French Holidays: what do you really want?

Yes we all think about the country, the area, the accommodation and the facilities which, of course,  are all extremely important; but we often forget about what we are going to get out of the holiday in France.  By that, I mean that when its all over, when you get back home and you have the chance to reflect on your trip, what will you have gained from the experience to keep you going until the next holiday getaway?

A comfortable place to relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

We all need to recharge our batteries and where better to do this than somewhere completely different, where the major decision of the day is which pair of shorts you are going to wear. Getting a good nights sleep, helped by a tranquil setting and comfy beds in cool and spacious bedrooms, is a great beginning to the chilling out process.  Whether you want to read a book, listen to music, learn something new, take stock of your life or seek inspiration to make changes, it is always easier to achieve in a calm and new environment.


Enjoy the good weather and embrace the outdoor life 

The sun puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step – it stimulates, rejuvenates and for many people it is a vital part of their summer holiday.  Cooking and eating alfresco not one day, but almost every day is a welcome treat. Relaxing on a sun lounger in the shade of a vine covered terrace whilst reading your favourite magazine is perfect and enjoying a swim in your own private pool anytime you like, is heaven. Then what about having sundowners on the terrace overlooking open fields and forest where you can catch a glimpse of the deer as they venture out at dusk.


Plenty of places to explore

Everyone likes to learn something about their surroundings whilst on holiday and the fun of being somewhere new awakens the curiosity in all of us.  So you might want to explore a beautiful hilltop village steeped in history or go back much further in time to view the geological wonders of the underground caves of Padirac.  If water floats your boat, then you can take a leisurely trip on the local rivers or even paddle your own canoe.  Driving and cycling are relaxing and stress free, as the roads are so quiet, even during the summer months.  Of course there are chateaux and museums galore close by and it’s s a mere 90 minute drive to the beautiful city of Toulouse for a cultural fix with a cosmopolitan feel.


Enjoy the local food and drink

There will be a blog dedicated solely to this subject in the coming weeks, but let’s just say for the moment, that the Lot region of France has more than its fair share of gastronomic delights, of which the local people are fiercely proud.  I would defy anyone not to find something that they absolutely adore on the diverse menu of delicacies. The dark powerful tones of the Malbec red wines, the refreshingly crisp yet fruity rosés, the sweeter whites that pair equally well with desserts or the velvety rich foie gras of the area.  Add to this, truffle, saffron, duck, a plethora of cheeses including a smooth and light tasting goats cheese that would convert even the most sceptical into a ‘friend of fromage’. Whether you want to savour the food and drink in the many local restaurants or visit local markets to create your own masterpieces, your culinary journey will be easy and exciting in the South of France.


Holidays are precious – they are often looked forward to for months – but are over very quickly, and what keeps us going are the memories that have been created. Those thoughts that can be recalled months or even years later, on a rainy day, in a traffic jam, during a boring meeting, which still make us smile.
What is often forgotten is how much we benefit from the experiences encountered whilst on holiday.  How rejuvenated you can feel in such a short space of time.  How much closer you can feel to those you have been on holiday with and how inspired you can be after time away, somewhere new and different.
                                             Happy Holiday Hunting in France


If you like the sound of the area and would like to learn more about Bijou Barn then click here for more details about booking

Holiday Rental in France: Top 5 tips about what to look for


Usually, the summer holiday is the longest amount of time we take off from the stresses and strains of our day to day lives, so that break is very important.  
There are so many holiday rentals online that you could spend the whole year searching for your perfect retreat.  If you refine your criteria from the outset, you will be able to search less to find the right place for you. Then all you need to do is start to look forward to your summer holiday in 2016.
Here are a few things to think about which might help you decide on what is important for you, as you embark on the search for your holiday rental in the South of France.


Decide on your location

The South of France is a big place so think about where you would like to be.  It may not be a specific place but you might want to be near a quaint hilltop town or close to a good local market.  Perhaps being close to a river or lake is important to you, or links to airports and train stations.



Many people like to have their own pool in which to cool off or relax beside on those warm summer days, so find out as much about it as possible.  How big is it? How deep? What safety measures are in place?  Sometimes a pool is advertised as private, but in reality that can just mean that it is not open to the public.  You might end up sharing it with other families in the same area or the owners of the holiday rental.  Always ask the question and get confirmation that the pool is for your sole use.


Experience something different from the property

When you go on holiday, it is often important to experience something unique and different about the holiday home you are going to rent.  Perhaps you want something that is old with some history, a place that is quintessentially French, or maybe you are looking for a modern retreat ? What if you could have a mix of all those things, would that be the perfect solution ?  Think about what you want to experience from your holiday in France, so that you can keep this in mind when you are conducting your search.


Don’t miss out on the mod cons 

Find out what modern appliances will be available to make your stay more comfortable.  Is there wifi, tv and music available.  What about the cooker, BBQ, dishwasher and yes the washing machine.  What is the fridge like?  Remember your food will last longer if it is kept refrigerated and of course your drinks will be all the more refreshing if they can be served chilled.

What is included in the price

Make sure that you know exactly what is included in the price as the little add-ons such as cleaning, linen, towels, wifi all add up.  Don’t forget that there can be other charges such as electricity for the use of a heated pool.  Establish these details from the start so your price comparisons are accurate and there are no surprises when you receive your invoice
So hopefully this information has given you some food for thought and it won’t take long for you to find your perfect holiday in France.

Holiday in France: 2016-the year ahead!

Happy New Year!  We wish you as much happiness as you can handle for 2016 and look forward to meeting you at Bijou Barn, your holiday rental in France.
Everyone makes New Year plans and resolutions for the coming 12 months and we have also been doing our own planning for what we will be introducing at Bijou Barn for our guests this year, as we feel it is important to constantly evolve and look for new ideas to make everyone’s stay as special as possible.


So what’s in store for 2016?  Well we don’t want to tell you everything, as it would spoil the surprises, but here is a bit more information about what we have in store.

New things at the House.

We want to add more things to keep you occupied at the house, including a new table tennis table and badminton set.  There will also be more board games and DVDs.  We are creating a mini cookery book taking advantage of the local produce which can be cooked either on the BBQ or prepared in the kitchen.


Out and About

There will be lots more information about what to do in the area, including specific events taking place during your stay so you can be very well informed about what to do and where to go to get the most from your holiday in France.

Off Peak Weekend Escapes

We know that not everyone can get away for long periods of time so we are creating Weekend Escapes of 3 or 4 nights where you can relax at the house or enjoy other experiences, such as wine tasting, music events, vintage cars, learning a language or exploring the area on bicycles.


Corporate Retreats

Bijou Barn benefits from a spacious interior and wonderful outdoor spaces in a tranquil setting, perfect for meetings, brainstorming and creativity.  The corporate retreat can be tailor made to your needs and fully catered so you can focus on your business.


Property Searching Trips

We spent much time, effort and energy searching for our French property and know only too well how tiring house hunting overseas can be, so let us help you make your search more effective and productive whilst maximising your chances of finding the perfect home. Use Bijou Barn as a base while you explore the area, arrange viewings and learn about what you really want from your property in France.


As you can see, we have lots of ideas for your trip to South West France as the more time we are here, the more inspiration we gain.  We hope you will enjoy reading our blog throughout the year and come and stay with us, so you too can enjoy all the elements that make this area so wonderful. Click here for more information about our holiday rental.