Kay, from Pennsylvania, USA · July 2017
Les Paroules/Esparoutis was the perfect property for my family of 8 adults. The farmhouse and grounds are simply lovely. Looking for a quiet base from which to explore the area, we were pleased that there were so many walking, biking, canoeing opportunities close to the property. It is also close to lots of historical and cultural sites, so there is always something to do. Two other houses make up the property. Only one was occupied when we were there (owners Ien and Ian). We enjoyed the bit of activity, so found that quite congenial. If you don’t want to share the pool, book when the other houses are not rented. We hardly used the pool anyway – too much to see and do. Be sure to check out the “User’s Manual” if you book this property. It is the most complete and useful document we have ever received to introduce us to a vacation home and its environs. We used it more frequently that the guide books we brought along! Renovations have kept the historical character of the place while making it exceedingly comfortable. The house is well equipped and well maintained. The bathrooms are modern and the kitchen is a cook’s dream. The owners are friendly and responsive. There is a campground close by, so foot traffic and bikes ply the roadway by the house, but we enjoyed watching them come and go. You will feel that you have your own domain, but you will not feel isolated. Our greatest challenge was being mindful that the neighbours are working folk not vacationers. We tried (not always successfully) to keep the peace after 9p, but we loved sitting outside at the hewn picnic table and swapping tales of the day until the sun set after 10 p in July. We were happy here.
Hubert, from Paris, France · October 2016
Excellente adresse. Nous nous sommes très b-vite condi-idérés comme chez nous. Et cela a été un plaisir pour nous de faire connaissance avec Ian.
Hector, from Paris, France · August 2016
Aurore, from Montlebon, France · August 2016
Nous avons passé un agréable séjour chez Ian et Ien. Nous ne les avons pas rencontré mais ils ont été très disponibles depuis l’Australie pour répondre à nos questions et faciliter l’entrée dans les lieux. La maison est confortable et cosy. Nous étions idéalement situés à proximité de toutes les commodités et des beaux sites touristiques. La région est magnifique ! Les enfants ont bien apprécié se rafraîchir dans la piscine lors des chaudes journées. Nous recommandons sans hésiter le “Séchoir” aux voyageurs souhaitant visiter le Périgord.
Nathalie, from Neupré, Belgium · July 2016
Nous nous sommes sentis comme chez nous dans cette maison vivante, accueillante, située dans un environnement magnifique, à deux pas de sites remarquables. Le confort des chambres et salles de bains, et le fait de disposer de 3 maisons différentes, était un plus pour un séjour familial réussi. La grande cuisine très bien équipée a réjoui les cuistots de la famille.
Jill, from Adelaide, Australia · July 2013
11 Aussies enjoyed a three week stay in this wonderful place. Lots of great walks, local food and wine. Went to lots of markets and restaurants as recommended in the manual. … Three weeks of hot weather, really enjoyed the pool and the stream at the end of the road, also enjoyed the siestas. Jill, Adelaide, July 2013 We stayed for two weeks while waiting for our own home in Domme to be ready to move in. I will miss this house but someday maybe mine will be as grand! Thanks for everything.
Jason, David and Damon, from Portland OR · May 2013
We stayed for two weeks while waiting for our own home in Domme to be ready to move in. I will miss this house but someday maybe mine will be as grand! Thanks for everything.
