[click photos to enlarge]
Le Vignoble is set amidst an acre of mature gardens and grounds. Magnificent, tall trees stand at the entrance to the property - recently, the trees were home to a family of seven owls.
The private heated swimming pool (10m x 4m) in the grounds is a delight - especially for those who prefer not to swim in cold water! It uses a salt-water system and has a child-safe "couverture" which conforms to the new French safety regulations. The House Manager maintains the pool regularly but will not disturb you - he can access the pump room without entering the house.
We use salt rather than chlorine in the pool for several reasons. The salt is much kinder on your eyes when you are swimming - and less like a visit to a chemical factory! The water doesn’t smell of chlorine and, therefore, neither do you. In fact, you’ll find the whole experience is just like having a dip in the sea, but nice and warm!
Surrounding the pool is a terrace equipped with a table, four chairs, a parasol and nine sunloungers. Take a dip in the warm water or just relax and admire the views of the vines which stretch from the poolside all the way to the horizon.
Outside the kitchen door, a terrace leads out to the large rear garden, which is bordered by vines
Sheltered by mature trees, the front garden overlooks the driveway and two ancient barns.
Also at the front of the house, there are two terraced areas for alfresco dining.
The gravel drive is great for a game of petanque!
The well (with safety grate) and stone trough are a reminder of the farm’s past.
Adjacent to Le Vignoble is a farm which produces plums and grapes. The plums are dried to make prunes, which are an important ingredient in the gastronomic delights of this region. Although the English tend to think of the prune as something to be endured, the French adore their "pruneaux", so why not sample them and taste the difference!
The farm’s grapes are grown for the Côtes de Duras Appellation, which produces excellent white wines and fresh reds (which are just as delicious when chilled). The vines back immediately onto the back garden and stretch away as far as the eye can see.
The vines are also a haven for all kinds of wildlife - deer can often be spotted amongst them, with buzzard and kites hovering and circling above. Swallows swoop for water from the pool - and a young hare was once caught looking inquisitively through the French doors into the sitting room!
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