Come share our dream of French Country Life
Who would say that they have never dreamt of living in the French Countryside? To live in an old farmhouse, with all the space that you could wish around you, to live of the land and, above all, the peace and quietness of rural living. We had that dream, and we've made it come true here at Puech de Cabanelles. We feel extremely privileged to be able to share our dream with others.
Where will I be staying?
We have two gîtes. First there is La Castanheta, a self-catered holiday home with two floors of 25 m2, that can accommodate two people. It is situated between our home and the second gîte, it has its own separate entrance at the front of the building and a snug terrace of roughly 25m2 at the back with free view over the valley. Our second gîte, Lo Nosilhon, is built on the ground floor of a traditional Ayveronese barn, it has 85m2 of floorspace and sleeps up to 5 people. Off course you'll find it has its own private garden and terrace.
Both our holiday homes boast a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable beds (80/160x200) with eiderdowns and a well equipped bathroom. They have been designed to make you enjoy your holiday, so that you can, at last, settle down with a book or walk out into the garden whenever you feel like it. So that you can relish the space and quitness around you and that the choice is yours to get to know your neighbours, including us, if you want to, or to enjoy your privacy if you don't. For those who can't or won't do without we provide free wireless internet.
More information and pricing >>>
touch of green
We heave made an effort to build our gîtes in an ecological way. This means that warm water is provided by solar-energy, we use low energy light bulbs and heating comes from woodstoves in which we burn wood from our own land. The toilets are flushed with rainwater from a 50.000 litre reservoir and the vegetable garden is watered with water from the well.
Old building materials are recycled wherever possible. The farm used to belong to a slaters family, so we are never short of slates. Where possible we use natural stone from the area and our own wood.
What can i do here?
Our gronds of 2,5 hectares are home to age-old chestnut and fruit trees. There is little more relaxing than whiling away the afternoon gently swaying in a hammock under the walnut tree. We've created several spots with picnic tables and seats where you can enjoy the views. Or you could take a refreshing plunge in the pool (5x8x1.40m) to just come out and bask in the warm sun afterwards. The vegetable garden always has something new to discover and we have mown paths all over the terrain for you so that you can stroll around as you like. Nice detail: Puech the Cabanelles lies on the so called Méridienne Verte, the degree of longitude that the French used to use as prime meridian. The surrounding area has lots of activities to offer, we invite you to study the leaflets available in the gîtes and to seek our advice.
staying with children
You won't find an animation team waiting to take your children off your hands, but children will find loads of things to do and enjoy themselves. The grounds offer enough space for adventurous play and to discover the wonders of nature. There's a swimming pool, a trampoline and a playground to play football, badminton or rugby. There are several huts to play in or to extend according to your own fantasy.
In the surrouding area you'll find several places where you can swim and enjoy the sunshine. The banks of the Viaur river offer a shady relaxed spot, with a pebble beach so that you can build dams, and there's a patrolled sandy beach at the Lac de Roucarié. The river Tarn is ideally suited for canoeing (for children over the age of 6). And there are several small scale attractions such as the Château et Parc du Colombier where you can see wild animals AND a medieval castle, the Parc animalier de Pradinas (zoo and playground) and the Aventure Parc Saint-Pierre de Trivisy which offers outdoor activities for children and adults.
Food and wine
You are most welcome to share our table d'hôtes on Friday and Saturday evenings. You'll join in a four course dinner, in a relaxed atmosphere. The wines are handpicked by Marc to go with the menu. In summer we dine al fresco on the terrace at the backside of the house, overlooking the valley, where you'll find you are surrounded by all the herbs that make up the famous 'Herbes the Provence' and some more. On chillier evenings dinner is served at the front of the house in front of a snug fire in the former bread oven. Cold evenings will find us staying indoors and eating in the kitchen, so you are allowed a sneak preview of what the chef is preparing. Know that the wines that we serve can be bought by the bottle or the box.
are you done renovating then?
Oh no, you shouldn't think that we have already realised all our plans... We started renovating in 2007 and we think that there will be at least 12 more years of work to be done before all is finished. Our second holiday home, Lo Nosilhon, was ready to receive guests in 2012 and we have now started work on our own house. We'd like to transform the old porcherie (pigsty) to a large kitchen/diningroom. We'd like to add a few camping sites. And in the mean time all the usual work of gardening, maintenance etc. has to be kept up. Anyone who feels like felling a tree, gathering wood, picking fruit or making jam is more than welcome to join in and share the experience of living the French country life.
On this website the photographs will give you an idea of our progress.
Marc en Manon