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Sunday Times 100: Classic Med

“A Dream In The Lot: ‘Le Moulin de St Sulpice’ is a ridiculously joli property in 25 acres of the Lot countryside, comprising mill, miller’s house, tower and cottage. It’s the most pinch-me perfect piece of la France profonde we’ve seen all year – ancient stone walls, beams, big fireplaces, bags of character – and it has a pool, a grass tennis court, a croquet lawn, canoes in the boathouse (there’s a stream, naturally), and an on-site cleaner. All in all, it’s almost embarrassingly idyllic”. 

Number 6 in The Sunday Times’ annual travel guide to the 100 greatest holidays on the planet.

20/01/13 by Stephen Bleach

Guest Reviews

Read guest reviews below

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This is a truly amazing place; half of me wants everybody to know about it and half of me wants to keep it a secret

This is a truly amazing place; half of me wants everybody to know about it and half of me wants to keep it a secret – we will be returning again one day, subject to availability!

Deirdre and her family are clearly passionate about their stunning property and go above and beyond to make your experience as relaxing and non-intrusive as possible. Everything has been thought through; as some of the first guests after major renovation works, we were trying to “snag” but it was too much like hard work – nothing obvious to us!

The pool is beautifully refreshing, the river also – you might like to bring water shoes for exploring the shallow waters. So many seating choices – hammocks, loungers, director chairs – dotted around the property, I’m not sure I managed to find them all.

The kitchen is well positioned between two terraces so you’re never alone when it’s time to feed the masses. It’s also superbly equipped. We loved having aperitifs by the river and dinner on the middle terrace – couldn’t bring ourselves to visit any of the recommended restaurants as nothing could beat our location but there are plenty of options out there within a 20 minute drive. We did, however, engage Claude-Emmanuel and Evgenia for a culinary experience that left us full to the brim. The food just kept on coming and every dish was so beautifully presented. Claude-Emmanuel worked quietly and efficiently behind the scenes and Evgenia talked us through each course and the wine pairings. Highly recommend whether you have a particular occasion to celebrate or not!

The bedrooms are all well appointed with both fans and air conditioning. The beds are really comfortable and the pillows are something else.

The tennis court provided quite a bit of entertainment – obviously not a predictable game on grass! The highlight for us was the croquet set; google instructions for “golf croquet” and you’ll be up and running in a few minutes. Simple game but becomes quite competitive (and addictive) – we ended up playing it by torchlight on several occasions! There’s also a table tennis table by the river so we had quite a few on-going tournaments…

The website and house manuals, by Deirdre’s own admission, have not been completely updated so don’t take everything on/in there as gospel. Patrick is still there and the pool and gardens are tended to everyday. There’s no daily housekeeping (which was a bonus for us) but there are plenty of spare towels/tea towels, together with a brand new washing machine and dishwasher (capsules supplied). Canoes are rentable from the local village and Patrick sorted that out for us. Highly recommend a day out doing this. It’s a great feeling being able to stop halfway down at Le Moulin for lunch! We all enjoyed the paddling down to St Sulplice; the last stretch to Marcilhec was harder and less interesting but you are rewarded with the Alton Towers style toboggan just before the end (to the left of the weir). If you do finish here, make sure you carry on under the bridge to the end point, rather than lugging your canoes out in the middle of the village – we did get some strange looks!

You must get the gist by now… it’s a great place to stay and if you’ve got any issues, whatsoever, Deirdre’s cottage is at the top of the driveway – far enough away for total privacy but close enough to be there at the drop of a hat if needed.

One last thing – the professional ice maker in the utility room. I want one!

Thanks Deirdre and Marc for being so welcoming. I truly wish you the best of luck with your future projects and hope to see you again in a couple of years.

Date of stay: July 2023

Meet the Team

Simply fabulous!

Great pool, fantastic to have private access to the river. Amazing also to have private lawn tennis court and croquet!

Date of stay: August 2020

Meet the Team

Luxury converted ancient millhouse in magical riverside location

Truly magical location – stunning cliffs and wooded hills surround ancient millhouse situated on banks of the river Cele. It’s almost impossible to leave – reading a book in one of the hammocks next to the river, kayaking or paddling (to personal preference) on hot days (the house has its own patch of ‘beach’ and several canoes), sipping a gin and tonic while playing a competitive game of croquet, early morning tennis, swimming in the walled garden of a pool breathing in lavender and rose blossom… Comfortable beds and pretty interiors, all mod con and 2 sitting rooms (in different houses – ideal for multi parties) meant everyone had space, but we could all get together for fabulous and fun meals. Wonderful staff were unbelievably helpful and the owners are clearly passionate about the place. Unbeatable destination.

Date of stay: July 2020

Meet the Team

My time at the Moulin de St Sulpice made my heart sing. I found a peace in the quiet river and glorious unspoilt countryside that I have not known since childhood. There is a spiritual tranquillity about the place that is the perfect antidote to a hectic urban life, but there is much more.

