Jill Kirby, owner of a fantastic chambre d’hôte in the Pyrenees, tells us about life in France, the Pyrenees, and buying meat from her neighbours.
Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France?
This is our second year here. I have lived and worked in France for over four years whilst looking for the perfect place and we have finally found it.
Q: What do you love about France?
Mainly the glorious weather and the relaxed way of life we now lead but I also adore the food, wine, lack of traffic on the roads and not forgetting the most picturesque countryside.
Q: What made you choose the region in which you have settled?
Originally I was looking in another area but I came to the Gers with work and instantly fell in love with the scenery. We have horses and it is perfect riding country with hardly ever the need to go on a road. From a practical point of view we are an hour from both the Pyrenees and also the coast, and we have no less than five airports within two hours.
Q: Tell us three things you like best about your Gite
The first has to be the views, we are in an elevated position and have views of the Pyrenees to the south and beautiful countryside as far as the eye can see to the west.
The second thing is that we have no neighbours to speak of so it is extremely peaceful, and the third is our land and being able to have our horses at home – something we could never do in the UK.
Q: What one thing would your previous guests say about your Gite?
We have had so many positive comments but one thing that keeps being mentioned is the warm welcome and generous hospitality you will find here.
Q: What is your favourite attraction near to your Gite?
Wine tasting at Chateau Viella is not to be missed, especially as you can explore the gardens around the chateau. A bit further afield are the Pyrenees so you are spoilt for choice – thermal spas, cable cars up the mountains, Lourdes cathedral…..
Q: What’s the oddest thing about the French culture that you’ve experienced?
Fetes always start really late and then carry on all through the night – the same goes for weddings, village meals etc. Sometimes you don’t start eating until 11pm!
Q: Which do you prefer and why – Entrecote Frites, Fish ‘n’ Chips or a good curry?
Easy – entrecote frites. We buy our meat direct from the farmer next to the house and the steaks are the best I’ve tasted anywhere.
Thanks Jill. Visit the website at: FrenchActivityHolidays.com.