Le Domaine des Étangs: a country house like a hotel

©Domaine des Etangs / DR

The weather is definitely getting nippy. We all dream of soft cashmeres, snuggly coats and cosy weekends with the family or a group of buddies settled around a crackling fire. But it’s a little difficult without a country house (or too lazy the open up dad and mom’s place, doing the groceries and spending 3h cleaning up afterwards). Good news, we have the solution.

The pearl of Massignac

Le Domaine des Étangs, at the outset is the outstanding 1000 hectares property that Garance Primat inherited from her parents. While her father had started refurbishing the estate and its farmhouses, the young women continued enhancing the château and mills, turning the ensemble into a small gem that has become a must in the area.

Timeless, literally bathing in a superbly upkept nature (guaranteed without pesticides), this is a place when you can totally disconnect and be in osmosis with the elements­— stones, minerals, vegetals and fresh air— in the image of the dragonfly, emblem of the venue. There are several options for a stay: reserving one of the seven suites of the château, ultra deluxe and close to the “commodities”, or a room in the “longère” house, for a more bucolic experience. Or then setting down your luggage in one of the métairies farmhouses (our fave) for a guaranteed change of scenery only 3 hours from Paris*.

The “little” house in the prairie

ultra spacious rooms 50m², all in wood, with private bathroom shower and bath, television, sofa and small desk

A classic métairie features on the upper level two ultra spacious rooms (about 50m²), all in wood, with an individual bathroom (shower and tub), TV, sofa and small desk facing the cows of the Limousin happily grazing on the entire property. On the ground level, you will feel right at home in the large living room and its XXL sofa or the dining room with its huge wooden table in front of the fireplace.

With your gang of friends or your big tribe it’s possible to reserve the métairie and its 5 rooms. The wow effect is guaranteed under the stunning high ceilings., These real country personal houses, which can be totally privatized, offer the possibility of a private stay with the hotel option. In the morning, you will get up with breakfast already served before taking off on a bike tour and coming back to a neat and clean room since housekeeping will have done its job while you were out. In the evening, you can eat at the restaurant but also ask to have products from the vegetable garden delivered in order to quietly cook for the family.

To each his own...

pool, sauna, steam room and gym

Many clients arriving at the domain ask for tips on the region, the sites to visit… and depart without ever having left the property (source: the taxi driver who takes everyone around.) Normal, once you are there, you just don’t want to go anywhere else. Starting with the spa nestled in a former mill and its triple suite where parents and kids can enjoy being together—an absolute must-visit.

There is also the thermal option (pool, sauna, hammam) and the gym, opening onto nature, a floating tennis court, boats to row on the pond and the forest for long walks along the marked trails. Cosy option: kids and teens will probably never leave the playroom (billiards, foosball, console, society games, disguises…) once they have spotted this haven of peace for parents right near the snug  salons where you can have a well-deserved apéritif.

A starred restaurant

gourmet restaurant Domaine des Etangs with the star chef Loïc Lecoin

Last but not least, at some point you will leave your far-flung cabin to go check out Dyades, the gastronomic restaurant of the domain (open Wednesday to Sunday). There you will enjoy a cuisine in harmony with the rest of the estate, between rusticity, authenticity and refinement.

* By train : Paris - Angoulême 2h05, then 40 minutes by taxi for about 90 euros.

Only drawback of all this joyful escapade, the rates are a little less rustic.

A stay in a room 350 €/night, les Métairies starting at €550

  • Métairie Licorne (1 room - 2 persons): starting at €550 /night, including breakfast and activities at the Domain
  • Métairie Dragon (5 rooms - 10 persons): starting at €1100 /night, including breakfast and activities at the Domaine


Also discover a dream weekend in Zurich or Lausanne and the countryside only 30 minutes from Paris.

Adèle Bréau

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