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  • Laid back holidays in Tarn-et-Garonne countryside

    Tarn-et-Garonne is a laid back department of the Midi-Pyrénées in the South West of France, lying just north of Toulouse. It’s justifiably become a popular holiday area, yet still feels uncrowded and unrushed – so no wonder we’ve chosen it as our region of the month for July!

    This largely rural area is known for its beautiful countryside, pleasant lifestyle and its three rivers - the Aveyron, Tarn and  Garonne. Medieval towns and several officially 'Most Beautiful Villages' dot the countryside, including picturesque Saint-Antonin Noble Val (above), whose town hall is considered to be one of the oldest in France.

    The varied landscape is ideal for fans of the outdoors, whether exploring on foot, on two wheels or four legs. The breathtakingly beautiful Gorges of the Aveyron are also perfect for those who want to take to the water for white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking.

    Prosperous Montauban – a bastide city - is the departmental capital, with museums, historic buildings and a huge variety of shops, restaurants and quaint little cafes where you can sip a coffee or a glass of one of the many delicious local wines.

    The majority of our holiday lets in Tarn-et-Garonne are beautiful, traditional stone and tile farmhouses, cottages, converted barns and elegant maisons de maitre - many with their own pool and in glorious settings. Some have special offers for unfilled summer weeks, so you may even be able to grab a bargain.

    To get to Tarn-et-Garonne, you can fly to Toulouse, take the motorail from Calais or drive from the Channel port in 8-9 hours. Start by browsing accommodation, then go to our Travel pages to book a trip tailor-made for you.

  • Our owners star in C4’s A Place in the Sun magazine

    In the Spring issue of the famous TV programme’s mag, the owners of La Chouette in Tarn, a gorgeous FC holiday rental, tell their story – and it’s out just in time for this weekend’s A Place in the Sun Live exhibition at Olympia, 12th-14th April. So you can buy the magazine, read the story and get two free tickets for the show!

    For the three page feature that starts on page 56 of the magazine, Angela Bennison told me the story of how she and partner Simon Crundall came across La Chouette, a winemaker’s smallholding near the village of Puybegon. They fell in love on the spot and proceeded to spend no less than twenty years renovating the beautiful old stone house with wooden shutters, rising to some stiff challenges along the way, not least renewing the massive tiled roof.

    Now the couple are living their dream, having made the farmhouse and its neighbouring barn both their home and a successful holiday property available to rent all through the year.

    Angela and Simon are also well established as members of the community in their French village, fully appreciating the way of life and fantastic fresh local produce. Planning to visit or dreaming of doing the same? At the end of the feature are some top tips for embracing French life that just might come in useful!

     See more about La Chouette ID 157201 and A Place in the Sun Liveexhibition

  • The Hundred-Foot Journey film makes St Antonin de Noble Val a hot destination

    The hit film The Hundred-Foot Journey is the latest from the wonderful Helen Mirren – and it has produced a new star whose role may be silent but is utterly compelling.  This new star is the French village of St Antonin Noble Val in Tarn-et-Garonne, south western France, which is fast becoming a hot destination for fans of the film from the USA and Europe.

    The location was even a major reason for Helen Mirren to take on the role. As she explained in an interview, “I thought it was a charming story and loved the fact it was going to be shot in the South of France. I've always secretly wanted to be a French actress and I thought it would be an opportunity to pretend to be that." 

    Her role is as Madame Mallory, the haughty proprietor of a Michelin starred classical French restaurant who becomes outraged by competition from a new Indian eatery right opposite her establishment – hence the journey of the title, a short distance but great divide.  As cultures clash and food flies, an all-out war escalates between the two establishments – until  Hassan's passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory. This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite, starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and they discover an unlikely recipe for success that surprises them all.

    It’s not surprising that almost everybody who sees this feelgood film wants to visit the location. If you’re among them, check out our lovely countryside villas in stunning settings very close to the village.  Le Ségalar is a beautiful stone-built renovated house in a south-facing position overlooking the Aveyron Gorge and the hills to the south, and is just 10 minutes’ drive from St Antonin Noble Val. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private pool.

    A holiday here could really be a foodie delight, as this is one of France's most celebrated culinary regions. It boasts 26 Michelin-starred chefs and a wealth of regional specialties ranging from foie gras and truffles to the Malbec wines of Cahors or Gascony-produced Gaillac wines and golden-colored Armagnac.

    See more about Le Ségalar and other holiday properties in the area of St Antonin Noble Val

     

  • The village of Puycelci in the Tarn - Photo Friday 19 November 2010

    The ancient village of Puycelsi is just a few minutes from the spectacular Averyon Georges.