Escape to the French Countryside At the Stunning LePuy Estate
Set on a private former-hunting estate in rural France lies Le Puy, a luxurious retreat and escape for those seeking quality time with friends and family, surrounded by peace and quiet.
Described as ‘the perfect French getaway,’ Le Puy comprises of The Farmhouse and The Lodge, two lovingly restored farm buildings, standing proud on high ground with dramatic far-reaching views across the forests and hills of the Limousin countryside. This is a destination promising privacy, tranquillity and plenty of space to explore.
These two charming Limousin gites form part of a glorious private 500-acre estate that is home to over 100 red, roe and fallow deer and a menagerie of other animals. The Farmhouse and The Lodge were built in around 1860 from the local granite and oak and each offer traditional accommodation with luxurious finishes, excellent facilities and, or course, a breath-taking setting overlooking the main estate chateaux. Both have stunning large stone fireplace in the sitting room and plenty of beams throughout and have been carefully decorated and equipped to create a comfortable and stylish base for your family holiday.
The Farmhouse is approached by a pea gravelled drive with ample parking spaces nearby for all your guests. Once you are past the huge and welcoming front door, this classic French gite opens in to a heavily beamed sitting room, with large stone fireplace, two large comfy sofas and armchairs to curl up in. This isn’t somewhere you will find super-modern technology and that is exactly what makes it so very charming. Although there’s a decent CD player, as well as satellite TV in case you need a dose of your usual series, the real quality to this accommodation is the fact that it feels like a welcomed escape back to a time where the simpler things in life are what counts.
The kitchen/dining room has a large rustic table with seating for eight, a dishwasher, microwave and every thing you’ll need for a good stint of home cooking. If the sun is shining, then there are ‘French’ doors that open from the kitchen on to an area for that all important summer BBQ!
Stairs lead to the first floor with two good-sized traditionally furnished bedrooms and the main bathroom. The two bedrooms on the top floor are larger, share a further bathroom and boast sweeping views right across the estate.
The house has been redecorated and fitted out with quaint antique and contemporary furniture to create a comfortable country house look, and the hoards of board games certainly help with creating the atmosphere!
The second building is the Lodge, which again has an attractive large living room with a log burner and heavily beamed ceiling, a jolly decent CD and DVD player as well as satellite TV. There is a separate dining room that leads to the rustic fully equipped country kitchen, housing a dishwasher, microwave and gorgeous Smeg cooker. The kitchen also has doors that open out onto an alfresco dining space.
Upstairs are three cosy bedrooms with high ceilings and lots of whitewashed oak beams, a main family bathroom with a roll-top bath, plus an additional shower room with toilet.
Both houses, although separate entities, have several shared facilities, making it ideal for accommodating two groups or families that want their own space as well as areas to all get together. On the practical side, there is a well-equipped utility room that adjoins the Farmhouse and when it comes to entertaining, there are numerous places to sit and eat. There’s also a fitness room with free weights in case you need to keep your workout routine going.
One of the most impressive features of Le Puy is the large newly built solar-heated swimming pool, which is 0.75M at the shallow end (perfect for the kids) and 1.5M at the other. There is a large pool terrace for lounging on and a table for al-fresco dining.
The owners have kids themselves, so they are all geared up for truly family-friendly holidays. To save you packing everything except the kitchen sink, they’ve got a cot, high chair, steriliser and toys and in the interests of safety there is a fence around the pool with a gate to control access. The estate is also enclosed by an 8km long fence making it difficult to get lost and safer to send kids out on adventures by themselves.
With this the smallest guests taken care of, it’s now the teenager’s turn. Between WiFi, a pool table, the swimming pool and the fitness centre, the owners of Le Puy certainly seem to have most things covered!
Once you have managed to drag yourself away from the sheer comforts of the farm buildings, you are greeted by a maze of around 20km of paths and bridleways to explore, with lots of great picnic spots. The estate is perfect for exploring, walking and relaxing and we’ve got a couple of mountain bikes should you wish to go cycling.
Although there are villages, shops and restaurants nearby, it’s easy to feel the 21st century has passed Le Puy by. The estate is in the commune of St Junien La Bregere, half way between the towns of Peyrat-le-chateau and Bourganeuf on the D940. Peyrat-le-chateau is the nearest village to fetch fresh bread and croissants from the local boulangerie and has other small shops and amenities.
The local village of Peyrat-le-chateau is very pretty and is perfect for the morning croissant run and has several bars, restaurants and cafes. The slightly larger town of Bourganeuf to the north has a busy market day and a former Crusader castle to explore and there are two supermarkets within a ten-minute drive, to keep the larder provisioned.
The owners at Le Puy are only too glad to make recommendations for dining hot spots, having tried and tested them all and we can tell you first hand that dining in the area is always a pleasure!
For those who enjoy the more active pursuits in life, then 5 minutes away sits Lake Vassiviere , one of the largest in France and offers boat trips, sailing, water-skiing or swimming from one of its many sandy beaches. If you would rather go off piste from the water, then skiing at Mont Dore can be reached in around 90 minutes.
Whether you want to just eat, drink and make merry with friends and family, explore, get fit, look at the wildlife or simply sit by the pool, this is the ideal holiday destination. Perhaps even better is the fact that it is just across the pond from our wonderful island. From our home in Sussex, just get in the car, get the ferry from Newhaven and you’ll arrive in Dieppe. It’s then a glorious 6 hour drive on beautiful motorways with plenty of opportune places to stop, have a break and take in some sights.
If you don’t fancy driving on the other side of the road for that length of time, then you can fly to Limoges from Gatwick with BA and le Puy is a mere 40 minute drive from the airport in a hire car.
For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.lepuy.co.uk