The ancient Moulin buildings have been converted into a beautiful and comfortable home – room for guests to be apart, or together for long lunches in the sun on the grassy island, cosy suppers by the fire, or on the terrace under the stars. Extremely civilised. So much to do at the Moulin. Swimming in the sheltered pool, tennis and croquet on the lawns, fishing and canoeing on the Célé river, adventures to pretty local towns and villages with their markets, restaurants and bustling street life. All very French and utterly charming.

I will never forget my times at the Moulin.

Meet the Team

Charlie/Josh,

I wanted to drop you a note to say what a truly fantastic and relaxed time we’ve had and are still having at Le Moulin. You have created the most perfect setting here with a delightful list of things to do coupled with seemingly endless tranquility. So many places to explore, cook, eat, host, read, snooze and observe the various goings on. The children are so happy here too and perhaps most importantly so completely safe. From edited highlights they have cycled to Marcilhac for croissants, canoed, made rafts for river races (the boys are currently making model crossbows from lollipop sticks), learnt basic archery, spent hours in the river, built dams, tracked giant bugs and made many wonderful memories for the future.

Marcilhac and Cajarc were increasing revelations during our trip this year, café on the terrace at L’Auberge du pont and dinner at Le Titruc (whilst the children cycled around until dark) being among the finest moments.

Another major positive worth mentioning has been the combination of the supporting team here, namely Lillian, Patrick and Maryse. Perhaps it’s a function of having been here last year but the welcome seemed like returning to treasured family friends. Patrick has made any request effortless and added them into his day as if it was already on his list. Maryse has been fantastic and diligently cared for us during our time here, being appropriately invisible and yet wonderfully attentive and present at the same time when we have had need. I like to think we’re in the relatively low maintenance camp and Patrick and Maryse have made us feel like nothing has been too much trouble and that they’re both delighted we’re here. Lillian has been great (Gavin too) in welcoming us back to Le Moulin and making Cajarc another place of old friends, being only a phone call or a door knock away.

Net net, a truly wonderful set up here and one we would like to book again (and again) and invite other friends and family to share the joy of this magical oasis.

Tim and Justine Hart

We have left two bottles of Montagny for you as a token our appreciation of our time here this year.

[…]

Best wishes,

Tim & Justine

Guest Reviews

This was our second year running at Le Moulin.

We love its beautiful situation, the comfortable rooms, the lovely pool, and the fact that for a large party like ours with children of different ages there is so much outdoor space and so many activities for them. If they weren’t swimming or kayaking they were building a raft to sail down the river, playing tennis or croquet, or just having fun in the orchard.

The house has thick walls and ceiling fans, so was deliciously cool inside even when the temperatures topped 30, and we took full advantage of the many places to eat, from the lovely terrace for dinner, to the shady vine for lunch, or sometimes down by the river under the trees.

The Cele valley is, we think, one of the most beautiful parts of France, and we certainly plan to return.

Guest Reviews

Le Moulin is one of those rare places where, as soon as you arrive you know immediately that you’ve stumbled on a real treasure.

The first clue is the generous hammocks hanging from the mature trees whose branches tickle the River Cele, cool, green and inviting. All about the towering sunlit cliffs and ancient caves bewitch and intrigue.

The house oozes charm and is as beautiful as it is quirky: it feels more like a treasured family home than a holiday let. It is stuffed full of gorgeous things – a fine collection of hats, beautiful artefacts, pictures, rugs and furniture which fit perfectly with the stone walls and ancient wooden beams – fishing rods, croquet mallets, tennis rackets, jelly shoes, canoes and even life jackets – everything has been thought of.

It feels like a house that has been loved and enjoyed by generations.

Wonderfully comfortable antique beds and decent linen in fan cooled rooms, along with the constant song of the river, guarantee a sound night’s sleep.

Le Moulin is a house that absorbs both adults and children effortlessly, with its choice of private places where you can escape to – the river, the pool, the terrace, the croquet lawn or the grass court. There is a spot here for everyone.

I could have written something much simpler but equally telling: we will be going back!

I have to add that I LOVED my ten days there more than words can describe.

And by the way, canoes are for girls. Real men go over the rapids in their speedo’s. You can go all the way down from the mill rapids to the calm waters half kilometre away with barely a bruise to show for it.

Hope we can return.

Guest Reviews

We had a wonderful time at the beautiful Moulin and enjoyed some lovely weather as well. The house is a tribute to the imaginative and loving work of the owners who have created the most aesthetically pleasing environment for withdrawal from the frenetic world in which we live.

Having said this, and in sharp contrast, internet access allowed us to download the Times every morning! The whole family was so sad to leave – we had some serious tennis matches and some enchanting canoeing. Apart from fishing rods (a couple of which we bought locally, and left behind for future tenants), we found everything we could possibly want.

We definitely intend to book again. Please thank the owner.

Meet the Team

We had a FABULOUS time at “Doamine de Tamasea” and “Moulin de St Sulpice” – as ever, your recommendations were spot on. I did want to reiterate how grateful we are to you, to your team and to your owners for having arranged things so well, and for sharing their beautiful houses with us.

We would love to go back to both properties.

Meet the Team
@ Copyright 2023. Le Moulin sur Célé. Le Moulin, SAINT SULPICE 46160, France. SIRET 88828540000014 - N° de TVA FR44888285400