What makes Tarrit de Bas a great holiday rental
Gascony is often said to epitomise the idyllic French country life and Tarrit de Bas certainly reflects the pleasures of Gascony. A delightful, timbered farmhouse packed full of charm and character. Set in huge grounds with wonderful views and a sumptuous swimming pool, Tarrit really captures the spirit of a French countryside holiday.
It is also one of just a few rentals included in our value villas collection - villas with private pools, all the 'right side' of 2000 GBP/wk.
Tarrit works best for families who just want to unwind for a week or two without straying too far from the house - a genuine holiday. It really is a great choice for Francophiles who will love the local markets, villages and cuisine. In the low season, Tarrit also has two working log fires to keep things cosy.
Anything to watch out for?
The landscape is gently undulating, punctuated by the occasional picturesque 'bastide' and barely changed from centuries ago. And the land is still relatively free of tourists too. This region is what French lovingly refer to as "la France profonde". With its hearty food, tannic red wines, armagnac and rural tranquillity, it's little wonder that Gascons enjoy the highest life expectancy in all of France!
The local village - Castelnau d'Auzan - is reputed to have the best boulangerie in the area - winner of many prizes. The town also has a weekly market, small supermarket, pharmacy and bar/restaurant. On the edge of the village is a tennis centre, superb lido and leisure lake - a lovely spot on a summer's day.
Tranquil holiday farmhouse with wonderful pool in 19 acres of land.
Tarrit de Bas has been in the hands of the same English family for over a decade now and they frequently visit. As such, the property is furnished and equipped to be 'lived in' and does not really feel like a holiday home - we consider this a big attraction.
The long private track leading to Tarrit is a reminder of holidays in Tuscany and sets the scene for what will be relaxing break in the countryside. In all, Tarrit offers 19 acres of land bordered by farms, fields and vines! You will certainly have that feeling of tranquillity and relaxation.
All 3 en-suites were completely renovated in 2012.
The main entrance leads into an open-plan living area divided into dining area and outstanding lounge. Both areas are heavily beamed with the lounge benefiting from triple French doors to the terrace. Lounge facilities include huge TV, DVD (plus an excellent DVD collection), vcr and a large fireplace.
Leading from the dining area is an traditional country kitchen recently upgraded with new units and granite work-top and with a Nespresso machine for guests' use.
There's also a handy downstairs cloakroom / WC close to the front door.
Two of the three bedrooms are downstairs:
A staircase from the far end of the lounge leads to a mezzanine landing accessing the third bedroom - double bed, additional single bed and separate dressing area. The en-suite includes bath with shower fitting and basin. The WC is in a separate room.
Guests are likely to spend most of their time out of doors at Tarrit and it's easy to see why. Surrounding the property is a mixture of formal gardens, terraces, a barn (with pool table) plus the pool at the rear of the property. There's also a covered terrace and plenty of sun-loungers and parasols.
The gardens to the front of the house offer plenty of space for kids to enjoy ball games.
The swimming pool (open from May until end of September) is deserving of special mention. For one thing, it's not a bland rectangle, but is kidney-shaped, and large too. The depth ranges from 1.0m to 3.0m (so quite deep). There are Roman steps to the shallow end, and it is protected by an alarm. Its siting is idyllic - it overlooks lovely secluded countryside, and you really do feel as though you are swimming in a little oasis. In our opinion the pool is a real draw for this property.
There is parking for several cars.
And make the most of the fruit trees! In the past, guests have picked fruit from the orchard to make cakes and jam - a perfect 'Tarrit' souvenir to take home!
3x doubles, two with additional single bed
3x ensuites with bath, shower & WC. Additional independent WC on ground floor & outdoor pool shower
Kidney-shaped with depth ranging from 1.0m to 3.0m so quite deep. There are Roman steps to the shallow end. Pool open from May until end of September and protected by alarm. Pool is unheated.
WiFi; 40” TV with free-to-view English channels; DVD library; pool table; 4.5" refracting telescope (unpolluted skies for star-spotting); 19 acre grounds; cot and high chair
No pets & no smoking please
The house lies on its own at the end of a long track: this is a landscape of rolling hills reminiscent of Tuscany. Privacy and tranquility are a real feature of Tarrit. The property is a couple of miles east of Castelnau-d'Auzan and 24 kms west of Condom. Situated half way between Bordeaux and Toulouse (100km), the region is well served by airports - Pau, Toulouse and Bordeaux are all easily accessible.
