Philip & Donna Voice decided that life was too short to spend it on the treadmill. They opted to leave the rat race and pursue a more tranquil life in rural France.
After selling their house, Wimble Cottage at the height of the boom they headed off to the Perigord region of France to start their new venture PerigordVacance. Perigord for the region and Vacance naturally for the holiday area that it serves.
Most people who visit the Dordogne, Lot et Garonne do so for the food, wine and superb climate. After an initial interesting but fruitless search, they found Jean Blanc. A small farm near Monflaquin in the Lot et Garonne.
Requiring extensive work to bring it up to a habitable state and restoration to its former glory the works are expected to take 3 phases. Firstly, restoration of a small two roomed house which will be put to use as their first Gite but initially be their 'home' whilst they complete phase 2. This will become their own house but as it is larger it will take up to a year to complete.
Phase 3. will be Gite 2. A luxury bolt hole for families sleeping they hope up to 8 people.
Follow a pictorial diary of their new home Jean Blanc as it evolves.
After arriving in France in early October we were becoming a little despondent. Viewing of properties was an interesting but exhausting procedure. We were finding that if one of us liked something the other wasn't too keen and vice versa.
Our wish list was:
1. Some land - important from more than one consideration, flexibility for the future in providing an income and for the persuit of leisure activities. For a cushion against future development and of course some peace and quiet.
2. Possibly a source of water. I (Philip) wanted a small lake for the beauty of the landscape and to attract wildlife. Also for the fishing. Having had some fly fishing experience I wanted a small stocked area to provide a pastime for myself and Friends and also for future guests who were to rent our Gites.
3. Woodland was a must. Wood is a widely used fuel in France and I am no different to a lot of people who craves the perfume and the crackle of an open fire or stove on a dark cold winters night. I also think that the cost of oil is becoming prohibitive. Its also a man thing to go down the woods with a chainsaw and an axe.
4.A good aspect preferably east west which allows for all day sun with the setting sun creating a good eating evening terrace.
5. Good quality accommodation which firstly provide a good opportunity for the creation of a family home and also options for Gite accommodation and storage and working space.
6. Within the easy reach of at least one majot town and many tourist attractions of the region.
7. Within an easy drive of a golf course.
Below are some views of the house and barns before as they stand before we do any work. The project will be updated regularly with progress and relevant photos of interest.
The front of Jean Blanc (front view)
Rear view with barn on left
The small House (to be a Gite)
Gite front view (this is to be extended)