La Petite Maison

Chris et Joanne Spencer
Chassaing Cheval
St Avit De Tardes
23200

gîtes and chambres d'hôtes nearby St Avit De Tardes

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Complete Property Description:

Situated amongst the foothills of France’s Massif Central and in the heart of the Creuse countryside, renowned for its beautiful rolling hills, forests, rivers, lakes and sleepy villages, a very warm welcome awaits you within our comfortable home. Our 17th century farmhouse is situated in a small hamlet and offers chambre d’hote and table d'hote holiday accommodation in this idyllic part of France, the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Located one and a half hours East of Limoges airport, Monsieur et Madame Spencers offers three en-suite guest rooms, an ideal base for discovering the delights of the region.
Explore the Creuse, a hidden gem in what has been referred to as the ‘French Lake District’ enjoy the many sleepy villages where lunch or dinner can be eaten with us, or at one of the local restaurants offering regional cuisine. The famous tapestry town of Aubusson is a ten minute drive from our chambre d’hote, table d'hote, and offers an interesting days exploring, including, but not limited to, tapestry museums, markets, restaurants, local bars, shops, swimming pool and cinema. Alternatively, enjoy the local walks, cycling, fishing or simply relax in our well maintained grounds or by the many rivers and lakes, soaking up the natural beauty of the region.
Whatever your reasons for visiting us, whether it be a holiday, long weekend or simply a stopover en route to the South of France and beyond, you can be assured of a warm welcome in our beautiful chambre d’hote and table d'hote.

Your hosts are Chris & Joanne, a dream realised, we can now offer chambre d’hote and table d'hote accommodation in our beautiful Creusois home. The search for our home in France ended in December 2005 when we discovered a 17th century farmhouse in a tiny hamlet called ‘Chassain Cheval’ deep in the heart of the Limousin.
Having travelled to many parts of the world including many trips to the East and as far as Australia, following the purchase of our French home, all our holidays and spare time since, has been spent working toward offering accommodation that meets and exceeds the standards that we have always hoped for during our worldly travels, including our exploration of France.
We made the permanent move from the United Kingdom in April 2009, having lived in England on the Cheshire & Derbyshire borders in Marple Bridge, the countryside was already a way of life for us, as were good friends and neighbours, we haven’t looked back since.
Many evenings have been spent discussing detail and design, both of us have been extremely critical of work that we have completed, and in some cases, we have gone back to the drawing board as we have strived to provide accommodation that we have always tried to find for ourselves. We are now satisfied that we have achieved this and are delighted to now welcome guests into our home where we believe you will find what you are looking for, we look forward to meeting you.

We have always found it of interest to know a little bit about our hosts and where we are planning to stay, therefore, this page is dedicated to doing just that for our potential guests. We are Chris & Joanne, we were both born in the UK and prior to our move to France, we lived in a sleepy Cheshire village called Marple Bridge, close to the Derbyshire border. We are now both in our early forties, have been together since our teens and are happily married with no children. Our joint interests include travel, gastronomy, accompanied by good wine and beer of course, horticulture and now, the management and success of our chambre d’hote, table d'hote. We are also both keen to learn to ski now that we live less than an hour away from the resort of Mont D’or.
Chris, an engineer, worked for an American Corporation based in the UK manufacturing Carbon Black & plastics. He held a number of positions during his twenty year career with them, including production shift manager, maintenance manager and health & safety officer. A keen fisherman & hunter, Chris has found the perfect location here in the Creuse to pursue his passion, often bringing home something for the table. Other hobbies include hiking, fly tying and small holding.
Joanne, a City & Guilds qualified chef has pursued several careers during her time in the UK including store management, accounting and most recently, she assisted with the day to day management of a successful bistro. Hobbies include bee keeping, arts and crafts, card making and dance.
So why did we give up successful careers and move to the Limousin you might be asking yourselves, well, having bought our French home in 2005 and year on year finding it harder and harder to return to the UK following holidays in this idyllic part of the world, we decided that life was passing us by at such a rate that it was time to get off the hamster wheel and ‘ live the dream’ that is exactly what we are doing. Come and join us, you won’t be disappointed!

All of our rooms have been tastefully decorated and furnished to provide you with a place of luxury and comfort, each having its own character and catering for that romantic weekend away, short relaxing break or stop over that you are truly deserving. All rooms are en-suite, heated with individual thermostatic control, have complimentary iron, ironing board, dressing gowns, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. All prices are quoted per room per night.