Nearest village / town: Eauze (13km)
Nearest beach: The resorts of Sud Landes - a good 2½ hour drive. This is not really the choice of property for beach-lovers!
Boulangerie: 3kms - Castelnau-d'Auzan, said to be one of the best in the area!
Restaurant: Bar & restaurant in the village. More choice in Eauze 12 kms and Condom 24 kms. Restaurant recommendation: Les Caprices d'Antan, place de la Mairie, Lannepax - c30kms south.
Market: In the village on Tuesday. Lots more in the region.
Unwind to the pace of Gascony life...
Within 2-3 hrs by car you will find some excellent destinations including:
Reputed for the best boulangerie in the area – winner of many prizes. The town also has a small supermarket – where most things can be purchased - plus a doctor, pharmacy and bar/restaurant. Market day is on Tuesday. On the edge of the village is a tennis centre, superb lido and 'leisure lake' - a lovely spot on a summer's day.
A very pleasant market town which bursts into life every Thursday morning on market day. There's some nice examples of half-timbered architecture too plus a good choice of places to eat. Amenities include a cinema and supermarket.
Sublime, hearty food and red wine, armagnac and rural tranquillity. It's little wonder that Gascons enjoy the highest life expectancy in all of France!
The land is gently undulating, punctuated by the occasional picturesque bastide town and barely changed from centuries ago. And the land is still relatively free of tourists too. This is what French refer to as "la France profonde" (deep, real France).
Foodies should head to Les Caprices d'Antan, Place de la Mairie, Lannepax: this restaurant was the winner of the The Guardian's Readers' Tips: France on the Cheap.
Montréal is an English-built bastide founded in the late 13th century. Further east are Larressingle with its fort and moat, and Condom which claims to be the 'capital' of the unofficial Armagnac region and is home to the Musée de l'Armagnac. Condom's market is a foodie's paradise but a duck's worst nightmare.
This area is little known, outside of France, for its wine despite a number of highly rated labels including Tursan and Madiran appelations. It is armagnac that southern Gascony is famous for and there are plenty of places where you can taste a drop. Many Armagnac producers locally are open to the public or you can visit Ecomusee de l'Armagnac near Labastide d'Armagnac, another medieval bastide renowned for its exceptional arcaded square.
It is an easy ride by car to historic Nérac, a quiet, attractive town on the Baïse river. The old town is a maze of narrow streets lined with 16th and 17th century houses. There is also a lovely park (La Garenne) with several fountains, which was laid out by Henri IV's father in the 15th century, and a good selection of pleasant shops and restaurants. If you're near Nérac, then try and visit the four-tower mill of Barbaste, a landmark in Lot-et-Garonne. It's next to a romanesque bridge on a pre-Roman causeway leading from the Pyrenees to Perigueux. Slightly further on is the walled village of Vianne founded in 1284 when English and French started to fight over Aquitaine. Vianne has charming handicraft shops, glass factory and a lively night-market.
To the north, Casteljaloux, about 45 km away, has a wide selection of shops, restaurants and spa; market days there are Tuesday and Saturday.
The nearest main town west is Mont-de-Marsan which has a summer party lasting two weeks at the end of June. This is a good time to watch corridas or sample the local and less blood-thirsty version of bull-fighting, courses landaise.
There is plenty of history and heritage to explore. In the Gers is Fources, an extraordinary example of one of the region's many bastides (planned medieval towns founded in the 13th and 14th centuries) and known for its annual flower show in May. Close by is Seviac, a site of Gallo-Roman villas of some luxury for their time.
If music is your thing, there is much to enjoy: for two weeks in August Marciac (approx 50 mins' drive away) hosts an internationally-known jazz festival; Vic Fezensac (approx. 30 mins' drive) hosts a latino festival in the last week of July; Mirande (approx 50 mins' drive) holds a country festival in the second week of July; there is a classical festival in the towns surrounding Nérac from June to August.
Somewhat bizarrely, the area around Labastide d'Armagnac does a nice line in sports-themed churches: Notre-dame-du-Rugby in Grenade-sur-l’Adour; Notre-dame-du-Courses-Landaises in Bascons and Notre-dame-des-Cyclistes in Lasbastide d'Armagnac!
