Monthly Archives: December 2014

Here’s one New Year’s resolution that will be easy to keep

A (slightly belated) happy Christmas and heartfelt wishes for a wonderful New Year from everyone here at Château de Laumière.

We hope that you are enjoying the festive season. Did you have a white Christmas where you are?

Now the gifts have been unwrapped and the delicious Christmas dinner enjoyed, we have entered that leftover turkey-filled lull that precedes the night before the morning after that is New Year’s Eve.

For many people, it’s traditional in the week between December 25 and January 1 to lazily browse the post-Christmas sales online, or doze gently in front of the big movie of the day after eating one (just the one) mince pie too many.

But it’s also a time for looking ahead. New Year is coming fast and, after all the festivities, it is all about change and improvements. Resolutions often focus on losing weight, or gaining fitness, learning a new skill, or taking up a new hobby. It may be something even more radical – planning a life-defining career change, for example.

Of course, some resolutions are easier to achieve than others.

Deciding on a summer holiday venue can be a very pleasant way to spend a few family hours between now and the fast-approaching day you have to return to work after the festive holidays.

Horse riders, like golfers, often want to include their favourite past-time in their holiday plans. That is where we come in.

4At the luxurious and tranquil Château de Laumière, we pride ourselves on offering perfectly tailored horse riding holidays. You can while away hour after more-than pleasant hour trekking along miles and miles of pristine car and real life-free trails, surrounded on all sides by stunningly beautiful countryside.

When you’re not on your horse taking in the perfect riding country, or enjoying the delicious meals prepared for you at the château, you can relax – drink in hand – by the pool or in the restful gardens, soaking up the sun in a cornflower-blue sky and gazing out over an idyllic landscape that only the Lot department of southwest France can supply.

We think it’s the perfect recipe for a holiday. We hope you do, too.

And don’t forget – if you book your luxury horse-riding holiday at Château de Laumière before you go out for your New Year’s celebrations on December 31, you can enjoy your 2015 holiday in our peaceful and beautiful corner of southwest France at 2014 prices.

There. That’s one resolution successfully fulfilled – and before New Year, too.

A Nostalgic View Of May From December

Christmas is coming; the nights are closing in,
Big coats are needed…
And gloves, hats, scarves and things.

Cowslips carpet the fields around the chateau
Cowslips carpet the fields around the chateau

It’s probably fair to say that we won’t make a fortune writing verses for greetings cards – but while early December has brought a wintry chill to the air that has us dreaming of a cosy Christmas in front of a warm and crackling log fire at Château de Laumière, it also has made us a little nostalgic for the feel of the warm spring sun on our faces.

 

The château welcomes guests for horse riding holidays from the end of April – and those who are lucky enough to be able to arrive early in the season are treated to nature reawakening in the hidden Garden of Eden that is our little corner of southwest France.

 

Pyramidal orchids are a common sight
Pyramidal orchids are a common sight

By the time the first guests of the year arrive, wild daffodils envelope the surrounding fields in their cheery gold and white hues, and the trees are bursting with blossom.

 

Along the sides of the roads around the château and in the fields purple orchids start to bloom in May, to be replaced in by swathes of pyramidals as the month progresses; while the pretty, delicate cowslip is everywhere.

 

Riders enjoying one of the morning hacks with Tanya in May will often spot wild deer or boar along the trails, while red squirrels – so rare these days in the UK – are a delightful and common sight.

 

Meanwhile, bird watchers will have a field day.

 

The unusual-looking hoopoe
The unusual-looking hoopoe

The wonderful hoopoes return in May from their winter migration and are usually nesting by May, and we normally have half a dozen nightingales serenading us in Château de Laumière’s gardens.

 

Ornithologists will be delighted to discover that they’re not the only birds to make their home in the chateau. A pair of barn owls nest here every year, while redstarts – which are as common as sparrows – compete with swallows for bird real estate in the stables.

 

Believe us when we tell you – location, location, location is just as important in the bird world…

 

A nightingale caught on camera by one of the chateau's guests
A nightingale caught on camera by one of the chateau’s guests

In the fields surrounding the chateau throughout the summer from May, we often see cattle egrets, with their distinctive white plumage making them easy to spot in among the cows and grass – and buzzards, black and red kites, sparrow hawks, honey buzzards and kestrels patrol the skies looking for prey.

 

There’s no wonder we’ve gone a little whimsical about May right now. You are, of course, welcome to join us next spring to enjoy the natural wonder.

 

Remember: if you book your 2015 horse riding holiday, whether it’s in May or any other time, before December 31, 2014, you can look forward to a wonderful and relaxing luxury equestrian break in France next year at this year’s prices.

Why We Believe In The Personal Touch

There’s more to a horse riding holiday at Château de Laumière than the perfect location, our idyllic and tranquil surroundings, the fine food and drink, or even the quality of the riding along wonderful trails in our little corner of the Lot department in southwest France.

Yes, we wax lyrical about these things regularly – but we also believe in the personal touch.

Tanya, with three of the horses
Tanya, with three of the horses
The personal touch adds that indefinable something that can turn a holiday, whether it involves horse riding or not, from good to great; from enjoyable to “Do we have to leave? Really?”.

We would say that, wouldn’t we..? Everyone does. It’s the holiday-venue mantra. But while, in some cases, the reality can be some way from the promise, at Château de Laumière we mean it.

And we work hard to deliver on our promise.

Tastefully furnished luxury accommodation, a swimming pool with a view, freely available beverages and wifi internet access come as standard. As you’d expect.

The serene interior of the chateau
The serene interior of the chateau
Most importantly, though, we never forget what our guests are looking for – a complete break from their busy lives. To rest and relax, to ride a horse along mile after mile of beautiful and real-world-free trekking trails, and recharge your batteries, so you’re ready to head home refreshed and raring to go.

It’s our job to make sure the holiday that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on lives up to your hopes and expectations – and then some.

We only accommodate eight guests at the château at any one time, so everyone’s needs are given our full attention. It also means that it’s easy to find a little peace and quiet, if that’s what you want.

Tanya, who runs the horse riding side of things, plans every hack carefully – and makes sure that you’re matched with the right horse which, If you haven’t been in the saddle for a while, will come as a great relief.

Fruit and vegetables from our own garden
Fruit and vegetables from our own garden
Meanwhile, Lynda lovingly prepares all the meals, using local ingredients as much as possible. In fact, almost all the vegetables on your plate will come from the château’s own garden, which means you can measure the environmental impact of your meals in metres rather than miles. And, of course, they’re freshly picked, so they’re simply bursting with flavour.

Lynda will also happily cater for anyone’s special dietary requirements.

To us, the personal touch means much more than just providing a high standard of accommodation and facilities. It means caring enough to treat our guests as friends. And, at Château de Laumière, we do just that.