"les Colombiers" at Bournic

Relax at this charming chambre d'hôte in the peace and quiet of south west France
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'Les Colombiers' is a fine maison de maître at Bournic, a small hamlet, set in a peaceful corner of Gers just a few kilometres from the village of Castelnau-d'Auzan.
The house nestles in four acres of peaceful garden and woodland on the banks of the river Gélise, making it an idyllic and relaxing base for trips of discovery to the many delights of this tranquil part of France. The river, at this point, is the boundary between the départements of Gers and Lot-et-Garonne; a kilometre to the west it is the border between Gers and Landes. If regional guide books are consulted, two will be needed! Gers is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region, and Lot-et-Garonne and Landes are both in Aquitaine.

'les Colombiers' has been awarded 3 clés by Clévacances, a French Ministry of Tourism accredited organisation.

All three of 'les Colombiers' guest rooms are large and en-suite.
Each room has the name of a famous musketeer.
'Porthos' is furnished with a double bed and a single bed.
'Aramis' has a double bed and a sofa bed. The sofa bed is suitable for one adult or two children.
The third room, 'Athos', has twin beds.
All guestrooms are large enough to accommodate a cot or small child's bed, both of which are available free of charge.
There is ample space to study maps and read books.
A selection of books of local interest is available for guests to read.
Coffee, tea and biscuits are provided in every bedroom so that after any 'exploring' it is possible to relax and unwind.

'Porthos', one of the comfortable guestrooms
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Local produce is superb, and cooking, which has always been the love of Rosie's life, as well as her profession, is always a pleasure. Whenever possible, the fruit, vegetables and eggs served are from the garden at 'les Colombiers'. Sam loves growing vegetables, Rosie loves cooking and serving them, and the whole family loves eating them! Any guests with particular dietary requirements are more than welcome, but naturally, Rosie likes to be forewarned! Magret de canard or the delicious poulet jaune often feature in the day's evening meal. A typical evening menu at 'les Colombiers': Table d'hôte menu ** Kir or Floc de Gascogne ** asperges au charbon de bois sauce hollandaise ** aiguillettes de canard agenaise légumes du potager ** plateau de fromages ** tarte au noix à l'armagnac ** café Breakfasts include fruit, ceral, yogurt, eggs and, of course, bread and viennoiserie, preserves, tea, coffee or chocolate. The price of an evening meal is 100 francs, inclusive of an apéritif and wine (or beer). All meals are served in the bright, south facing dining room.

The spacious entrance hall

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Tariff 2002
Large, comfortably furnished rooms, each with en-suite shower, wash basin and WC 1 or 2 people:
55 Euro per room per night, including full breakfast (1 - 3 nights)
50 Euro per room per night, including full breakfast (4 nights or more)
Table d'hôte evening meal, including apéritif, wine & coffee 16 Euro per person .

Thank you for not smoking anywhere in the house.

Please do not bring any domestic pets to 'les Colombiers' .
'Les Colombiers is easily reached by car.
400 miles from St Malo, a comfortable day's drive on good roads.
However, for those who prefer to let a 'plane or a train take the strain, the international airports and TGV railway stations of Bordeaux and Toulouse can be reached in under two hours. Ryanair offers daily, reasonably priced, flights from London (Stansted) to Carcassonne airport and to Biarritz airport. Carcasonne is three hours driving time from 'les Colombiers' and Biarritz is a pleasant two hour drive.
Another 'economy' route is offered by Buzz, flying from London (Stansted) to Bordeaux. All of these airports have good car hire facilities.

The ski resorts of the Pyrénées are about a two hour drive to the south.
Biarritz, St Jean-de-Luz and the other fine Atlantic beaches to the west can be reached in a similar time.
The area is unspoilt by modern development, and is delightfully free from traffic and mass tourism.
It is one of the most agricultural and sparsely populated areas of France.
The nearest towns are Eauze, the 'capital of Armagnac', and Barbotan-les-Thermes, both about 10 miles away.
The air quality is said to be the best in Europe!
There is an excellent championship golf course about 8 miles away where no club membership is necessary. The green fees are reasonable and there is a superb heated outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi open to all.
The nearby village of Castelnau-d'Auzan has a swimming pool open during July and August, excellent tennis courts and a fishing lake.
There are a number of small Armagnac chais in the immediate vicinity who welcome visitors. The larger producers in Eauze and Condom also offer tours. There are good wines to be found in south west France, many of which never seem to appear in British shops. Dégustations are an essential part of any visit to this region!
The local vendage takes place during September, and throughout November, each year, there are local festivities to mark the beginning of the armagnac distilling season.
Whatever time of year you may choose to visit, there is always something of interest happening nearby.
The hospitable Gascon people, the excellent wines and Armagnac, together with superb cuisine make this chambre d'hôte the perfect place to spend a holiday, so come and join us. You can relax in the garden, take a gentle stroll through the beautiful countryside or more energetic walks along well mapped randonnée routes.
Experience the local traditions or simply observe and enjoy the flora and fauna of this beautiful countryside - including wild orchids in the garden and meadow, buzzards circling overhead, and woodpeckers tapping out their own particular rhythm in the woods.
You may well be lucky enough to catch sight of a roe deer whilst sitting quietly in the garden.
'Les Colombiers' is in the very heart of Gascony from where d'Artagnan set out in 1630 to seek fame and fortune in the King's Musketeers. The narrow tracks upon which his eventful journey began still wind their way around wooded hills and across bubbling brooks. Little has changed since Alexandre Dumas painted such a colourful picture of these parts.
Rosie and Sam Bennett 'les Colombiers' à Bournic 32440 Castelnau-d'Auzan
tel/fax: 05 62 29 24 05 ; e-mail: rabennett@talk21.com

'Les Colombiers' in french : ; and... all about Castelnau d'Auzan, in french

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