Le Manoir Saint Gervais is located in the Limousin region of France. This traditional heartland is dotted with farm and agricultural buildings and retains some of the most unspoilt countryside in Europe; the small village of Saint Gervais sits on the edge of the Périgord Limousin Regional Natural Park. The A20 motorway runs through the centre of the region providing excellent road links both north to Paris and south to Toulouse/Bordeaux. If you are heading to the area from the UK, Limoges airport serves a good number of the UK’s regional airports including London Stansted, Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton, and it is only a 40 minute drive from Saint Gervais.
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Click here for a map of the Limousin region.
Click here for a map of the area surrounding Saint Gervais.
Food and wine
Famed for some of the best cattle farming in the world, herds of Limousin cows (a distinctive chestnut red colour) provide high quality beef year round and can be sampled locally. Restaurants we recommend include:
* The refurbished ‘Hotel de France’ in the market square in Rochechouart (15 minutes along the D10) – an authentic dining experience.
* ‘Roc du Boeuf’ on the outskirts of Rochechouart (bottom of the hill underneath the Château) – lovely setting by the river, super hosts and experimental food.
* ‘Parquei Pai’ (five minutes along the D10 towards Rochechouart) – excellent food with fruit, veg and herbs direct from the restaurant’s own allotment.
* ‘Dyades’ inside the four star hotel ‘Domaine des Etangs’ near Massignac (ten minutes along the D10 towards La Rochefoucauld) – expensive and best kept for a special occasion.
* La Gare restaurant close to Champagnac-la-Rivière – this old railway station has been transformed into a contemporary eating space; perfect for lunch after a long walk or bike ride along the ‘Voie Vert’ between Oradour sur Vayres and Châlus.
A short trip into neighbouring Poitou-Charentes is a must-do for cognac lovers (two-hour drive). There are a number of tasting tours of the famous distilleries of Courvoisier, Martell, Hennessy and Remy Martin, and we recommend visits to some of the smaller but excellent local producers throughout the Cognac area. Finally, we mustn’t forget the local aperitif: Pineau De Charente (‘Pineau’) which is available throughout the region and is delicious!
The Great Outdoors
Bike enthusiasts, walkers and outdoor lovers will feel spoilt for choice. Well-signposted cycle and walking routes make the great outdoors a pleasure (consider following the Coeur-de-Lion/Richard the Lionheart route).
The Limousin is also known as ‘the land of a thousand lakes’ and wherever you are in the region there will be one close by. Videix lake with its clear, clean water and sandy beaches is a 10 minute bike ride away. It is a popular place to take a picnic, have a swim, sail or canoo. If land activities are more your thing, we can arrange for you to rent bikes or explore the area on horseback.
Markets and local fairs
The popular weekly market at Piegut Pluviers is a sprawling mix of food, plants, drink and gifts (and live chickens!). Open Wednesday mornings, we love sitting in the Wisteria-filled courtyard at the ‘Salon de The’ after a good wander around.
La plage de la Chassagne in Videix (the lake area in our commune) plays host to regular producers’ markets where you can spend an enjoyable evening tasting local fayre as well as buy products (e.g. cheese, foie gras, etc.) to take home. This typically runs during the height of the summer season: July and August.
For bargain hunters there are plenty of vide greniers (the equivalent of car boot sales) across the region in spring and summer; if antiques or rustic French furniture you more your thing, there are a few brocantes worth a mention including ‘Moulin de la Mie’ and ‘Trocador’ – both near to Limoges; ‘La Forge’ near Saint Mathiew; and The Reclamation Yard in Confolens.
A number of night markets take place over the warm summer months selling a variety of local produce and arts and crafts including a very popular one in nearby Rochechouart.
Places of interest
* La Rouchefoucauld is a pretty town half an hour away with a beautiful chateau, restaurants and small shops making for a relaxing day out.
* Le Château de Rochechouart is a thirteenth-century French castle sat high on the top of a hill overlooking the town of Rochechouart. It houses modern art exhibitions.
* Limoges, the region’s administrative capital, is well worth a visit and is only 45 minutes away by car. It is world-renowned for its porcelain which comes in both traditional and contemporary designs. The medieval-style ‘Quartier de la Bucherie’ (Butcher’s Quarter) is home to a number of small shops and eateries with lots of character.
* Oradour-Sur-Glane, a town which is a permanent memorial to the 642 inhabitants whom were massacred on 10 June 1944. By car the town is around a 45 minute drive.
* Brantome, a town encircled by water, is about a 50 minute drive from the house. It is a great place to visit with friends and family; the town boasts an abbey, caves and picturesque river walks. There is a regular boat trip in the summer months and lots of restaurants to choose from.
Whatever you are planning to do during your time with us, we will be on hand to provide recommendations, information and guidance. For further information on the local area, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone +33 (0)5 55 30 53 67.