How we found Les Crouquets

It must have been fate.

In all honesty we didn’t have any intention of moving to the Dordogne, never mind to such a remote setting.

Les Crouquets holiday cottages

Les Crouquets as we found it in May 2006

We left Scotland in Sept 2005 and moved to the Loire where we wanted to stay. We searched for ages, moving further & further out and ended up driving up to 6 hrs each way to look at places which promised the earth but sadly didn’t deliver. Finally in April 2006 after viewing more than 35 properties we found it! A imposing French manoir with 4 gîtes, B&B, a small vineyard and room to expand.

To cut a long story short we agreed a price and fixed the date to finalise the sale.We spent the next 3 weeks mentally planning our future but when we phoned the night before we were due to meet, they told us they had sold it to someone else!

We were devastated not to mention a bit panicked. Knowing how hard it had been to find this we decided to cast our nets a bit wider and look at anything that even vaguely ticked the boxes.

deciding whethr to buy gites in the dordogne

Will we, won't we? A week of weighing up the pros & cons!

And so we found Les Crouquets. It was up & running as holiday cottages but very rundown & everything was badly in need of some TLC. There was more land than 2 people could sensibly keep on top of plus we were townies! Neither of us was sure how we would cope with jumping from the centre of Edinburgh (admittedly via 10 yrs in the Scottish Borders!) straight into the middle of nowhere! And in France too!

But it had a certain homely charm and huge potential. And so, after a week of weighing up all the pros & cons, we jumped.

3 months later we arrived at our new home. It was 3am, pitch black with the most wonderful starry sky & dancing fluorescent dragonflies. Emma & Alistair were in their element -they thought we had moved to another planet!

sheep at our dordogne gites

A welcome from Mary, Biff & Buff

The next morning so did we. We opened the back door & 3 sheep strolled in. It soon became apparent that they and the other animals had been strolling all over. Everything was trampled or eaten, except the weeds which were almost waist high in some places. Rubble,scrap metal & empty boxes were strewn around and the water in the pool was turning green.If it had seemed tired in May the place was now positively exhausted. We were horrified to think the last guests had left just 4 days before …..

we would definitely be starting from a blank sheet.

Of course this is a much shortened version of events – suffice to say we haven’t regretted one minute.

After a hectic whirlwind first 6 months of decorating, furnishing & refurbishing in time for our first Summer season we have settled down and now rush around at a much slower pace!

Life couldn’t be better!





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