In the latest in our series of interviews with Gite owners, we meet Isabel Lootens, a Belgian who has made a corner of the Lot-et-Garonne her own with La Moulinal gites.
Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France?
We have bought the gites in 2006. We had been traveling a lot to France before and had been dreaming about buying our own little paradise for a while. When we saw the domain, it was ‘love at first time’: exactly how we had dreamed it!
Q: What do you love about France?
We love France because there are so many things to see. Nature is wonderful, the country is rich on history. There are mountains, sea, woods, picturesque villages, vibrant cities, good food, lots of activities to do, …
Q: What made you choose the region in which you have settled?
We especially love the south-west of France, more in particular the Lot-et-Garonne. In this part of France one can enjoy the sun from early in the year. Spring is beautiful, with lots of sunshine and the beauty of the awakening nature, with lots of flowers, blossoms and green fields. Summers are warm with beautiful long evenings on the terrace. Also September and October are very enjoyable with lots of sunshine.
The Lot-et-Garonne is a hidden gem in France, also called ‘little Tuscany’, with its rolling hills, sun flowers, medieval villages (bastides). The region is just south from the better known Dordogne region.
Excellent wines, foie gras, local fresh fruit and vegetables that you can find on the local markets are some of the products of the region. Enjoy the many restaurants, where you get outstanding quality for your money, or enjoy the atmosphere of an evening market, the Lot-et-Garonne is all about good life.
If you like to relax in an unspoilt environment, in a region full of history, where living is good, sun is abundant and evenings are long, come to the Lot-et-Garonne.
Q: Tell us three things you like best about your Gite
– The gites are quietly hidden in the green, but still close enough to the nearest village
– The gites are full of character, with everything you need to have a relaxing and comfortable stay
– We love our big sun oriented pool and pool area where you can soak up the sun from april on
Q: What one thing would your previous guests say about your Gite?
Delightful and relaxing stay in charming houses! Great setting, fantastic pool! Feeling fully rested!
Q: What is your favourite attraction near to your Gite?
Walk the streets of the nearby medieval villages (Monflanquin, Villereal,…), visit castles, cycle along the ‘canal du midi’,…
Q: What’s the oddest thing about the French culture that you’ve experienced?
Opening hours of shops are not always as client oriented as I would love them to be (closed between noon and 2:30pm for example)
Q: Which do you prefer and why – Entrecote Frites, Fish ‘n’ Chips or a good curry?
As a Belgian I love a good entrecote-frites, but there are so many other things I love to enjoy when being in the Lot-of-Garonne, where fresh fruit, vegetables, quality meat, foie gras, excellent cheeses, wines, … are part of the package!
Thank you Isabel. Visit the website: www.gites-lamoulinal.eu