Our Story

 

In 2018 we decided to leave the rat race in the UK and move to southern France for a complete change of 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 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. 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 winding 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 deer and boar in the woodlands, to foxes, badgers, red squirrels, snakes and lizards, tawny owls, nightingales, buzzards, hoopoes, 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. We also have the happiest free-roaming chickens alive, 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 and locally available materials as much as possible. We strive to source vintage furnishings and up-cycle wherever feasible. Future plans include refurbishing the barn into a gite, and creating a studio apartment below the farmhouse. Our plans also include incorporating solar panels and harnessing rainwater, to become as sustainable and as low-impact as possible. And most importantly, we have great plans for a beautiful organic pool, filtered using only aquatic plants.

We very much look forward to your stay, so that you will experience this magical place too.

Brendan & Nicki xx

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