French Holiday

French Holiday Rental Reviews: All 5 Star, Just Like Our Guests – Thank You So Much!


It’s always quite daunting as we await the holiday rental 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?

Here are some holiday rental reviews from your guests:-

“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.

French Holiday Rental: life’s a beach near Bijou Barn


It’s a bit wierd having our holiday rental, Bijou Barn in central South West France, yet only being 6 km from a beach. Yes, that’s right, only 6 kms from golden sands beside a turquoise lake where you can swim over the watchful eye of a life guard, during the months of July and August.

There are BBQs so you can cook your own food then enjoy it at a picnic table near the lake. If you prefer, there is also a small restaurant and bar with a terrace overlooking the water where you can relax and enjoy the view.


Aquazone – new this year!

We are very excited to let you know that this year on the water there is a ‘Total Wipeout’ style floating inflatable fun zone, which looks amazing!

Jump, climb, slide and splash in this fantastic area of trampolines, climbing staircases, slides and tricky balancing beams. See if you can beat the obstacles.


Opening Hours:

Every day between 27.06.16 and 31.08.16 from 1000 ’til 1900.

On offer to anyone over 7 years. Life vests/ buoyancy aids are available.


6 euros from 1000 – 1200
8 euros from 1200 – 1900

For more information telephone 06 21 08 07 25

Click here to learn more about what there is to see and do in the Lot region


Secluded pool area at Bijou Barn

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.


Waking Up the Pool

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!)



Pressure Washing

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.

French holiday rental


Poolside Plants

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.



What Our Guests want From The Pool

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?


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 (

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 (

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


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

Velo Plus: bike hire solution for your French holiday

With the Tour de Yorkshire last month, followed by the Tour de France in July, cycling is very much in the spotlight, inspiring many of us to dust down our own two wheeled transport and get out and about using pedal power.


I am never sure why watching people struggling uphill on a TV screen makes us want to do the same but whatever the reason, it’s great to cycle as it is fun, a brilliant way to explore and really good for you. No wonder people want to cycle whilst on holiday.

Best part of cycling whilst on holiday in France

  • Rekindle your love of cycling at your own pace
  • A leisurely way to explore the region
  • Many quiet country roads to cycle along through unspoilt countryside
  • Lots of sunny days – it’s much nicer to cycle when it isn’t raining
  • Great way to burn off all the lovely French food and wine

Bike hire brought to your door

Of course if you are an avid cyclist, then perhaps you would want to bring your own bicycle but sometimes it isn’t possible or just not worth the hassle. Don’t worry as you are visiting a country which takes cycling very seriously. One such place near our Bijou Barn holiday rental, is Velo Plus who offer bike hire and also bike maintenance. They are experienced cyclists, offering a wealth of information to make your cycling experience in south west France the most fun.


Why choose Velo Plus for your holiday bike hire?

  • Their knowledge and experience of cycling is vast
  • Excellent standard of bikes to choose from
  • Well maintained equipment by a qualified mechanic
  • They offer great advice about cycle routes dependant on your experience
  • They can deliver the bikes to Bijou Barn
  • Option to hire for the day (8.00am – 6.00pm)


Our ideas for days out on bikes in the region

Sometimes it’s just nice to set off on your bike and see where you end up, but if you only have one day then a bit of planning will mean that you get the most out of the day and your bike. Here are a few ideas of what can be done.

  • Visit a vineyard for wine tasting
  • Cycle along the riverside paths
  • Ride to a restaurant for lunch and pottery painting
  • Cycle to a mini lake with its own beach and restaurant

There is something very therapeutic about cycling. The motion, the ability to travel quite long distances at a pace where all the special details of the area can be viewed, not to mention the feeling of satisfaction and achievement when it’s all over.

If you take anything back from your holiday in France,
make sure it is the love of cycling.

If you are staying at Bijou Barn and would like to arrange bike hire then please contact us.

Images: Craven District Council and Velo Plus

French Holiday Rental for Cahors Blues Festival


What better way to spend your Summer holiday this year than to enjoy some fantastic live blues music in the warmth of South West France. Imagine chilling by the pool all day then travelling a short distance to savour the atmosphere of the open air Blues Festival in Cahors.



Well all this is possible as Bijou Barn is available at the moment from 02 -16 July 2016. Click here to find out more about renting our sophisticated barn with stylish charm and private pool.

Where is the Blues Festival?


Right in the centre of the beautiful city of Cahors.
Espace Clément Marot
Rue Mendes-France
Cahors 46000

When is it?

The festival kicks off on 12th July, taking in the Bastille Day celebrations and goes through to 16th July.

Who is playing at Cahors Blues Festival?

As usual with the longest running Blues Festival in France, there is always a mixture of talented musicians waiting to entertain you in the warm summers evenings that this area of France enjoys.

Here is the line-up

Tuesday 12 July
21.00 Shakura S’Aida
Born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Switzerland and now calls Toronto in Canada her home, Shakura is truly an international blues artist. Her soulful voice, enthusiasm and outgoing personality will launch the Blues Festival in 2016.


23.00 Vintage Trouble
LA based band who create live-wired, straight talking, pelvis pushing juke music. They have opened for the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park London, toured North America and Europe with The Who and appeared on Later with Jools Holland.

Thursday 14 July
21.00 Taj Mahal
Born in Harlem, New York to a musical family, Taj Mahal is a Grammy award winner who celebrates over 40 years in the music business. His experience provides an emotional presence on stage, incorporating the sounds of the Pacific Isles, South Asia and West and East Africa amongst others.

Friday 15 July
21.00 Eric Bibb and JJ Milteau
JJ Milteau, a French blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter from Paris and Eric Bibb a fiery singer with true soul, gospel and folk roots team up for a wonderful on stage performance.


23.00 Sugaray Rayford
Texas born Sugaray with a gravely soulful voice that hints at his experience of hardship. A big man with an even bigger voice effortlessly conveys emotion and excitement in his entertaining performance.

Saturday 16 July
21.00 Gaelle Buswel
Singer, songwriter and guitarist from Paris. Her smoky blues voice is exceptional and will never cease to impress and she delivers great live performances with a smile.


23.00 The JBs Original James Brown Band
Twelve of the legendary supporting cast of musicians behind James Brown have reunited for a series of concerts in Europe, to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of the “Godfather of Soul”. Two of the members of this group were founder members of the JB’s a and will help to revive the true music of James Brown by those very same artists who experienced the musical journey first time around. This unique event will help to highlight the defining moments of James Brown’s career which spanned six decades as one of the most influential figures of 20th century pop music.

Ticket Prices

4 day pass 112.5 euros
Evening pass 37.50 euros
Free for children under 12 years
Click here to buy tickets online

Bastille Day Celebrations

As if the list of musicians isn’t enough, this festival coincides with Bastille Day and a most impressive firework display with the stunning backdrop of the historic Pont Valentre in Cahors.

Don’t miss out on this Blues Festival with French style whilst enjoying all that South West France has to offer as a summer holiday destination.


Find out more about the Cahors Blues Festival
Find out more about Bijou Barn for your Holiday Rental