Having been into biking ourselves for about 30 years (we used to write for biker magazines!) we like to think that we know a bit about what bikers like - and we will make you very welcome! Bikes can be parked undercover in the barn - and we've plenty of polish and rags to hand if you really feel the need to spruce up the steed whilst you're here! The roads in this region are superb for bikes - and the French have a very different attitude to bikes which makes for a very pleasant experience! We can offer advice on 'best routes' and Ww can also offer a picnic service - we will turn up at an appropriate time and place, lay out the goodies and all you have to do is turn up and enjoy!
Charges depending on picnic menu.
We have two pushbikes available - one ladies and one gents. They are road bikes rather than off-road, but with remarkably courteous drivers on the roads, riding around this beautiful area is a real pleasure! Remember though, that this is hilly country not Holland so be prepared to work!
No charge !!
No, we're not referring to an in-house casino! But we do have rather a lot of games like Carcassonne (with pretty much ALL the expansions), Valley of the Mammoths, Ra, Trans-Europe Express, and of course our all time favourite Catan (Settlers) with absolutely ALL the expansions. So if you're into gaming you can borrow any game we have in stock - and with very little persuasion we are happy to drop almost anything we're doing to join you!
No charge !!
Not necessarily at the gite (although it is entirely up to you, of course!) but we have a local naturist camp site and we've been given permission for our guests to spend the day at the site (small daily charge applies). Check out their website at www.loussuais.com
The local rivers and lakes are great for fishing - and at last there is a temporary fishing permit available! The permit is for either 1 day (10 Euros) or for 1 week (30.00 Euros) and covers all categories of waterways (please don't ask us to try to explain the categories to you - it's REALLY complicated! We'd rather discuss the 'off-side' rule - and we have NO knowledge of football !!) Local rivers have trout (a fishing friend has pointed us in the direction of the best spots), and Lac de Saint Helene has carp, pike, and roach amongst other species!
Food is obviously very important to the French - and there is no shortage of good restaurants in the neighbourhood. For typically French menus try the Auberge de la Fontaine in Cheissoux (5 minutes by car) or the Saint Pancras in Bujaleuf (8 minutes by car) - and try the local Limousin beef! There are a range of restaurants in St Leonard de Noblat (10 minutes by car) offering a choice from traditional French cuisine through kebabs to pizza. For more international cuisine you will need to go to Limoges where you will find everything from Chinese and Vietnamese to Japanese.
It can be frustrating to go to a restaurant for the evening and know that one of you is going to have to drive home, so someone has to miss out on enjoying the excellent bottle of red you've just ordered! No problem - we will drive you there and get the owner to call when you're ready to be collected!
Charges: Cheissoux - one free trip per week, 5 Euros per extra trip
Bujaleuf - 5 Euros
St Leonard de Noblat - 10 Euros
Limousin beef cows!
If you are looking for more than just a relaxing place to stay then we can arrange various courses with local people, from painting through photography to Tai-chi. If you have any other ideas then we will try to source an expert!
Cigar Box Guitar making!!
Do you want to play like Seasick Steve? - check him out on You Tube if you've not yet heard of him!! Why not try making a 'cigar box' guitar during your stay with us, and have a finished playable instrument to take away with you at the end of the week. Full guidance will be given and all materials and tools are supplied.
You will need to commit between one and two hours per day for 3-4 days to complete the project. Choose either a traditional wooden-box style or the easier oil can option! The only thing NOT supplied is a finger slide as this needs to be the correct size for you, and it is best if you source this item yourself. In addition please note that these guitars are purely acoustic instruments - if you want to add pick-ups either simple piezo's or full-blown Humbuckers then these will have to be fitted at a later date by yourself - you will find full instructions for this on the internet!
The cost for this workshop including the finished instrument is:-
Cigar box style 130 Euros
Oil can style 90 Euros
The workshop must be booked at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to give me time to find the necessary materials, many of which will be recycled from other objects!
Chris is also in charge of the tai-chi courses! Having studied the art for over 20 years he is qualified to offer a number of interesting possibilities! For a complete beginner, the short form (in the Yang style) may take too long to completely learn in a week, but there would certainly be enough time for a very good introduction to the art. For more experienced practitioners, he is able to offer courses in the following weapons forms:- 2 sword forms, and the truly elegant fan form.
Charges: Hourly rate 5 Euros per person
If you've been watching programmes like Place in the Sun, and are looking for a property in this area and would like to talk to someone who has been through it we would be more than happy to sit over a glass of wine and go over the basics. We've renovated the gite and most of the house (and one day we might just finish it all!) and so can give you pointers as to the do's and don'ts. We can also put you in touch with a number of estate agents in the area, many of whom now speak very good English! No charge !!
One of the best agents in the area is our good friend Mike Dunion (he's the one in red in the tai chi picture!). He works for an agency called 'Leggett Immobilier' and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +33 (0)7 82 22 16 82 - just so you know, we have no vested interest in your using him!
The owner, Chris, was a professional photographer for over 12 years, running a successful business back in England. In 1994 he won the prestigious Professional Photographer of the Year competition, having submitted pictures for each month throughout the competition. Since then he has worked for many magazines including Super Twins, Collect it!, 100% Biker, American-V, and Antiques and Heritage Lifestyle. In addition he was the in-house photographer for KP Foods and MacVities (and yes we do miss the free samples!).
Whether you are using film or digital equipment, and whether you are a beginner or are looking to improve the quality of your results we can tailor a course to meet your needs. Choose either mornings, afternoons or full day and the subjects you would like to cover and leave the rest to us!
Charges:- Half day 20 Euros per person Full day 35 Euros