, Table tennis, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (3), Double beds (3), Cots (2), Dining seats for 14, Lounge seats for 10|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Swing set, Trampoline, Private fishing lake or river|
|Further details indoors|
Terracotta tiled hallways, pressed with the traditional footprints of a duck and a dog to drive away the devil, Berniès has been restored and updated to become luxurious and welcoming, with British satellite TV as well as French digital channels, and free wifi access, making this also a well-connected home.
|Further details outdoors|
An enclosed private garden shaded by two mature horsechestnut trees, leads through a lockable gate to a walled kitchen garden and a 6m x 13m outdoor swimming pool with water slide and sun loungers on the tiled terrace area. Apple, cherries and figs overlook the pool, as do raspberry canes and tomato vines, with herb beds to take cuttings from.
An ancient tower houses the garden games and chairs, and inside an adjacent barn is a table tennis table and sports equipment.
Maps, guides and leaflets available. A welcome folder with suggestions and essential numbers as well as recommendations. Pool open June to October. An extensive DVD library of films for children and adults.
The Midi-Pyrenees region
Guaranteed sun for at least nine months of the year! Berniès is in the department of Gers, forming the major part of the old historical region known as Gascony that was described by Abert Camus as Tuscany in miniature, having the highest concentration of bastide (defensible walled) villages in France. Unspoilt by motorways, mass tourism and major industry, it has a rich heritage, a rugged landscape, superb climate (hot, dry summers and cold winters), fantastic regional food (cheese, meat, vegetables, soft fruit) and wine (Cote de Gascon, Fronton, Gaillac and Tariquet) - not to mention aperitifs like Armagnac and Floc. We are surrounded by independent producers and farmers, growing melons, apples, plums. Farmers sell their own fruit juices, breads and cheese. Everything from suckling pig to wild boar is being reared. Local people are friendly and welcoming.
Year round, the Gers is perfect walking country with the main St Jacques de Compostelle pilgrim route passing just a few kilometers away from us at La Romieu, a historic village also famous for its collegiate church of St Pierre, a UNESCO world heritage site. From its cafes and bar, there are dozens of circular walks through the sunflower fields and woodlands, suitable for all levels of fitness, with the striking twin towers of St Pierre serving as a constant locator on the horizon. The historic towns of Lectoure, Condom and Nerac are also close by, as is the medieval fortress village of Larrisingle. The magnificent Chateau de Bonaguil is barely an hour's drive. Some of France's most incredible cave art sites are a similar distance away.
If you prefer pedal power there is nothing better than taking a couple of hours out on the traffic free undulating lanes that surround us. There are bicycles for all ages in the stables and we have a full list of road and off-road routes.
Painters and photographers are drawn to the Gers for its beauty, enchanting little bastide (fortified) villages and clear air. Every day of the week there is a market somewhere close by. All summer there are vide grenier (empty loft or bric-a-brac) sales. And the region is alive with festivals, (including the internationally renowned Marciac Jazz Festival, the Tempo Latino Festival in Vic Fezensac and the Grand Pruneau Show is Agen). Every Friday night in summer there is a music and food festival in our neighbouring village of Lamontjoie.
A new water-park in nearby Nerac. the town of 'Chocolat' fame, is never frantic. Parc Walabi (a proper theme park) has rides for every size in Agen, which also has a skate park and lovely nooks and crannies and chic shops to browse, as well as a little gem of a museum. Even nearer, La Romieu has a huge open air pool and bar, should you get bored of our pool. The canals 15 km away, are shaded by fruit plantations, and run for hundreds of miles, their tow-paths great walking and riding routes. There are also several shady rivers down which to canoe or swim. And we have two thermal spas nearby at Lectoure and Castera Verduzan.
There is also an alternative. You could do nothing, and laze by the pool in Berniès, enjoying the silence.
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18 Feb 2013
"a dreamy rural retreat"
Bernies is a very comfortable and characterful house set in stunning gardens and sunflower filled countryside. Its perfect for those looking for a rustic and rural retreat. The rooms are very spacious… More
7 Jan 2013
"Fantastic and stylish family home."
We had a wonderful family holiday at Les Bernies. The House is delightfully furnished and the pool is superb. the accommodation is stylish but not fussy and the kids had room to roam and play. This is a warm and welcoming holiday home in a delightful area of France and I would recommend it to friends and anyone whether families or 'grown ups'!
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