Holiday cottage in the Dordogne, France
 A converted stone-built barn in a superb position on the edge of a small village near Brantôme
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The house is a converted barn on the southern edge of the village and is built of stone under a canal (or Roman) tile roof; we found the date of 17 septembre 1756 carved on a rafter. We bought the redundant barn in 1989 and have tried to convert it sympathetically, with the emphasis on comfort and practicality rather than luxury. The building is about 30 ft by 45 ft and we have used half of it for accommodation, leaving the rest for canoes, bicycles, etc.  Downstairs is a large, simply but comfortably-furnished room that serves as kitchen, dining and sitting room. There is also a shower room with toilet and washbasin. Upstairs are four bedrooms (one with a 5ft double, two with twin beds and a small room with bunk beds) and a bathroom with toilet and bidet. The thick stone walls and double glazing mean that the house stays comfortably cool in the hottest weather (keep the shutters closed). Outside, we have a terrace along the front of the sitting room (which is ideal for playing boules) with a pergola over one end to give shade. There is a selection of outdoor furniture and a permanent barbecue.
For heating in the winter, there is a very efficient woodburning stove with a supply of dry hardwood, as well as full gas central heating. There is a gas cooker, a coffee-maker, a fridge with freezer compartment and a television with  both UK and French satellite digiboxes for TV and radio. These play through the audio amplifier for good sound quality. There is a dishwasher, an automatic washing machine, a microwave and an iron. The wireless broadband network has recently been upgraded (but is still not very fast). There are duvets as well as plenty of blankets and pillows but we do not provide bed linen or towels. There should be plenty of the normal crockery, cutlery, etc., a kettle and a teapot and a supply of basic foodstuffs. We use the house for several months a year ourselves and there is everything we need.
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