WELCOME TO GAURENNE: YOUR HOME IN FRANCE
Set in a high meadow in the heart of France’s Périgord Noir region and near to the magnificent medieval town of Sarlat, Gaurenne is a charming farmhouse dating from the early 1700’s. The property is within 15 to 30 minutes of the most famous sites in the Dordogne, and yet it offers a peaceful tranquility that makes sight-seeing a choice but not a necessity. In this beautiful setting, with its views of neighboring hills and hamlets, it is possible for a visitor to remain undisturbed, walking through the property’s 22 acres of meadow and woods, following footpaths through the valley and nearby villages. Next to the house are both fruit and walnut orchards, and the covered stone terrace catches summer breezes and provides a gracious place for outdoor dining and relaxing. There is also a saltwater swimming pool, which functions in summer months.
ABOUT THE HOUSE
In its bucolic setting, Gaurenne is a three hundred year old farm of special charm. Arranged around a courtyard in the traditional manner of French farms, it is a fine example of Périgordine architecture. The buildings are constructed of the golden limestone that is typical of the region and have steeply pitched roofs made of stone slabs. These highly prized “lauze” roofs are found within a limited 20 mile radius in this part of the Dordogne and give the local architecture its fairytale quality. Climbing roses, jasmine, and lavender fill the courtyard with fragrance, and the herb garden by the door is intended for your use. The house has been restored in a way that respects its original rustic character, while modern conveniences have been added for comfort.
The interior has many walls of exposed stone and beamed ceilings throughout, with floors of the honey colored local stone downstairs and of chestnut upstairs. Furnishings include antiques and French fabrics. The main floor is comprised of an eat-in kitchen, a living room/dining room, a utility room, and a half-bath. The kitchen is of generous size and includes a dishwasher and the usual amenities. From the table, a lovely stone window looks out into the meadow. The living room is large and includes a comfortable sitting area as well as a long farm table for dining. Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with two single beds that can be joined to make a king-sized bed. Both rooms have large, French casement windows, antique armoires, and generous dressers. There
is also a bathroom with tub and rain shower, a heated towel rack, and a sink set into a tile counter. The WC is separate. The house is equipped with central heating, a washing machine, and high-speed wireless internet access.
Guests arriving at Gaurenne enter a gate leading into a courtyard that is filled with flowers and partially shaded by a plane tree. At the far side of the courtyard, a stone terrace adjacent to the kitchen holds a long teak table and chairs for outdoor dining. A tile roof shelters the terrace, making it a pleasant seating area in the heat of the day. On the north side of the house is a fruit orchard; the fruit is yours for the taking if you happen to be there when it’s ripe. There is also a walnut orchard. On the south side of the house, the swimming pool is hidden from view but is open to the meadow and the hills beyond. Measuring 17′ x 36′, it was just rebuilt and bordered with stones from Burgundy. This is a favorite spot for guests and is a welcome pleasure at the end of a day of sightseeing. Lounge chairs, beach towels and mats are provided, as are kickboards and some water toys for children. Gaurenne’s 22 acres are yours to explore, and the trails that you can pick up on the property can be followed for miles through the countryside, either on foot or on bicycle. The woods below the house are a delightful place to walk, and below them is a completely private valley that makes a wonderful picnic spot. Five minutes away is a village where you will find a post office, two restaurants, and a grocery store/bar/café that serves wonderful, inexpensive home cooked meals. Just as close is a lake with a public beach and tennis courts. Fifteen minutes away, the medieval town of Sarlat has everything you might need, including shops, restaurants, movie theatre, hospital, summer festivals, and, twice a week, a large outdoor market.
Located in Southwestern France, the Dordogne is a region of gentle beauty, renown for its fine cuisine, medieval villages, proud chateaux, and extraordinary examples of prehistoric cave art. Owing to the unique combination of abundant fish and game and of cliffs rising up from the valleys providing safe dwellings in myriad caves and grottos, more traces of man’s presence thousands of years ago have been found here than anywhere else in France.
Gaurenne is situated in the part of the Dordogne known as the Périgord Noir, which offers a lush landscape threaded with meandering rivers and dotted with charming villages. Dense forests alternate with rolling meadows and fields. Although there are towns and sites that attract visitors in summer months, this is a region that is primarily agricultural, with a quiet, unspoiled countryside where the traditional way of life is still very much in evidence.
Nonetheless, you will not lack for activities to fill your days. There are extensive hiking trails, canoe trips on the Dordogne or Vezere rivers, horseback riding, swimming, and tennis, all nearby. There are also numerous chateaux to visit (Beynac and Castelnaud are not to be missed) as well as unique sites like the ruined Chateau de Commarque and the Cabanes de Breuil (an unusual cluster of ancient, round, stone dwellings of unknown origin). The region’s wealth of prehistoric sites is close at hand. The Lascaux caves, Font-de-Gaume, the National Museum of Pre-history at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, and the Abri de Cap Blanc, with its carved horses, provide a memorable experience. Local outdoor markets offer regional produce and products, with that of Sarlat being one of the most colorful in France. A listing of suggested outings, restaurants, market days, and local summer festivals is provided to help visitors make full use of their stay.