The Tobacco Barn – User guide
Please read the following information carefully. It will help ensure your visit runs smoothly.
The emergency number in France is 112
Our address is: Le Serpen
47800 La Sauvetat du Dropt
We can be reached on: 0785626680 or 0786112097
You will find keys for all doors in the locks. Please let us know straightaway if you happen to lose one of these so we can get a new one for the next guests.
Check-out is before 10.00am (only later by prior arrangement – we need the time to prepare for incoming guests on the same day).
We clean for no extra charge at the end of your stay but we request that you leave the place tidy, clear away dirty dishes etc. in the kitchen and take out your rubbish. Please clean the oven and hob after use.
Kitchen appliances: hob, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, Nespresso coffee machine.
If you have problems operating these, there are instructions at the back of the file in the gîte or please come and ask us to help.
There is a television set with DVD player and a selection of DVDs in the mezzanine sitting room. Instructions for using these are in the file in the gîte.
It is essential for the flaps on the top of the sofa to be in the upright position before operating the mechanism to release the bed. The bed unrolls very smoothly and there is no need to use force. Please ask us to help, if you encounter any problems.
Instructions on how to get the best out of the Weber bbq can be found at the back of the file. Charcoal briquettes can be bought at the supermarkets or the DIY store, Bricomarché, next to the Intermarché supermarket in St Pardoux Issac. (Directions for these are in the file in the section Out and About.)
There is a fire pit in the small gravel circle near the gîte, which you are welcome to enjoy, and we have provided an initial supply of wood. Further bundles of wood can be found in the hutches in front of the stone barn. Please do not move the fire pit away from the gravelled area.
We supply wood for the wood-burning stove in winter.
There is a basket of toys in the mezzanine sitting room with a variety of toys for different ages of children, and games and puzzles in the cupboard for both children and adults. Please ensure that the games and toys you allow your children to play with are age appropriate. Not all the toys in the basket are suitable for very young children and adult supervision is recommended.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have difficulties with any of the equipment in the gîte. We’re here to help.
The depth of the water is 1.5 metres. There is no deep end so please take care when jumping or diving into the pool.
The pool has a vinyl liner. Please do not take glasses, glass bottles or any sharp objects into the pool to avoid damaging the liner. There are plastic cups for use by the pool.
We are happy for you to move parasols to suit your requirements but please do not position them near to the edge of the pool where they are at risk of being knocked or blown in and cause damage to the liner. On no account should you place a parasol inside the pool.
There are pool towels in the bottom drawer of the chest of drawers in the middle bedroom. Please do not take the bathroom towels up to the pool.
The pool has an alarm, which must be deactivated before you enter the pool to swim. Instructions for how to do this are in the file.
Please feel free to wander around the grounds and enjoy the gardens, the lawns, the pond and the hammocks.
The only areas out of bounds for visitors, apart from our own house and our private garden in front of the farmhouse, are the outbuildings in and around the big stone barn. Access to these is strictly prohibited. This is for reasons of safety, as there are tools, machinery and equipment, which are potentially dangerous. There are no-entry signs on the doors to remind you.
We consider the tree platform to be currently unsafe and it is therefore out of bounds until we have had chance to reinforce it.
There are recycling bins provided outside the gîte. The tall bin is for plastic bottles, cartons, cans, paper and card (see the picture in the file).
Glass is recycled separately. Please place empty glass bottles in the rectangular box.
If either of these get filled up during your stay, let us know and we will empty them for you.
Please always use one of the bin bags provided in the kitchen bin. When this is full, you can put it next to the black dustbin, which you will see in the old tobacco barn. Make sure the bag is securely tied to deter animals from investigating the contents.
Please avoid leaving food waste lying around as it encourages mice and ants.
Health and Safety
Please be aware of potential hazards around the site, such as rock piles, and keep young children under supervision at all times, especially around the pool and the pond. We will not be held responsible for injuries resulting from accidents. We strongly advise that you take out comprehensive travel insurance with public liability insurance.
Please mind your head on low-hanging beams in the gîte, especially on the way up to the mezzanine sitting room.
Directions to the nearest hospital, doctor's surgery and pharmacy are in the file.
There is a first aid kit in the drawer in Bathroom 1 (the en-suite at the back of the gîte).
The gîte is equipped with a Weber barbecue and a fire pit which we hope you will enjoy. Please be aware of the risk of fire during hot dry weather. (There is a hose attached to the outside tap at the corner of the gîte.)
We are happy for you to smoke outside in the grounds and there is an ashtray provided. Please do not smoke inside the gîte and please be careful when disposing of cigarette ends.
There is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, located in the area near the understairs cubby hole.
The gîte is equipped with a smoke alarm and a carbon-monoxide alarm.
Whilst we hope that the weather will be beautifully sunny and fine for your visit, you should be aware that there are sometimes storms and high winds.
In windy weather please make sure you secure your belongings to prevent them blowing away and close any parasols you have been using. We have had to rescue a parasol from the bottom of the farmer’s field when we left it open in high winds!
If the shade blinds are down, please ensure they are firmly secured at the bottom.
In bad weather, please close up the awning and bring in the chair cushions. They are stored in the large wicker basket next to the WC.
Please make sure you roll in the awning before leaving the site. If left open, it may get damaged by high winds or heavy rain.
All the wastewater and sewage from the house goes to a tank, which works on a biological system. For this reason please do not put anything down the toilet except for human waste and toilet paper.
Please use the bins provided in the bathrooms for sanitary products and other waste.
Only use the cleaning fluids supplied and do not use chemicals or bleach in the toilets or sinks.
When emptying the kitchen sink, please keep the strainer in the plughole and empty it into the bin rather than allowing bits to go down the waste pipe.
Please do not empty pans of fat down the sink.
We thank you for your care in these matters.
For guests staying a fortnight who wish to change their bedding mid-stay, we will supply clean linen on request.
Le Serpen is situated in the middle of countryside and farmland and is a hunting reserve. We hope you will enjoy seeing the wildlife, such as the deer, hares, birds or even the wild boar.
It goes without saying that there are thousands of mice in the fields around The Tobacco Barn. Please be aware that if you leave doors open, especially at night, there is a chance of mice getting in. This is all the more likely if you leave food and crumbs lying around.
There are lots of lizards running around the place and sometimes they come into the gîte through open windows and doors. They are quite harmless and usually find their way back out again.
We clean thoroughly between our guest visits and make sure there are no insects in the rooms. However, there are thousands of spiders around and one can come in and weave a web within minutes of us finishing cleaning!
The fig tree outside the gîte attracts lots of bees, wasps and hornets when the fruit is ripe. Please be aware of this if you are here in late summer as they sometimes find their way into the bedrooms.
There are bats living in some of our outbuildings and you will see them flying around at dusk.
Mosquitoes also come out at dusk and you may wish to equip yourself with an insect repellent, if sitting outside. We have supplied each bedroom with plug-in mosquito repellent.
If you invite friends or family members to visit you at Le Serpen, please inform us of how many and when they will arrive. For security reasons we need to know who exactly is on our property. Please note that we have a ‘no parties’ rule.
Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about any of the above. We welcome constructive criticism so let us know if you have any suggestions for improvements.
Do please record your visit in the guest book before you leave. We are very interested in your comments.
Enjoy your stay!
Adrienne and Jan.