Simply Canvas

Europe France Aquitaine Lot-et-Garonne

  • Campfires allowed
  • Children’s playground
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Laundry
  • Good walks nearby
Stay in a luxurious safari tent and feel the sense of zen-like calm which filters th­rough every inch of Simply Canvas

Sandra and Santi, the owners of Simply Canvas, couldn’t be accused of being orthodox – they met in a Vietnamese monastery – she was a nun, he was a monk. After leaving for the world outside, destiny brought them to the Dordogne, whereupon they were married. The end? Not quite. They then set up a campsite that sought to encapsulate peace and equilibrium. As such, a zen-like calm filters th­rough every inch of Simply Canvas. Chickens wander past fat Buddha statues in the allotment, kittens bounce across the lawn as hammocks swing gently in the breeze – tune in, turn on, doze off. Wander through the lavender grove to the graphite-black, kidney-shaped swimming pool – it’s like that because it soaks up and retains the heat of the sun. Why run a man-made heater when you can harness nature’s own?

The accommodation is equally relaxing, with six safari tents furnished in traveller’s paraphernalia – ornate globes, wicker furniture, peacock feathers... Each tent faces its own direction to maximise privacy. The site operates an honesty tab, so it’s up to you to declare how many glasses of chilled rosé you’ve been tucking into while watching the extraordinary pink sunsets they fire up nightly. There’s a high-beamed, candy-lit barn that is a playroom for kids on stormy days, venue for yoga classes, and also the kitchen and dining room. Because there are only six tents the atmosphere is intimate; you’ll soon get to know your fellow guests, be it sitting al fresco or meeting on the way to the personalised shower each of you enjoys (your name is chalked on the door).

Weaved among the tents, the pool, the barn and the hammocks is the garden itself, Sandra and Santi’s pride and joy. Their permaculture ethos ensures that everything is grown organically and sustainably, with each plant strategically placed in order to help the growth of those around it. The idea is to simulate the patterns of natural eco-systems and create a fruitful garden that simply maintains itself. It’s just another way that the site continues its cycle of natural harmony. Simply canvas? It’s simply wonderful.

Details

Facilities

Everything you need is on site, sun-heated swimming pool, table-tennis table, lounge-lizard hammocks, volleyball, kids’ swings, soccer field, communal fire and BBQ; private, personalised shower and toilet. There are 6 safari tents (and 3 cottages), all included breakfast, and linen is included. There is even tent wifi (although the speeds are at the slower, countryside pace).

Suitable For

Glampers and dogs (on leads) – yes. Camping with campervans,  caravans, tents etc – no.

Nearby

The great thing about glamping in France is that there's no need to rush away – with a climate like this you can easily just loll around the swimming pool all day. If you do want to take off for a while, though, head for Bergerac for a dégustation of its famous red wine. En route, there’s scores of roadside vintners. To see the lush valleys from a different angle treat yourself to an afternoon’s hot-air ballooning (0033 5 53 89 02 23). Nearly every day there is a farmers’ market in one of the surrounding bastide (medieval) villages. St Emilion and Bordeaux are withing reach for a (half) day outing.

Food & Drink

Breakfast on site is an informal affair; Sandra makes smoothies, cooks eggs, or returns from the village laden with fresh baguettes, pains au chocolat and croissants. You can eat outside the barn at the long table, which gives on to great views of the fields. Sandra and Santi are known for their delicious dinners. A few times a week they whip up the most fabulous meditarenean buffets laden with veggies from the garden, salads, local meat and what not. Even the children get enthusiastic about their food! In neighbouring Eymet, Le Pub Gambetta (0033 5 53 23 33 41) on the central town square is welcoming and authentic.

Opening Times

April–early October

The Owner Says

Dive into nature at Simply Canvas. A small farm with big dreams. Stay in one of the six  luxurious safari tents or three b&b cottages. Feel the sense of zen-like calm which filters th­rough every inch of Simply Canvas. Stroll through the permaculture garden and even harvest lettuce and tomatoes from your own personal veggie garden. All tents have their own private bathroom, electricity, cooking facilities and veggie garden. 

Accommodation

6 well-equipped safari tents (3 cottages also available).

No availability showing at Simply Canvas.

Location

Contact Simply Canvas, Bonac, 47120 St-Jean-de-Duras, Lot-et-Garonne, France

Getting There

From Bordeaux, follow signs for Périgueux/Libourne, joining the A89 shortly before Libourne. Exit at J12 Ste-Foy-la-Grande, D708 to Margueron, then take the left turn in the village towards Miramont-de-Guyenne. After about 3 miles (5 km), turn left when you see the sign for Briquet/Bonac or look for the road sign 'Simply Canvas and Permaculture'. Follow this road for 240 yards (220 m) until the white portal on your right, and you have arrived.

Closest airports Bergerac (30 minutes) and Bordeaux (90 minutes)

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