In 2018 we decided to leave the rat race in the UK and move to southern France for a complete change in lifestyle. We wanted to live more in harmony with nature, more ecologically, more sustainably.
Nicki’s professional background is architecture and interior design, most recently refurbishing 4* and 5* hotels in London, the English countryside and abroad. She therefore brings a wealth of experience to their own hospitality business, with a much more relaxed style and sense of place, and ecological values. She also has a passion for photography, particularly with regards to the beauty of the outdoors, wildlife and the capturing the culture of a place.
Brendan’s background is telecoms/IT, however his heart lies with the outdoors, his passion for bird-spotting, living organically, and drawing on his own resourcefulness in creating any manner of things.
Since we met just 4 years ago, our common dreams, drives and vision has led us to this enchanting area of South-West France. We fell in love with Saint Antonin Noble Val, its rivers, gorges and surrounding countryside, the first time we visited the area. It felt like home, and we decided to make it our home.
Sourrettou is set within 6 acres of land, the grounds of a beautiful old stone French farmhouse in a private valley, around most of which guests are free to roam. Ours is the last house on a country lane so it's very quiet and peaceful, with a soundtrack of singing cicadas. The only traffic you're likely to see is the odd passing tractor. At least half of the land is a wild wooded hillside, traversed by a few windy paths up its steep slopes, an occasional children’s den to be discovered hidden away beneath an old apple tree, or beside a natural source. Sourrettou plus the surrounding valleys are brimming with all sorts of wildlife, from secretive roe deer and boar in the wooded dells, to foxes, badgers, red squirrels, snakes and lizards, tawny owls, nightingales, buzzards, hoopoes, hummingbird hawkmoths, and too many insects and butterflies to mention. An apple orchard, an abundance of other fruit trees, as well as honeysuckles, buddlea, lavender, and many other plants, encourage bees and butterflies. And as if that wasn’t enough, they have free-roaming chickens, an organic potager vegetable garden, owl’s nesting boxes, and a dovecot. And of course there’s the resident Ragdoll pussycat Loulou!
Our philosophy aims to use reclaimed materials and locally available materials as much as possible. The kitchen is a hand crafted wooden structure, crafted using Ash, Oak and Hazel from the sites own woodland. The bathroom features recycled 16th century terracotta floor tiles found in an ancient forge along the river Aveyron gorge. The spaces are furnished with French vintage finds, embellished with a few tribal rugs and cushions from the Middle East. We source vintage pieces, and up-cycle wherever possible. Future plans include incorporating solar energy, and harnessing rainwater, to become as sustainable and as low-impact as possible.
We very much look forward to your stay.
Brendan & Nicki