My stay in the upper bedroom overlooking the living room was fabulous. With the covered porch – balcony – very quaint and beautiful … I happened to be a contractor in the states and appreciate all the detail to finishes you have brought to this home. Damon
Paul and Hilary, from the UK · August 2013
We’ve been coming to this immediate neck of the woods – St Cyb., Cenac, La Roque G., Castel. etc. for something like 30 years; so we know it well. Esparoutis is, without a doubt, the best equipped and set-up gite complex we’ve ever had and, for our treat to our 2 daughters and their families, this was perfect in every way. So thank’s a lot to our hosts. There’s lots of advice about places to visit but, if you don’t know the area, do give Chateau les Milandes a visit. It has a nice leisure area and pool and is a bit of not-too-distant history about human decency and man’s inhumanity etc
The former owners of the property · October 2011
C’est tellement beau ce que vous avez fait de cette grange, nous avons été sous le charme ! Vraiment bravo vous avez beaucoup de gout, et tout ce que vous avez fait est MAGNIFIQUE ! … vous avez su mettre en valeur ces jolis batiments, c’est fantastique. The former owners of the property, Oct 2011. We had the most fabulous holiday in France, and especially our week in the Dordogne at Esparoutis, it was really the highlight of our trip. What a spectacular area of France, the country side was breathtakingly beautiful. We ate and drank extremely well and felt very at home and comfortable in the Sechoir, thank you. Thank you also for the very thoughtful baby items including the high chair, the cot, the rocker and the baby bath, they were much appreciated. We loved running each morning around the area and buying our pastries from the bakery at Castelnaud. We went to the trout farm which was a great experience and we visited many gorgeous villages.
Libby M, from NSW, Australia · September 2011
C’est tellement beau ce que vous avez fait de cette grange, nous avons été sous le charme ! Vraiment bravo vous avez beaucoup de gout, et tout ce que vous avez fait est MAGNIFIQUE ! … vous avez su mettre en valeur ces jolis batiments, c’est fantastique.
Kirk, from Staffordshire, UK · July 2011
What a fine thing you’ve created! The House & Barn were everything we’d ever want from a holiday home… The bakery in Castlenaud was our God-given perfect start to every morning; with enough bread and pastry to completely obliterate the memory of dieting. They had a very wide selection and we selected very widely. ..Your kitchen has everything that was needed to make a series of truly memorable meals. As an engineer, the gadgets that I enjoyed the most were your lever-action corkscrew, the meat/bread slicer and the crushed ice dispenser on the freezer door – each one a marvel! … The main room in the barn is truly vast – I bet even a Texan would agree!.. We will recommend you heartily to anyone who shows the slightest interest and we’re already hatching a plan to return.
Peter, Janet and Sarah, from Boston, USA · April 2011
We regained calm and peace in the nuthouse. Our time here was fantastic! Sarah enjoyed her afternoon in the Ceou after tramping about in the heat after her parents. Thanks for your local recommendations. Everything was perfect.
Iain and Helen, from NSW Australia · September 2010
We really had a wonderful time. Excellent place, brilliant weather, food recommendations first class (though we had a really nice lunch in the restaurant overlooking the view in Domme, too). We really enjoyed our holiday. Thank you.
Eve C, from Mumbai · August 2010
I wanted to tell you what a lovely holiday we have had here at Les Esparoutis. The whole place is very comfortable and it shows you have put a lot of care in the renovations … You have made it a delightful haven for travelers to come and enjoy the beauty of the Dordogne. We leave well rested, our heads filled with wonderful memories.
Mary J, from Ottawa · July 2010
We had a wonderful time – you have a gem of a place here.Your detailed “user guide” is fantastic. We referred to it a lot, with the market information, the places to visit etc. The information package you have created is unique and very, very helpful/appreciated. The geographic area of this place is superb. We walked often to the patisserie in Castelnaud and also to the Bio Superette in St Cybranet. That makes this place special.
Samantha A, from Leeds, England · August 2009
We have had an idyllic month of castles, dragon(flies), cool, cool rivers, walks, food and wine. We did the usual things …, however it was the other things which made it magical – walking into St Cybranet for a glass of wine and back through the woods in the pitch black, just with millions of stars above us. … A holiday we will never forget.
David M, from London, England · July 2008
Esparoutis was a great place to relax. It is well tucked away, yet close to many of the features of the area. The outbuilding and barns will certainly provide many opportunities and we wish you well with your plans. Look forward to seeing the progress over the coming months / years. We would love to visit again and really get to know the area. A week goes so quickly.
