Jump On the Gin Wagon and Blaze a Trail to South West France

 

Gin is making an amazing comeback in the UK. Our love affair with this sultry spirit is enjoying a wonderful revival by people of all ages. The birth of small batch boutique gins means that there is now a gin for each and everyone of us and we are enjoying the fun of finding our perfect tipple.

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Gin Bars, Gin Festivals and Gin Clubs are where we are flocking to find the latest tastes to savour. But what happens when we go on holiday?  Wouldn’t it be great to have some time for some gin appreciation as we relax?

Gin Appreciation at Bijou Barn

Situated in South West France, Bijou Barn is a spacious barn with sophisticated charm just waiting to become your home from home for your summer holiday.

We love gin and have spent much time sipping and savouring this very special spirit. We are always on the hunt for new flavours and decided to offer a gin appreciation experience for our guests who come to visit our holiday rental in the scenic and unspoilt Lot region.

Any guests who are interested will learn about the history of gin, the different ways of making gin – your London Drys, Old Tom and that Bathtub gin is not where you have to sit to drink it – although we do have a place for that too!

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We also try to answer that all-important question of how to find your favourite gin with 3 tastings……and all this from the comfort of our holiday rental – gintastic!

It doesn’t matter whether you have booked Bijou Barn as a holiday rental or you have opted for a more tailor-made trip with Bijou Bespoke, this gin appreciation can be scheduled into your stay with us.

Our Special FREE Offer at Bijou Barn

Book a 7 day stay at Bijou Barn between June 3 and July 22 or anytime during September and anyone over 18 can enjoy the Gin Appreciation including 3 tastings for FREE.

Here’s what’s included:-

  • 3 unusual gin tastings by the private pool
  • Canapés using local produce
  • Learn about how gin is made
  • Find out why you like certain gins

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Please contact us for further information and availability or go straight to our booking page.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bijou Barn

The pool at Bijou Barn

Getting into the festive spirit!

Sometimes it’s hard to get into the festive spirit when it’s warm and sunny……. but rest assured, we are giving it our best shot!

We hope your Christmas is filled with fun and merriment with family and friends and that 2017 brings you all the happiness you can handle.

With our very best wishes

Graham and Jane
Click here to find out more about your summer holiday at Bijou Barn

French holiday rental reviews – all 5 star – just like our guests – thank you so much!

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It’s always quite daunting as we await reviews from our guests. We hope that they have enjoyed their stay and that Bijou Barn has helped to make their holiday special.

Whether they’ve enjoyed being in the pool, cooking alfresco on the BBQ, watching the sunset on the back terrace with a chilled glass of wine, picking figs from the garden for pudding or stretching out on a sun lounger with a good book, we would like to think that everyone of our guests takes a collection of Bijou Barn memories home with them as a souvenir of their holiday.

What did our guests say about their stay?

“We all had a truly wonderful time and left feeling truly refreshed.”

“Bijou Barn was gorgeous – it had everything we needed and more!”

“We can thoroughly recommend Bijou Barn and hope to return.”

“Luxury, family friendly holiday property”

“Weather was perfect, pool was glorious and countryside beautiful.”

“The owners Jane and Graham are very friendly, nothing being too much trouble.”

It’s always lovely to meet our guests and find out a bit about them – and you know what, they are a great bunch. If we had to rate our guests, they too would be 5 star! They are all individual, but all with the same hope, that they can chill out, relax and enjoy their holiday.

We are thrilled that our guests have rated us with such glowing reviews and this just makes us more determined to work on new plans to make Bijou Barn even better next year. We want our guests to feel at home whilst experiencing something completely different.

Plans for next year?

I am sure we will be discussing the plans over one or two glasses of lovely Malbec wine during the coming months and if you watch this space, you’ll be the first to know about what is new at Bijou for next year and all the great events and experiences to try locally.

Thanks again for your wonderful reviews – it really means a lot to us.

Home Away French Holiday Rental: getting poolside summer ready

 

When my husband said we needed to get poolside summer ready, I was very excited at the prospect of exfoliating, buffing, bronzing, moisturising and nail painting ………and that was just the to do list for Graham – only joking! Graham was referring to the pool being summer ready and its transformation from winter hibernation to luxurious summer oasis.

Secluded pool area at Bijou Barn

When you winterise your pool, you basically put it to sleep for the cooler months by preparing the water, covering the pool and draining the pump. The vibrant poolside area becomes a much more somber place during the winter months, so when the day arrives to wake up the pool for the summer, it really is exciting. The dark green cover, grubby from the winter weather and rotten leaves is removed to reveal the water, which after a few days of ‘jiggery pokery’ looks crystal clear and inviting (the duck is optional!)

