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A port on the river bank A place tied to my family’s history
My great great-grand-father Hormidas was already living here in 1870.
Born on the banks of the Dordogne, he knew the river like no one else: its sunny beaches, fishing spots and tricky currents. At the time there was no bridge to allow people to cross so the locals used to knock on his door when they wanted to get to the other side. He would take them across on his flat wooden barge that he would manoeuvre with great dexterity. The ruins of his small dwelling are still there on the riverfront, next to the house at number 17.
At the time, each crossing was an adventure, braving the fast current and the river`s ever changing moods.
From ferryman to farmer – The bridge’s construction
Like most people in the area, my great-grand-father Jean, Hormidas’ son, became a farmer. In his spare time, he used to make reed baskets, sitting on the front step of the ferryman’s house.
Then my grand-father René took over the farm, selling his vegetables and milk from his four dairy cows grazing by the newly-built road leading to the bridge.
In the 1950s, people started to go away on holiday and René was meeting more and more tourists who would stop to buy his fruit and vegetables. At the time, everything was organic!
One day, a passer-by asked him whether he could pitch his tent on his field because it looked so idyllic.
René was particularly welcoming and for decades campers came year in year out to enjoy this special setting on the river.
René and all the locals used to say “The campers are back”, as this new enthusiasm for outdoor living was seen as a bit peculiar in the 1950s and 60s!
As a young child Daniel, René’s son, used to hang out with the campers. It was his way of having a holiday…
Daniel is my father. He didn’t become a farmer but chose a career as a builder, staying in Saint-Sozy as the village was his entire life …
Witnessing the development of tourism in the area, my father decided to build a small hamlet called “Le Village du Port”.
The place was an ideal spot and by 1990 my parents had invested heavily and built six holiday cottages on the river.…
Holidaymakers and fishermen started gathering there in a convivial and family atmosphere.
Today, history repeats itself with the same values being passed on through the generations.
In 1996, I extended the Village du Port with camping lodges, play area, tennis court and swimming pools.
In 2015 we opened a large holiday house catering for friend and family groups with the same aim: ensuring unforgettable holidays for our guests…
At the time my grand-parents were still living on the family farm, happy to see that their legacy would live on.
Sadly by 2021 they had both passed away, leaving behind a corner of the world that is still in their image: authentic and simple.
After deciding to leave behind my former professional life I embarked upon restoring the family farm with the upmost respect for those who had come before me.
The stone farm building was renovated with authentic and natural materials like wood, iron and reeds.
As before, we sell local produce on site including our own walnut oil.
The dairy farm has given way to an organic wine bar and we have planted a 1.5 hectare orchard with heritage varieties.
Our values are in total harmony with our surroundings, our heritage, our country way of life and with the greatest respect for the environment.
We are simply passing through this world and our family story will carry on as long as we protect it as best we can…
Our elders already knew this – today we call it eco-tourism.
You are welcome here as people always were and today the wine bar Chez Sophie is run by the 5th and 6th generation.
With the same continuity of values, we are opening our new campsite in 2022…
Daniel, Sophie, Louis…