We loved Orchard Cottage with its views across the valley, lovely outside space and very well equipped, cool & comfortable interior (the bed is huge!). It felt like a real home from home with lots of personal touches, and our boys loved exploring the grounds and making full use of the pool (while we relaxed & enjoyed the view). There are some lovely villages to explore nearby, with river swimming and lakes, and plenty to do further afield too. We had a superb day on the Train D'Artouste in the Pyrenees (highest train in Europe) and at St Jean de Luz (beaches) and St Jean Pied de Port (mountains). This was our first time to this part of France - the whole area is really green & lush and it's a bonus to have the Spanish influence as well. Ian & Julie were so helpful with our many (many) questions & gave us some great recommendations for places to eat & places to go with the children. In all, a fab location for a relaxing family holiday!
My family and I stayed at Orchard Cottage this July and did not want to leave. Ian and Julie are amazing hosts and the cottage is utterly beautiful - set amidst a sea of sunflowers. The cottage is really well equipped and comfortable. Julie ensured that we had everything we needed when we arrived - which after a long delayed journey was so welcome. I cannot rate this place highly enough - excellent location to explore the Pyrenees area. It is utterly perfect - even with two daughters!
Our second week at Domaine Lavie. Easy 40 minute drive from Biarritz airport through gently rolling hills. Our first week spent at Courtyard Cottage (already rated) and our second at Orchard Cottage (which is more roomy) as our nieces were joining us. Loved this cottage even more - equally well equipped, immaculate, larger lounge and two bathrooms. Julie and Ian extremely helpful in all matters regarding local area, trips recommended, where to eat and we all enjoyed Midsummer's Eve in Salies music festival, with Ian playing bass guitar in one of the bars. Despite 37 degrees in our first week, our week in Orchard saw temperatures plummet to around 10 degrees at times. But that meant we went out more - La Rhune, Biarritz, Artouste (scary little train, highest in Europe), Salies (lots to offer, restaurants, great market on Thursdays, Carrefour supermarket) at only 5 minutes, max, from Domaine Lavie. The surrounding fields of sunflowers burst into flower, absolutely no noise at nights allowing us to sleep like logs and wake up late, and, of course, being in such an unspoilt area of France. Glad we found Domaine Lavie and a huge thank you to Julie and Ian for being there and being such great hosts. See you again.
This is our second year in a row to stay in Damine Lavie, the Orchard cottage has everything you need for a great holiday - relaxing gardens, pool, walks, BBQ.
Salie de Bearn is a friendly little village which has everything you need - supermarkets, bistros, restaurants etc. Lots to explore and do in the region and also only less then an hour from Spain.
Orchard Cottage is one of a cluster of gites around the courtyard of an old manor house, each backing on to the beautiful south-facing garden with its large pool. It was perfect for our family - clean, well-equipped (for both British and French cooks), comfortable and with bags of character. We were there during a hot spell, and the thick stone walls kept the cottage beautifully cool during the day. The owners, Jules and Ian, were very friendly and hospitable, and provided a really helpful 'welcome pack' of bread, milk, tea, coffee, wine, etc. We split our time between lazing around the garden and exploring the local area - Salies, Navarrenx, St Jean de Luz and the Pyrenees are all recommended. We were pleasantly surprised by how many flat cycling routes suitable for the family there were, as well as the more mountainous routes for the serious cyclist. The unheated pool was a little bracing in April, but we understand they have plans for solar heating soon. As in most of rural France, WiFi is not amazingly quick, but it was fine for checking emails and searching on the Internet.
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