Welcome to Au Pied du Château

Hosts: Jim and Kathi Lengel,

+1 508-904 0749

Our House is Your House

Thanks so much for renting Au Pied du Château. Please treat it as your own during your stay. We trust you will leave the house and its contents as you found them. Please do not hesitate to contact us during your stay with any questions or comments. We would love your feedback to help us improve our little house. 

We hope you will come back again.

Arriving at Au Pied du Château

Au Pied du Château is located at 2, rue de l’Église, in the middle of the village of Bourdeilles in the Dordogne department of southwest France. It’s part of an historic district with a cobblestone street where cars are not allowed and the houses are all made of stone. You’ll find yourself on what looks like a movie set for the Three Musketeers. 

To get there, find your way to the village of Bourdeilles. Drive to the church; aside from the castle tower, it’s the tallest building in town. You approach the church from the rear; its front entrance is on the pedestrian-only street. You may drive on this street to drop off your baggage at Au Pied du Château. Go right down along the south side of the church past the no entry signs. As the street widens, look to your left and you’ll see our little house, as in the picture on the cover of this Guide. Drop off your things, then drive your car back and park it behind the church in one of the marked spaces. If those spaces are full, use the town parking lot just to the south, or the big lot across the main street.       

Getting In

To get into the house, you’ll need a key to the front door. It’s hidden in a key box inside the shutter (volet) that covers the main door. Look to the left for the key box, and use the combination we gave you to open it. The key inside will open the lock in the oak door. Unlock the front door of the house, then put the key back where you found it. You’ll find another key in the tin box in the kitchen, that you may use during your stay.


One you get inside, please return the key to its hiding place in the lock box. Then open the shutters on the windows, from inside. The electric volets on the upstairs windows are operated by a switch on the wall in the stairway. Please secure the wooden volets so they don’t move in the wind. Close and attach the volets when you leave at the end of your stay.

Coats, Hats, and Footwear

You may hang coats and hats and umbrellas on the vestiare in the salon, or in the armoire in the master bedroom. Please don’t wear your outdoor shoes inside the house — you will find slippers to wear inside the closet in the ground floor bedroom.

Putting your stuff away

In each room and bathroom you’ll find storage for your personal items. You’ll find room in the refrigerator and cupboard space for your food in the kitchen. 

Linens and such

You will find the beds made up with fresh sheets by Lucie and Alex, who take care of the house for us. You’ll find your towels atop the beds. Please hang your towels up to dry after each use. Extra toilet paper and paper towels are located in the cellar.

Throwing stuff away

You’ll find two covered bins in the drawer just inside the kitchen door, one for bottles and one for recyclables, with a roll of spare bags in the broom closet. You’ll find a trash can under the cutting board to the right of the sink. Bourdeilles requires recycling, so pay attention to what goes where. Take your trash and recyclables to the receptacles just across from the school before you leave.

When you Leave

If you’re leaving for several hours, please close all windows, roll up the awning over the balcony, tie down the parasol in the courtyard, and lock the front door.

When you’re vacating the house, please:

  • Leave all towels hanging to dry.
  • Leave linens on beds for the housekeeper.
  • Turn off the HVAC systems.
  • Close and attach all windows and volets (shutters).
  • Remove all trash and recycling.
  • Remove all food that you brought in.
  • Make sure the front door is locked. 
  • Put the house key back in the kitchen tin.
  • If you have not prepaid the cleaning and linen fee, please leave for Lucie and Alex in the kitchen jar 50 euros for cleaning, plus 15 euros per person for linens.
  • Use the hidden key to lock the door. Put it back into the lockbox.


Unfortunately, we have family members with severe pet allergies, so no pets are allowed in the house at any time.


Do not smoke inside the house at any time. If you smoke inside, we charge $175 extra for de-fumigating. 


