A handsome, secluded, L-shaped 18th century former Presbytery, sleeping up to 14, with private pool, situated in the rolling Quercy countryside south of Cahors and the Dordogne, 80 kms from Toulouse airport, on the border of the Lot and Tarn-et-Garonne.
Built of stone with exposed beams, Nevèges’s two fully restored wings enclose the south-facing main terrace and swimming pool. There are extensive lawns on the east side, offering sun and shade throughout the day, further land and terraces, water features and idyllic, low-key views. The beautifully maintained church alongside is very rarely used (no bells or chimes), and there is no through traffic. There are no adjoining neighbours, and the nearest of the surrounding farms, all growing crops like sunflowers, is several hundred yards away.
The entrance hall leads to the old kitchen, now restored and fitted out as a double bedroom, and to another cool bedroom, both sharing their own new bathroom. Wide, shallow stone stairs and Toulouse-brick archways lead to the laundry area and games room, equipped with a 7-foot pool table, darts and young children’s toys; and then up to the first floor and the main accommodation of new kitchen, dining room, and the house’s largest and newly refurbished double bedroom with its brand-new en-suite bathroom. The lofty, beamed triple-aspect salon, study and Moroccan-themed conservatory lie beyond, finished after a two-year refurbishment.
Following the restoration of the second floor, there are two new bathrooms and three further full-height bedrooms: one twin-bedded, one double with an en-suite bath and shower room, and one which can be a twin-bedded or a 180 cms double-bedded room.
There is a new 12m x 6m pool together with another ‘pigeonnier’ offering a seventh bedroom and bathroom as well as a loggia-like building at patio level.
Two extra, proper single beds are available to ensure families and friends can configure the sleeping arrangements to their requirements, and cots, equipment for babies and a child safety gate are also provided. Linen and swimming pool towels are included as is a weekly and final cleaning included.
The property has quality beds, sofas, linen, garden furniture, bikes, games equipment and appliances which are all relatively new. These include a Falcon range with double oven, two fridges, two dishwashers, microwave oven, two washing-machines and tumble dryer as well as a full range of decent kitchen equipment. The sag-free double beds are of the larger 160-cm / 5’ 3” width. Nevèges is not a main residence, and is therefore free of personal clutter, fragile furniture and child-unfriendly heirlooms.
The swimming pool, heated to 28º C / 82º F by a heat pump during the season, has an automatic safety cover in line with new legislation. The pool surround, terraces and house approaches are newly paved, and an ‘umbrella’ mulberry shades the adjoining terrace, with its mature shrubs, numerous pot-plants, Tuscan and herb garden. For the summer there will be a new summer kitchen which will be just off the terrace. It will be 35 m2, with two fridges, oven, gas plates, dishwasher, microwave, summer crockery, glassware and cutlery. Across the terrace two barbecues, gas and charcoal.
On the east side, areas of meadow grass, raised flowerbeds and new lawns alongside a pond and stream lead to a paved terrace, fountain and Quercy-style pigeonnier, where ice-cold rosé is laid on the better to enjoy the sunset.
Games and leisure facilities include bicycles for all ages, table tennis, croquet, darts, table football, boules, a trampoline, and for infants a sand pit, swing and slide. Indoors will be found all the traditional games for all age groups, books and maps, radio, British and French television and a DVD player for films or CDs; and there is an astronomical telescope to take advantage of some of the darkest skies in Europe.
Full details of local caterers, restaurants, tourist attractions, shops and services, estate agents, together with recommendations for golf, riding, canoeing, walking, tennis, fishing, the nearby leisure lake with beach and boating, shopping for foie gras or the renowned wines of Cahors and Quercy will be found at the house, together with a welcome pack of wine and armagnac.
The owners believe in attention to detail, be it providing a first-aid kit and proprietary medicines to score pads for games and night-lights for children. In season the property is looked after by our English manager, who lives nearby and is thus able to respond to even the least urgent request.We regret that pets cannot be accommodated.
Although the season starts earlier and finishes later in south-west France, enabling one to eat outside in the evening well into October, the house with its oil-fired central heating, log fire and sources of entertainment is a delight at any time.
This corner of Quercy, with its secret valleys, is the real ‘France profonde’ that those who have endured the traffic jams of the Dordogne or Côte d’Azur hot-spots will love. Yet the cathedral cities of Cahors and Montauban, Moissac on the banks of the Tarn, the hill-top towns like Lauzerte dating from the Hundred Years War, Montpezat, the 3-star Pech Merle and Gouffre de Padirac cave systems, Rocamadour, St Cirq Lapopie, St Antonin Noble Val (location for the film Charlotte Gray) and Bonaguil Castle can all be visited in half a day. Toulouse with its superb historic centre, Carcassonne, Sarlat, Cordes and Albi deserve full day expeditions.
|Peak||29 June to 30 August|
|High||1 to 28 June|
31 August to 6 September
|Mid||4 May to 31 May|
7 September to 18 October
|Low||All other dates excluding Christmas/New Year|
|Christmas/New Year||By negotiation|