Holiday in style at a French château

publication date: Mar 19, 2008
author/source: Anne Coates

Often a drawback to going on holiday with groups of friends or family is lack of space – and the dread of getting on each other’s nerves or queuing for a bathroom! At Château de Garinche there’s no risk of that.

The château accommodates 12 very comfortably with space to spare: on the first floor four beautifully appointed double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms are ideal for adults. Each one is different and the bathrooms are large – one had a fairly narrow bath but mine had a fantastically powerful walk-in shower. Children’s rooms are on the floor above along with a playroom but there is ample room for a child’s bed in the adult rooms if you’d prefer. From the windows you look over the extensive gardens, pool and lake.

On the ground floor there’s a kitchen, breakfast room, large dining and drawing rooms and a smaller sitting-room with a TV plus a billiard room. All are decorated and furnished to a high standard – the stone-coloured fabric on the sofas means you might have to watch the kids but given good weather they probably wouldn’t be in the drawing-room too often! At the garden entrance, a separate loo and shower-room stop the kids charging through the house as necessity dictates!

The pool is an obvious attraction and there are two separate terraces with tables and chairs for dining al fresco. And I’m sure kids would love to pack up a picnic and explore the 15 acres of gardens, orchards and lake or watch the magnificent cows ruminating in a neighbouring field.

With all the tranquility, privacy and space at Chateau de Garinche it would be tempting to stay put, only venturing to the village a kilometre away to buy supplies but the Dordorgne region has much to offer from historic châteaux and fabulous caves to the Bordeaux Vinyards and attractive small towns like Sarlat plus masses of water sports.

There’s something to suit most tastes and sharing a holiday means that you can divide up into interest rather than family groups for an excursion, then gather at the end of the day to swap experiences over a leisurely dinner eaten on one of the terraces – perhaps prepared by the excellent cook and housekeeper, Elisabeth, who lives on the estate.

The only problem booking into such a lovely château is returning home to rather less luxurious surroundings!

Extras to pack

  • Baby/child monitor
  • Hairdryer

Château de Garinche is one of over 150 high class French properties listed on the specialist site  or tel:  0845 389 9581

Prices range from £3250 to £4250 per week depending on season. This includes twice weekly cleaning and all linen.

Catering is available for an additional charge paid directly to Elisabeth (€15 euros per hour).

Babysitting can be arranged.

Getting there

  • Airports: Limoges (60km), Bergerac (70km)
  • Train station: Thiviers (1km)
  • Nearest town: Thiviers (1km)

Anne's trip was organised by Simply Chateau.