The Dordogne is the setting for my wedding venue France spotlight today and Le Manoir des Granges. Paul and Philippa became the new owners of Le Manoir des Granges in the Vezere Valley at the beginning of November 2010 and have been working hard to make the property a wonderfully comfortable place for a relaxing holiday. They quickly realised it’s potential as a beautiful wedding venue, especially with the stunning views of La Roque Saint Christophe which is directly opposite the property.
The history of the property shows that it was originally a very grand farmhouse with a series of outbuilding/barns. Built in 1889 of the gold coloured stone that is typical of the Dordogne area, it was derelict for 30 years before two English ladies bought the property and started the renovation process. They renovated the house as living accommodation for themselves and added a large swimming pool in the garden. One of them had a passion for gardening which has left the house with some lovely plants, trees and shrubs including an orchard of walnut, peach, cherry, apple and pear.
They eventually sold the property to some more English people who decided to turn the house into a 6 bedroom rental property and renovate the barns, turning them into 4 individual and characterful gites. They continued to run a very successful rental business for 7 years until it was time to retire.
Paul, a graphic designer, and Philippa, a nurse, both in their 50’s, decided that it was time to change the direction of their lives but they were not ready to retire. Having been on holiday in the Dordogne and Vezere Valley area many times and always thinking about what it would be like to live in France, agreed it was time to make the move and find a business that would keep them occupied.
Philippa tells us of her experience running their beautiful wedding venue in France: “In at the deep end could best describe the last 12 months. Not being fluent in French has proved the biggest issue but there were plenty of friends to help us through. We have continued where the previous owners left and had a very successful first season which ended with a wedding blessing on the property at the end of September 2011.
Chapiteaux en Perigord erected a marquee in the garden. All the friends of the bride, who work in hospitality, decorated the marquee. The brides mother, a florist from Poland, brought flowers to decorate the tables and they looked beautiful. The bouquets and button holes were ordered from the florist in Montignac, copying a photograph provided by the bride. The food, a hog roast with salad buffet, was provided by Absolutely BBQ. The weather was just perfect, Alex looked wonderful as she walked down the steps on the arm of her father and the ceremony brought a tear to everyone’s eye. After the food and speeches the marquee provided the venue for dancing the evening away by candle light. The 10x5metre swimming pool has underwater lighting and was surrounded by tea lights for an even more romantic setting.”
Le Manoir des Granges can host weddings up to 70 people with the marquee situated in the south-facing garden to shelter from the hot sun or the rain! Different options can be organised for the food; as well as Absolutely BBQ we have links with the chef at Restaurant La-Source in Tursac who is able to provide food to meet your requirements.
Philippa continues: “The outcome is a relaxed, intimate, personally tailored wedding ceremony in a beautiful setting, with fabulously comfortable, self-catering, accommodation on hand for up to 25 people. Other options for accommodation are available within walking distance.
Photographs taken on site are lovely but just across the road there is the River Vezere with the stunning Roque Saint Christophe as a back drop – just perfect for a romantic picture or two!”
I love the traditional country farmhouse feel to Le Manoir des Granges combined with the intimacy and exclusivity for you and your guests. You real home from home in France for your wedding celebrations.
Thanks to Philippa and Paul for sharing their french adventure with us.