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Naudine Gites (Bergerac, France)

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In a converted tobacco drying barn at Naudine, two UK ex-patriates provide apartments furnished and equipped in a modern style and to an extremely high standard.

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      07.03.2004 23:03
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      Gites in France According to the French Government statistics 15% of all visitors to France are British and thus form the largest national grouping. Little wonder when you consider the diversity of landscape, food & wine, leisure activities and holiday accommodation offered by the regions of France. Usually located in the quiet countryside and ranging from a chateau to shepherd?s cottage, through watermills and barns of every description, gites, are the first choices of holiday accommodation for most British people. A value for money variation on the gite is an apartment. We opted for one at Naudine provided by www.gitesinfrance.biz in the Lot-et-Garonne, SW France. The English owners have skilfully created the two self-contained apartments in a tobacco-drying barn. Not for them the dark oak furniture, poor lighting and questionable plumbing of many gites. These apartments are furnished and decorated to the highest standards and because they are new, not modified, they benefit from modern plumbing and electrical systems with insulation and heating to allow year-round occupation. The accommodation was purpose designed within the shell of the old building and together with the owners? choices of materials, colours and generous lighting ensure a bright, airy and cooling interior. Each apartment sleeps two guests in a large and comfortable double bed and provides an open-plan kitchen and sitting room and a bedroom with en-suite bathroom. The sitting room is furnished with armchairs and modern units in maple and includes a television (French terrestrial channels only) with a DVD and VHS players. The kitchen is thoughtfully laid out and equipped with everything you need for full self-catering i.e. includes dishwasher, oven, hob, fridge/freezer, microwave etc. A small dining area and masses of storage units together with the provision of first class lighting ensure a pleasant experience for chef and diners. The double bedroom provides plenty of hanging space, shelves and drawers, bedside tables with reading lamps, a desk/dressing table with lamp and chairs. The fully tiled bathroom contains a hand basin in a vanitory unit, a large shower and a WC For six months of the year most eating, drinking and lounging about takes place outdoors and Naudine provides yet more pleasing facilities for these purposes. The apartments have access to the first floor palier (a large, open balcony) where we sat with cooling drinks and took our meals whilst enjoying views over the pleasant, rolling countryside; or we lounged by the swimming pool soaking up the heat with frequent dips in the chlorine free water to cool off. For the more active Naudine offers 24 acres of managed grounds including gardens, pasture, a vineyard, woodland and a lake. A path is maintained all around the perimeter and takes 20 ? 30 minutes to walk depending on your enthusiasm. Take a rod and fish for giant perch. Take binoculars and watch the wildlife including woodpeckers, buzzards, kestrels, jays, herons, redstarts etc and if you are really quiet you will see deer. We were particularly impressed by the thoughtful extras, at no extra cost, which included a complete linen service, fresh towels midweek including pool towels, a free-loan service of VHS tapes and DVDs, mountain bikes, fishing, BBQ and facilities to receive email. The village of Lauzun is 2 km away and has a bar, two restaurants, a mini-market, post office, bank, butcher and boulangerie. The surrounding area provides all the tourist attractions you could wish for. The nearby villages maintain a full calendar of activities that frequently include the opportunity to sample and buy local dishes (try confit de canard or fois gras) local wines (Beaupuy and Duras wines are unsung, sensibly priced and very good) and combinations of the two (The Eymet white wine & oyster festival). Gites in France fo r just two people are few and far between and are generally expensive because you pay for more than you really want. An apartment specifically designed for two guests with all the benefits and facilities of a large gite but at a sensible price makes a lot of sense. From Bergerac airport, served by Ryanair and Flybe, a 25 minute drive (even this ?extra?is included in the basic price) will deliver you into another world. A world of peace and tranquillity, of rural comfort, of quiet enjoyment. Re-charge your batteries at Naudine - Probably the finest apartments in all of France www.gitesinfrance.biz Naudine 47410 Lauzun France +33 (0)5 53 20 66 89

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