Experience rural France in comfort in our 18th century farmhouse
Characterful Cottage Views Over Dordogne Countryside. This cottage/gite is in a village setting.
We named our gite Belle Surprise for good reason. You’ll catch your first glimpse of this 200-year-old French farmhouse shortly after passing the 13th century church in the centre of the delightful village of Carsac de Gurson. Peering through the gaps in the trees, you’ll spy the ruins of the Château du Gurson atop the hill. In summer, the fields in between are ablaze with sunflowers.
The gite itself beckons like some enchanted cottage under a canopy of trees and, as you take the footpath to the front door, you notice the unusual asymmetrical roofline – which you’ll soon discover yields further surprises inside...
You sense the history of this farmhouse from the moment you step inside. It’s been standing on this spot for two centuries and has lost none of its rustic charm. The house has been sympathetically renovated to a high standard throughout, with great care taken to retain the feel of the timeless partnership of French stone and solid oak and beech.
The furnishings have been selected to offer a tasteful period appearance, coupled with modern-day comfort. On the ground floor, the large room under that long sloping roof is the living room. From here, you can look out through the large floor-to-ceiling window to views through the trees of the distant chateau ruins.
The living room has two three-seater sofas, tables, a bookcase and a traditional fireplace with a log-burning stove – a great focal point and source of added warmth should your visit coincide with the colder months or evenings. There’s also a wall-mounted electric convector heater.
For those times when you’re not out enjoying the local sites or relaxing in the garden, you’ll appreciate the widescreen 40 inch TV, with Freesat box (for UK TV) and DVD player. Naturally, there’s free wifi and, should you need it, optional air conditioning.
The kitchen follows a traditional farmhouse style – though you’ll be glad to know all appliances are from the present century. All kitchen units, fixtures and equipment are of the highest quality and people often tell us they wish their own kitchen back home was as nice as ours!
You’ll dine at a lovingly restored, genuine style de ferme pedestal table in solid oak, and enjoy views from the large picture window to the surrounding Dordogne countryside.
Bedrooms and bathrooms
Up the wooden stairs you go, casting an admiring eye at the extensive carpentry and beholding the genius of the renovation architect in adapting the upper floor to modern preferences for considerably more comfort than in days of old. We have oak and beech beams aplenty up here, along with polished wooden floors.
The master bedroom features a magnificent double bed with wrought iron bedstead. The adjoining second bedroom makes clever use of space to accommodate two single beds – but do mind your head! (We also have a cot for use in this room if you have a really young one.)
Downstairs there’s another single bedroom – it’s bijoux-sized, as they say, so we don’t make a big thing of promoting it, but it adds to the versatility of the accommodation and it is especially useful if you have family members who’d rather have their own space.
The second upstairs bedroom has an ensuite shower room and toilet. The main family-size bathroom, complete with a bath, is on the ground floor. Here, too, all fittings are of the highest quality – and are kept scrupulously clean and sparkling.
Room to relax, enjoy the countryside and soak up the sunshine
You’ve already seen the leafy parade that greets you as you approach the front of the property. But what awaits you to the rear may well take your breath away – it did ours. Trees, fields, hills and more trees. This is rural Dordogne, the kind of idyllic setting we fell in love with at first sight.
Be your pleasure dining al fresco, lounging in the sunshine or cooling off in the pool, there’s something magical about having a view that stretches all the way to the horizon with little but a smattering of distant neighbours in sight.
The garden around the pool brings a splash of colour and character as well as screening for added privacy. When you need some shade, you’ll find it within easy reach beneath the nearby trees or poolside parasol.
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