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Writer's Retreat, Tranquil Stone Farmhouse, Views, Ancient Barns, Rose Garden

Sleeps4
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms1
Space 1,500 sq. ft.
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 7 nights

Overview

About the property

2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, Sleeps 4

Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were visitors to this beautiful, traditional two-bedroom original stone farmhouse located in the tranquil rural village of Lacam de Loubressac overlooking the Dordogne River Valley. The farmhouse and its historic stone barns, which have been featured in a number of architectural magazine articles, overlook a wide loop of the river and the great 12th century castle of Castelnau de Bretenoux dominates the panorama below. The village of Lacam is 3 kilometers west of the medieval walled village of Loubressac, perched on a rocky promontory. Lacam is very quiet as it is not a through way to anywhere and is rarely used as a short cut.

From here the road descends to two medieval towns, Bretenoux and St Céré, the latter famous for its summer music festival and 18th century houses.

The house is an original “Quercynois” stone building with exposed beams, central heating, a wood burning stove and an open fireplace. Twin barns, fine examples of the local stone architecture, are part of the property.

Accommodation: 2BR/1 Bathroom, sleeps four.

The ground floor consists of a large sitting/dining room, approximately 35 x 20 feet and a separate kitchen, 20 x 10 feet. Upstairs are a large master bedroom, smaller bedroom with twin beds and a bathroom.

Great room: Entered by the main door on the south side, the large sitting room has two inglenook fireplaces (one with the stove) and a north facing terrace (without safety railings) with views over the River Valley and the lower village. The ceiling has exposed beams and the floor is tastefully covered in rush matting and kilim rugs.

Kitchen: There is a new electric stove/oven, new small refrigerator and double sink with good counter space under a window overlooking the valley below. There is a large choice of cooking equipment and crockery as well as cook books. There is no washing machine but public launderettes are available locally. Four people can eat comfortably at the round table in the kitchen or 6-8 can eat comfortably at the long antique dinning room table. The best place to eat in good weather is on the north-facing terrace, which has a simple table large enough to accommodate six.

Bedrooms: The master bedroom is painted white with original exposed dark wood beams, a queen size bed with french windows overlooking the Dordogne River and Castelnau castle. The bedroom has a full-size day bed in a separate alcove, a double armoire in which to hang clothes, a double clothes bureau with four drawers, bedside tables and lamps. The floor is oak.

The second bedroom is much smaller and has two narrow twin beds with small windows facing east and north. The floor is carpeted and the room has a hanging cupboard, shelves, and bedside lamps.

All the beds have firm mattresses with duvets, square pillows and extra blankets. Linens and towels are provided.

Bathrooms:

The cozy bathroom is tucked under the eaves of the roof. It is carpeted, with a bath tub and a hand-held shower. There are tiled areas around the bath that provide extra areas to place things, a porcelain sink and toilet. The east-facing window opens on a view of the barns and the hillside.

Safety and a note about children:

While the interior of this beautiful old stone house has been renovated and is completely comfortable, it lacks a number of modern safety devices such as railings on the outdoor terrace. For this reason, we do not generally allow children younger than 12 to occupy the house.

Activities:

All the local towns have swimming pools and there are two larger bathing lakes within six kilometers.

There are several companies renting canoes on the Dordogne and they deliver you back to your point of departure after the day’s outing.

There are two restaurants in Loubressac as well as a shop that sells groceries, fresh bread daily, fruit and vegetables.

Bicycles can be rented in the local towns.

There are walks along the sheep tracks in every direction, including the renowned Grandes Randonnées.

The Gouffre de Padirac and the pilgrimage village of Rocamadour are within half an hour’s drive. A little further away are the Lot and Célé rivers, the towns of Cahors, Figeac, and St Cirque la Popie. Going west along the Dordogne river is Sarlat, with, to the north, Les Eyzies and Montignac, where you can visit the reproduction of the Lascaux caves and their prehistoric paintings.

