Pech del Bras is a surprise you encounter when you are beginning to wonder where the road leads: Set in a landscape of small fields and woods, the former farmhouse has been carefully renovated and modernised so that it retains much of the character of rural France whilst containing modern facilities and equipment. With all bedrooms having their own bathrooms, it offers superior accommodation for those seeking countryside peace
The gardens are well maintained around the house, and there are 25 acres/10ha for guests to explore and enjoy. With a good-sized 11 x 5m pool (shallow end at 1.2m), a full-sized hard tennis court with basketball hoop, and a table tennis table, Pech del Bras offers active groups and families the chance to enjoy private facilities or to relax around the pool and in the shade as they choose.
Pech del Bras also has a loyal number of repeat bookings each year from couples and smaller parties who have fallen for its charm and enjoy the peace and solitude it offers with great views over the surrounding woodland.
Arriving at Pech Del Bras there are several areas off the road where cars can be parked.
There are three ground-level entrances: Two into the Kitchen, and one into the Cave, the latter being the entrance shown in the main picture above.
Entering the ground level by this door, you are into a useful flexible space including an anteroom and the vaulted cave. The room contains comfortable seating for television viewing, a dining table and chairs and a folding table tennis table. Stairs go up to the first floor.
The Cave leads through to the Kitchen which has been fitted out to a high standard with a good run of fitted units. Equipment includes a Hob and Oven, Microwave oven, tall fridge/Freezer and a Dishwasher. There is a good range of other utensils.
A Washing Machine is conveniently fitted in a Utility room. There are doors out to the outdoor dining and barbecue area and also to the garden and pool.
Returning to the Cave, the stairs lead to the first floor and into the handsome characterful family Sitting Room with a large farmhouse fireplace as its main feature. Large comfortable furniture is arranged around the fireplace. The view from the window over the wooded landscape is a feature of Pech del Bras. There is a door opening onto the Long Covered terrace.
Leading off the Sitting room are two bedrooms:
The ensuite Master Double bedroom has magnificent views from the windows and is spacious and well furnished with a shower room and WC.
Again off the Sitting Room is the second bedroom which has Bunk beds and a supplementary single bed if required.
This room has direct access to a bathroom including a bath with shower over, basin and WC.
The bathroom also has a door onto the long covered terrace at the rear of the house which has steps down to the garden.
The long terrace is west facing and makes a pleasant shaded area for the heat of the day and in the evening makes an ideal place to watch the sunset whilst enjoying refreshments at the end of the day.
From the Sitting room, a staircase leads up to the Second-floor bedrooms which have been built into the loft space, and there are sloping ceilings.
There are two bedrooms on this floor; One can be a Double or Twin as required and has its own adjacent bathroom with WC. The second bedroom is a Twin Bedroom with an interesting stone feature wall, and also has its own bathroom with WC
Overall, there are ten bed spaces, but flexibly arranged so that a party of 8 can be in one double and three twin rooms if required, and each bedroom with its own bathing facilities.
The road to Pech del Bras becomes a farm track once past the house, and there is no passing traffic. Across the track is a paved terrace for dining and barbecue with table and chairs and sunshades. Trees provide further shade. This makes a very pleasant place to dine at all times of the day with superb views over the surrounding woodland. A charcoal barbecue is available for guests wishing to cook outdoors.
The large covered terrace at the back of the house is in an elevated position. A table and chairs make this a perfect covered area for eating outdoors in the heat of the day. With a westerly aspect, it is also very pleasant in the later afternoon and evening.
The very large garden area around the house is well maintained, with a mixture of shrubs and trees subtly combined with flowering plants. A separate unconverted barn, (uninhabited, and not open for guests), is also in the garden area between the house and pool. The wall of the barn, just behind the boundary of the Swimming Pool terrace, makes the large terrace a natural sun trap.
The pool measures 11 x 5m, with a shallow end of 1.2m and can be heated. It has an Alarm system, and the water purity is maintained with chlorine. Access to the water is by ladder.
Pathways run all around the 10ha (25 acres) of Pech Del Bras, and a path of about 70m leads to the full-sized hard Tennis Court, which also has a basketball hoop at one end.
Guests are invited to explore and find quiet shaded spots to relax in the tranquil atmosphere of the Lot countryside around Pech Del Bras' unique surroundings.
Although not part of Pech del Bras, a walk of about 20 minutes through the countryside will get guests to the Catus Water park, called Le Lac Vert, where there is safe swimming, with lifeguard supervision in high season, canoe and pedalo hire as well as fishing.
Along with beach volleyball and tennis courts, there are also bars and restaurants and plenty more space around the wooded shores of the lake.
Pech del Bras lies in a an area of geological and prehistoric interest north of the Lot river: There is a prehistoric beach site on the way to Prayssac, and the noted prehistoric cave site of Pech Merle is an easy drive away.
The UNESCO world heritage site of the Lascaux cave paintings is little over an hour away, but pre-booking is advised for visits.
Many of the villages in the area have medieval buildings and make very interesting visits: Rocamadour is an easy drive away, and St Cirq Lapopie on the River Lot east of Cahors is listed among Les Plus Beaux villages de France, as is Lauzerte, an easy drive south of Cahors.
The Cahors area is noted for its rich red wines, many of which are available to taste at wineries and a direct purchase is usually available: Many of these are based at Chateaux and Manoirs which are worth the visit in themselves. The Bergerac wine area with thousands of acres of unbroken vineyards is also about an hour's drive away, with the town of Bergerac on the Dordogne a pleasant visit.
En route to Bergerac, there is some gorgeous countryside, with villages such as Villereal and Issegiac making pleasant stopping places: There are also several large chateaux in the area including Chateau Biron and Chateau de Bonaguil which are impressive places to visit.
The weekly markets are a major feature of French life. Catus market is held every Tuesday and Cahors has markets every Wednesday and Saturday, and Prayssac, well known for its food, is held in the centre of the town every Friday. A fuller list of markets is under The Area on the menu above.
The route along the River Lot has a number of towns which have their own character, including Prayssac, Puy L'Eveque, Fumel and Villeneuve Sur Lot.
Information on attractions for younger members of the family can be found on 'The Area' menu above.
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