If you are dreaming of a trip to the South of France (and who isn't?!), I have the ideal bed and breakfast for families in Dordogne! Le Chèvrefeuille is the friendliest B&B I've ever encountered. It's more than a place to stay; Le Chèvrefeuille provides a relaxing retreat for families. The Dordogne region makes a great choice for families with its welcoming vibe, beautiful scenery and kid-pleasing activities.
Welcome to Le Chèvrefeuille
Dordogne is about 10 hours by car from our house in the Netherlands. When I told my husband where we were going he thought I was crazy to suggest such a long road trip with our three little ones. But, mon Dieu, the long journey was worth it!
Our trip to France coincided with a summer heat streak and we drove (without car air conditioning) the long, hot, and dusty trek to the small village of Saint Cyprien, where you can find Le Chèvrefeuille B&B and Gîte (apartment). Our three young boys talked about one thing the whole way: swimming in a pool.
My husband and I were sweaty, crabby and tired by the time we turned onto the drive at Le Chèvrefeuille at last. All we could think about was cooling off. We looked around at the turreted roof towers, horses to our right, and chicken scattered all around—and tried to figure out if we were in the correct place.
Sara, one of the inn's owners, heard our approach via the gravel drive and met us on the terrace. She greeted us with a jovial, “Hello! Please, sit down. What can I bring you to drink?” As our boys chased the hens and gaped at the huge courtyard fish pond, I knew immediately we had arrived at a place of French countryside perfection.
A Bed and Breakfast for families in Dordogne
Sara and her husband bought their bed and breakfast from the property's original farm descendants. The main house is 400 years old, which the inn owners converted from the barn/house where the previous tenants slept together with their animals. Eventually the current owners added additional rooms and even apartments for their B&B guests.
We stayed in the family suite, a large and airy space made from brick, with classic French wrought iron accents. The suite provided plenty of space for two adults and three little kids. Our private bathroom came equipped a tub/shower and room to store all of our bathroom needs. The inn offers neither air conditioning nor screens on the windows. However, it was 90+ degrees Fahrenheit during our stay and I can honestly say that our ceiling fan provided adequate relief from the heat and we were not pestered by any bugs.
Things to do at Le Chèvrefeuille
Our first order of business: jumping into the inn's beautiful saltwater pool to cool off! Set upon a hill overlooking a rolling green valley, this was just what we had been dreaming of. This cool, clean watery oasis was surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas for shade. There were even water wings, toys and other flotation devices available. My boys are still talking about their fantastic vacation…to the pool.
Outfitted with a croquet yard, swings, and a bunny hutch—there was plenty to keep our kids occupied outdoors. Inside the main house we found an entire children's playroom filled with nearly every kind of toy imaginable, from Thomas to Mega Bloks, to video games and books galore. Sara and her husband's two children live on property, so they know what kids want!
As an added bonus, other guests' children provided a delightful diversion for our offspring. Although the kids spoke a menagerie of languages…French, Dutch, English…it made no difference. Children speak the international language of play.
Included breakfast is part of the allure of staying at a B&B and Le Chèvrefeuille's delicious spread did not disappoint. Since Sara and her husband (a gourmet chef) serve dinner to their guests three nights per week, my husband and I decided to celebrate our anniversary here. To start, we dined on a homemade tapenade served with fresh breads and a tri-color salad of avocado, tomato and one-day old goat cheese with basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Our main course of duck confit with cherry sauce and market vegetables was as good as it sounds. To top it off, we savored a cheese plate, followed by berries with vanilla ice cream. Everything tasted as if it were picked and grown right on the farm.
Exploring Dordogne, France
There's a seemingly endless list of things to do in Dordogne. Children will enjoy exploring the Grotte de Rouffignac prehistoric caves, Le Conquil dinosaur park, a nearby water park, the Chateau Castelnaud‘s medieval fortress and museum, an aquarium that boasts 6,000 types of fish, and more. Parents will appreciate the area's charming villages, plentiful local wine shops, and night markets. My family is already planning to return to Le Chèvrefeuille next year to take in more of the region's sites and soak up the inn's hospitality.
There's a special warmth and relaxed feeling that comes along with a family bed and breakfast like Le Chèvrefeuille. If you're interested in visiting this inn, be sure to book early! Le Chèvrefeuille is a popular destination, with many families coming back here year after year. If you'd like even more space, two gîtes (self catering apartments) are available on-site to reserve as well.
What do you think about staying at a bed and breakfast with children? Let us know in the comments below!
A Note from The Nomadic Travel Mama: My family and I stayed at Le Chèvrefeuille at a discounted media rate. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
All photos by Farrah Ritter.