Uncategorized

A day out in January – Lake Jemaye, Dordogne Sw France

12Apr

Living in the Dordogne is a real blessing, we are surrounded by stunning landscapes from green undulating hills and woodland, to rivers and dramatic cliffs, medieval villages and castles and rich vineyards.

 

With lots of places to visit all year round one of our favourites is Les Etangs de la Jemaye. This a wonderful hidden gem that you would not realise is there as you enter from the road. There are six lakes interconnected and located in a magnificent ancient woodlands of the Double Forest. The monks who lived in the abbeys of the Double in the 15th century, created these ponds by deforesting the area. The water storage supplied by runoff water ended up creating the actual aquatic areas.

As we visited this time on an unseasonably warm and sunny day in January we had the place more or less to our selves and swimming or sunbathing on the white (there is a man made river beach to enjoy here at the height of the summer) was not on our agenda.


We headed off into the woodland along a marked trail enjoing the sights of natural habitat and some widldlife sighting while our new pup, Prune, sniffed and explored this wonderful new territory. You can walk on the hiking trails of 4.5 to 7 km around the pond or you can discover this are by mountain bike or on horseback. For those who want to get fit or push themselves a little more you can follow a fitness trail or do an orienteering course.


Over half way into our walk we were, uncharacteristically, for this area disturbed by a small pack of rather large stray dogs which sadly meant we had to cut our walk short and head poste haste back to our car. As the best period to watch birds is the winter season at the wildlife observation posts this was rather disappointing for us that we could not continue.
We do have to point out that this is definately not the norm for this regional park.


In the summer you can not only enjoy the woodland walks and swimming or water-sports on the lake but there is very good free parking and a cafe where you can get reasonably priced light bites to eat.


Although the nearby village of Jemaye is very small you can visit the romanesque Eglise St Vivian first built in the 12th century but added to as late as the 19th century.


On the route back to our gites we were very blessed to see a family of wild boar cross the road in front of our car and head into the forest land, fortunately we were not travelling at speed!


There are so many reasons to holiday in SW France, Le grand etang de la Jemaye is just one of them! And it is within easy driving distance from our gites.

Connect with us:


Facebook: domaine du sourire
Instagram @gites_chill
email hello@domain du sourire.com
www.domainedusourire.com

A magical kindness

25Jun

Wow! The happenings at Domaine Du Sourire!

Last week we noticed strange rings on our lawn, so we set about investigating what it was all about.

Some said aliens, some said some sort of fungi, some said witches, dragons and yet some said fairies dancing has caused it.

Believing it to be a fairy ring we sat one night to watch and see and sure enough it was not long before we saw something. We weren’t sure at first what it was, it was like sparkling in the night around the ring, it looked so magical. Then it seemed to disappear, and we thought perhaps we had imagined it. But suddenly, a buzzing and a beating of wings and a tiny fairy landed on Terry’s knee. She told us her name is Titania and she was so gracious to allow us to interview her for our blog. Read on and see just what the fairies are doing here at Domaine Du Sourire.

Terry: So Titania, that is quite the famous fairy name in our world and a royal one at that, how did you come by your name?

Titania: I am a fairy princess, and my mother is Arabella queen of our fairy nation, we live in Butterfly Springs. We are descendants of the great Titania of whom you speak. So, my name is what you might say “a family name”.

Terry: O you say you are a princess, that’s exciting.

Titania: Yes, and one day I will govern our Fae folk in Butterfly springs or Champagne et Fontaine as you know it in your world. I am in training to be queen which is why I have been allowed to talk with you tonight.

Terry: You don’t say girl, what are you learning?

Titania: I’m learning how to be responsible. Being a fairy queen is a very responsible role, it involves looking after all the fae folk, young, old or in between, sick or well, at peace or war, o yes, it is a very responsible role.

Terry: O I see, and you probably get to make a few laws then do you!. Is there anything you would like to change when you are Queen?

