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To the southwest of the historic province of Quercy, a bucolic landscape with a Mediterranean atmosphere emerges and runs alongside the last foothills of the Massif Central: the Pays de Serres. A place where the stone shines with a dazzling whiteness and the fields gently sway with golden hues. So many farms have been established small, autonomous fiefdoms over the years. Among them is the Happy Hamlet - it has carefully preserved the traces of its past while resolutely turning to more contemporary aspirations: clean spaces, lots of light and comfort without artifice, so as to give it a more natural feel. There's nothing like a break away from the the hustle and bustle of the world.
After a wonderful experience in a guest house in Africa, we began looking for a property back in France. With very specific criteria, we travelled over sixteen departments, twenty-five thousand kilometres and visited nearly ninety estates, chateaus, bastides, mills, ruins and farmhouses in three months. The region we chose allows us to be at the crossroads of major cities (Toulouse and Bordeaux) while being far from noise. Halfway between the ocean and the sea, not far from the slopes of the Pyrenees, this region of the South West is rich in landscapes, gastronomy and wine appellations. The Tarn-et-Garonne enchanted us with the diversity of its culture, traditions and rugged nature.
Our estate consists of two houses, two barns and several outbuildings. The previous owner raised goats and produced excellent cheese, so it is a former farm. The house that we welcome our guests into is built in white Quercy stone which is known for its proportions and size. The building, without being massive, is quite large and has five bedrooms each with their own bathroom. The stone barn, which was renovated into a multi-function room with a surface area of more than 300 m2, offers large volumes with an oak "cathedral" frame. Another interesting feature of this barn is that some of the stones come from castles that were destroyed.
During the renovation we were lucky enough to find old documents in the attic that take us back to 1580. We had to learn old French in order to decrypt the documents, they were incomprehensible to us. We know the names of various owners, marriages, estates, purchases, sales. We can also quite accurately trace the lives of people who lived here (through love letters, injuries in the Great War, agricultural and wine production, etc) over the past two centuries. According to the Napoleonic cadastre, eight families have lived on this estate. Houses whose foundations remain were destroyed. Others were dismounted stone by stone to be sold and reassembled in other villages. This influx of people has left several water sources with a wash basin and a series of terraces that carve the ground.
In high season we organise classes, mainly focused on well-being, but also in the field of the arts (photography, drawing, comics, literature, watercolour) gastronomy and B2B. We also host events: seminars, meetings, marketing launches, birthdays, family reunions or parties with friends. A natural pond and thirteen hectares of meadows and forests will delight lovers of nature, walks and animals.
There is no lack of good restaurants in the Tarn-et-Garonne. We particularly enjoy the cooperative restaurant "Tête d'ail" in the medieval village of Roquecor and the "Le petit Moissa" restaurant in Moissaguel. At the Lacontal farm you will learn all about Quercy lavender and at Louis', an organic farmer, you can buy top quality condiments. In Montaigu-de-Quercy, visit the cellars of Quercy des îles, a local aperitif which is a subtle blend of four heavenly regions: Quercy and its irresistible golden chasselas, Martinique and its flamboyant rum, Tahiti and its rare vanilla and the Basque country and the strength of the Espelette pepper. A delicacy to discover and enjoy in moderation.
In the heart of white Quercy and hour from Toulouse and two hours from Bordeaux, The Happy Hamlet is out of sight and away from noise. It is both close to the main roads and surrounded by totally unspoilt nature. It is a magical and bucolic place in an exotic and serene setting, ideal for professional meetings. The spaces available can facilitate intimate meetings or larger gatherings. The blend of multi-century buildings and modern facilities makes it easy to disconnect. The accommodation is located in another building, very close to the meeting area. The natural pool and sauna are open to participants.
Spaces are made available to professionals. The many terraces and the main barn are perfect for co-working. We also organise many themed retreats, details of the programme can be found through this link to our website: https://thehappyhamlet.com/retreats2020
Quiet and far from the stress and pollution of cities, The Happy Hamlet encourages its guests to create, reflect, produce and feel good. The whole property and its infrastructures are at their disposal. Combining modernism and work spaces, comfort for rest and landscapes and nature to relax, they will find inspiration and a tranquil place to work.