Our Hay Barn in the Dordogne
Accommodations: This was far and above our most favorite accommodation of the entire trip for so many reasons. The Hay Barn was one of four outbuildings belonging to a two story 19th century manor house that had been converted into a gîte. The current owners, Paul and Philippa, a British couple took it over a couple of years ago. The previous owner who made the original renovations had become too old and ill to maintain it. So when they purchased it, they had a lot of work to do and claim they are still working to improve the facility and, hopefully, see a profit. They live onsite when there is a space available and were there the week we stayed. They constantly checked with us and made sure every need was met. We found a bottle of local wine and a bowl of walnuts native to the area waiting for us upon arrival. Later in the week, we also received a generous sampling of Philippa’s homemade walnut cake.
Theme:French country or perhaps, more specifically, Perigord countryside is the focus here along with its regional products including walnuts, foie gras, and truffles. Aside from the Hay Barn, the other accommodations are the Tobacco Barn, the Walnut Store, and the Roque Terrasse.
Pros: spacious with large living area and open kitchen (including gas stove which we prefer), carpeted floors (a welcome relief), lots of windows all around for great light and circulation, private outdoor terrace with BBQ, table, padded lounge chairs, and umbrella plus a swimming pool shared among the gîte guests. Oh, and lots of English TV channels so we were finally able to follow the Tour de France. Also, the location is perfect for exploring all those wonderful Perigord sites from the historic Roque St. Christophe right across the road to the famous Lascaux caves and every place in between. It is surrounded by prehistoric sites and endless grand castles and chateaus. The area is full of interesting and varied things to see and do. Twice we enjoyed the easy, convenient, and inexpensive opportunity to see the sights by canoeing down one of the main rivers.
Cons: Not too many significant cons. Parking is somewhat limited, the couch was rather mushy and kind of taxing on the back, and water was not consistently hot when needed.
Lessons Learned: The Perigord is our favorite region of France. If given the choice to return to only one of the destinations on our trip, this would be it.
Community: The Manoir des Granges, as the entire complex is known, is located about five minutes from Le Moustier, a tiny community with little to offer. However, down the road about 15 minutes is Montignac where we did the majority of our shopping quite conveniently. Daily farmer’s markets abound in all directions so there is plenty to choose from for your dinner table or picnic.
Overall Rating: 👍👍👍👍👍 Nothing less than superior all around — the accommodations, our hosts, and the area itself. If you have never been here, you need to put the Perigord on your travel wish list. By the way, I should note that the Perigord is divided into four regions: Noir (black), Blanc (white), Pourpre (purple), and Vert (green). This gîte is located in Perigord Noir.
Link: Make sure to stay here: Le Manoir des Granges
Due to the additional availability of the large manor house, it is also an excellent venue for small weddings and several have been held here. Paul and Philippa are currently planning their daughter’s for next May. You may enjoy reading their blog as well which gives first hand knowledge of the area as well as specific impressions of their accommodations.
Le Manoir des Granges Blog
Take a look at the Dordogne page for more photos of the Hay Barn and the many sights we enjoyed during our stay.