Striking a similarly bizarre note is the delightful Gascon village of la Romieu (lying just east of Condom). It's peculiarity is that it boasts a colony of stone cats! It's all to do with an old legend that saw the number of cats in the town reduced to two. See if you can hunt down all 15 stone cats that now reside in the village! True or not, the village is worth a visit - the 14th century collegiate chapel is quite a sight - and the Armagnac pruneaux ice cream delicious!
The lack of large towns makes this area an ideal retreat for nature and countryside lovers. There are many cycling and walking tracks both in the forests and in the gentle country of Armagnac and Chalosse. Mushroom hunting and bird-watching are popular pastimes and there are also good venues for fishing and horse-riding.
At the delightfully maintained village of Barbotan-les-Thermes, you can enjoy a day's pamering at the town's thermal spa station.
Why not enjoy the area by river and take a boat trip along Le Val de Baïse. Between Valence-sur-Baïse and Condom you will pass rolling countryside, castles and fortified villages.
If you are feeling active (Why? You're in Gascony!), there is an 18-hole golf course close by at Eauze plus two others within three quarters of an hour's drive at Mont-de-Marsan and Barbaste.View More Gascony Rentals
Service: Efficient booking service and pleasant to deal with
Product: Superb location and environment.
Product Comment: Delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Tarrit.
Service: Very efficient during booking. Good arrival instructions. Great help during our only crisis - a snake in the bedroom!
Product: Great house and pool and location
Product Comment: Agreed!
Service: My experience with aquitaine was limited to a couple of short telephone conversations with Justin, he was polite, cordial and assured me we would love the house and he was absolutely correct the place was superb.
Product: It had everything you would want and did not have the feel you were in rented accommodation. The place was so comfortable with some wonderful books on every subject.
Product Comment: Delighted to read this. I agree Tarrit has a very 'homely' feel, such a relaxing spot.
Service: Excellent service and communication with the Alternative Aquitaine team. Communication with the owner was also excellent.
Product: Our second holiday at this beautiful and extremely comfortable house! We are returning next year - what more can I say!
Service Comment: Thank you very much for writing - and for booking again for next year! I like your cheese and Armagnac comments - those are very good tips for making the most of a holiday in Gascony! Justin
Service: Helpful and quick responses
Product: Excellent house, the best equipped we've ever stayed in.
Service Comment: Well said! Thank you very much for sharing your comments. It is a lovely house. Justin
Service: Everything work fine, I would certainly rent through AA again
Product: Wonderful peaceful situation with lovely garden and pool. The house is very well equipped, fabulous terrace and table for eating out. The master bedroom has a king size bed, the other two beds would have been too small for us so be warned if you are three couples. Isolated spot perfect for us, but maybe not if you have teenagers wanting action!
Service Comment: Tarrit is one of my favourite properties - it's so blissful here. I agree it's not so much a spot for teenagers - the coast offers more for them. But if it's tranquility and real France that you're after then Tarrit is hard to beat. Justin
Service: efficient and courteous service, thank you
Product: lovely house and grounds, great swimming pool, owner has the house beautifully furnished, all equipment that you'd need, very comfortable beds, excellent bathrooms. problem in some bedrooms in that the water wasn't hot . also noises from the attic, bats or something else, kept the guests who slept in the upper bedroom awake at night. otherwise a fantastic holiday venue.
Service Comment: Thanks very much for writing back. Delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay. We'll look into the attic noise - in the deep countryside there could well be a temporary wildlife issue. We'll speak to the owners. Justin
Service: The booking planning and arrangements were all completed professionally and efficiently with timely and friendly communications throughout.
Product: We loved Tarrit De Bas, even better than the online description. Very peaceful, secluded and picturesque- just what we needed!
Service Comment: Excellent! We hope you'll come back! Justin
Service: All of the staff are very friendly and efficient. Prior to going to stay in Tarrit I had a few queries and these were also answered very promptly.
Product: Tarrit de Bas is extremely comfortable, furnished to a very high standard and most importantly relaxing - the house is set in large peaceful grounds surrounded by fields. My family and I stayed for a wonderful week in August and enjoyed ourselves immensely - so much so we have booked to return next year! As previously mentioned in reviews there were wasps around the pool area in the late afternoons however they were not aggressive at all and indeed seemed more focused on drinking the pool water than stinging us! I highly recommend this property.
Service Comment: It's a lovely place isn't it? Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. It is without doubt one of the most relaxing places to stay in our collection. Thanks again. Justin
Service: Excellent from start to finish and very accommodating with a couple of issues that arose during the stay. I will definitely use your service again.
