A question: which two words in the above title are, in my books anyway, a contradiction in terms?
Yes, you spotted them; they are, of course, 'self-catering' and 'idyll'! In our younger days, such holidays had been the stuff of our family life, from choice mostly but also from financial necessity, as they are for multitudes of families, I know.
What then drove us to even contemplate such a venture, a full eight years after my unilateral declaration that hotels were the way ahead (or down-bank, if you prefer - well I certainly did)!
The culprits, in this case, were one of our lovely granddaughters and her, now, husband! A chateau in the Dordogne seemed a beautifully romantic idea to them and their friends and to most people to whom I mentioned it. "Oh how wonderful", was the general response; "you'll love it!"
How grouchy does it sound to say that husband and I were thinking, 'What!; arranging flights to Limoges, foreign car-hire a necessity, finding somewhere to stay etc etc!'
In the event, husband, himself, found a marvellous place for us, 25 minutes away from the wedding venue, (see above). It looked and sounded absolutely marvellous online and turned out to be even more marvellous in reality!
We had a fantastic week. The wedding, the family get-together the following day at our amazing holiday home, the scenery, the people, the food, France itself, were all a joy.
I promised Suzie and Gary, the lovely new owners of Les Taloches, who couldn't have been kinder and more helpful, that I would spread the word and this is my effort (and, no, I'm not on commission, honestly!).
I was also very pleased to be able to try to show solidarity with the French people at this tragic time of atrocity and sorrow.
Family members, who hadn't been on holiday in France before, were so taken with it, they are planning to return next year. As son, R, said, "If this is to be your last self-catering holiday, it might as well be somewhere this special" and, do you know, it was, it really was.
PS If you should happen to read this, Suzie and Gary, I did say to you that my wheels mostly grind extremely slowly so, for this post to be done only a week after our return, is pretty phenomenal for me and is a testament to you both and not just because of the gorgeous lemon drizzle cake you so kindly baked for us, Suzie; honest!!! We wish you every success in your venture. You deserve it