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Nestled in the woodlands, this property is something of a surprise. Its patrician allure, all in regular lines, and its roof on the banks of the Loire will momentarily steal the limelight. Rest assured, the Quercy blanc is also there there to be admired. Valleys and ridges spread out all around the property towards fortified villages and a mosaic of cultivated fields. What sets this building apart is its strength and charm. Born into the 19th century, in enjoys an abundance of space and light with the outside and inside intimately linked. The surrounding landscape trickles through the windows on all sides and the rooms join together in a row as though trying to mimic it. The layout and comfort are such that everyone will feel as at home in their "apartments" as they do in the common areas. Such is the secret of the Château de Féral.
For a long time, we had been looking for a large, beautiful property surrounded by nature in a quiet area of the countryside. We were drawn to the beautiful estates of the Loire Valley region. But with one of us being from Toulouse, and both of us yearning for the sun and warmth, we turned our attentions to Occitania. From that moment, everything sped up! Among other properties, we had a sneak preview of this chateau and we fell in love on the very first visit. Why? You might ask. We had already discovered the region of Quercy blanc, also known as the little Southwest Tuscany. We were utterly enchanted by its valleys and hillsides, but also by the cypresses and umbrella pines! Furthermore, Féral's style was completely unique for the region because the Gascon chateaus are traditionally solid and stocky.
Féral is a "chateau of the fields". It was built in a neoclassical style which is somewhat different from what is typical of the region. The architect was inspired by both the Hôtel de Sully and the mansions of Place des Vosges in Paris, but he replaced the bricks with the blond stone of Quercy. The high windows are surmounted by so-called "lowered" pediments and two rounded pediments, known as "broken" pediments, on the facade to the east. The windows are large and wide, letting in the light and the sun to create an atmosphere of serenity, plenitude, and cheer. In a region dominated by Roman tiles, the steep (seventeen-metre-high) slate roof gives that chateau an appearance that is sober, noble and luminous all at the same time.
As archives are scarce, Féral's history is somewhat fragmented. The existence of Féral, a former stronghold, is mentioned as early as the 13th century when it bore the name of the resident lord, Bernard de Féral, who lived here in 1261. In the 19th century, the Periers, known as the de Férals, occupied the old chateau. Several Perier de Férals succeeded them, including Guillaume de Féral who was consul in 1789 and deputy of the Sénéchaussée de Lauzerte in 1793. In the 1830s, Jean-Benoît was mayor of Castelnau. Pierre Perier de Féral (1859-1940), member of the Superior Councils of the Railways, had the current chateau built and fitted out in a Napoleon III style. His son, Guy (War Cross and State Counselor), inherited the property and died on a mission in Rome in 1967. Féral then had several successive owners, a significant amount of neglect meant it suffered from harmful drifting and degradations. We have now done what we could to restore it to its former glory, all the while bringing a sense of comfort and modernity to create a pleasant holiday home.
A trip to Féral means immersing yourself in a soothing place with a calm and cheerful atmosphere in a green setting of eight hectares. Guests will be charmed by the blond stone as it turns golden in the summer sun, the avenue of lime trees, the woodlands, the fragrant boxwood and the chanting cicadas. Not to mention the magnificent panorama of Castelnau-Montratier edging towards the surrounding valleys. People come here to recharge their batteries and relax, spend time with family and friends around a large table or by the pool, and enjoy days punctuated with laughter and good moods. With so much to discover, the days pass far too quickly! Excursions offer a chance to admire the architectural and cultural heritage of the region in Castelnau, Montcuq, Lauzerte, and Montpezat de Quercy. The Quercy is bursting with gentle landscapes, skies thought to be the purest in France, winding hills, Cahors vineyards overlooking the Lot valley, and fields of sunflowers. The villages are enlivened with a joyful and friendly atmosphere when the local festivals and their "bandas" take to the stage.
Numerous hikes and walks through valleys, hillsides, panoramic viewpoints and oak forests are the perfect way to enjoy the landscapes of Quercy. In a magnificent setting along the Lot, a hike follows the towpath to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Causses du Quercy natural park. A simpler option is a short, bucolic walk through the woods. A botanical path that starts at the chateau can lead to a shopping trip in Castelnau followed by a small glass of rosé in the sunny village square. Sunday mornings can be spent in Castelnau and Montcuq. Our favourite food spots are the cafe-restaurants on the village square of Castelnau, the Italian grocery store and caterer, the café de France in Montcuq (a meeting place for the English), and La Table du Cardinal in Montpezat de Quercy. For a gastromic experience, there are a number of Michelin-starred restaurants: Le Château de Mercues, La Table de Haute Serre and Le Domaine de Saint-Géry.
6500 € - 10500 € per week
The chateau consists of a single, three-storey building: a ground floor and two upper floors served by two staircases, one of which is the main one and the other is a service staircase. The ground floor consists of an entrance hall, three living rooms, a dining room, a kitchen and a utility room. On each floor, the rooms are served by a large corridor lit by high windows. On the first floor are five bedrooms and three bathrooms, one of which is an en suite adjoining two of the bedrooms. The second floor has three bedrooms each with its own bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen. It can be privatized individually. The offer is flexible and adaptable on request according to guests' needs.