Explore the Area
Manoir La Croix de La Jugie is in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine, in the South West of France, within the historical Limousin area. The Limousin is the most underpopulated region of France and was known for its luscious landscapes, rolling hills, fields, farms and fairy-tale forests. It's also famed for its many lakes and is sometimes known as the French Lake District.
With plenty of walking and cycling routes starting from the Manoir, and golf courses, riding schools and even a circus school nearby, you won't get bored! There are delicious traditional French restaurants within a few minutes drive (our local Michelin Starred restaurant is divine), and weekly markets or supermarkets for buying provisions. You can also lose yourself in beautiful old chateaux, celebrated museums, gorgeous villages and historic towns and tempting brocantes (antiques shops). Or just relax by the pool with a glass of something cool.
Here are a few of our favourite things to do:
Lose yourself in Limoges
A wonderful medieval city, Limoges is perfect for wandering and watching. Pay a visit to the covered market and gorge on cheeses and other delicacies, pick up a present for yourself in the chic French shops, people watch from a pavement cafe, enjoy a long leisurely dinner at a renowned restaurant. The Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, Porcelaine Museum and the Butcher's Quarter are all well worth a visit.
Go to the Zoo
Great for entertaining the kids, Parc Zoo Reynou is a petting farm and zoo and is a wonderfully unexpected treat. Hidden in a valley in the grounds of an old porcelain factory, its just 20 minutes away from the Manoir, so no long car journey either!
There are hundreds of lakes in the Limousin (just a few of the local ones can be found here) and during the summer they make a great substitute for the sea. One of our nearest is at St Hilaire les Places which has a lovely sandy beach, lifeguard and play area. The perfect place to get sand in your sandwiches.
If you are after a thought-provoking and emotional moment on your holidays, the hugely significant Oradour-sur-Glane WWII site is a must. Whilst it's not a light-hearted day out, it's a fascinating look at a terrible piece of war history and an incredibly moving monument to actions we should not forget.
Amble Round an Abbey
Solignac, just 20 minutes drive from the Manoir is a picture-perfect little village with two lovely restaurants (but of course) and a beautiful Medieval Abbey just right for wandering around for an hour or two. The adjoining, larger, village of Le Vigen has a farmer's market every Sunday which is great for picking up supplies for the rest of your stay.
Follow in the King's footsteps
Whilst we know Richard the Lionheart as an English King, has was also a French nobleman ruled various large parts of France over his lifetime. He gained the moniker Lionheart for his courage and skill in battle, and many of his most famous battles took place in the Limousin and surround regions. You can visit many of this historically important and beautiful spots on a driving tour of the area, the Route Richard Coeur de Lion, and the closest spots are handily very close indeed at just 10 minutes drive.
Climb a castle
The ruins of the Chateau de Chalucet a-top a wooded hill are perfect for a magical ramble through sun-dappled glades, playing hide and seek with the elves, before conquering the massive stone ruins of this historically important castle. Bring a picnic for a day of it or just pop back to the Manoir, it's only 10 minutes drive.
Venture further afield
There are super villages, towns, hills, lakes and national parks to explore all within a comfortable drive for a morning or day out.
Going for a Walk
With such marvellous rolling hills and scenery around you, you might just want to get into nature and set off for a ramble. Whilst there isn't the same network of footpaths as in the UK, the tiny roads and lanes are perfect for wandering along. We have a few suggested routes you can DOWNLOAD here:
In the village
Under 20 minutes drive
The Limousin is also known for its proud farming heritage and, by association, its food. Rich cassoulets of the South West are a speciality here, the capital of Foie Gras, Thiviers, is not far, and the famed Perigueux, is great for a day trip. The Limousin is famous for its beef, the Limousin Cattle you'll see everywhere, but also for its lamb, apples (and cider!) and flognard, the local sweet dessert, as well as the usual local cheeses, cured meats, breads, pastries and fresh produce.
Our local cooks source their ingredients straight from local producers, of which there are many in the surrounding villages and farms. There are local farmers markets where you can pick up fresh and artisan produce, and Le Comptoir in the village carries stock from several local producers as well. Just 5 minutes drive from us is a small but thriving saffron farm. We also have a tame wine expert who will come to the Manoir for wine tastings, so you don't even have to move to indulge.
Humble, hearty meals are transformed into mouthwatering dishes at several well-known restaurants nearby, including a Michelin-starred converted water mill which is just 10 minutes drive from the Manoir. The food at its sister restaurant is just as divine, and its also a tad closer, and easier on the wallet too!
Moulin de La Gorce £££££ - nr La Roche L'Abeille, 15 mins
Au Table du Moulin £££ - La Roche L'Abeille, 10 mins
Au Petit Chef £ - Nexon, 10 mins
L'Instant Gourmand ££ - £££, near Nexon, 10 mins
A La Bonne Cave ££, St Yrieix, 15 mins
Lo Vinataud £-££, Vicq sur Breuilh, 15 mins
Chez Alfonse £££ - Limoges, 30 mins
La Table du Couvent £££ - Limoges, 30 mins
Boeuf a La Mode £££ - Limoges 30 mins
The two restaurants in the covered market are brilliant for lunch, choose the set menu ££ - Limoges, 30 mins
Les Petits Ventres £££ - Limoges, 30 mins
La Part des Anges ££ - Segur le Chateau, 35 mins
Markets and producers
Le Comptoir, the village shop. Opening hours usually 7-11h and 16-19h during the week. Check this years with our housekeepers
Farmers Market at Le Vigen, Sunday mornings
Farmers Market at La Roche l'Abeille, fortnightly on Wednesday evenings. More info here.
General morning market at Coussac Bonneval, Thursday mornings
General morning market at Nexon, Friday mornings
Look out for signs when you are driving around and call in a farms and houses selling their own rich produce.