Le Grindoux is less than one kilometer away from the bastide village of Castillonnès, founded in 1259 by Alphonse de Poitiers, Count of Poitou and Toulouse.
Originally a two-room farmhouse dating from the 18th century, Le Grindoux has been completely renovated into a comfortable four-bedroom, two bath family home that sleeps 7 to 11 people.
While one side of the house faces a fairly busy road, the back of the house opens up to sweeping views of the countryside.
First floor: Salon: Wireless Internet, dining table (seats 6-8), convertible sofa and chairs, fireplace. Kitchen: Gas range and oven, refrigerator/freezer, sink, microwave, table service for 24, small cafe table (for two). Shower room (shower and sink only): towel warmer. Separate WC. Washer/dryer. The lavender room: Sleeps two. Queen sized bed, two dressers, closet, easy chair. The Green room: Sleeps one or two. One dresser, one queen sized bed. This room is quite small - perfect for one person and adequate for two. Second floor: The yellow room: Sleeps four. Queen sized bed, two twin beds, dressers, sink The orange room: Sleeps two. Queen sized bed, sink. This room has an additional bed appropriate for a child. Shower room (with tub and shower), towel warmer, skylight. Separate WC with skylight. Outside: Patio with table (seats 10), barbecue, lounge area, boules, badminton. Two adult mountain bikes, with helmets are available for your use. Outdoors, enjoy the sweeping view in the terraced area, with barbeque and seating for al fresco dining...
About the area...
Le Grindoux is in the department known as the Lot-et-Garonne, next door to the Dordogne region (ten minutes away).
Some say that the house is in Gascony, others say the Périgord, or the Pays du Dropt, which are older, regional designations that pre-date the modern "départements."
Almost all of the surrounding area is farmland, actively farmed for corn, hay, sunflowers and other crops. Those who aren't farming the land for cash crops are often cultivating food for their poultry or other livestock. There are many farms to visit, sometimes called fermes auberges, where you are welcome to stop and tour the farm, taste the products and often, share a meal with the farmer.
The village of Castillonnès is 1 km away, where there is a weekly farmers market on Tuesday mornings, tennis courts to reserve for play, a community pool, bakeries, restaurants, a café, movie theater, and a couple of small supermarkets.
"Casti," as it's known to locals, has everything - you never need to leave town! We recommend that you do, but here's what Castillonnès has to offer:
La Presse The newsstand is located on your left near the top of the main street, where you can get the Herald Tribune.
La Maréchalerie Emilia and Eric are the hostess and chef-owners of this wonderful, reasonably priced restaurant that serves local specialties and wine. Children are welcome, (there is a kid's menu), and Emilia makes everyone feel like a long lost friend. Recommend booking the day before, as people are often turned away in the evening when the restaurant is full.
Casti Pizza This guy seems to always be open. If you speak French, you can call ahead, or just wait in the square while your pizzas are made.
Bar des Arcades There is a bar à vin/restaurant in the square where you can get coffee in the morning, drinks and meals. We've never eaten here, but it's a great place to sit and have a drink while you wait for your pizza. It is a truly local place.
Hotel Les Remparts This is the high-end option in town. The restaurant looks on to a lovely little terraced garden, and the rooms have recently been re-done. Very nice for a drink. Recommend booking the day before, as people are often turned away in the evening when the restaurant is full.
Bakeries There are two bakeries in town. The one on the main street has, in our opinion, the superior baguette, but the one around the corner on the Rue du Marché has better pépites au chocolat (chocolate chip pastries).
Butchers There is a butcher at the end of the main street and one on the Rue du Marché. We have gone more often to the one on the Rue du Marché, and know Madame a little better.
Groceries and Gas There is a green grocer/corner store on the main street (they also have some butcher/charcuterie items), and the Petit Casino at the top part of town has all the basics. At the edge of town on the Villeneuve road (N21), is an EcoMarché, a supermarket that also sells gas and butane/propane bottles. Gas is self-serve, then you pay at the cashier on your way out. Pay close attention to the type of carburant your rental car needs. "Gazoil" or "gazole" is diesel.
Things to do...
There are many different kinds of activities in the immediate area. Do not hesitate to go into the tourism office in Castillonnès (or in any town), where there is always someone ready to help (who speaks English), as well as numerous pamphlets and fliers on what's happening during your visit.