Product: We spent 3 weeks at Tarrit de Bas and it was the most special few weeks we could have hoped for. On arrival at the villa we were blown away by the size and scale of the land and accommodation we were to enjoy. The setting was tranquil and private, with only some sheep and vineyards as the closest neighbours. The house itself was stunning, and although a little dated in some of the living room areas, it only added to the overall rustic feel of the place. The rooms were of a high standard and ensuite bathrooms to a very high standard made a massive difference. A great place for taking kids, although only if you are after a pool holiday as its not for beach lovers due to the distance to the coast. Numerous lovely markets and towns to visit and the only decisions you will need to make is what amazing food and drink you would like to enjoy. The only negative was there were numerous wasps in the area, but this did not cause too many issues overall. Thanks for a very special few weeks and i highly recommend for anyone looking to enjoy a relaxing week or two with friends and family.
Service Comment: What a nice review, thank you! Sounds like you adapted well to Gascony life - and possibly came home a little heavier!! Really pleased you had such a good break. Justin
Service: Tarrit de Bas is a beautiful house in wonderful grounds. It is immaculately cared for by Wanda and furnished with everything guests could possibly want. The peace and quiet is something we have found nowhere else. The service from Alternative Aquitaine has been excellent from start to finish, including property description and maintenance of this exceptional property.
Product: Everything was wonderful except the pool, which is unsuitable for non swimmers like me. The pool area is full of wasps, hornets and horse flies, due to the surrounding dense shrubberies. The bedrooms need insect screens as the nights were very hot and we had to keep all the windows closed.
Service Comment: Many thanks for your lovely review of Tarrit de Bas, it's very pleasing to read you enjoyed the house & tranquility. We consulted the owners about the pool & bedrooms. Apparently early summer when it's really hot the wasps can get quite active. Wanda has treated the area now but we're sorry if it affected your enjoyment. They also say there is no mosquito problem at Tarrit (no still water nearby), & although it does get hot with the fans provided and windows open guests are usually OK. We hope you were still comfortable. Thanks again. Alex
Service: The info pack from Alternative Aquitaine indicated that there would be a welcome pack, which, from past experience, suggests supplies to get you through your first night's stay - there wasn't such a pack and so we were glad we hadn't relied on this - suggest AA update their property notes! Otherwise booking process was great.
Product: We loved our stay at Tarrit de Bas - the peaceful location, the gorgeous countryside views, waking up in the morning to the birdsong and cattle moos! The patio area for eating and relaxing was just perfectly equipped and we appreciated the access to the DVD collection and well equipped kitchen.
Service Comment: Thanks for replying to the survey. It sounds as though you really appreciated the essence of Tarrit in beautiful, tranquil Gascony. At Tarrit there should be a bottle of wine and shelves/cupboards full of dried & tin goods, herbs and cooking oils - enough to make a half-decent tomato pasto in an emergency! Sorry if this wasn't available - we'll take with the housekeeper. Regards Justin Justin
Service: Alternative Aquitaine provided an excellent service. There was plenty of information to hand and everything was delivered with full instructions way in advance of our holiday. All our questions were answered perfectly.
Product: Tarrit de Bas is by far the most fantastic holiday property we have ever stayed in. It was a beautiful home, so relaxing. It was a real treat to stay there. The bathrooms are beautiful and the beds are so comfortable. On rainy days there is a pool table and a table tennis table for the kids. The shelves are full of books and the tv lounge has a huge choice of dvd's. On sunny days the pool is beautiful and the countryside and villages are amazing. There's even a golf course nearby.
Service Comment: great to read your appreciation of Tarrit and Gascony. We love it too! Thanks very much from all of us, the owners of Tarrit too. Justin
Service: Very professional in all aspects.
Service: we had a problem with the house we were staying in, the sewage system backed up so we had overflowing toilets and effluent in the baths...the owners arranged for this to be fixed, which basically meant that the garden was turned into a building site with diggers and workmen all over the place. Our son had to sleep in our bedroom because of the smell in his. We left early. We informed Alternative Aquitaine about this, but received no acknowledgement, apology or compensation. Very disappointing.
Product: It was a beautiful house, but we had a lousy experience.
Maison de Maitre | Large Pool | Mountain Views
beautiful 19th century barn conversion with private pool