Sociable, rural, bell tent glamping on the Limousin-Auvergne border where campfires are permitted, stargazing is a must and space is always guaranteed
'Canvas under the stars'. That's the direct translation of La Toile Sous Les Étoiles and an appropriate one given the dark skies that this rural part of East Limousin affords. When the sun sets and only the campfires flicker at this brand new glamping retreat, the Milky Way dazzles with its full display. Even the furtherest stars seem to wink at you.
Created by British ex-pats Nigel and Olivia Stanton, who first fell in love with the region on holidays of their own, this comfortable take on camping offers an enchanting mix of luxury and ol' fashioned outdoor fun. In a wildflower meadow, flanked by mature trees, mown pathways weave their way between the six different bell tents, each pitched on a flat wooden deck where garden chairs call out for you to sit down in the sun with a good book. Inside, the bell tents are bunting-clad beauties – think vintage chests, oak-framed beds and marble-topped cabinets – where the tiniest touches show real attention to detail. An up-cycled pastis bottle has been turned into a bedside lamp, freshly picked flowers fill a vase and complimentary tea and coffee await. There's no denying this is camping done right.
The same thoughtfulness has been given to the rest of the space. Walk past the swimming pool to old farm buildings, where you'll find bathroom facilities and a kitchen, which, though plush, still have a wonderful sense of place. The charmingly rustic washing-up sinks, for example, are made out of deep wooden buckets, while the stone ablutions barn feature exposed corrugated iron along the walls. The kitchen, well equipped for the maximum of 20 guests the site allows, has a range oven, wood-fired bread (or pizza) oven and a private fridge for every bell tent.
While such facilities make for easy living, it's the all-round setting of La Toile Sous Les Étoiles that makes it so special. It's easy to see how Olivia and Nigel so quickly fell in love with the place. The young orchard overlooked by ivy-dotted barns, the old farm tracks to stroll along and the reliably brilliant weather. Why wouldn't you want to live here? Throw in the convenient amenities of Auzances, the local town a 5-minute drive away, and the vast regional park – Parc Naturel Régional de Millevaches – a half hour drive beyond that and there's everything you could want for. Not that it's all needed. Some days are better spent doing absolutely nothing but lazing beside the pool.
The Owner Says
We are Nigel and Olivia Stanton, who have recently bought a property in France with a big vision of a new future! We have spent many years living and working in the Oxfordshire area in England. Since we married in 1991, every year we have spent holidays camping, caravanning, boating, motorhoming and self-catering, mainly in the UK but also in France. We have learnt to live in bijou spaces without compromising on creature comforts.
Over the past couple of years life has dealt us a new set of cards – Nigel was offered redundancy after 26 years in the same company, family responsibilities have lessened and it’s time to escape the daily commute and to realise a long held dream to open a campsite! We began the search for a suitable property and considered all sorts of options along the way, finally deciding upon the Glamping route.
Now we are transforming our new property into a peaceful holiday destination for you, your family and friends to enjoy the countryside, with nature all around and rediscovering a simple but comfortable way of life.
In May 2018 we opened our small, exclusive, Glamping site on the Limousin/Auvergne border – a beautifully rural area in the centre of France with great transport links by road and air (Limoges airport is an easy 2 hours away and is served with low price flights all year round. Clermont Ferrand airport is just over an hour a way and flights from the UK run during the summer months).
We will be taking bookings from those needing just one tent, a number of families holidaying together, or even group bookings for the whole site (special birthday, anniversary celebrations, corporate events maybe?). Dogs accepted by prior arrangement. WHAT WE OFFER...
Bespoke designed cream canvas bell tents – only 6 in total, with a maximum of 20 guests on site at any one time. They are well-spaced (minimum 30m apart), and are 6m in diameter for upto 4 people and 5m in diameter for 2 people – tents are sited on wooden bases and have comfortable outdoor furniture
Forget about airbeds and think about comfortable mattresses on proper vintage French bedsteads made up with carefully chosen crisp linens ready for your arrival. There is a dresser in which you will find ample crockery, cutlery, utensils, pots and pans - just what you might have at home. Complimentary tea & coffee, basic cooking essentials such as salt, pepper, oil plus washing up liquid and lavatory paper are all provided. Each tent is ‘carpeted’ with traditional coir matting
Lighting is powered by the sun and candles. Low energy LED lighting is installed in each tent powered by a solar panel for convenience and candlepower for ambiance. The solar powered unit also has USB ports for charging your 'gadgets'.
