The Midsummer Retreat
Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, Tarn-et-Garonne, 82140, France
There’s something wonderfully organic about the way the yurt at The Midsummer Retreat is set into its landscape. In the grounds of an old French farmhouse, the surroundings are wild and slightly disordered yet without feeling overgrown. Flowers fight among lush, long grass to be seen and potted daisy’s spill over the tops of their containers. The wooded slopes around the garden give the sense that it is almost sunken into the landscape, yet the lawns themselves are neatly mown. Combine all this with the timber frame of a man-made kitchen area and the earthy-colour of the single, glampers’ yurt and it’s almost as though the place simply grew, like the garden, from the ground beneath it.
The site has, in fact, been a labour of love and many years in the making. The hard work here has been worth it. With just one yurt for guests – sleeping up to four people – The Midsummer Retreat has a truly personal feel and it’s only right that something so small should be extra special. The attention to detail is impeccable. The private bathroom, for example, features recycled 16th century terracotta tiles found in an ancient, local forge in the River Aveyron gorge, while the kitchen and living space is furnished with vintage finds from local markets. The rustic, old-country vibe it creates mirrors the setting but it still retains some modern functionality: There’s a fridge, oven and electricity for charging your camera or mobile phone.
Nearby St-Antonin-Noble-Val is the reason for the camera. The tiny medieval town has everything you need – cafés, boulangeries and postcard shops – all crammed into a picturesque labyrinth of tiny alleyways and tall stone houses. It boasts one of the oldest town halls in the country. Visit on Sunday to catching the bustling market, where you can stock up on local cheese before heading further along the river for a picnic and a swim. The River Aveyron is as beautiful as it is calm and perfectly safe for a good paddle.
Once you’re well worn out, you can retreat back to camp for a nice lie down and a chance to soak in the view. The best of it is sometimes comes when darkness falls. The middle section of the canvas roof can be completely rolled back and, sunken in the hollow of the landscape, there’s no light pollution to spoil the stars. Kick back and enjoy the show, you’ve got the whole place to yourself.
The Owner SaysA secluded yurt glamping getaway grown into the hills of the Aveyron valley near St-Antonin-Noble-Val in South West France.
I received the warmest of welcomes and thoroughly enjoyed their camp - away from everything! All handcrafted and full of quirk with a homely, lived-in feel, it's totally relaxing here. The summer kitchen is a great space to cook, eat and relax and there's tons of space around to explore and a medieval town to pop to nearby. I came away feeling fully refreshed. 08/12/2016