Set amongst fruit orchards and sunflowers on the gentle slopes of the Lot Valley in Lot-et-Garonne, Southwest France, this charming, self catering holiday home is close to the historic village of Clairac, with its restaurants, shops and market and within a short drive of some of Lot-et-Garonne's most picturesque bastides.
A farmhouse since records began, La Bique has been carefully renovated and now combines modern comforts with many of the original features. The spacious and tastefully furnished interior easily accommodates up to 14 guests in 7 bedrooms, whilst the beautiful terraces, gardens and pool complete the idyllic French summer experience.
The living room is cool, airy and light. Oak beams prevail throughout, with a degree of exposed stonework and a terracotta tiled floor. Windows and doors are large to allow cooling summer breezes to waft through the house.
The large refectory table comfortably seats fourteen for dinner. A separate children's dining table beneath the mezzanine will seat six. The two can be combined to accommodate up to 20.
La Bique is first and foremost our second home so the kitchen is equipped for even the most demanding of cooks. With easy access to both indoor and outdoor dining tables, you'll find everything you need to prepare fantastic dinners, lunches and bbqs.
All bedrooms are simply decorated with soft lighting, comfortable beds, crisp white linen and ample storage. There are four double bedrooms, two with a pair of single beds each and the TV room with a double sofa bed. We provide bed linen and bath, hand and pool towels for every guest free of charge.
La Bique has one bathroom complete with bath, shower and w.c. and two shower rooms, one on the ground floor and one on the mezzanine floor. There are three toilets in total.
The TV room is the perfect place for the kids to hang out and watch a movie without disturbing the rest of the house. Alternatively if you need a seventh bedroom, the TV can be moved into the main living room.
The pool sits in its own large terrace and during long summer days is the perfect place for everyone to hang out, reclining on loungers or splashing about in the cool water.
The house is surrounded by paved terraces and we have plenty of small tables and chairs for relaxed dining, lazy afternoons with a good book, or taking in the setting sun over a cold bottle of rose.
Surrounding the house is a subtly landscaped acre of lawns, cypress, olive, lavender, rosemary, vines, wild flowers and woodland, which from Spring to Autumn is awash with colour and scent.
The games room in the barn is home to table tennis, darts and table football. You'll find plenty of new bats, balls and darts for your use, as we replace them every spring.
Under the shade of a large willow tree we have the petanque court. The scene of many a long afternoon of intense competition, supping cold drinks and nibbling on Jean Claude's tarte d'oignon. You'll find numerous sets of boule in the barn.
We have five bicycles for guest use at La Bique. Head down to the river and follow the riverbank all the way into the village for the morning bread run, or be a little more adventurous and take a picnic on a day's exploration of the surrounding countryside.
Monique and Jean Claude, our neighbours who farm the land around La Bique, are both fabulous cooks and will be delighted to cater for lunch or dinner, indoors or out; a truly massive benefit when you are a large group on a self-catering holiday. Be sure to ask Jean Claude for some of his fruit preserved in Pruneaux. It makes a superb dessert and digestif rolled into one.
I live in Big Wave Bay, Hong Kong, with my wife Oonagh, two boys Josh and Luke, and our three dogs. As you can probably guess from the village name we live an outdoor lifestyle, spending lots of time in the surrounding mountains and sea.
We fell in love with Sri Lanka many years ago for it's people, climate, colour, and charm, and wanting a closer connection with the place we bought some land in a fishing community called Talaramba in the early 2000's. We finally finished building Talaramba Reef in 2011 and have been sharing it with guests ever since.
La Bique is a lovely old farm house close to where my parents and my sister's family live in Bordeaux and we use it for big family get togethers every year.
And in 1998 Oonagh and I spent the ski season in Whistler. We were so taken by the place that we bought an apartment there and have been back at least once a year ever since. Our sons have grown up skiing there.
We rent all three places when we are not there and hope that our guests find them as homely and welcoming as we do.