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Of course, that’s just the beginning as the whole pool area is then painstakingly pressure washed to brighten up the paving and decking. You can’t have a pool area without sun loungers so these are washed and positioned under the tree so there is somewhere comfortable to chill out between dips in the pool.

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Then it’s time to cut back and cultivate the poolside plants – I am never sure if I cut back the right plants and cultivate the others but so far so good. The vines over the terrace, the jasmine hedge, the mint, the lavender, the poppies and other wild flowers – the list is endless but hopefully the ensemble of colours and perfumes does work.

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The pool area is as important an area for us, as it is for our guests and we make it our business to ensure that it offers everything that you would want:-

  • Turquoise water that sparkles in the sunlight
  • Sun on the terrace for most of the day
  • Comfortable sun loungers to relax on
  • Secluded poolside area you just don’t want to leave

Read our blog about the joys of having a pool

At Bijou Barn, we hope that we manage to create a summer oasis that exceeds the wants and needs of our guests. The pool area is often viewed by many as a holiday ‘must have’ when searching for the perfect place to rent in France, so we always put in the effort to create a poolside retreat that our guests will love.

Click here to view availability and book.

Book a French Holiday Rental at the beginning of July

 

Due to a cancellation, we have two weeks free at the beginning of July and there is so much to do in the area. Are you going to be the lucky person to book our beautiful barn with sophisticated charm for your summer holiday this July?

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What are the dates?

From Saturday 2nd – Saturday 16th July – pick one week or spoil yourself and go for two weeks.

What’s on?

This area has lots of different activities and experiences throughout the summer so click here to find out more about the region. But during the first two weeks of July, there are some really great events that you would be crazy to miss out on.

1-3 July: Lot of Saveurs (www.lotofsaveurs.fr)

This three day event celebrates the taste and beauty of the local produce of the region. Here is a selection of what is in store:-

  • Food Producer Market
  • Cookery Competition
  • Cookery Book Sale
  • Banquet celebrating the specialities of the area
  • Cookery Demonstrations
  • Concert
  • Repas des Chefs – a special evening meal created by the top chefs of the area.

12-16 July: Cahors Blues Festival (www.cahorsbluesfestival.com)

The 35th edition of this blues and soul festival will not disappoint. A great atmosphere is guaranteed with a wonderful selection of international artists to entertain you.

Click here to read a recent blog with more details.

14 July: Bastille Day

The biggest celebration of the year. Whether you want to visit a small village or town to take part or head for the larger towns and cities for a not to be missed firework extravaganza.

Book your French holiday rental with private pool

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If you book for two weeks in July, we will offer you a £100 discount. Do these sun loungers have your name on them?

Click here to book or click here to send an email

Holidays in France: new website to make your decision easier

We are very excited to introduce our new website http://www.bijoubarn.com  which will help us to showcase Bijou Barn, our holiday rental in the South of France.

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It has much of the original information on our blog but we have added more about the house and the region, which will show the beauty of the area and highlight the variety of things to do.

Welcome
This gives more information about the house with lots of pictures of the interior as well as the garden and pool.

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About Us
A teeny taster about us and more importantly why we chose the area to settle and hopefully why it is a great holiday destination for you.

Lots to do
This section sets out places to visit with pictures to tempt you. There is also more information about the activities you can enjoy nearby and finally the experiences you can try to make your holiday perfect. We see this section evolving as the summer approaches with more information about specific events taking place in the area such as the Cahors Blues Festival.

Pricing and booking
We give details of prices and a link to our availability calendar. There is also a section explaining the benefits of booking a holiday at Bijou Barn.

Where we are
This section gives details of our location in France and our proximity to various airports and train stations to help you plan your route to us.

Testimonials
We have been very fortunate to receive the most lovely reviews from people who have stayed with us so we want to share what others have said about their holidays at Bijou Barn.

Read our Blog
We have transferred the posts from our old blog so everything is in one place. This is where we write about the Barn, the garden, life in France, upcoming events in the area and generally give you a taste of what to expect if you choose Bijou Barn for your next holiday.

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The blog posts can be viewed by historical order, most popular or divided into the following three separate categories:-

Eat, drink and be merry
Home sweet home
Out and about

You can also sign up to receive the blogs via email as well so that you don’t miss out on a single post.

Contact us
There is a form to email so you can be in contact with us and ask any questions about Bijou Barn and the surrounding area.

We really hope you like the website and it will help you to learn much more about the house, the area and why it is a perfect holiday location.

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