The Dordogne region of southwest France is a magical heaven for families and Le Chevrefeuille a perfect home base for exploring the castles, Medieval Towns and Villages, and the surrounding Vezere Valley, which is famous for being the Prehistoric Capital of the World.
Le Chevrefeuille offers both Chambres d’hôtel and Gites de Charme. The charming enclave has five B&B rooms and two self-sufficient, self-catering units with private terraces. No wonder the B&B was recently awarded TripAdvisor's 2012 "Traveler's Choice" Award for Top 25 B&B's in France.
Our brood was lucky enough to spend Easter weekend at Le Chevrefeuille and c'etait merveilleux!
Located in the country hamlet of Pechboutier, the B&B is just 5km from the market village of St Cyprien, 7km from the ‘prehistoric capital’ of Les Eyzies and 17km from the medieval town of Sarlat, providing the perfect location from which to explore the castles, local markets, rockart, caves and medieval villages which make up the vivid and diverse history of the region.
We stayed in a two-bedroom family suite which was very comfortable and offered adults a little private space and breathing room. It had a hallway with one bedroom on the left with two twin beds and a wardrobe and chair -- further down the corridor on the right was the "master" bedroom with a comfy King bed, sitting area, kettle, snacks, a desk and two gorgeous windows looking out over the grounds.
Sara, the owner, was very accommodating of our family and set up a Pack and Play for our 4 year old daughter in the twin room.
The bathroom was located in between the two bedrooms and very large, modern, white and spotless. It had a tub/shower combination, which is often rare in Europe.
It was a little chilly when we visited and I sure appreciated the towel heaters, an extra luxury!
The price of the room includes daily breakfast which consists of fresh croissants, an endless selection of fresh breads and pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereals, juice and tea/coffee in the common dining area.
A huge amenity of Le Chevrefeuille is that they offer beautifully cooked evening meals for guests. Sara's husband, Ian, is a chef that worked at a one-star Michelin restaurant before opening the B&B. Dinner is quite remarkable and convenient! There is a table d’hote menu of four courses plus coffee for Euros 23.50 per adult, 10 Euros for children and is served in the magnificent courtyard (weather permitting) or in the communal dining room. Regional wines, cheeses, produce are served.
We had a lovely time getting to know Sara, Ian, their children Adam and Alyce who were amazing little hosts. We also met other guests including an American family from Berlin, a retired Australian couple, a family of four from the UK who was making their fourth visit and another family from California.
Le Chevrefeuille has gone to great lengths to provide kid-friendly facilities to make families' stay us as relaxing as possible. These services and amenities include:
- Baby monitors and babysitting services
- Swimming Pool with a regulation fence and self-locking gate.
- Table football
- Football net and balls
- Climbing frame
- Playroom with plenty of toys from baby to 10 yrs with small TV and VHS player
- Central public computer and WIFI throughout
- DVD and television room with WII
- Bikes for all ages including plastic bikes for toddlers and a seat for transporting young children
- Washing machine and ironing facilities
- Kitchenette facilities for guests which includes a fridge, microwave, blender, kettle, plates, cutlery, utensils and pots and pans.
- Use of a central BBQ
- Baby equipment such as cots, highchairs, bed guards, plastic steps, sterilizer, baby monitors, plug socket guards, stair gates, plastic cups and plates etc. All you need for a fully equipped safe environment for your children.
- Swimming pool towels
Sara gave us wonderful advice on the best chateaux and prehistoric caves to visit given our short stay and which nearby towns were the prettiest. We made a point of going to the famous Sarlat outdoor market and even though it was rainy and chilly, we had a wonderful time and bought a delicious and inexpensive lunch from the bread, meat, olive and cheese vendors along the way.
(Tip: Don't miss the adorable carousel in the center of Sarlat's main square!)
We visited The Cave of Rouffignac -- a very large prehistoric cave that can be visited on board an electric train. The cave features 250 paintings and engravings representing mammoths, horses, bison and rhinoceros. Recently, Rouffignanc was discovered to have the first known "fingerpaintings" -- designs made in the caves by small children that were lifted up by the adults. This is graffitti made over 140 centuries ago!
We also went to Château Castelnaud, the not-to-be-missed medieval museum. It hosts a large collection of medieval artifacts, clothing, weapons and armor. For girls and boys, this is an unbelievable treat. On the grounds there are huge working reconstructed, medieval war machines. During the summer you can see demonstrations and performances as well.
A prehistoric highlight of our visit was a visit to Commarque, where early man has left numerous traces of his passage. I love this site because its origins are still very mysterious. Its exact origins are unknown, and its inaccessible location in a tree lined valley led to it slowly becoming buried in silt and dirt over the centuries.
The lower parts of the chateau at Commarque are built into the rock on which it sits, including various prehistoric shelters, cave dwellings and tunnels hacked through the rock, and other traces of troglodyte settlements.
The Dordogne is called "the land of 1000 castles" and it's unbelievably true. Around every bend there is a fairy tale village or a fortified medieval village. The Dordogne has a bazillion stunning towns & villages and there are so many to explore within 30 minutes from Le Chevrefeuille. Make sure to visit Les Eyzies de Tayac, La Roque Gagnac, Domme, and Beynac et Cazenac.
On Easter morning, we had our breakfast with the Fiske family and other guests and then Sara arranged an Easter Egg hunt for younger guests. It was so much fun and such a beautiful place to spend the holiday. We were heartbroken to leave and hope to come back to visit very, very soon to enjoy the pool and discover more that southwest France has to offer.
Le Chevrefeuille's nightly rates are easy on your family travel budget -- small double rooms start at 70 Euros through 200 Euros for the 3-bedroom Grapevine apartment in low season.
Click here to check availability and tell Sara that Poshbrood sent you!
33 55 359 4797