Titania: Definitely, yes indeed I would, there are many things I would change and one of them is to rid this place of cats! My mother says they have a purpose but other than chasing us to eat us I have yet to see that purpose. Then I would encourage all the young fairies and the elves to dream big and work to make those dreams come true – even the silly ones like growing ice lollipops in the garden all summer long.

Terry: Mmmm. Sounds great. I’d dream of a garden of lollipops easy enough. So, is it true then that fairies love sugar?

Titania: Yes, yes yes! We love sugar but its not so good to have too much! (or so I’m told!) So, we eat lots and lots of vegetables and fruits and we love cream and milk too when we can get past those pesky cats to get some!

Terry: Titania, tell me this then, why were the fairies dancing around and making rings in my garden?

Titania: Some things I cannot tell you, but so you know it is good. I am able to speak with you because you have been careful and not broken our circle, and well I’m soo excited… I will just tell you some of our dancing has to do with my getting engaged to my wonderful Aerwyna, he will be Lord of the fae folk and rule with me!

I should say no more!

Terry: Well congratulations girl, glad to hear that and thank you. Can I ask why you chose the garden of Domaine Du Sourire?

Titania: You can ask but I may not answer.

Terry: Oh, okay then. I’ll ask Jackie if there is anything else, she would like to ask you.

Titania: Well I didn’t say I wouldn’t answer! I was just testing you to see if you would be rude and push me for an answer. Many big people are very rude! But you have been patient and gracious to me, and this is the very reason we chose Domaine Du Sourire because of what you do here.

Let me explain, we Fae folk are kind, compassionate, gentle yet noble folk. We love family and community is so important to us. Helping others is what we small but not insignificant people do.

You are like that at Domaine du Sourire. We see your hospitality to all and especially to those who have a disability. We think your wheelchair swing and sensory room are just fantastic. So thoughtful. And kids, they will just have the best time here.

Because you put others first, we chose this place and even though you won’t often see us, we see you, you and your guests and the fun they have on holiday and we have such pleasure here too albeit mostly unseen!

Terry: Thanks me girl for those kind words, you’ve just made my night! And well, that’s good that you have fun, that’s what we want for people when they come here on holiday to relax, enjoy their time and make loads of happy memories to share with family and friends for years to come.  Do you think any of our guests will ever catch a glimpse of you?

Titania: Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps if a little one believes enough, perhaps!

Terry: I think your fiancée is waiting in you. He looks handsome.

Titania: Thank you, he really is, but I must fly now. Perhaps we will meet again, if it is to be so I will leave you a sign. You will know it. Goodbye Terry, Goodbye Jackie. Domaine du Sourire is now a friend of the Fae folk. Be blessed.

We waved her off as she disappeared as quickly and invisibly as she had appeared. How lovely to have met Titania and maybe if you are to come to Domaine du Sourire you might just catch sight of the fairies of Butterfly Springs but be careful to not break a step into their fairy rings.

PS Titania said we were not allowed photos, so we took some from google (free copyright of course) to brighten this article.

Summer Salads 3 – Easy recipes for gite holidays

25Aug

We had our first guests to stay in May and what lovely guests they were too. POPSY (Parents of partially sighted youngsters) a wonderful charity group supporting families with youngsters who are blind, have special needs and with life-limiting conditions holidayed for a week at Domaine du Sourire.


Kids and adults alike had a great holiday and we hope to see them back again next year. The “Jumbulance” bus they came in managed the country lanes with some difficulty but that is for another blog.


Unfortunately, the sun didn’t shine everyday and we had an abundance of rain and thunder with lightning storms through their visit but that didn’t stop all from having a great time as activities planned were moved to the games room when it was wet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the sun shone we sat in the courtyard and shared time and meals together, Tony O’Reilly, chef – O’Reilly’s recipes (FB) has given us another summer salad recipe to share with you to enjoy as you soak up the warm summer sun wherever you may be.

Our Walnut Tree

Avocado, artichoke & chargrilled chicken with lime and balsamic vinegar dressing  – Serves 4

 

 

Translate