Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 448: Bowhills, Cordes-sur-Ciel
3bed/2bath house near Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn, Pyrenees
October 1999, 1 week
This spacious house is in rural France, in a hamlet of working farms surrounded by vineyards and farmland. The back of the house is close to the next property, but we were never bothered by any noise. The front of the house looks out over terraces, the pool and rolling green hills.
The nearest town is the lovely village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, about 3 miles away, so a car is absolutely necessary.
The home is a tastefully restored stone "masion de maitre" .
The outside sitting area is lovely, with a totally private pool (too chilly to use when we were there in October).
This house is well-maintained, clean, and extremely spacious, with a dining room, 2 living rooms and a study. The furniture is abundant and comfortable.
The master bedroom is huge, with a nice en suite bath. The second bedroom is a bit dark, which could be an advantage in the hot summer, and is across the hall from a large, very nice bath (shared by the 3rd bedroom, which is a kids' room with bunks/singles).
The kitchen is large, with table and chairs and an old stone sink as well as modern one, and is fully equipped -- dishwasher, microwave, etc. Plenty of nice-quality dishes and pots and pans to cook a full meal.
Problems or Bonuses
We were a bit taken aback upon arrival at the totally rural nature of the hamlet -- cows and geese aplenty out our back door, and a young man leading the cows home in the evening. The lovely, almost imposing, facade of the house and the rural hamlet are a study in contrasts, but a pleasant one.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Bowhill's is a well-known English agency which offers villas and farmhouses in France at very competitive prices. Arranging the rental was effortless. There was, however, no onsite person -- not that we needed one. The reality of the house matched the contents of the catalogue (now supplemented with a web site).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We loved this house, and would recommend it to anyone who already knows France and speaks a bit of French. I don't think it would be a good introducion to France, since it really is "la France profonde," most people don't speak English, and the sights in the area are not the major ones that first-timers want to see. That said, I esp. think it would be a great rental for people with kids who are used to city life, in order to introduce the children to farm life and teach them that there is a connection between poultry and chicken, beef and cows, etc.
Things to do in this area
This house is a great base to explore nearby small towns like Cordes, St-Antonin-Noble-Val, Villefranche-sur-Rouergue, and Castelnau-de-Montmiral, and larger towns like Albi and Montauban. The underrated city of Toulouse is about 50 miles away.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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