We searched for three years for the perfect home in the Perigord Noir, which is an area of the Dordogne that is steeped in history.
When we walked in the front door of the house, we knew this was it. There's something magical about the old stones of this medieval house, even though it has been completely updated with all modern conveniences. We knew we had found the perfect spot when we saw the medieval stone fireplace in the living room, large enough to hold a small car! Then we gazed at the view from the balcony window. First we saw the flower filled garden with its inviting swimming pool; next, ancient stone houses; then the rolling hills of the Dordogne. We have never seen so many different shades of green.
We love the kitchen, which is completely equipped. It's in a large room with an old wooden farm table for dining, and a sitting area next to the second stone fireplace and the recently uncovered Roman stone arched doorway which dates from the time of the 12th Century village stone church.
The master bedroom, located on the main level, is very spacious, with a queen sized bed, air conditioning and three windows for plenty of light. The second bedroom, also on the main level, has a full size bed and is smaller but with a beautiful view of the garden and the hills. There's an antique daybed in the living room that can sleep another person. There is a full size bathroom with a tub/shower combination on the main floor as well as a separate 1/2 bath on this level as well.
There is a large stone walled bedroom on the lower level with french doors to an outdoor courtyard. The lower level bedroom has a king bed, two twin beds and its own bathroom with a walk in shower. Heating has recently been added downstairs to keep this bedroom warm in the winter season.
All the rooms are very quiet at night. The only sound you hear is the distant chimes of the church, and the birds that will gently waken you in the morning.
All the systems of the house are up-to-date, especially the furnace, which provides unlimited hot water at constant pressure.
The house is built into the side of a hill. The lower level stone bedroom features narrow rectangular windows, which once provided a secure spot from which to shoot arrows at approaching foes. Off this room is also a walled courtyard with an outdoor table, which is cool in the afternoon. A BBQ pit is also available for outdoor cooking.
The garden is walled, private and beautiful. There is plenty of garden furniture and umbrellas, so you can lounge at poolside and listen to the birds. The swimming pool has recently been converted to salt water. A new liner and pool heater have been also recently installed.
Our village is medieval, picturesque, and very friendly. You will be greeted by everyone you see and they will be curious to see new faces in the winding streets. There is a local bakery, one minute from the house on foot. It also sells simple grocery items. There's a friendly bar with a lively social life (be sure to introduce yourself to Dominique, the proprietor). We have a post office in the village and on the edge of town is an organic food store with a great selection of items.
There is a market town six minute drive from our village, which has two bakeries, a supermarket and several cafes. It has a Sunday morning market filled with local produce.
Also nearby is Montignac which has an Intermarche supermarket, antiques, medieval streets, bars, cafes, restaurants, a bookstore/newsstand and a canoe facility. Near Montignac are the historic caves of Lascaux containing amazing cave paintings. The Plazac hills are laced with walking trails.
The preserved medieval city of Sarlat-la-Caneda is 30 minutes by car, as is the Dordogne valley with its dozens of castles and chateaux. Be sure to see the Valley of the Five Chateaux near Beynac. Castle Beynac and Castelnaud (across the river) are well worth a visit. Ten minutes from Plazac is Les Eyzies, which features stone cliffs dotted with ancient cave dwellings. (On the way you might want to visit the Prehistory park which is fun for the whole family.)
The Perigord Noir was the site of the Hundred Years War between the French and the English, which explains the hundreds of castles and guard towers dotting the hills. Every village is worth a visit, since they're all medieval and the residents have respected the unique historical qualities of the place where they live.
Here is a testimonial from a guest:
'Just wanted to say thanks for the use of your wonderful home. We had such a good time! We loved the vistas, the town and the markets. We spent a couple of days just hanging out, fixing slow meals of the local foods and relaxing. We found Montignac to be a charming town. It was near enough to go a couple of times for walking around, having one great lunch (we left the card at the house) and enjoying the mid-week market. We also wanted to tell you that Ineke and Theo, who greeted us with the keys, were very kind, helpful and sweet to us. What great neighbors you have!'
Another guest loved the view from the house so much he posted a 10 minute video of just the view on You Tube. The exciting climax comes when the church bells toll seven.
Keywords: Medieval house with huge stone rooms and a large garden
We are a family of four 'Cajuns' originally from Southwest Louisiana now dividing our time between Louisiana; Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Europe. We have traveled extensively throughout the world and appreciate beautiful scenery, architecture and culture. We discovered this special area after extensive research and visits beginning in 2010 and made the decision to incorporate this area and historic home into our lives.
Aimee LaCalle purchased this house in 2013
The Dordogne is beautiful, especially our area, called the Perigord Noir. The rolling hills are always green and peppered with chateaux. This is the heart of gastronomic France. The village is unique to the area, as there are expats from around the globe living here. The village and home are historic and very well preserved.
There are hundreds of chateaux and castles to visit. There are caves everywhere including the famous caves at Lascaux. A branch of Napoleon's family lives in the region and there home is a museum. Our village is very friendly. There are hiking trails all over our hills. Our garden is beautiful and has a heated salt water pool. There are many family friendly, wholesome activities in the area. The markets are a treat to visit. It is a wonderful place to make memories with family and friends.
We really did enjoy our stay in Plazac. The weather was nice and cool, and for the most part sunny. Although the pool water was a little cool by our Texas standards (below 70 while we were there), the children of our French friends (who live in Brittany) loved it. The garden was fabulous. We had lunch out there a number of days, and dinner on a few more. The swallows were just back, and nesting. They collected moss from the neighbor's roof and then water from the pool for nest building. The Magpies were just fledging, and the Yucca plant flowered during our stay. The herb garden was very much appreciated, as well as the un-believably well-stocked kitchen. By the end of our visit, were were surprised if there was some obscure kitchen tool that wasn't there. We braised market-bought fowl in the cast-iron, enameled pot, we sautéed mushrooms and made omelets in the pans, and even baked our Bretagne Gallette and fresh fruit dessert in the oven (it was the height of strawberry season). It was the best equipped kitchen we've had in France.
This is a wonderful place to stay -- even better than it appears in the photos. The pool is great, the kitchen is incredibly well-equipped, and the home is much larger than it appears. The house has a wonderful feeling to it -- incredibly welcoming, with lots of space and plenty of nooks for curling up with a coffee and/or a wonderful book. A perfect balcony overlooks the pool with a wonderful view of the Dordogne hills. The village is great, with a bakery, a small grocery, a bar, and a restaurant. The area is great for sightseeing, with plenty of recommendations provided by the owners. We loved our stay here, and would go back in a heartbeat.
We loved staying here. The house is superb--beautiful, well-maintained, and super comfortable. I've never had a better bed in a vacation rental. The kitchen was well-equipped--we made lovely food, with produce from the local markets, which are amazing. My 7 year old daughter still talks about the soothing sound of the doves in the morning. The view from the living room is unbelievable--we sat in the chairs, sipped Monbazillac, and watched the view for hours. Do go to the restaurant in nearby Fanlac if you stay here--the village is picturesque and the restaurant itself fabulous. We didn't have the best weather while we were there but there's so much to do in this area, it really didn't matter. The caretakers were very helpful in helping us identify activities, restaurants etc. Our stay in Plazac was perfect; we wouldn't change a thing. We only wish we could afford to go every summer.
The house is located in the center of a prehistoric area in Southwest France. There are countless museums, castles, hiking trails, villages and cave dwellings to explore. There are many huge caves in the area. Market towns in all directions. Two rivers nearby for canoeing. Wonderful restaurants and culinary experiences. Beautiful drives in the pristine countryside.