‘Le Cabri’ is a highly successful restaurant together with a charming 18th century 4 bedroom renovated farmhouse providing excellent family accommodation. An outstanding opportunity with further potential.
- Reference: 2894m119891
- Property Type: House
- Status: Available
- Location: 47120, Duras, Lot-Et-Garonne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine
- Habitable Space: 400 m2
- Land Space: 250 m2
- Sale Price: €675,000
- Bedrooms: 4
- Pool: Yes
Rather than a usual property description I thought I would copy the Business of the Month article written about Le Cabri in a recent French magazine (French Property News); I hope you don't find the comments about the family narcissistic - but I can't compete with a professional journalist!
Although France is synonymous with food on a national scale, many will agree that Lot-et-Garonne has a particular draw with its melt-in-the-mouth foie gras, duck and gourmandises made with local fruit and nuts.
Situated 45 minutes south-west of Bergerac, Restaurant Le Cabri has been enticing and delighting foodies in the department for the last seven years.
Currently part of a wider holiday village business, the restaurant was taken on by owners Peter and Eileen Marston in 2007 after their hearts were captured by the beauty of the surroundings. Nestled between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, the site of Le Cabri – a former farm whose name means ‘kid’ –boasts beautiful views and is an enjoyable 10-minute stroll from medieval Duras, with its spectacular fortified château and twice-weekly market.
Crisis to Coup
When the global economy collapsed within months of the takeover, it took all the Marstons’ life experience to turn the restaurant into the profitable business it is today, now boasting the Number 1 rating on TripAdvisor. “It hasn’t been easy to develop such a good reputation as we weren’t even starting with a level playing field, ”Eileen explains, as unfortunately the preceding establishment left rather a lot to be desired. “But with initiative and creativity, and an excellent chef who uses the very best local produce, all our hard work has paid off.”
With Peter and Eileen at front of house, the restaurant has delivered plate after plate of traditional, homemade French fare with occasional international influences. I am sorely tempted by the foie gras mi-cuit served with warm bread, shallot chutney and sundried tomatoes, perhaps followed by cognac-flambéed langoustines. Non-regional dishes such as escargots and Gratin de St-Jacques also feature on the menu. All the wine is from the Côte de Duras appellation; in fact, in 2011, Le Cabri won an award for its support of local producers.
While at the helm the Marstons have expanded the restaurant to seat a total of 120 diners, split between a 40x30m covered terrace with magnificent valley views and a cosy, beamed interior space. Year-round opening has been facilitated by the open fire and central heating inside, as well as fixed heaters for outdoor dining during early and late season. The equipped professional kitchen is included in the sale, together with a 120m2 function room which can be hired out privately or used for special catering functions.
In order to focus their efforts on the holiday village, Peter and Eileen now wish to separate the restaurant from it. Although the latter is still primarily buoyed by the local community who make up 80% of the customer base, Peter is confident that the site’s plans for a further 50 log cabins and emplacements for caravans will add to the new restaurant owner’s success. “Our caravanning numbers have increased by a third each year since we built our facilities, and we expect further expansion to naturally increase restaurant turnover,” he says.
Homework and Holidays
Potential owners with families are well catered for here. Peter and Eileen’s sons Thomas, 14, and Louis, 13, attended the schools in Duras, a village which not only provides education from nursery age to pre-lycée but also has shops, banks, bars, a medical centre and restaurants; “but not of the same quality as Le Cabri!” Peter jokes of the latter.
On non-school days, there are abundant local activities to be enjoyed including tennis at courts a kilometre away, horse-riding and golf, as well as swimming and fishing in the pool and lake on site.
The sale includes living accommodation in the form of a once-dilapidated farmhouse, refurbished and modernised by the Marstons but which has scope for further improvement. There are presently four bedrooms leading from the galleried landing – two en-suite which could be used as chambres d’hôtes – and a large living room and kitchen, while outside is a private garden.
Whether you’re a passionate chef, a devout duck-eater or you’re simply sold by the area’s lifestyle opportunities, this enterprise is an attractive proposition, enjoying proven success while offering vast potential. Why not turn it into your next French adventure? _
Edge of the historic village of Duras