Airports: Toulouse, Limoges, Rodez, Brive.

Nearest railway station: Bretenoux-Biars.

More Details

Property Manager
Karen Levesque
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, french, spanish, italian, Indonesian
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
70%
Calendar last updated:
October 8, 2017

About Karen Levesque

The actual owner of this house is a well known poet. He and his wife wish to remain anonymous. The caretaker of the house, Romilly Waite, is the poet's cousin by marriage. We, Matthew Schwartz and Karen Levesque, are the children of the poet and his wife.

Karen Levesque purchased this farmhouse in 1952

Why Karen Levesque chose Loubressac

The owner fell in love with this house and the region when visiting friends in the area after World War II.

What makes this farmhouse unique

It is difficult to convey the peace and beauty that come with staying in this simple but elegant house that was designed and served for many years as a retreat for a great poet and his wife, who together lovingly and painstakingly restored the beautiful rose garden just outside the front gate over a period of ten years beginning in 1990. There is a sense of history and purpose in the house and the surrounding area, which in addition to its bucolic beauty, was home to the French resistance and witnessed many acts of bravery during World War II. It's proximity to the beautiful Dordogne River, many historic castles and towns, some of the most interesting caves and cave paintings, and delicious regional produce make for endless opportunities for excursions and great meals.

Amenities

Loubressac Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Resort ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
Theme:
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Wood Stove
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , tub , The ceiling is not full height over the tub.
  • The cozy bathroom is tucked under the eaves of the roof. It is carpeted, with a bath tub and a hand held shower. There are tiled areas around the bath that provide extra areas to place things, a porcelain sink and toilet. The east-facing window opens on a view of the barns and the hillside.
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single , Beds are slightly narrower than traditional twin beds.
    Master Bedroom - 1 queen
  • The master bedroom is painted white with original exposed dark wood beams, a queen size bed with french windows overlooking the Dordogne River and ancient Castelnau. The bedroom has a full size day bed in a separate alcove, a double armoire in which to hang clothes, a clothes bureau, bedside tables, and lamps. The floor is oak. The second bedroom is much smaller and has two narrow twin beds with small windows facing east and north. The floor is carpeted and the room has a hanging cupboard and shelves. Bedside lamps. All the beds have firm mattresses with duvets, square pillows and extra blankets.
Entertainment:
  • Books ...
Outside:
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
Suitability:
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Attractions:
  • churches
  • festivals
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • spelunking
  • tennis
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting

Reviews

Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(16 traveler reviews)

87% Complete
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Writer's Retreat, Tranquil Stone Farmhouse, Views, Ancient Barns, Rose Garden
average rating of 4.6875 based on 16 reviews
5

A wonderful home in a great part of France.

  • 5 of 5

The Writer's Retreat is a perfect place to relax, to imbibe local history and to feel the character of the home. The owner's are generous and the caretaker Romilly is welcoming and very helpful. Thank you for the great experience.

  • Submitted: Oct 23, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

A dream, as always

  • 5 of 5

We love coming back to this unique place. This summer, we particularly enjoyed birdwatching from the deck which has been made more comfortable by the new chairs. We also extended the range of our walks and excursions - there is so much to see. And while the hamlet shows signs of change, like new houses being built, the old farms and especially the writer's retreat have retained their charm, the harmony of their ancient stone buildings, their barn doors and pigeon towers. The view from the deck over the valley remains insurpassable. The new additions to the household equipment are useful and make life more comfortable, for those who want to have it that way.

  • Submitted: Sep 21, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
5

I'm in love with this place

  • 5 of 5

I almost hesitate to say too many glowing things about this home, because I want to stay there again and again. It's a very special place for the right guest. If you want a traditional French country home, with a rich history steeped in the region, and little entertainment beyond the sound of sheep in the pastures below the house, this is the perfect spot. If you want air conditioning, designer furnishings, and stainless steel appliances, you will be disappointed. It's truly an extraordinary place for the right person.

