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Luxury holiday accommodation in South West France
Welcome to a unique and special holiday experience combining the best aspects of a luxury private villa and small boutique-style 5-star hotel in a lovely part of the countryside in south west France. You can be as laid back or active as you wish, be as private or sociable as you like. Share precious time with family and friends, or make new ones. If you love France, holidays and luxury this is the place for you!
Nestled in the hills amidst plum orchards and sunflower fields, on a rural lane just outside the 13th century village of Sainte Livrade sur Lot, one finds the understated yet impressive stone mansion house of La Maison de Maitre. The charming barns and pigeon tower have been lovingly converted into its current incarnation as luxury holiday accommodation. Reputedly built on the foundations of a Roman villa named “Villa Amata” or “Beloved Home”, this chic retreat offers a unique blend of ‘home from home’ self-catering facilities, together with many inclusive indulgences, outstanding quality and extra services one might expect to find in a boutique hotel. Whether you want to hire some bikes, breakfast on the veranda, babysitting or a picnic hamper to go, every request is answered with a ‘yes, absolutely’. All aimed at making your holiday at La Maison de Maitre an unforgettable experience.
The designer owners have created a stylish, comfortable and relaxing retreat in the 17th century stone buildings, placing great value on preserving the many charming original features and carefully restored by local artisans. Deep exposed limestone walls keep the apartments cool from the heat of the day. Traditional, natural materials, cool colours, impressive beam work and super high ceilings give a feeling of tranquillity, spaciousness and light. In fact, it’s so peaceful and relaxing you may never want to leave!
Lot & Garonne
"My favourite destination is Lot-et-Garonne, about 60 miles north of Toulouse. It might not be the most glamorous part of the French countryside – it’s proper farmland and vineyards – but it’s understated and quiet, the food is excellent, and so, of course, is the wine: it’s the most marvellous place to go for a relaxing summer break. I discovered it after friends invited me to join them there one year, instantly fell in love with the area and have been going back most years for the past decade. One of things I like is that it’s easy to get to, and it’s off the beaten tourist track. I also love swimming in the local rivers – to find yourself in a warm part of a slow-flowing river is the nearest thing to bathing in heaven."
The Times article: Ben Machell July 27 2019, Relax, it’s the perfect break for new parents. Does travelling with children have to be stressful? Not if you head to this bolt hole in Aquitaine, FRANCE
The sun is setting over the rolling hills of Aquitaine and I’m reading outside an 18th-century farmhouse, listening to the crickets, drinking a glass of cold beer. I can’t quite believe that I’m here. More to the point, I can’t quite believe that I’m here with my children. I have a three-year-old son, Thomas, and a one-year-old daughter, Willow. They have improved my girlfriend’s life and my life in so many ways. And yet in so many other ways they have made our lives incredibly awkward. Perhaps you already know this, but having two small children is challenging. Going on holiday with two small children is even more challenging. So challenging that for a very long time we simply chickened out of going anywhere.
Whenever we’d start to research going away, the volume of potential hassle would always make us slam the laptop shut in terror. It’s not just the travel - keeping them happy in airports, remembering to book child seats for the hire car, worrying about the ingredients of foreign baby formula - but the destinations too. The hotel website always says that it’s “child-friendly”, but it turns out that “child-friendly” means an ancient travel cot with a cardboard mattress and a pinball machine in reception. Sorry, but I’m not going through the stress and expense of a holiday for that. Instead, we’ll just never leave the UK, ever. That was the plan.
Gradually, though, we realised that people do go abroad with small children all the time. We realised that there’s an entire industry dedicated to helping young families to have holidays. That’s how we discovered babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk. That’s how we discovered La Maison de Maitre, which apparently features annually in Top Ten lists for customer ratings. That’s how I end up drinking beer on a sun-dappled evening in Aquitaine, not quite believing my luck.
The beautiful Maison de Maitre is an easy 45-minute drive from Bergerac airport. It is a grand farmhouse more than halfway to being a manor, with renovated outbuildings and large pool, all set in eight acres. It’s owned by Juliet and Deane, an English couple who have spent the past decade turning it into four incredibly comfortable self-catering suites that mix coarse 17th-century stonework with style and luxury. We stayed in the Vionnet suite, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom slice of barn conversion that included a proper cot for Willow and a single bed plus bed guard — a bed guard! — for Thomas. Juliet and Deane have thought of everything. The kitchen cupboards are packed with kids’ cutlery and beakers. Our suite came with a bottle steriliser, high chairs, potties, baby bath, changing mats and baby monitors. There was a big wooden chest packed with puzzles, toys, play mats and copies of The Gruffalo. It was like Mothercare on a farm.
This theme continued in the grounds. There was a lovely play area with Wendy houses, a trampoline and swing set, plus a dedicated indoor play room so full of toys that I thought Thomas’s head was going to explode when he walked in. A particular favourite was the pond, which was full of frogs. We spent more than one morning or afternoon happily mooching around the grounds, playing in the pool, bouncing on the trampoline and trying to spot frogs. We managed some excursions: short drives up and down the River Lot to the medieval village of Pujols, or to a botanical garden, or ambling hikes to hilltop churches. There was nowhere you could really walk to, but when you’re stuck with a pram it makes sense to drive somewhere interesting. That could even be the supermarket. Kids love French supermarkets. I love French supermarkets. That’s a morning’s fun taken care of already.
While La Maison de Maitre is self-catering, Juliet and Deane will provide a delicious home-cooked dinner if you give them a bit of notice. We did this on the last of our five nights and it was great. A nice change from pasta and cheese.
We left feeling relaxed, but also a little sheepish. Why had we been so uptight about going away with our children? Our kids still bang on about crêpes and châteaux and swimming pools and Juliet and Deane, who are just lovely. We’ll be back. There will be trouble if we’re not.
Deep in the French countryside about an hour and a half from Bordeaux and Toulouse is a gorgeous wilderness where the dramatic undulating hills blend seamlessly with lush valleys, punctuated with picturesque sleepy villages and historic hilltop bastide towns. The Lot & Garonne region, named after the two main rivers that meander through it, has been dubbed the French ‘Tuscany’ and is perfect for experiencing the real French way of life with it’s many weekly markets, pavement cafes and restaurants, wine tasting opportunities, antique fairs, boat trips along the rivers and ‘faux’ river beaches. By choosing La Maison de Maitre for your holidays you will also be also ideally located for visiting the chateaux and sites of the neighbouring regions of the Dordogne and Bordeaux. The key vineyards of Duras, Buzet, Bergerac and even Saint Emillion and Bordeaux are within sniffing distance.
La Maison de Maitre Location
Click on the image below for the interactive map showing the location of our holiday villas near the village of village of Sainte Livrade sur Lot in south west France.Enquire/Contact Us »