Attractions & Facilities

This stunningly beautiful region of still lakes, fast flowing streams, gentle rolling valleys and forested mountains has been one of the best kept secrets in France. From the lovely old city of Limoges to the tiny hamlets scattered across the hills and forests, and the pure rivers and lakes, discover the friendliness and old world charm of one of the last remaining havens of the “real France”
Whether you want to swim in the still lakes, immerse yourself in the Limousin’s diverse culture, discover the plethora of wildlife, trek the thousands of kilometres of country trails or just totally relax and rediscover the true nature of peace and tranquility, then the Limousin is for you!
You couldn’t pick a better area than the Creuse if fishing is your passion. With an abundance of picturesque, well stocked lakes, rivers and streams, it really is a fisherman’s paradise.
Both daily and holiday (15 day) licenses are available to purchase from local Bars and Tabacs which grant permission for you to fish in many of the best lakes in the area. The charge for the holiday license is around 30 Euros.
With the rambling countryside and spectacular scenery, it’s no wonder that the Creuse region is extremely popular with cyclists. Whether following mapped out routes or simply exploring “off the beaten track “, there is something to suit everyone. We have a range of maps with cycle routes available for all guests to borrow during your stay. As an additional service, we also offer cycle hire for our guests, please see Other Services for more information.
With over 150km’s of clearly marked walking trails throughout the Creuse region which vary in both length and difficulty, this is a fantastic way to see the spectacular scenery and countryside at your own pace. We have maps of many walking trails available for our guests use, and as an added service we can also provide picnic lunches for guests on request.
There are an abundance of Equestrian Centres throughout the Creuse which cater for all abilities. From a relaxing trek to an all day trail exploring the hidden delights of the beautiful countryside, you are sure to find something that would suit you. Further details and names of local centres can be supplied on request.
We have a regional canoeing centre located in La Celle Dunoise which in the summer months offers canoe hire and lessons for all ages and abilities. They also offer guided canoeing excursions along the ‘River Creuse’. Whether you want to glide along the calm rivers, or if you want to try your luck at the centres purpose built slalom course, you can be assured of a fun day out.
There are a number of golf courses within the area, with our local course being just a short 10 minute drive away. Situated just outside the town of Gouzon, Golf Club de La Jonchere is an 18 hole par 72 course set in 120 acres. Please see www.golfdelajonchere.com for more information.
The Limousin region of France is often referred to as “The French Lake District”. Lakes are literally dotted across the area in varying sizes. Many have sandy beaches and offer a wide range of water sports and other activities.
The nearby lake at Chatelus Malvaleix is ideal for swimming, fishing or simply soaking up the sun.
A short drive away lies the impressive Lac De Vassiviere which is the largest lake in the Limousin. The lake is over 1000 Hectares in size and has over 45km’s of bank; it also hosts six beaches, 3 marinas and some of the finest fishing in Europe. You can even take a relaxing train journey across the the lake to visit the Chateaux which is in the middle. A great day out for all.
Hot Air Ballooning
This is a must for visitors who are seeking something a little special.
With each flight able to take a maximum of 4 passengers, you can chose from either a 30 minute or 1 hour flight; this is the perfect way to see the gorgeous countryside for miles around. You can even roll up your sleeves and help to inflate the balloon.
If you are wanting to arrange this as a special surprise for someone, let us know and we can look into arranging this for you prior to your arrival. We can also drive you to and from your amazing trip. Please see www.montgolfiere.fr for more information.
Le Labyrinthe- Gueret
Set in the forest just outside Gueret, this is the largest maze in the world covering over 2 hectares. There are numbered trails which hold clues in several languages which lead you on to the next destination. This is a great day out for all the family. Aside from the maze itself, there is also a picnic area and lots of other games and activities including a giant chess board, tobogganing, boules and much more. Please see www.labyrinthe-gueret.com for more information.
Les Loupes de Chabrieres – Gueret
Home of the Wolves, this is a wildlife park with a difference. Many species of wolf are being bred in their natural environment. You can see them all here from purpose built observation towers where you can get up close to this fascinating species.
This park also hosts an interesting planetarium. Open from April to September, please visit www.loups-chabrieres.com for more information.
Les Pierres Jaumatres
Situated just a ‘stones throw away’ from us, this is a display of 40 rocks scattered on the top of Mont Barlot. This interesting and unusual formation of granite stone is somewhat of a mystery as nobody is quite sure how they arrived here and why they are such a strange shape.
Legend tells us that the stones are a work of ‘Matres’ who were Gallo-Roman Goddesses. Visit www.lespierresjaumatres.fr for more information. There is also a café and an adventure centre here which hosts an Ariel assault course suitable for all ages.
Steam Train Journeys
With a variety of routes from Limoges to Eyemoutiers and Ussel, this is a great day out travelling back in time to the days of ‘real trains’.
Travelling through some stunning scenery, it’s a truly relaxing way of appreciating the beauty of the region. Visit www.trainvapeur.com for more information on journeys and routes.
Centre De La Memoire – Oradour Sur Glane
This martyred village was destroyed during the Second World War and has been left in its original state as a memorial to the 642 Men, Women & Children massacred there by a German ‘SS Panzer’ division.
The new Centre De Memoir museum was opened in 1999 and is a must for all historians.
Walking around the original village and the memorial is a unique and sobering experience. Everyone should visit this village once during their lifetime. Open throughout the year, visit www.oradour-sur-glane.fr for more information.
Boussac
A charming town with various cafes and Restaurants, this town also hosts the famous 12th century chateaux which has been fully restored and is now inhabited. Guided tours are available throughout this magnificently furnished property which is open daily from 09:00 – 12:00 & 14:00 – 18:00. The views from the top of the hill by the châteaux which overlook the town are simply stunning.
The town also holds a traditional market every Thursday, and being less than 12 km’s from us, it is well worth a visit.
Gueret
The capital of the Creuse and steeped in history, Gueret is a mix of new and old. The town offers cafes, restaurants and many shops, along with spectacular historical buildings housing museums, art galleries and much more.
The heart of this town is its picturesque square which hosts a market on Thursdays and Saturdays which should not be missed.
Aubusson
Renowned for its world famous tapestries, this picturesque town stands on the River Creuse. With a local museum which hosts some historical tapestries and also a modern day workshop which is open to the public to see the tapestries still being made here today, this town is well worth a visit for an insight into the stories that this historical town holds.
Evaux Les Bains
This ancient spa town is famous for its hot water springs and now hosts a modern spa which is open to the public.
For walkers, there is a 3 hour trail which takes you to see where the hot waters come out of the ground. The walk also passes by the former gold mine at Chatelet.
If you happen to strike lucky and find gold during your walk, the town has the perfect place for you to spend your findings as the regions only casino is also situated here.