You’ll find our kitchen set up for serious cooking. Please cut only on the cutting boards. Place pots and skillets gently on the glass-top stove. Make sure the oven door shuts with a click. Clean both the stove top and the oven interior after you use them. Replace any staples that you use – coffee, flour, sugar, oil, salt, pepper, spices, detergent, wine, and so forth. Wash everything you use in the dishwasher, and put things back where you found them before you leave. Use one packet of dish detergent per load.

Balcony and Courtyard

Access these outdoor spaces from the ground floor bedroom. A few guidelines will help you take full advantage:

  • Water the plants each day, just a little. The hose is hidden inside the old urn by the faucet. Turn off the faucet and put the hose back after each watering.
  • Don’t use the parasol or the awning if it’s windy. 
  • Roll up the parasol and the awning whenever you leave the house.
  • Observe quiet hours from 12-2 and after 10 PM.


A clothes washer, a tumble dryer, and a laundry pump may be found in the cellar. For the washer and dryer, first make sure that switch on the plug strip is turned on. To make the washer work, put in your clothes by opening the little door on the drum. You need to push a little white button in order to open that little door.

  • Put in one of the soap packets, which should be in the drawer next to the dryer. Close the door on the drum, then close the top.
  • Set the dial on the left to quotidien – peu sale. That means every day, not so dirty.
  • Set the middle dial to 900. Set the right dial to départ – immediat. Push the départ button, and wait a moment for the water to start filling. 
  • The dryer works best at the Très Sec setting.  Push the Marche/arrêt button, and then the Départ button to start.
  • Clean the filter after each use.

Heating and Cooling

Au Pied du Chateau has two heating and cooling units, one for each level. The remote control for the downstairs unit is on the table under the television. Upstairs it’s sitting on top of the unit. You’ll find auxiliary electric heaters in the bedrooms.


Please enjoy the old stone fireplace at any time of the year. Here’s how to use the fireplace.

  1. Open the flue, by propping it open with the spiral metal pole.
  2. Leave the ashes right where they are. They insulate the back and the bottom surfaces of the fireplace from the heat of the coals. Build the fire on top of the grate.
  3. Lay the fire with a big log at the back, right up against the back of the grate. This is called the back log. Place a big front log four inches in front of the back log. You will build the rest of the fire in the space between the logs.
  4. Start with crumpled paper, enough to fill the space between the logs. On top of that place some kindling from the wood bag, starting small and ending large. You can find more firewood in the cellar.
  5. On top of the kindling, place one or two small hardwood logs from the wood bag.
  6. Light the newspaper.
  7. Keep an eye on the logs. 
  8. Don’t burn trash in the fireplace.
  9. Close the flue the next day, only when the fire is completely out.


In the summer, you may open the doors and windows at night to cool the house; or shut the windows and use the HVAC units. Closing the shutters on a hot day will help preserve the cool inside. Just remember to close the doors and windows when you leave. You’ll find fans in the bedrooms.



Our wireless access point is called AuPiedDuChateau. It’s WAP password is wirelesspassword. The router is under the window in the salon. Reset it as necessary by unplugging it.

Radio and Music 

You’ll find an FM radio with external speakers, and bluetooth access for your devices under the television. To use it, follow these steps:

  1. Use the remote control to turn the power on to the radio.
  2. Change sources on the remote to select the radio (97.5 plays nice music, while Radio Périgord is at 91.7), the line input, or the Bluetooth input. 
  3. Use the remote to adjust the volume.


Electricity in this old village sometimes sends a surge that will trip the breaker in Au Pied du Chateau. If this happens, take the calendar off the breaker box and flip the breaker at the bottom left back on. You may need to flip breakers 5 and 13 off before this works.  

Visiting Bourdeilles, Périgord, and Southwest France

What’s nearby

Do take time to explore the village of Bourdeilles. And the countryside around it. Be aware that the church bells ring to mark the hour and half-hour, as well as to ring the Angelus at 07:05, 12:05, and 19:05.


