Le Vieux Logis was originally a priory, in the 16th and 17th centuries, and later a farmstead. The region relies on mixed farming with an emphasis on tobacco. The farmland and agricultural buildings surround the main farmhouse.
In 1952, Mr and Mrs Giraudel decided to retire from the wholesale business they ran in Bergerac and allow their children to take over.
After a few weeks of well-deserved rest, they came up with the idea of converting their house, which was routinely full of friends at the first opportunity, and open it up to the tourists who were starting to explore the Périgord.
Their first task, besides some decorating and the addition of various amenities, was the creation of a second garden based on Vilmorin's plans, whilst the main one was kept for their personal use. Given the positive response from guests, more changes were quickly made.
The owners' main concern was not to betray the spirit of the house. Above all, the family home, holiday home, "grandma's house" side to the hotel had to be respected.
After the death of Mr Giraudel, his wife asked one of her sons to help her given the scale of the demand and the work to be undertaken.
Once this son decided not to continue, and still guided by the "specification" outlined above, the baton was passed to the youngest son, Bernard Giraudel.
Then aged 55, he retired from business to set himself up as a "bringer of jollity", as the saying goes. Things then moved very fast.
The hotel was enlarged to provide 23 rooms, two dining rooms and a 120 sq.m seminar room, and three new gardens with a swimming pool were created. All the work was entrusted to professionals.
The décor was entrusted to Jean Dive of the "Maison & Jardin" gallery. After the death of Jean Dive, Bernard Giraudel had no hesitation in choosing two men he calls "his spiritual children", Roland Le Bevillon and Maurice Savinel.
The design of the gardens was entrusted to Laure Quoniam, a Harvard graduate in landscape gardening.
Bernard Giraudel's efforts were soon rewarded by a stream of French and international guests, critical acclaim and rankings in food and travel guides.