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Laurens Feleus

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Usually responds within 10 hours.

The house

  • Quiet, rural area with some agricultural activity

Detached stone cottage, in the front garden of Château de Tautal Bas. Living room with open kitchen and a door onto the terrace, with wide views over the Sumene valley to the south-west. From the terrace you can walk straight into the cottage garden (about 1,500m2), or explore the private 47-hectare woods. A 45min drive away, you can also do winter sports (see below).

Near the gite is a functional swimming pool (shared with the other gite on the chateau) of 9 x 4 metres a few steps away (basically open from 1 May to 1 Nov) . There is also a "walk-in" shower with sink, and a separate toilet. On the upper floor there are 4 beds, 1 double (160cm) and 2 single (90cm). On the terrace is a BBQ and a garden table with chairs. Inside is a wood-burning stove and there is (almost) unlimited wood available.

Pets are welcome, but guests are reminded that a variety of other animals live at the chateau and estate. Please keep the dog out of the "pool area", which is quite easy to do.

There is a wifi signal in the gite from the house. There is also a good 4G signal.

Registration code


  • Independent
  • No smoking
  • Local contact
  • Safe for small children
  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Fenced garden
  • Pets welcome
  • Cot
  • High chair
  • Internet
  • Fireplace
  • Hair dryer
  • With swimming pool

Availability of 'Cottage Château de Tautal Bas'


Click on image to open an interactive map

Tautal Bas is located in south-west corner of Auvergne - a region that in 2016 was included in the top 10 worldwide most recommended destinations in the world by the Lonely Planet guide.

Tautal Bas is a "lieu-dit", a sort of remnant of a hamlet, which can be found under this name on the map (and also in your GPS and on Googlemaps). The house may well have historical links to the pretty village of Menet, where, among other things, you can find a 12th-century Romanesque church, with stained-glass window made by Igor Stravinsky's son.

The private estate has belonged to the house for hundreds of years and used to be larger. The neighbouring farmhouse 400 metres from the chateau is now uninhabited, but was originally part of what was then almost entirely independent Tautal-Bas.

The grounds are hilly (altitude 850 metres above sea level) and have woods, paths, clearings, and a private lake of about 1 hectare. Several springs can also be found there. No agricultural activity takes place on the estate itself, apart from some logging for own use, some "grazing horses" and a few hobby sheep. Among other things, the estate is bordered by two substantial streams, deeply ingrained in the landscape. One of these 2 streams, "La Sumene" on the west side of the estate, flows directly into the Dordogne River, about 30km away.

As the estate is (virtually) not hunted, there is quite a lot of wildlife, as well as large birds of prey and owls etc to be seen or heard. Due to the fact that the estate is also not fertilised, there is a great diversity of butterflies, wild flowers, mushrooms, etc etc in summer. The forests are very green and shady in summer. Drought and forest fires are not major risks in this area.

  • Rural
  • Mountainous
  • Hilly
  • Meadows and woodland

Restaurants, food & wine

The famous Michelin guide has its origins in Clermont-Ferrand, the capital of Auvergne, some 60km (as the crow flies) away: this city is home to the tyre-manufacturer Michelin: a 1-star restaurant wanted to say "worth stopping at". 2 stars: "worth making a special diversions" - and 3 stars: worth making a trip especially for the restaurant in question.

Despite Auvergne having few inhabitants, there are quite a few good restaurants in the region and the wider area. And, of course, l'Amandine in Valette itself. For the real foodies who are also willing to drive a bit, there are some top restaurants within a 2-hour drive of Tautal Bas.

The emphasis in Auvergne is on the high quality of often fairly simple recipes and ingredients. It is basically a "cuisine de la campagne".

For example, buy a trout from the mountain streams at the market in Riom and stuff it with bleu d'auvergne. Have the butcher cut a cote de boeuf for you. Buy a "pounti" (pasta with vegetables, bacon and dried plums).

Poté de l'Auvergne: salted pork on the bone, coarse sausage from the butcher - fry first, possibly with some onions and garlic, then in water for a few hours on low heat. Then 2 to 3 quarters of an hour before serving, add potatoes, kale, cauliflower and various other vegetables of your choice/cooking time. Add fresh bread and ready.