Au Pied du Chateau to:

  • Brantome: 8 km. Shops, Friday morning market, Abbey, restaurants, parks.
  • Perigueux: 25 km. Shops, Saturday morning market, cathedral, restaurants, Roman ruins.
  • Bergerac: 72 km. Shops, foie gras, Maison du Vin, restaurants.
  • Bordeaux: 146 km. Big city, opera, markets, cathedrals, restaurants. 

What to do

Visit a Castle


You’ll find a nice one just down the street, and a dozen others in the towns nearby. As well as old churches, cute villages, and active farms.

Play Tennis


The village tennis courts can be found with a short walk across the river.

Eat Well


Enjoy a gourmet lunch or dinner at Bourdeilles’ finest restaurant, Nommads. Or find a five-course lunch for 13€ in Tocane-St-Apre, or for 17€ in St. Pierre de Cole. Or buy fresh from the farmers at the weekly morning markets in Bourdeilles (Sunday), Brantome (Friday), or Perigueux (Wednesday and Saturday) and prepare it Au Pied du Chateau. Or get a quick meal at Les Tilleuls café on the corner. Or enjoy a drink at Café de la Halle, also on the corner.

Visit Brantôme 

The Venice of France, just six miles away. One of many places to visit in the Dordogne area. 

Taste Wine in St. Emilion 

Take a 1.5 hour drive through the Bordeaux vineyards to get there. 

Visit the Caves at Lascaux 

Take a 1.5 hour drive through the Périgord countryside to get there. 

Visit Bordeaux

A nice 1.5 hour drive on the autoroute takes you to France’s 5th largest city and hub of wine export. 

Visit Cognac

 A nice 1.5 hour drive on through Dordogne and Charente takes you to the city of stills, surrounded by vineyards. 

Try Foie Gras in Bergerac

A one-hour drive south takes you to the hub of production of red wine and foie gras. 

Go to Market

Fresh vegetables, aged cheese, organic meats, crafts, and snacks present themselves at the weekly markets in Bourdeilles (Sunday), Brantome (Friday), or Perigueux (Wednesday, Saturday). Bring them home and cook them in the kitchen at Au Pied du Chateau. 

Visit Sarlat

The best-preserved renaissance town in France is a short drive away in Perigord Noir. Architecture, shopping, outdoor markets, and local food make Sarlat worth the journey.


Visit Aubeterre


Originally settled by the ancient Romans, Aubeterre sits high on a cliff above the Dronne River, about a half-hour downstream from Bourdeilles. The underground church is carved out of the cliff. Try lunch at Hotel de France.

Visit the Gallo-Roman Ruins in Perigueux

A recently-discovered Gallo-Roman city is emerging from the parking lots of Perigueux. A visit to the Vesunna archaeological site will surprise you and make you think. It’s protected from the weather now by a modern archtectural gem of glass, steel, fabric, and wood. 

Where we buy:


If you can’t get to the the fresh markets…

  • Bourdeilles Epicerie, across the bridge around the corner to the left, open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 4 PM to 7:00 PM. Sunday 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Closed Wednesday and Sunday afternoons.
  • Bourdeilles Bakery, across the bridge and straight ahead, 7 AM to 1:00 PM. 4 PM to 7 PM. Sunday 7 AM to 12:30 PM, Closed Wednesdays.
  • Bouffier Market and Butcher, Brantome.
  • Carrefour supermarket, in Brantome, open Monday  9 AM to 12 PM. Tuesday through Friday 8:45 AM to 1:00 PM, 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Saturday and Sunday, open 8:45 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Specialty food and wine shops, Brantome.

Bourdeilles restaurants and Cafés

So many to choose from:

  • Cafe de la Halle – Local aperitif place, with light snacks, music Monday nights. 
  • Nommads – Creative, seasonal, international gourmet meals.
  • Les Tilleuls – Café with terrace under the sycamores. Lunch, dinner, drinks.

Thanks very much for renting Au Pied du Chateau. Do not hesitate to call us with any questions!

Jim and Kathi Lengel
+1 508.904.0749