Spectacular is not a sufficient description for the position of Chateau Calvayrac, high above the town of Prayssac on the River Lot. The breathtaking view from the Chateau to the south over the river and rolling country of the south of the Lot department is one that guests will remember for a long time to come.
Since the Chateau was built in the 14th century it has been owned by only three families, the last of these the current English owners who purchased Chateau Calvayrac about fifteen years ago complete with the original antique furniture and fittings. Much of these remain around the Chateau for guests to absorb and enjoy in surroundings reminiscent of France of another era, but with all the comforts of modern living. The history of the Chateau is available for guests to read.
The Owners say: "Chateau Calvayrac is located in a fabulous position above the Lot river, offering unparalleled views of the valley whilst one dines or relaxes on the terrace. Calvayrac offers peace and privacy, set in 10 hectares of land: It is mostly woodland however the gardens have lovely terraces and well-kept borders and hedges. There is a large saltwater pool and guests can help themselves to the herbs, tomatoes, strawberries, figs and more which we grow.
The house itself is situated above impressive raised vaulted cellars, one of which is for the guests to enjoy.
The house was purchased by us in 2001 having had only two owners in its 700-year history. We also acquired the entire contents which include many Quercy antique pieces. We have sympathetically restored the house, and maintained its unique character and all the contents - and with a few fun additions too.
We can confidently say that all guests come away saying that Calvayrac offers something special, and we sincerely hope you will too"
The Owners have undertaken a careful and sympathetic programme of conservation, renovation and modernisation which has made Chateau Calvayrac a very special place for families and parties of friends to stay. It lends itself perfectly to families seeking somewhere special to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays, and also groups of friends travelling together looking for somewhere to enhance their time together.
As an additional service, a chef that lives very near will prepare and serve your party a gourmet meal in the medieval dining room.
As one would expect, the Chateau is spacious throughout, with various spaces for relaxation and privacy, and this extends outdoors with over 25 acres of managed grounds to explore, including wooded areas.
Chateau Calvayrac is a few miles west of Cahors, so it is close to the centre of the Cahors AOC wine area. There are numerous vineyards and wineries where the noted locally produced wine can be sampled and bought - and that is ignoring the vast array of produce grown in the area to the south of the Lot which makes this area of France noted as a source of excellent food and drink.
If you are seeking to experience Modern France along with Traditional France, you have found the ideal place - Chateau Calvayrac
Approaching the main door up a wide flight of pavilion steps, your progress will doubtless be interrupted by the irresistible desire to take your first look beyond the terrace at the breathtaking vista that opens up before you.
There are two entrances off the Terrace: The usual entrance will bring you into a small anteroom, in which there are two large antique and ornately decorated cupboards, one housing the linen and towels (including pool towels which are included in the rental), and the other some of the 'white goods' including a fridge, microwave oven and the washing machine. A sink unit also includes a second dishwasher ( to the one in the kitchen)
Turning left, you enter the impressive Kitchen and informal Dining room. The Kitchen has bespoke fitted units in pine with a ceramic 'Belfast' sink and includes a large hob and oven, large American style fridge freezer and a dishwasher. An antique beech Butcher's block adds great character to the working space.
There is an informal dining table for 8 here, but this is overshadowed by the first of Chateau Calvayrac's impressive carved stone fireplaces.
Leaving this room by a door beside the fireplace brings you onto the Main Hall, beside the second entrance off the Terrace.
The first room just off the Hall is the Formal Dining room. with a fine antique oak dining table with 8 upholstered antique chairs around it, and other antique seating around the room. A candle chandelier hangs from the wood-beamed ceiling, allowing a very atmospheric candlelit dinner. This room also features an extremely grand fireplace. The window has a view over the river and countryside beyond.
The Drawing room / Sitting room can be approached either from the Hall or by a connecting door from the Dining Room. Period dark wood furnishings have been complemented with large light coloured sofas for guests to relax in comfort: The window also enjoys the view over the river. A smaller classical fireplace with mirror over houses a wood-burning stove.
Returning to the Hall, the next room off the hall is an imaginatively decorated WC, and this is beside the fine wooden staircase to the upper floor. Under the staircase is a door to the downstairs bathroom, which has a bath with shower over, bidet and basin. There is also a 'Jack and Jill' door into the adjacent ground floor Bedroom.
Accessible from the Hall, this bedroom features an Antique Four Poster Bed made from ornately carved oak, and with high-quality fabric drapes and curtains for that extra special sleeping experience. Complimentary bedroom furniture, traditional style wall decorations and an ornate fireplace transport you to a different era in this room.
The final room on the Ground floor is a second Double Bedroom with complementary bedroom furniture and a fireplace.
The broad wooden stairs lead to a large galleried first-floor landing area, where the television is situated, and there is a table football table. Besides other seating, a hammock has been strung between two of the visible beams.
Leading off the landing are two bedrooms, one a Twin room, with beds, end to end, and including its own washbasin.
The other is a Triple Bedroom with a Double and Single bed, and similar to the Master bedroom downstairs, this has 'Jack and Jill' doors to a Bathroom with separate shower and WC. The second door opens onto the landing.
Returning towards the stairs are three further bedrooms - One Double room with complementary furnishings, a second Double room and finally a smaller Twin room, but with an ensuite Bathroom. A door gives access from the Bedroom onto an unusual gallery overlooking the stairs.
The first thing of note outdoors is immediately under the Chateau, where the Owners have skilfully fitted out a part of the vaulted stone wall basement cellars as a sheltered area for guests to use in conjunction with the outdoor space: Both a gas barbecue and charcoal barbecue are available for al fresco cooking and dining.
The gardens around the Chateau are well kept, and among them are herbs, figs, strawberries, tomatoes and other fruits growing that guests are invited to sample when the season is appropriate.
Much of the 10ha/25 acres of land attached to the Chateau is woodland, providing plenty of shady peaceful places for rest and relaxation. A pond, fed by the spring that originally supplied the Chateau's water, makes an interesting habitat to observe.
Centrally situated in a large level grass terrace, the 15 x 6m Swimming pool (see top image) has plenty of space for games away from the water. A sheltering arbour at one end of the pool allows supervision from a shaded vantage point. The pool has a hardcover, and purity is maintained with chlorine.
Two adult bicycles are available for guests to use, and further bicycles can be hired in Prayssac if required.
The market town of Prayssac is approximately 2km walk, and this can be done by footpath: The town has all the facilities of a small town, including a large supermarket. Market day in Prayssac is Friday, but there are markets in a local town somewhere every day of the week where the finest local produce can be sampled and purchased. A list of towns and markets is included in the information under The Area at the top of this page.
The main feature locally is the River Lot, with river-based activities including canoeing and kayaking available almost wherever the river can be accessed. There are many interesting villages and towns along the river, with Puy l'Eveque to the west and Cahors to the east (Pont Venetre pictured) among the more interesting with medieval and Roman connections respectively. Travelling further to the east along the River Lot brings you to St Cirq Lapopie, one of the most beautiful and interesting villages in the whole of France.
The area to the north of Prayssac is an area of geological interest, with Jurassic fossils, caves and other areas of interest close by The area to the south is a tremendous fruit and wine area with Cahors wines, Agen prunes and other local specialities available fresh or in restaurants all over the region. The area is dotted with medieval hilltop bastide villages, all retaining many ancient buildings and features, and usually with spectacular views over the local landscapes. Many of these are listed under Villages and Towns in The Area menu above.
The nearest... Shops 1.5km Prayssac Tennis 2km Puy l'Eveque Golf 25km Horseriding 12 km Mauroux Fishing 2km - Lot river.
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