We left Prades and environs a day early to get two whole days in our beloved Perigord Noir and the gite [before flying home] … there were literally cries of joy when we pulled up to the gite. There is just something about being here that lends itself to complete relaxation. We have barely moved today, just going from outside to in and soaking up the sunshine, the cool, stony indoors. The Ceou has flooded out of its banks and now runs into the fields of walnut trees and beyond into the tall grass and flower meadows. It has re-drawn the lines of its former riverbed, wide and arcing toward the cliffs overlooking the valley and that of Cenac on the other side. The boys lay down on their bellies and swim with the new current, swimming down the road we rode with our bikes and took evening walks to play frisbee and pick poppies. Fish swim in a pothole. We are beginning to ache with the missing we know is coming. One cannot help but begin scheming anew on how to get back here. I can see coming to the gite in the fall, when the grapes are being picked and the walnuts are falling from the trees. The leaves will turn and be shed by the autumn winds. The sky will deepen its blue under the influence of a late summer and then the bare, quiet cold, perhaps snow. I can see being here to live for a few months, instead of tearing around looking at everything, rather, come with a few empty notebooks, some good paints, graphite pencils and a lot of books. Well, you never know.
From the caves we only get a little lost before finding the right route to Espouritis, the road finally petering out into narrower and narrower laneways until we were stopped in front of the Gite. Inside we found a lovely cool living room, pleasant after the heat of the day, and close by the cooler swimming pool. A quick dip and some beer and we were ready for the next stage of our adventure.
During our stay here we visit some of the regional towns:
Domme, a ‘bastide’ town tottering on the top of a hill with a majestic view over the Lot region.
Sarlat (or Sarlat le Caneda), the capital of the Perigord North through which you can wander through 1,000 years of historic buildings, houses, winding laneways, beautifully paved boulevards, many of which feature in French movies.
But closer still is the small village of Castelnaud, which I cycle to in the mornings along the Céou stream, and past green pastures, walnut groves and majestic poplars; ahead of me the enchanting view of the Chateau de Castelnaud high on the cliff. In Castelnaud village itself, where the waters of the Céou flow into the Dordogne, I enjoy a coffee with a croissant from the local, award-winning bakery and watch a band entertain guests at the annual boat regatta.
From Castelnaud I climb to the imposing Castelnaud castle with its medieval war museum. From the top of the castle I look out over the magnificent Dordogne river, meandering lazily through a valley dotted with little villages with their typical Perigourdine architecture of yellow limestone and steep, red-tiled roofs: La Roque Gageac, Beynac, and beyond.
When my fellow travellers head on to visit the North West of the country, I have the Gite to myself. I spend my time in the garden reading up on the local history of the region or cooling down beside the pool or exploring the inviting dappled pathways. In the evening the odd cyclist or walker goes by but otherwise things are quite, other than the hooting of the local owl; in the darkness lights from a few distinct cottages on the surrounding hillsides twinkle, and further above the stars also twinkle. Then the weather breaks and rain clouds drift over. I pack my bags and get a lift from my friendly neighbours to the local station in Sarlat for the express train to Paris.
What a wonderful place! Many highlights include canoing on La Dordogne, La Roque Gageac, the gardens of Marquessac, the castle at Beynac, the walnuts, the foie gras, the markets – so relaxing and beautiful. Mitzi G, Sydney.
A thank you from all of us for your French hospitality. The beauty and history of the area impressed us all, and Karen has declared the stay at Esparoutis “better than Paris”. Ron G, Melbourne.
We enjoyed a lovely stay in your beautiful house and thank you for it and everything so nicely prepared. Annette Z, Barcelona.
It has been a fantastic experience to stay at your house in Esparoutis. It’s getting a bit colder now, we’re nearing the end of October. The trees are full of colours … After the morning mists the weather always opens up gloriously, allowing us to have our lunch in the garden … The sites nearby are awesome!! Tiong A, Amsterdam.
A truly memorable stay in your lovely home. A real treat. Would love to come again. Jan M, Brisbane.