I've got to say that this cottage is one of the most loveliest, tranquil places that I've stayed at for a long time. It's a strange place to review though, because some of it is 6 out of 5, and some of it is 3 out of 5. But then again, where is perfect?
I'll try to explain what I mean by that below.
The bad points aren't dreadful, but when you're paying several hundred euros for a week's rental, they could be better. Firstly the place has a spiral staircase, which is lovely and quaint, but a little flexible, in that because the steps aren't supported on the outside of the treads and the handrail is fixed to the outside of them in sections, it opens just enough on the joins to trap skin if you have your hand in the wrong place while using it. When you reach the top of the staircase the handrail isn't supported at all and you can move it a good 300mm in any direction. I'm an engineer by trade and it wouldn't take a lot to make it 100% sturdy. There's also a couple of low beams to duck under in the bedrooms and that's to be expected, but for some reason there's a bundle of power cables wrapped in fabric laying across the doorway to one of the bedrooms. Our daughter tripped over those on a regular basis. Personally I'd have routed them up and over the door and them boxed them in. So you go under the beam and over the cables to get into the bedroom which is extremely comfortable and welcoming, but because there's only three small windows in the upper story it's sweltering up there after a hot day. That's no one's fault at all, but if you want a cool nights sleep, you might want to pack an electric fan or two to go along with the one that Adrien provided. For some reason the bathroom door is clear glass panels, so be aware of that if you have privacy issues The concrete on the top of the front door step is a little crumbly, so watch your step if you're in a rush. The kitchen is large and well-appointed with a fridge, dishwasher, washing machine, hob and microwave oven, but with no food cupboard. that meant that we had bags of shopping stacked on the worktop for the week because we had nowhere else to put it. Also, you might want to take a saucepan or two with you if you want to cook, we only found a small milk pan in the cupboards. Not a major problem, but a bit of a niggle. Also, be prepared for wildlife in the house, even with the doors closed. There are insect screens on all of the upper story windows, but if you actually look at the window frames there are several gaps where it looks as though the cement has crumbled and fallen out. I didn't realise this until I woke up one morning to find a common wall lizard in bed with me. It rocketed under the window sill and when I went to look for it, I could see daylight.under the window frame.
Now ignore all of that,, because this place is absolute heaven.... Adrien and Marion are the friendliest, most hospitable and unobtrusive hosts that you could wish to ever meet. The place is silent, and I mean silent. There's no traffic noise, no noisy neighbours, no loud music, nothing but bird song, insect sounds, and the sound of the breeze. It's so peaceful it's uncanny, and the night sky is absolutely something else, and at sunset there are bats to watch. The views are astonishing, and if you could bottle and sell the air, you'd make a fortune. It's a mile off a main road on a lane to nowhere, and all that's in front of you is a field of corn and a herd of cows. The garden is rustic and delightful with grape vines growing along the side of the house and lavender outside the kitchen window.
Nontron is a bit of a pain to drive around, but Brantome is beautiful and just down the road, and you're within striking range of Sarlat and Domme and whole of the Dordogne valley, so you can just go wild with châteaux, caves, boats, quaint villages and views.
Honestly, this place is indescribably perfect and comfortable and cozy if you can ignore its quirks, and let's face it. Where else can you sit on the toilet and have a pooh while you gaze out of the window across a gorgeous valley full of fields and trees?
Would I go back? Yes in a heartbeat, again and again and again!