Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2208: Owner, Gironde farmhouse (#9143)
6bed/7bath house near Coutras, Aquitaine
June 2006, one week
Off a quiet, delightful country road, on the river L'Isle which runs behind the house. Quiet, private, and in the center of the Bordeaux vineyard area, about 15 km from St. Emilion. About a mile's pleasant walk into Coutras and a 20 minute drive to Libourne.
Coutras was walking distance for us, St. Emilion and Libourne easy driving distance. Markets in Coutras on Tuesday and Saturday and in Libourne on Sunday and, I think, Wednesday.
The house is an exquisite stone farmhouse, lovingly finished, with six bedrooms, each with its own bath, plus a full bath on the ground floor. The house is approximately 4000 square feet with more than enough room for 12 visitors. We were a group of eight friends who travel together annually and this house was a jewel.
The outdoor terrace, gardens and saltwater pool, leading down to the river, are a symphony of visual beauty. The lavender lining the driveway leading to the house was in bloom in June and it was breathtaking. You simply find yourself using superlatives when describing this house and its surrounds.
Nothing lacking. Our only complaint: the living room couches are too soft!
The beds had the best mattresses we have encountered in travel. Everything is new, well-maintained, and in the most thoughtful of taste. Small things, like reading lights by every bed, make it evident that the owner cares to make her home a wonderful experience for you.
Best kitchen we've cooked in on travel and better than some of our home kitchens!
Problems or Bonuses
The surprise was that the house exceeded all expectations.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner is English. At approximately $2500 for a week in June, shared by eight travelers, we considered it a bargain.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Our only hesitation in recommending is we would prefer to keep it a secret. The owner, Jo's house in Coutras exceeds every description on her website. The prospect from the pool and terrace to the river is breathtakingly beautiful: a combination of nature and planning that captures the serenity of this wonderful landscape. The house is a gem and lacks not a single convenience from the well-equipped kitchen to marvelous mattresses. Jo herself has the art of creating comfort and offering hospitality without ever being obtrusive. The surrounding area is a delight to explore from the obvious such as St. Emilion, to the wonderfully unexpected such as the fabulous cheese lady at the Libourne market! Be prepared to dream of staying or, at the very least, of returning annually.
Things to do in this area
Wine taste throughout the region, easy to arrange either before for the famous vineyars (Rothschild, etc) or when you are there for the myriad of small and wonderful wineries. Visit St. Emilion. Enjoy the markets in Libourne and Coutras. If you decide to spend a day visiting Paulliac, treat yourself to lunch at the Restaurant de Cordeliere, a Michelin two star in Paulliac. Plan a day visiting beautiful Montignac, lunching perhaps by the river or in Le Roque, and visiting the Grotto de Rouffignac for the cave paintings. Bordeaux is a delightful city, but we were in "country" mode and preferred wandering through Montignac and Sarlat. You really can't run out of things to do here in June!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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