Find some vineyard snails - found on the estate itself (do boil them out well!), prepare with a "persillade".

Get from the bakery a piece of "pain a la coupe" , a huge, heavy bread from which a piece is cut in front of you, available in Riom-es-Montagnes. Don't forget the "saucisson sec d'Auvergne", or "jambon de pays" - both famous throughout France. As are the rugged cheeses: Saint Nectaire, Bleu d'Auvergne, and the most famous: "Cantal" - very expensive and sought-after in Paris. One of the farmers behind the famous cheese brand "La Vache Qui Rit" used to own the chateau.

In autumn, game is sometimes available.

Local drinking water comes from a spring in Valette itself and is of excellent quality. The well-known brand Volvic comes from the area, though a little further afield. Fresh herbs are inimitably fragrant, and sometimes found on the estate itself (rosemary, mint, thyme). Check the market or also the delicatessen shop behind the church in Riom-es-Montagnes.

Highly recommended is the boucherie (butcher)/traiteur in Riom-es-Montagnes to the left of the Petit Casino on the main street, and choose what you like because basically everything is delicious. There is also a good one in the village of Trizac. The typical ingredients of Périgord and South-West France, which starts only 80km away, are also easily available.

There is no viticulture in the immediate vicinity of the chateau, but Auvergne does have its own Appellation d'Origine Protegé for wine (and many for cheese). It grows mainly Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay grapes, producing more or less Burgundy-like wines in an area in Puy-de-Dome, at the foothills of the Val de la Loire. The area has a long wine history since at least the 5th century.


Tautal-Bas is enormously peaceful. The keywords are nature, silence, space, simplicity. Think shady forests, clear streams, very clean air, breathtaking views, incredible starry skies and quiet village squares. And after walking or cycling, cool off in the pool and blow out on your terrace.

The chateau's estate is a small "kingdom". Tucked away at the end of a small road, it is bordered by 2 streams, fields and an elongated lake, which also belongs to the estate.

Guests can go hiking, mountain biking, pick-nicking, nature foraging, or (by arrangement) fishing undisturbed. There is also a rowing/fishing boat in the lake on the estate and on the property there are several lookouts (chairs at a height of about 4 metres in the trees) for wildlife observation (all at your own risk...).

In the wider area, most typical mountain sports can be enjoyed. It is quite hilly: cyclists and hikers who are not afraid of a little hill will be in for a treat. Once back on the hilltop near the house, stunning views await.

The nearest town for all regular shopping, Riom-ès-Montagnes, is just under 10 minutes' drive from the estate. You can also go to Menet or Trizac: there are also simple shops, a boulangerie, and a café there. In the village of Valette, to which the estate belongs, there is a fine restaurant, which can be reached on foot in about half an hour, by car in 3 minutes.

Culture: Various small-scale events are organised in summer, such as flea markets (the vide greniers), concerts, and festivals around local specialities, such as Bleu d'Auvergne cheese, in Riom-es-Montagnes.

There are also several music festivals such as the Nuits Musicales de Menet, for example.

Almost every village has a Romanesque church, some of them almost 1,000 years old. Go explore for yourself because there is a chance, so to speak, that you can still discover things for yourself in the area, which are not in your guidebook right now.

Sport fishing: the area around the chateau is one of the most ideal fishing areas in the whole of France, especially for fly fishing. (Chilled) bait and rods etc are available in season in the local Carrefour supermarket. Check the internet. Anglers are welcome and there are also some rudimentary opportunities to cast a rod on the estate itself - but please discuss first.

Winter sports can also be enjoyed in January/February/early March. It is about a 45-minute drive to the slopes (up to 1,850m altitude), and there is plenty of room to store ski equipment. And after skiing, warm up by the wood-burning stove (almost unlimited free wood available).

Approximately 50min drive to Le Lioran. There are also 2 other ski stations: Superbesse (45min) and Mont-Dore (1h15min).

