+33 960 515 706 or +44 7879 473546 jane.appel@orange.fr
Activity Holiday? Things to do during your stay.

Activity Holiday? Things to do during your stay.

A holiday at Le Clos du Verger can be multi-faceted. There is plenty to do if you want an active holiday. Here in this blog we concentrate on some of the physical activities on offer locally, all tried and tested and recommended by previous customers.   An absolute favourite for our visitors is the country park less than 10 minutes drive away, the Parc de Pombonne. Here there are walks, running routes, a zip wire, animals in the meadows, a bird watching hide over the wildlife lake, and in the summer a beach and swimming lake supervised by a life guard. There is even a guinguette – a cheerful outdoor café with good food, a bar and evening concerts.           Have we worn you out yet? No? Well, what about geocaching? There is a geocaching puzzle set in the next village. All you need to take part is your smart phone, your brains, and a bit of time to follow the clues. If you enjoy running there are regular local running races you can sign up for – ask us for details. And we nearly forgot to mention the two excellent riding stables near here, one just 5 minutes away on the road to Ginestet. Or if you want more genteel exercise, visit a beautiful garden, of which this parc and garden at Marqueyssac is a fine example. And there you will find another activity – rock climbing along the cliff face below the garden....
Winter holidays – the heating is from our paddocks!

Winter holidays – the heating is from our paddocks!

As I write this, just before Christmas, we have daffodils in flower. Winters are short here in our valley, and I think of November and December as late Autumn, but Easter flowers just before Christmas, that is ridiculous! We fully expect the usual cold fortnight in late January or early February, and after that the spring flowers start popping out all over the gardens, as well as a flush of new grass to please the goats. But daffodils now? No, it feels all wrong! So what weather can you expect for your winter break here? Often there is a 20° difference in temperature between night and day time, so chilly nights but warm days. Today, for instance, it has been mild enough to sit outside with a cup of tea and take in the sunshine. Last winter was too dry; these last few weeks have been unusually wet, although that seems behind us now. Yesterday morning I joined a friend for a great country walk, just beautiful in the sunshine. Here we are, almost home,with the rooftops of Le Clos du Verger showing through the trees. Just occasionally it gets down to minus 10 degrees at night time, and one hard year we had even colder temperatures and  snow. We never have snow normally, yet that year there was so much that the road was closed for several days.   The one certainty is that our holiday cottages are great for a winter stay. We keep heating on all the time so they are ready to go. The heating is from our paddocks! Very environmentally friendly. It is a...
Appels and apples

Appels and apples

It is ten and a half years ago since Martin and I changed our lives to leave our lovely part of the UK for a long term adventure in France. Three years later, once the worst of the rebuilding work was behind us, we dug out some less tatty clothes than our normal attire and we married here in the Mairie in the village. President Hollande’s slightly crinkled photo looked down off the wall at us and the kind elderly mayor stumbled over our names. Over his 40 plus years as mayor we may have been the first British couple he had joined into matrimony. Christian nudged Martin, whose French was minimal at that point, whenever he was required to give a response, and I tried not to giggle as Philippe’s phone played out a tinny version of the Wedding March. We celebrated with a jolly crowd of our new neighbours and friends in our very unfinished house decorated with bamboo branches to hide the electric cables hanging loosely down the unplastered walls. And so I entered the Appel family and took on this surname to use for my life in France. However there is an unexpected problem. There is a French word ‘appel’ and using it as a surname is very uncommon in this part of France. There are several families around us who have surnames like “attic’ or “from the tomb”, and our baker’s surname is Rat. All these are considered perfectly normal round here, yet Appel, pronounced APP-PELL whether in the UK or France, is a show stopper. I have to repeat it, spell it out,...