Our Fisherman’s House in Bordeaux
Accommodations: Our second gîte was located about 45 minutes northeast of Bordeaux. As soon as you leave this heavily populated metropolitan area referred to by some as a mini Paris, you head deep into lush, green wine country. Our “home away from home” for this week was a restored 18th century fisherman’s house overlooking the Dordogne River in the port village of Asques. The gîte was adjacent to an 18th century mansion occupied by owners Sylvie and Jacques. Sylvie, who also conveniently spoke English, met us and gave us a tour of the house with all the necessary details. We were welcomed with flowers from her garden on the table and an invitation to the evening’s classical music concert at the local church. This was by far the largest and most expensive of our accommodations — two stories — living and kitchen downstairs with spiral staircase leading to bedroom and bathroom upstairs — about 800 sq. ft.
Theme: Since it had been a fisherman’s house, this theme was tastefully carried through in many small details throughout. Think fish.
Pros: very well appointed with many furnishings and household items (just about anything you could imagine you might need), washer, very large drying rack, garden with outdoor table, seating, hammock, and BBQ (yes!!), garage, hardwood floors on second level, comfortable kingsize bed, LOTS of space, and, once again, location, location, location — easy drive to Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Libourne, and many, many wineries in every direction. Plus you are literally sitting on the bank of the famed Dordogne River. How cool is that?!
Cons: stone floors (no surprise), extremely small mini fridge, plenty of IKEA furniture some of which fell apart even with gentle use, isolated area — you have to travel every day if you want to do or buy something… however, this was the mid week of our vacation and we were ready to kick back. Since we had so much space to relax both indoors and out, it was not a big issue for us at the time but definitely a consideration for the future. The residents pretty much keep themselves closed in with their shutters and much of the time it felt like the village was empty so it was super quiet. Additionally, at $800/wk, this gîte was relatively expensive given its isolated location.
Lessons Learned: Tiny communities can hold big surprises like the outstanding concert we experienced at the church. You never know what you are going to discover.
Community: Asques is a tiny port hamlet on the Dordogne (population 476) which is completely residential with no stores of any kind. Occasionally a boat comes in to the port with items for sale. We drove about 20 minutes to Jacques Cousteau’s birthplace of Saint-André-de-Cubzac for our groceries several times during the week.
Overall Rating: 👍👍👍👍 If it weren’t so isolated and the town had a few services to offer, we would probably give it a 5. We had a great experience though. It was perfect for us at the time.
Link: Check it out… La Maison du Pêcheur
See more pics on the Gironde page.