Arriving at Gibeau

October 2007 - Tom Moore

We drove down from Duras and descended into rolling hills and valleys tamed centuries ago to the tasks of working life. Turning off a road more main than others, but more minor than most, we wound our way to Gibeau. It was September, blue sky and windblown clouds, a comfortable coolness in afternoon air. We passed working farms, pastures and stables, barns and hay bales stacked high. We passed orchards and vineyards and woodlands, land for growing, land for hunting, the road narrowing until it ended and our tires crunched to a stop over a pebbled drive.

We got out, stood and took the measure of the place. The property was about one hectare, but seemed more expansive. North, past the pool and abri, farm fields stretched to the little town of Levignac. Westward, a meadow ran down to a stream. Across, it climbed back up to a neighboring farm and the coming sunset. South, on the other side of the house, lay a private shady grove, perfect for lazy picnic lunches. East, fruit trees stood beside the road back to a world that seemed suddenly, wonderfully, distant.

The house was stone the color of bread, its old bones evident amidst loving renovation. Inside, all was airy and inviting. It felt timeless. Dusk light moved across the thick walls, and windows framed the contented landscape. A long farm table stood underneath the vaulted ceiling. Here was the focal point, the gathering place to share the pleasures of this rural world.

For those who seek La France Profonde, look no further. It is here — the food and wine, the calm, the light, the fresh, sweet smell of the countryside, the deep sense of being relaxed and removed.

Gibeau. An authentic country home for vacation rental in Southwest France. Inquire about availability