Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 5400: En Toutes Saisons, Le Terme (# 0083)
2bed/2bath house in St. Cyprien, Aquitaine
July/August 2012, 13 nights
We rented Le Terme for 13 nights in July/August 2012. This is a 16th century house right in the village of St. Cyprien in the Dordogne (Perigord Noir). We really loved the house and the village; it was a great base for our stay in the Dordogne.
The house is built into the hillside and has two levels. On the entrance level - off the tiny street Rue Terme - is a small foyer with a storage room, which opens into the kitchen. We kept some of our luggage in this room and there are plenty of cleaning supplies. Steps also lead up from the foyer to a small terrace with a dining table and four chairs. The terrace looks out over the little street and a big beautiful house. The terrace was a pleasant place, and we ate several meals there.
The kitchen is large, light, and modern with an eating bar with two stools. There's a medium-size refrigerator, stove and oven, dishwasher, microwave, coffeemaker, toaster... and plenty of pots, pans, cooking utensils etc. We prepared several dinners and had everything we needed, including a good supply of dried herbs and spices.
One full bathroom with a shower is located off the kitchen. The washing machine is in this bathroom and there's a drying rack, ironing board, and iron in the storage room.
Beyond the kitchen is a spacious living/dining room. The dining table seats four, and there's an antique buffet that includes dishes, glasses, and lots of tourist resources. In the living room there's a leather couch and arm chair. We were there during the first week of the Olympics and ended up watching TV much more than we usually do in Europe ... there's satellite TV and a DVD player (which we didn't use). There's also WiFi that works throughout the house and a closet with movies, books and games.
Steps lead up to the next level which includes two good-sized bedrooms, one with an en-suite bathroom. One bedroom has a small balcony and the other bedroom (the one with the bathroom) also opens onto the terrace with the dining table.
Both bedrooms are light and a good size, with comfortable queen beds with duvets and plenty of closet/drawer space. The bathroom off of one of the bedrooms has a fantastic shower and is separated from the bedroom by a curtain. Although there isn't A/C, there are fans for both bedrooms and we were very comfortable.
The house is both traditional and modern... they've managed to keep the historic elements while ensuring comfort and modern touches, very clean and well-equipped.
Le Terme is located in the medieval part of St. Cyprien, maybe two minutes walk up from the main street, Rue Gambetta. We loved the village! The Sunday morning market is excellent, and there are a variety of shops including two boulangeries, a butcher, and a presse. Closer to the river is a big supermarket (Carrefour). In July and August, the village has a "marche nocturne" on Thursday evenings... tables and chairs set up in one of the parking lots with a variety of vendors selling prepared food, wine etc., and musical entertainment too. We went both weeks and loved it.
We ate several times at the cafe/restaurant/pizzeria La Taverne, just down from the house on Rue Gambetta. This is a popular place (seemed a mix of locals and visitors), so stop by earlier for a reservation to get a table outside. There are other eating places within walking distance, but we kept going back to La Taverne.
St. Cyprien was a "real" village and we liked that. It's near the river, but not right on the river. There's a medieval village (with a big church/abbey), but no big tourist magnet other than the Sunday market. There's also a train station (a stop), on the line from Bordeaux-Bergerac-Sarlat. My daughter and later our friend both came in by train.
Parking is really the only complexity associated with this house and just something to be aware of. There is a small square (Place de la Liberte) between Rue Gambetta and the house with some parking spots. Sometimes we did get a spot there, but sometimes not. When there wasn't a spot, things became a bit more complicated. (There are several one way, steep, and/or very narrow streets in this part of the village.) For most of our stay, I just ended up parking at the far end of Rue Gambetta in a big municipal lot and walking five minutes or so. At the end of our stay I found another place where I could always find parking, closer to the house. This wasn't a big deal for us.
We thought St. Cyprien was a great base in the Dordogne... 30 minutes to Sarlat, 40 minutes to Montignac, 15 minutes to Beynac. There's so much to do and see in this beautiful area... we would have enjoyed staying much longer. The house is personally owned by the couple who run the property management/rental agency En Toutes Saisons, and they live nearby. Sabine was great to deal with by email to confirm the booking and answer questions. I paid the deposit and final payment by PayPal. Sabine was also very responsive during our stay, to bring an extra lamp for the living room and new linens midway through our stay.
You can view the property directly: Terme.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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