Chateaux: Chateau Monbazillac winery is open for touring and there is a beautiful view of the Bergerac valley from the grounds.
Chateau Lanquais is one of the only furnished castles in France, with a very intriguing (and sinister) history.
Chateau de Biron serves as an architectural record of the last few centuries; different wings were added on in the architectural style of each era.
Chateau de Duras, is a large castle with a commanding view of the Duras valley. Go into town afterwards and taste the wines of the region (pays de Duras).
Museums, prehistoric cave paintings, and working farms: "Les grottes" along the Dordogne river (Font de Gaume, Lascaux) are well worth seeing.
The National Prehistoric Museum in Les Eyzies, has an extensive collection of early tools, jewelry, stuffed and mounted megafauna, videos showing how troglodytes made weapons, etc.
Le Chaudron Magique in Brugnac is a working organic farm featuring angora goats. Tour the animal pens, pet and feed the goats, see a goat cheese making demonstration and give the kids (baby goats) a bottle. This is a great children's outing.
Markets & vineyards: Hill top bastide villages are the norm rather than an exception, and often host a weekly farmers market where you can pick up some specialties of the region or wander around and visit the local shops. An evening visit is fun as well for a celebration of music or local traditional festival.
There are many vineyards in the region that you may wish to visit and tour. Often it's best to call ahead and make a reservation. However, a visit to one of the many farmers markets in the region may land you a personal invitation from one of the vintners to come visit his vineyard to see the process and sample their wines.
Swimming, boating & horse backriding: There is a swimming lake in Lougratte, where there are also "pedalo" (pedal boats) to rent. Lots of canoeing opportunities on the Lot or Dordogne rivers and "gabarre" (barge) rides in Bergerac. Nearest stables for horse riding are Ecuries St Martin at Serignac-Peboudou, La Cavale near Issigeac, both ten minutes drive from Casti.
Walks & cycling: A nice walk is to drive to the cemetery on the way into town, park the car, and walk along the quieter "C" (commune-maintained) road for as long as you like. If you are more adventurous, there are pilgrimage trails ("randonnees") criss-crossing the countryside.
While we have a couple of adult bikes at the house for your recreational use, serious cyclists will want to bring along their own bicycles to enjoy the miles and miles of quiet rolling country roads spreading in all directions from the property. These roads make for peaceful rides and the occasional passing car or farm equipment are for the most part mindful of sharing the road. Many of the visits to castles and surrounding sites can be made on your bike.
Also, the Tour de France changes its route every year as it circles the country. It has come quite close in recent years which makes for a fun day trip to catch the spectacle of the passing peloton and all the celebration that goes along with it. The route is closed a few hours before the riders come through but open for cyclists and spectators to enjoy.
Recommended reading: Southwest France - Insight Guide - Discovery Channel Dordogne, Lot and Bordeaux - Cadogan Guides Three Rivers of France by Freda White Dordogne & Southwest France (Eyewitness Travel Guide) A Little Tour In France by Henry James Discovering the Villages of France by Michael Busselle La Belle Season by Patricia Atkinson
By Air: To Bordeaux, then by car to Castillonnès (approx. 2 hours)
There is also a small airport 20 minutes away at Bergerac (Roumanière) which is served mainly by European discount airlines such as Flybe, RyanAir and Transavia. Car rentals are also available at Bergerac airport.
By Train: TGV service from Paris to Bordeaux takes about 3 1/2 hours and is extremely civilized. From Bordeaux you can catch a regular SNCF train to Bergerac, (where there is an EuropeCar) which is 20 minutes by car from le Grindoux.
By Car: The drive to the Lot-et-Garonne from Paris is a very long one (around 7 hours plus traffic) and is not recommended for a single day's journey.
A good road map is essential for traveling by car in the French countryside. There are maps available at the house.
650 EUR Jun 20 - Aug 29 500 EUR Aug 30 - Nov 29 / Mar 1 - Jun 20 250 EUR Dec 1 - Feb 28
Rentals are Saturday to Saturday with arrival after 4pm and departure by 11 am.
For rentals of two weeks, we will give you a 5% discount off the weekly rate. For rentals of three or more weeks, we will give you a 10% discount off the weekly rate.