Only poor Harry could go away and end up having his appendix taken out! After waiting with Harry until he went down for surgery I then made the journey back from Cahors through the creepy haunted woods back to our gite. In a bit of a state of panic I packed all our luggage and waited for morning so I could contact some B&B's close to the hospital since as we were due to travel home in the morning. How was I supposed to find somewhere that allowed dogs, understood my pigeon French and was close to Harry?
I awoke on my own remembering what had happened the night before so I went downstairs fed myself and Isla and got onto google. After staying at The Burton, I had become a fan of the website Canopy and Stars and its sister website Sawdays. With its helpful map and filter system I stumbled across Domaine de Labarthe. I called up as there is no direct booking system on their website and I couldn’t wait for an email response as it was 8:30am and our holiday rental departure time was 10am! I spoke to the fabulous Laurence who spoke English perfectly and said Isla was more than welcome. I could arrive at any time and when I arrived at 9:30am I was greeted affectionately with tea and cake. I had explained that Harry had gone in for an emergency operation and she got her husband to ring the hospital and they explained all that had happened and that I could go and visit in a couple of hours.
The room was bright and clean, the grounds were extensive and it even had a swimming pool. I went to visit Harry in the afternoon and they offered to look after Isla with their two dogs which was a massive weight off my shoulders as I had no idea when I would be back that day. Harry was very miserable when I arrived but the room he was in was huge with its own bathroom and a very nice view over the square. The nurses were very attentive and while there was a bit of a language barrier we managed to muddle through. We called Harrys mum and we decided that it would be very helpful if she came out to keep me company and help us both with understanding the doctors.
Laurence was very helpful and arranged for Charlotte (Cha/ M in Law/Harrys Mum) to stay in the Pigeonnier Suite which had its own kitchenette and living room which was great for nursing a very poorly Harry. So, Cha and I began a repetitive couple of days of lovely breakfasts in the gardens, spending a lot of the day with Harry in hospital, sampling the culinary delights of Cahors and then relaxing in the salon at the B&B. Harry could come back with us after four days and on leaving the hospital after days of eating nothing he decided he had the strength to walk across the square and enjoy lunch at a restaurant.... only Harry!!!
Cahors is fantastic with a canal that surrounds it that creates a lovely walk. It has lots of lovely windy streets, a fantastic food market, antiques market, restaurants and extensive history when it comes to wine - particularly Malbec which is a favourite of ours. Domaine de Labarthe is about 20 minutes away from Cahors and is down an inconspicuous back road. You drive up through beautiful wrought iron gates, down a very long drive and turn a corner to the most beautiful house. The rooms were bright, airy and smelt incredible. Breakfast is served in the house kitchen or by the pool with views out over the beautifully manicured gardens. Laurence is also able to provide an evening meal if booked in advance and there is a garden kitchen with a BBQ to do your own alfresco dining. This is also a family home and certain areas are not accessible during family hours such as the pool and the house kitchen.
I would give this maison d'hotes a 9 out of 10 because it was everything I had originally wanted out of our holiday to France. It let us know that self-catering in France was not what we were after. Laurence could not be help enough and that wasn't just because of my situation with Harry she was like this with all the guests.
Isla says she would give it a pawsome rating of 9 out of 10 also as she could be off the lead in the grounds because she was well behaved and they looked after her very well while I was with Harry.
We have one more stop on this journey home which wasn't easy with a very sore Harry!
Until next time,
Licks and cuddles,
Vicky and Fur Babies.