Cooking on gas or an open fire. Options of a gas ring for that morning cup of coffee and a Kadai Fire bowl, which can be used for barbeques, heating food in the tripod suspended cooking pot, or on a specially designed pan. Alternatively, to sit round in the evening, toasting marshmallows.
Your own mains powered fridge. A mains powered fridge for each tent is provided (housed in the old pig sty!) There are also mains sockets for charging electronic stuff. There will also be cool boxes in the tents for the morning milk.
Luxuriously appointed shower rooms – Exclusively yours for or the duration of your stay within a centuries old converted barn
Beautiful Swimming Pool surrounded by decking and more comfortable furniture. (The pool has a fence around it for safety reasons).
A ‘Guest Barn’ kitted out for our guests’ use, fully equipped to cater for up to 20 guests, complete with a range cooker and a huge banqueting table and is adjacent to our original bread oven, in which we will cook you handmade pizzas on pizza nights.
A communal fire pit/barbeque area where everyone can get together for socialising and marshmallow roasting.
Star-gazing nights - the light pollution here is some of the lowest experienced in Europe – the picture on our Home Page was taken in the garden on the night we bought the house!
Add Your Review
A little bit of paradise (although the hospitality's better)
If I didn't know better, I'd say there's something in the water at La Toile Sous Les Etoiles. This place is pretty close to an instant relaxation and de-stress cure. We arrived in the usual post-work, fragged state (having been fielding office emails and calls for most of the way down through France) to be met by Nigel whose opening words were "Looks to me like you need a beer". Never a bad start to a holiday. In a couple of minutes he'd got the La Toile Trailer loaded up with our luggage and we were heading for our tent - although 'tent' really doesn't do it justice. I've never stayed in a tent with a double bed and linen, proper lights (solar-powered no less), a stove, kettle, somewhere to charge your phone, a chest of drawers and coffee & tea laid on. Talk about putting the 'glam' in glamping! Each of the tents has its own area, with paths mown through the high wild meadow grasses separating them. So plenty of privacy, space and your very own view. And what a view... by day, you get fields, flowers, hills and not a building in sight (apart from the La Toile farmhouse and barns). By night, it's a blanket of stars like you've never seen. There's no light pollution at all, so you can just lie in the grass, look up and lose track of time as you constellation-spot. There may be better hosts somewhere than Nigel and Olivia, but I think it's pretty unlikely. Because they live in the area, we got tips about every antiques/fleamarket for miles around, advice on gorgeous villages to visit and even inside-track suggestions on the best wine from the local supermarket (about a ten minute bimble through the lanes). Eating one of Nigel's pizzas (hand made and cooked in one of the barns' original stone ovens), glass of wine on hand, looking up at the stars and chatting round the firepit is pretty damn close to heaven. I'd say the time it took to go from 'stressed enough to bite' to 'laid back enough to fall over' was a couple of hours, max. That's the magic of the place. La Toile really is the antidote to modern life. With pizza. When can we come back?!
Wish we could have stayed for months
We had the most wonderful long weekend glamping for the first time under the stars. Our hosts Nigel and Olivia (and Noodle the dog) made us feel so welcome. Such thought and care has gone into making this place so special and your time there idyllic. Each tent is like a beautiful hotel room with a wonderful, full-size comfortable bed, gorgeous furniture and a vase of wild flowers picked by Olivia. If you want privacy you can have it. Each tent is set far enough apart with it's own table, chairs and fire pit so you can sit outside and relax. Or if you're with a larger group you can get together in the party barn with the most enormous table (handmade by Nigel) or sit outside around a huge fire pit and toast marshmallows. There's also a pizza oven for pizza nights and if you ask Nigel he will get the ancient gramophone out and play wonderful old records. The setting is beautiful and so peaceful. It's such a lovely feeling waking from a good night's sleep to the sound of the birds and the ponies in the field next door with the morning sun gently warming you. There's also the wonderful swimming pool to cool down in, your own private shower room and toilet, and your own fridge. So much thought has gone into it all. Nigel and Oliva are the perfect kind of hosts, so welcoming and friendly but ready to leave you alone if you'd prefer. We wish we could have stayed longer and will definitely be returning as soon as we can. Highly, highly recommended.
