We’re looking forward to hosting you! More information can be found in the menu on the Varzy Cottage and how to Book.
If you have a special request for dates, which doesn’t fit the weekly format, please email me directly and we can come up with a quote for you.
We’ve tried to include everything we can think of in the house. If you have any special requirements, please ask – we’ll see what we can do to accommodate.
We’re also able to put you in touch with various people in the village, such as a French language teacher, if you wanted to turn your holiday into an educational experience. We may also be able to source teachers, trainer or service providers such as artists or musicians, masseurs, yoga instructors etc, who may offer bespoke classes.
The pantry is stocked with a few dry goods, and you are welcome to use the small bar with aperitifs, just buy a bottle of something before you leave to add to it. Gin or Pastis is always appreciated 🙂
Our first venture into French real estate! This small cottage, in the village of Varzy, is ideally situated for visitors with a car who really want to explore the Burgundy region.
Everything is pretty close, by Australian standards! Within half an hour you’re at various larger towns, forests, natural wonders, Roman ruins, famous pilgrimage towns atop beautiful mountains and one of France’s most exciting undertakings – the construction (from scratch) of a medieval castle using traditional tools, methods and materials.
Wineries (domaines) and other local delicacies are not hard to find. Larger market towns are at most 15 minutes drive, and the nearest of these, Clamecy, has a train to Paris around 5 times a day, so you could even have your friends and family meet you for a combined holiday with some arriving by train (we’ve done exactly that)!
Clamecy is also home to the main canal of the region, and has splendid views and vistas that overlook the water. Plenty of places for a picnic.
This picture is the front facade of our cottage, which was once a coach house / stables complex that serviced the grand mansion across the road (now derelict but rescued by the village for future restoration we hope).
At the heart of the Nievre are fantastic open spaces, great vistas and just enough wilderness and forests to add adventure to your experience.
This region is not super rich, nor is it on a well-trodden tourist track, and we think that makes all the difference! There are so many beautiful old villages to explore. Ancient architecture and history laid right out before you. From this area in the image (just below Vézelay) Richard the Lionheart left for the Third Crusade. In chateaus and villages there are stories of nobles with various claims to fame and histories of knights, wars and pilgrimages that make dusty books come alive!
Vézelay is the start of the ‘Way of Vezelay’ – one of the pilgrimage routes to Spain. In the summer, there are many pilgrims making the walk to the Spanish border (around 800 km) and then more, onto Compostela. You can follow some of the pilgrimage walks yourself for a day trip (a randonee) and walk along old Roman roads. Every stone tells a story.
Our recent trip to Burgundy has cemented our desires for slow holidays! Rather than rushing from place to place, we planned to have ‘at home’ days in amongst the day trips we made. It gave us a sense of belonging in the Village. Still plenty of activity but time to rest, sleep, talk and enjoy the sunshine.
In the height of summer in France, it can be tiring to try to zoom from one place to another. So on this visit, we rarely pre-booked any activities, and just let ourselves be guided by how we were feeling, how tired or hot we were. There were days we did very little except enjoy the company of friends and eat great food.
Allowing yourself permission to not have to ‘do’ everything is simply wonderful.