Vivre en Douceur – accommodation
La Maison de Marguerite huddles in the midst of a sunny clearing in the heart of a great and ancient forest, like a little old lady gathering her shawl around her bony shoulders. She has been here for at least 200 years, from her elevated position she looks out over the treetops to the mighty Pyrenées mountains. Who knows who has ventured over her threshold, maybe D’Artagnan himself, the chateau where he was born is only a few kilometres away. Yes, this is indeed Gascony, land not only of milk and honey but also of divine wines, persillade, garbure, foie gras, cèpes, duck confit…all less than two hour’s drive southeast of Bordeaux.
Marguerite’s half-timbered house faces southeast, towards the sunrise, typical of all Landaise fermettes. She has her back to the sunset, where the cold winds and weather come from in the winter. The house is U-shaped, with a central, secluded courtyard, where lavender perfumes the air in the summer. There are two guest bedrooms downstairs, each opening onto its own patio where guests can sit and soak up the sun with a cool drink and a good book. There is a third bedroom upstairs, with glorious views of the surrounding woods, meadows, vineyards and sunflower fields.
The heart of the house is the kitchen-sitting room, delightfully cool in the summer, and extended by a shaded patio into the courtyard and snug and warm in the winter, heated by a Godin wood burner. Three centuries-old Line trees guard the eastern flank, and even older, majestic oak trees hold court in the paddocks surrounding the house.
Savourer la Vie – la Cuisine de chez Marguerite
Nowhere in France is the French Paradox more prevalent than in Gascony. A paradox, because despite frying just about everything in duck fat, and washing undeniably rich dishes down with copious amounts of Cotes de Gascogne and Saint Mont wines, the people from this region live long, some of the longest in Europe, and healthy lives.
Not to be outdone, chez Marguerite you will be able to investigate this paradox first-hand. Most of our fruit and vegetables will be gathered the same morning from my neighbour’s potager, and what he doesn’t have, we’ll buy directly from the grower at one of the local fresh food markets. Eggs come from the free-range chickens of another neighbour, all preserves and jams are homemade from last year’s abundance of fruit, and our bread we bake ourselves, during the Sunday morning bread-baking ceremony.
Vivre Vert – Slow and Sustainable Tourism in the Southwest of France
It is important to me that the retreats I offer, do as little damage to the environment as possible, while at the same time contributing to the local community’s economy. I feel more like the custodian than the owner of this property – I feel extremely privileged to live here. As its custodian, my intention is to look after iLa Maison de Marguerite to the very best of my ability and to preserve it for generations to come. In the meantime, I share the exceptional natural beauty, the rich cultural heritage and the nurturing tranquillity of this open- and warmhearted house with my guests without harming the natural environment and helping environmentally aware local producers at the same time.
Donate amis de Flaran
In only a few other places you will find all the ingredients of a perfect holiday combined with such abundance as in Gascony: fabulous food, outstanding wine, generous people and the breathtaking beauty of the Pyrenées mountains, rivers, bottomless lakes and fortified medieval villages perched on hilltops.
So seize this exceptional opportunity to spend a few nights here NOW…an open-armed and a two-kisses-on-each-cheek welcome awaits you amidst the Armagnac, Saint Mont and Cotes de Gascogne vineyards in the sun-blessed southwest of France.
Ready to make a reservation? To pay your deposit and secure your booking – there are only 2 of these retreats per year – please contact us with the dates of the week that suits you at welcome2gascony(at)gmail.com to inquire about availability.
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Les Français cultivent une passion pour l’art de vivre. Ils aiment se cultiver, bien manger, flâner dans les brocantes et visiter les musées. La France est un pays de fête, de convivialité et de partage dont il faut profiter à tout prix.
To secure your booking, a non-refundable 50% deposit is required. As the group is very small, on average no more than 4 guests, only a paid deposit will guarantee your attendance. If we are fully booked, you will be offered a place on the waiting list.
The balance of payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your retreat. Please note: Due to the extensive and expensive preparation that goes into each of these retreats, I cannot offer refunds, so I highly recommend that you purchase adequate travel insurance to cover any unanticipated changes in your travel plans. Any cancellation made in writing less than 30 days before the retreat starts, or once the retreat has started, will result in a total loss of funds. Depending on availability, you can choose to transfer your booking to another date without incurring any additional fees, within the same calendar year. We reserve the right to cancel the retreat (if we do so your deposit/final payment will be refunded in full).
Please read our terms and conditions