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Five stars is not enough

  • 5 of 5

We loved this unique place as much as the first time and very much hope to be able to return next year.

  • Submitted: Jun 22, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Far more than a rental house in France...

  • 5 of 5

Two turns of one long key in the door of a stone house, centuries-old: that's enough to draw you into another world. As other reviewers have noted, this is far more than a rental house in France. It's an invitation to set aside whatever was pressing on your mind before you turned that key -- and to slow down, listen closely, look around.

Both the house and the land that surrounds it (gardens, fields, woods) are achingly beautiful, steeped in the life and work of a poet whose writings are themselves infused with a bone-deep knowledge of the region, its people and languages; its history and prehistory; sheep, donkeys, working dogs; cliffs and changing skies. But you don't have to know his work to find yourself moving, for as long as you're lucky enough to stay here, at a pace that is slower but never static, in a world that is remote but richly alive.

To the detailed, highly accurate descriptions already provided by reviewers and property managers, I would add only one thing. If you like to cook, you will find many hours of pleasure in the farmhouse kitchen. Of course it isn't vast or cutting-edge, but it is more than spacious enough, and welcoming, to encourage the making of real meals. I found many of my favorite cookbooks already in residence in the kitchen's bookshelves, and when I settled down one rainy Sunday to cook, for my husband and daughter, boeuf bourguignon and vegetables from the markets we had visited the day before, I knew that, at that moment, there was nowhere on earth that I would rather be.

  • Submitted: Nov 16, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Paradise Regained

  • 5 of 5

Just like last year we found this place a paradise. The weather being even better than in 2015 we enjoyed the view, the environment, our lengthy hikes with our dog, this time following the trails on the hiking maps provided in the house, our visits of castles, churches, dolmens of the area, and our shopping tours to St. Céré where we bought our foodstuff, the new and luxurious kitchen range being an invitation to do home cooking. The other improvements were welcome, too: internet, the new refrigerator, the espresso machine (for which one aught to take original Nespresso pads along, the pads you can get in town not producing nearly as tasty espresso) and the banister which makes it easier to negotiate the stairs. The old house and the other buildings belonging to the former farm remain the main attractions; they are simply so beautiful. This is a private home much rather than a holiday rental, and its charm lies in its very personal style. The weather being so nice we spent endless hours on the terrace, gazing over the valley, reading, eating, sipping wine. Thus, the only improvement we can think of are more comfortable chairs for sitting there (no reclining chairs or other fancy stuff). We are missing the place already and are looking forward to returning next year.

  • Submitted: Oct 2, 2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Map

Nearest Airport
175 Kilometres
Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, 31703 Blagnac, France
Nearest Barpub
2 Kilometres
Relais de Castelnau
Nearest Train
8 Kilometres
Bretenoux-Biars
Nearest Motorway
20 Kilometres
A 20
Nearest Restaurant
2 Kilometres
Relais de Castelnau
Nearest Beach
11 Kilometres
Girac Sur La Dordogne River
Car: recommended

Lacam de Loubressac is located in a scenic and historic area filled with castles, chateaus, caves, sheep farms and walnut groves overlooking the beautiful Dordogne River Valley. The house itself is located on the Causse de Gramat, an amazing limestone plateau that runs between the Dordogne and Lot River Valleys. Nearby attractions include the Gouffre de Padirac, Rocamadour, Grotte de Pech-Merle, Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux, the historic villages of Loubressac, Carennac, Autoire and towns of Martel, Saint-Cere. The wine area of Cahors is also about 45 minutes away.

Photos

Rates & Availability

Available
Unavailable
Taxes and fees are additional
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee $88.3

While the interior of this beautiful old stone house has been renovated and is completely comfortable, it lacks a number of modern safety devices such as railings on the outdoor terrace and interior stairs. For this reason, we do not generally allow children younger than 12 to occupy the house.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.