The Le Mas & Le Mazet blog

Here are various blogs about Le Mas & Le Mazet and the Dordogne. We hope you find them useful – if you want to recommend a subject for us to write about, please contact us!

  • Visiting the Grotte de Combarelles
    Visiting the Grotte de Combarelles Homo sapiens sapiens, or Cro-Magnon, arrived in the Dordogne-Vézère 35,000 years ago. So much of their lives has been discovered, such as decorative items (beads, pierced teeth, bracelets), sculptures and engravings on bone and stone, and by the magnificent caves and decorated shelters. If you’re interested in the prehistoric period and/or in art, it’s worth visiting the Grotte de Combarelles. There are very limited number of people allowed into the caves each week, by guided tour and it’s quite a complicated way of buying tickets, but if you stay at Le Mas & Le … Read more
  • Filming in Monpazier
    Filming in Monpazier Monpazier is a beautiful medieval town, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. For this reason, there is often filming in Monpazier for movies set in medieval locations. Perhaps the best-known is Ridley Scott’s film ‘The Last Duel‘ staring Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck. It’s a really interesting film telling the story of an alleged rape and the subsequent duel, the last in France to be sanctioned by the king, between the husband of the victim and the alleged rapist. It was believed that God would vanquish whoever was lying during … Read more
  • Eating at Le Vieux Logis
    Eating at Le Vieux Logis Le Vieux Logis is a beautiful hotel in Trémolat in the Dordogne, about 25 minutes drive from Le Mas & Le Mazet. It’s has one of the best restaurants in the area, awarded a Michelin star, so if you’re looking to celebrate a birthday or just want an amazing meal in a stunning setting, we recommend eating at Le Vieux Logis. The centre of the village isn’t very big, with a village square and behind it the 4-star hotel, Le Vieux Logis. They have their own parking around the back of the hotel, just … Read more
  • A guide to Bergerac
    A guide to Bergerac Bergerac is a beautiful town on the river Dordogne, well worth spending a morning or afternoon there to explore. So here is our guide to Bergerac, for when you’re staying at Le Mas & Le Mazet! Spend half an hour at Dordonha, a new small museum in the centre which tells the story of the town from prehistoric man to the present day. We think it’s well worth a visit, and it has an exhibition space in it as well and a fab courtyard. Then go onto two great concept stores which are fun to … Read more
  • Wild boar, deer and stags in our garden
    Wild boar, deer and stags in our garden We have a lot of fruit and nut trees in our garden at Le Mas & Le Mazet, and we’re surrounded by field and woods. So there is a good chance that you’ll see deer grazing when you stay here – and if you’re very lucky you’ll see wild boar, deer and stags in our garden. Some of our guests said that they heard load snorting and chomping one night, coming from the area of the garden with fruit trees. We have a motion-detector nighttime camera for guests to use for … Read more
  • Flying over the Dordogne
    Flying over the Dordogne There are many ways to enjoy the stunning countryside, châteaux and rivers, but flying over the Dordogne is one of the most spectacular. If you’re staying at Le Mas & Le Mazet, we can arrange for you to take a 30-minute flight from a local aerodrome. The planes are 4-seaters, so they take the pilot and three guests. After taking off, you’ll head towards Limeuil, where the Dordogne and Vézère rivers converge. Then you’ll follow the Dordogne river over the châteaux of Marqueyssac, Beynac and Castelnaud, which look amazing from above. You really do get … Read more
  • Dancing in Monpazier in the Dordogne
    Dancing in Monpazier On Tuesday evenings throughout the summer, there is live music in Monpazier and the chance to join in dances to the traditional music from this region of France, the Occitanie. Dancing in Monpazier in the Dordogne is brilliant fun! The musicians and dancers gather at the gates to the village, which is officially one of The Most Beautiful Villages of France (Le Plus Beaux Villages de France). They then walk down to the main square, playing music and inviting everyone to join in. After dancing on the main square, they then return to the other first … Read more
  • Christmas in the Dordogne
    Christmas and New Year in the Dordogne Christmas and New Year in the Dordogne can be a spectacular experience, mainly due to the clement weather (hopefully!), the amazing food and wine and the festive experiences taking place. Le Mas & Le Mazet are decorated with trees, holly from our neighbouring woods and mistletoes from our own garden. The fires will be lit when you arrive, ensuring that your stay will be warm and cozy. So what’s the weather like at Christmas? It’s very unlikely that it’ll be a white Christmas here, you’re more likely to be able to sit … Read more
  • Antique-hunting in the Dordogne
    Antiques, brocantes, vide-greniers in the Dordogne You will see flyers advertising a local “brocante” or “vide- grenier” when you’re driving around. There are some great antiques in the Dordogne to be found! My first job was as an auctioneer in the UK, running the fortnightly general sales. Everything would come into the saleroom, and from there be valued and either sold in the general sale or in a specialist sale. Handling ceramics, silver, furniture, researching paintings and books, and going through the jewellery with a specialist was the best way of learning about art and antiques. I then moved … Read more
  • Test guests at Le Mas & Le Mazet
    Test guests at Le Mas & Le Mazet In the past 3 weeks, 20 friends have come to stay at Le Mas as test guests. They ignored the builders (and us!) and put the house through its paces – trying out all the bedrooms, showers and baths, cooking in the kitchen, lying in the sun and jumping in the pool, visiting local tourist attractions and restaurants. At the end of their stay they filled out questionnaires. The location, stunning views, attention to detail and the character and comfort of the place were all praised. There were recurring themes like … Read more
  • Getting to grips with a big property
    Getting to grips with a big property In the Netherlands there is a brilliant TV programme called ‘Ik vertrek’ (I’m leaving). When we announced that we were leaving Amsterdam to move here, the first question everyone asked was if we were going to be on ‘Ik vertrek’. Not wanting a million viewers to see how obsessed I was with colour coding the packing boxes, with my excel budget (approx 1,200 costs over 5 pages including a 3 year cashflow chart) and with weekly (soon to become daily) two-country to-do lists… I thought it best not to participate. The programme … Read more
  • Ricard and stroopwafels
    Ricard and stroopwafels We’ve been meeting our new neighbours. There are 85 of them in our village, but it’s so spread out I’m not sure where they all are…We started with the most important person, our impressive mayor Jean-Pierre. Not only has he been the mayor since 1971 but he’s also the most efficient mayor in France. When he granted our planning permission two weeks after we submitted it, our architect’s eyebrows shot up and he refused to believe anything in France could be done in 2 weeks. It’s traditional in France to give your new neighbours a small … Read more
  • Our first month in France
    Our first month in France A month ago we moved from Amsterdam to France. We swopped the security of jobs, a tiny flat and a wonderful life there for an old farm in the Dordogne, which we are renovating into holiday homes. The most surprising change to our lives is time.  Time whizzes by faster than ever, but it’s vaguer and less structured. I’m not contracted to work certain hours, I’ve forgotten how to set my alarm clock, I don’t commute, lunch is when I’m hungry and lasts as long as it lasts, weekends and weekdays are interchangeable, I … Read more