We have just come back from a fabulous weekend away, glamping at La Toile Sous Les Etoiles, and what a wonderful place it is. So much thought has gone into making this a truly superb place to stay. On the beautiful, spacious campsite, you have your own shower room for the duration of your stay, (meaning that you don’t have to move your wash stuff out each time, and knowing that it is only you who uses that toilet!). You have your own full size fridge and a cool box to take to the tent. The tents themselves are set well away from each other and are all furnished beautifully, mostly with traditional French furniture. There are solar lights inside and outside the tents, you have your own table and chairs, and your own fire bowl. There is a gorgeous, proper swimming pool with sunbeds, and a barn which has been converted for guests’ use for those days when it’s just too hot to sit outside; it has a massive table that seats 20 and is fully equipped with a range cooker for guests’ use, cutlery, crockery and a working pizza oven for when Nigel and Olivia run their pizza nights. Oh! And the stars! The stars are incredible!! I could go on and on and on about how wonderful this place is but trust me, this certainly gets 5 Stars Plus from us! Don’t hesitate to book!
Lovely relaxing stay in rural tranquility
My wife, child and I had our first Glamping experience and loved every minute; surpassed all our expectations, a lovely well equipped tent - with tea and coffee making facilities - something you never get in a European hotel. A proper bed and loads of room to spread out. You also get an allocated shower room, so privacy and cleanliness guaranteed, and your own fridge, so you can keep your tonic cool and your fromage fresh. The local town Auzances has all the essentials and of course a lovely bakery for fresh croissants and gorgeous bread. The area is genuinely rural - the sort or rural that only France can offer, however Vichy for example is a lovely day trip away for sophistication and history. Our 11 month old loved exploring the grass, a cot and bath were provided, to make things easy for us - and him. All in all, a lovely relaxing time, Olivia and Nigel made us most welcome.
Space to discover
Our first time ever glamping experience in rural France turned out to be the most pleasant surprise! Tents tall enough to stand up straight in, with a super comfortable bed, cooking facilities, storage - in short, everything you need, including our own bath room (or rather, shower room), and our own fridge in the fridge shed. Altogether only 6 tents in a beautiful large green field ensures privacy. I particularly enjoyed the swimming pool, having been blessed with beautiful warm sunshine during our stay for a long weekend. We felt lucky enough to have a chance to try the delicious stone baked pizza, which was on offer for one evening during our stay. Enjoyed being woken up by bird song in an otherwise fantastically quiet environment, too. On Sunday, we visited a typical French antiques market in a nearby small town - rather romantic. A word about this part of France. Open Google Maps so that you can see the whole country on screen and the word ‘France’ lies right over the area where La toile sous les étoiles is situated—bang in the middle of the country. If you are looking for beautiful countryside with numerous lakes and rivers, small and interesting towns, wonderful walks and great driving country, this is where you will find them. It is pure French France, genuine and unclichéd. And there is always the comfort of your tent to come back to after a day of finding unexpected pleasures.
Welcome and friendly
We stayed over a bank holiday in this new and exciting site. The owners Nigel and Olivia have thought of everything for the comfort of their guests. Very good tents set far enough apart and excellently furnished. Each tent has it’s own allocated shower and toilet in the shower block, also each tent has it’s own fridge in the fridge room. A magnificent swimming pool to chill out by, with other areas with a fire pit and a communal eating area with cooking facilities and a pizza oven in one of the converted barns. This site is ideal for a group of friends or family to get together. We had excellent weather and a great time. Come on in!!
Stayed here for a long bank holiday weekend. Would highly recommend, great location in rural France. Loved having our own private shower room for the duration of our stay. Very comfortable tents. Owners have thought of everything you need to luxury glamping. We even had our own fridge in the ‘fridge shed’ which made catering very easy. There is a cooker in the guest barn too to use. Swimming pool was a great place to chil, which we did, as the weather was fabulous for our stay. Very Private tents, with fire pits, solar lighting and phone charging point. As I said, very comfortable. Go, you will have a lovely time.