Living in Dordogne

Those that noticed my other blog will know that I am in the process of moving from Spain to France and one of my ideas is to spend time in a Canal du Midi village while looking for a barge.

My other idea is to buy a riverside house in the Dordogne and do a smallscale gites or chambre de hotel

Before you all throw up your hands and say another one. I do have a a background in this business in fact I was brought up in a guest house and country club plus I have been an egon ronay and good food guide bistro owner in Jersey and a Publican in Salisbury and BA cabin crew for 15 years.

I like people its as simple as that, plus I have interior design skills and another important attribute I am well aware that I will not make any money. I would be content if I can pay for the upkeep and running of a very nice riverside property.

The question I have is this where to be. I want to be on the edge of preferably a small market town so my guest would be able to walk or cycle to the market ,restaurants etc preferably on with an international expat community. I have tried going to bush in France and you have to be a special type to do that which I am not I am far too gregarious,as I said I like people. I would hope to draw custom from airline staff publications Jersey people coming down on their way elsewhere and i have a few other ideas for selling the place.

The riverside location is crucial my two labrador pups will like that and i have been living on a sailing boat for 15 years so need water close otherwise I get grumpy! Any ideas hints suggestions will be much appreciated. Gracias Tim

Barbara We are heading your way looking around I wonder can we stop in and see you for a coffee and a chat?

Tim sadler

Here's my 50c

Stick to your gut feeling and (if I understood correctly) set up a chambres d'hotes based on a barge on the canal du midi (the prices you can charge are truly astounding - as are the prices of the barges).

Spend a month or two hopping from Chambre d'hote to chambre d'hote - talk to the owners about your project and see where it takes you.

We have a (bush) chambre d'hotes in the valee de la Dordogne tourist region, which keeps us sane and may one day pay most of our bills - HOWEVER - I strongly suspect that chambre d'hotes in general are heading for choppy waters from the legislation and "normes" point of view.

Good luck, and most of all, have fun

Hi Roland

Try these links


So sorry if you feel, perhaps that I am negative to the idea,

I suppose you are right there are possibly people out there who will rent

just to keep the property 'ALIVE' but I the case of a property which is

rented from March through to Sept or Oct I would imagine that, financially

the renter would be loosing on 200 euros per week.

Hi Ronald

I am surprised at the negative response to your idea. I am sure the will be Gites available in the winter. Dordogne tend to be a bit wetter north of the river than we are (Gironde) to the South. Try David & Carole Arnold whoi have two nice cottages near Duras (Le Moulin de Benin, St Semin de Duras, 47120 Duras 05 53 20 78 95 ) If they can't help I am sure they will know someone who could.

Have sent friend request Roland, so that we can connect about possible rental property. Sue

Yes, that is a very good deal. I believe some people are flexible here. Since many people don't normally rents their gîtes after September until reopening in spring. So with a bit of luck you should find something. There are many people who rent out but who do not stay for the winter though. It also depends what and where you want. If it is for the historically interesting places then places like Le Bugue to took in that area that are your best bet where you are fairly much in the middle of all of the best places in the department as well. I know there are agencies who handle the places around but because I don't need them I am not sure where and who.

That Ronald is an amazing deal!

I hope that you find something similar.

Brian and Barbara...

I probably misspoke: I did not have in mind an unfurnished rental; rather something like we're enjoying right now:

Malana and I have been living in the Gers, in a small village called Saint Clar, at a gite run by Caroline Gonzalez de Gramont. She told me when I first contacted her two months ago that "nobody ever rents my gite during the winter, so of course you can rent it." Here is the link:

She is charging us $200 per week (about 200 euros), including everything, which is great because it's been cold and we like to cook. Having a warm, outfitted place with fuel and dishware and cookware has been splendid.

So, I'm hoping to find something similar in Dordogne for a few weeks- couple of months.

Merry Christmas!

You will need a French bank account. Catch 22 comes into play now. You usually need a French address in order to get the account. Renting is expensive and demands a game of skill being played out to get a place. So what you want really is a gîte that is available out of season, that is easier.

Ronald season's greetings.

Hardly anyone I know around here rents in winter but I could possibly ask around.

However the weekly rental would be fairly high.

I MAY know of some people near by who may be able to help.

You would need to let me know your budget and also you would need to

supply references and damage deposit.

So beautiful and sunny today we may have late lunch in the garden.

Hi Barbara,

Just following your comments and learning about the Dordogne based on this thread...I looked for your lodging and did not find a website for your place. Does that mean you simply never needed one?

My partner and I are looking right now for semi-long-term lodging in the Dordogne (3 weeks to 2 months) depending. We want to experience the weather before committing to an even longer stay. Could you recommend any places in your area, or could you recommend a site other than 'Gites de France' to find something?

Thank you.

For me it is difficult. I need a certain amount of arty eccentricity in

my life. Music, fashion and 'stuff' was my world. Having said that one of my very

best friends spent his later life running a school but we all met in Portobello road

London where we sold vintage clothing.

He was conventional many teachers.

But not always!

There are some really 'arty' people around who are eccentric. I have a friend who

has a chateau by the river and he has musical events;mainly classical musicians and after they

play everyone dances to rock music and eat foods which they have brought to the table.

The place is very ethereal.

There is a lady who sculptures in little cupcake wrappers....very delicately beige and crinelin

in SPELL CHECK SOUND. All the sculptures are life size and very different.Seeing

is believing.

On boxing day J and I are having lunch here with a very artistic lady called Zigou and a young

man who designs wedding gowns and produces a great themed fashion show .....often with

harp music in the background.

There is a woman who turns jewlery into art....and she does it so well.

Seek and we find.......and sometimes they find us.

There are. One has several 'old boys' from my school it seems, although I have only gathered that second hand. Anyway, many of them are rather down at heel. Too many artists have found their way here for many decades as it is but recent hard times have totally depressed their livelihoods. Our one local artist, French but who studied in New York, we know well enough to have 'insider' knowledge is certainly not doing well after many years of staying on an even keel.

Are there arty enclaves in your area?

:-D ;-)

Especially if there is goose on the menu like there is on Christmas Day!

Certainly no dessert.....just a few fresh Thailand Lychees from Grand Frais.

A gourmets' ghetto! The whole area and beyond would start to have serious weight problems... ;-)

Brian I could decide to divide the property into flatlets for retired chefs FROM

London. Advertise in the caterer and hotelkeeper.Or possibly get a little editorial.