  • Bicycle
  • Near hiking trails
  • Near ATB trails
  • Near riding
  • Water sports
  • Mountain sports
  • Flying and gliding
  • Cross-country skiing

Further remarks

Château de Tautal Bas in south-central France. You can easily drive there in a day from almost anywhere in the Netherlands, Belgium, southern UK, south-western Germany and all of Switzerland. Once Paris is behind you, you're almost with certainty 4.5h later at Tautal-Bas. If you leave between 10am and 12pm, you'll avoid rush hour in the Netherlands, Belgium and in Paris. After Paris, there is almost never any traffic. It gets quieter and quieter on the road, until you dash through the hills all by yourself.

You can also fly, to Toulouse, Lyon or Bordeaux and then drive for 3.15h.

Additional price info and offers

Bookings other than weeks also negotiable, especially out of season!

No hidden, no additional, costs. Bed linen, towels (1 pp), and energy costs are included.

There is one other gîte on the estate: an apartment in the main house for 6 people. Information on this can also be found on gites.nl, of course to be booked in combination.

Price includes

Cleaning fee, Towels, Bed linen

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Cottage Château de Tautal Bas has not received any reviews over the last 4 years.
  • Fam, Hollart from Utrecht,

    8 stars

    Fijne ruime gite in een erg mooie omgeving. Prima stek om helemaal tot rust te komen!
    Paar opmerkingen om het allemaal nóg beter te maken: schoonmaakspullen neerzetten. (sopdoek/ dweilmiddel/dweilstok, iets om de ramen mee te zemen), dan kun je (zoals ook wordt verwacht!) ten behoeve van de vlg. gasten beter schoonmaken.. Onder het bed staat een ondersteunende stapel boeken, svp even naar kijken; ligstoelen bij het zwembad zijn allemaal gescheurd; misschien vervangen? BVN op de tv zou wel leuk zijn, vooral als het 's-avonds wat eerder donker wordt.. Ondanks deze kanttekeningen komen we wellicht terug, want het is een unieke stek!

    Comment from Laurens Feleus

    Dank voor de feedback, het gaat inderdaad om de stek, het buitenleven, rust, ruimte, vrijheid etc, de TV is min of meer "over". Voor de duidelijkheid: de verwachting is dat de gite veegschoon en zonder afval wordt achtergelaten. Na elk bezoek envoor elke nieuwe aankomst wordt de gite toch nog eens schoongemaakt. Vwb tuinmeubilair: er zijn 2 grote teakhouten chaises longues maar tijdens jullie bezoek stonden die bij Le Philosophe. De klapstoelen zijn inderdaad aan het eind van hun Latijn.

  • LInda Smallenbroek from Amsterdam,

    9 stars

    We hebben een heerlijke vakantie gehad. Het huis is ruim en prima uitgerust. We hebben genoten van de rust en de natuur. Elke avond kwamen er een paar vleermuizen langs vliegen. De kinderen waren erg blij met hun (bijna) privé zwembad. Als enige minpuntje vonden wij dat het grote twee persoonsbed nogal een hard matras heeft.
    De foto met uitzicht op het zwembad is genomen vanuit het raam van het huisje.

    Comment from Laurens Feleus

    Dank Linda en we zullen eens kijken naar dat bed, hd dit nog niet eerder gehoord. Groet, LF

  • Hermen from Zandvoort,

    9 stars

    "le Philosophe" ... we hebben in een woord genoten! Dank je wel Laurens! Het was helemaal ok in ons eigen huisje met het mooie uitzicht. De bedden waren top, de keuken eenvoudig en prima, de open haard was fijn, het zwembad heerlijk.. De koebellen in de verte en de dieren op Tautal Bas droegen bij aan de landelijkheid en ontspanning. Naast het lummelen op het landgoed hebben we in de buurt prachtig gewandeld in de vulkanische parken. Ook onvergetelijk. Nogmaals dank.
    Hermen, Verona en Lieka

    Comment from Laurens Feleus

    Leuk te horen. Ruimte, Rust, Vrijheid. Groet, LF

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