Cathar Country Houses – French Property Specialists – Southwest France
A Jewel in the Heart of the Village
Oh my goodness – what a gem! From the lacy, original, wrought iron balcony to the marble fireplaces – this really is an utter gem – but it gets even better. The front of this “Maison de Maitre” townhouse is a lovely introduction to the list of treasures to be found inside… an interior courtyard, a ruby glass acorn ornamenting the ground floor newel post, the original staircase swirling upwards with its polished banister rail supported by delicate, decorated wrought iron, a generous kitchen, and a complete studio at loft level. True to its age, this home has big, wide landings, tall ceilings and generous rooms – and all the boring, horrible, expensive work – new electrics – plenty of spacious bathrooms – has been done. In our experience, most “Maison de Maître” townhouses need work – and lots of it – but this one doesn’t. It has been renovated lovingly, respecting the age of the building – probably mid 1800’s – but bringing it up to a very high modern standard of comfort and practicality.
It’s a fact that a good “Maison de Maitre” speaks to my heart, I adore them. The combination of elegance, fabulous original materials, and big, generous rooms seems to me to be a building style that is largely unequaled if you want to live in a village, yet have tons of space and a home that you will love living in. In England, houses from the Georgian period carry such a premium that, mostly, only the very rich can be lucky enough to live in them – here we are just so spoilt – these glorious properties are still affordable. They are definitely getting harder to find and one as good as this one is a rarity indeed. It is even rarer in that it follows the curve of the village road that it is on, and so the rooms are even bigger than the standard. It’s hard to explain – you will have to see it – but rooms take up the curve with stunningly offset angles and it works like a dream giving already large rooms even more space.
On a purely practical note – the layout is relatively simple. Stairs curving away up to the top of the house to your left, on your right, at ground floor a vast living room to the front of the house with a fabulous kitchen behind it – the sort of kitchen anyone who likes cooking will be aching to get their hands on. The floors above have two bedrooms and 1 bathroom per floor – until you get to loft level where the entire loft has been turned into a beautiful independent apartment – complete with kitchen and bathroom. The whole property is scrumptious, and, by comparison with properties elsewhere, is incredible value for money. Jennifer and I don’t even want to think what you could buy for this price in London – dog kennel perhaps? an extremely small garage? No matter, here we are in Chalabre, the village where Jennifer and I have both bought houses – we love it , it’s got everything, great butcher, great baker 2 wonderful little supermarkets – soon to amalgamate into 1 bigger supermarket, farmers market every Saturday winter and summer, doctors, dentist, and we feel that it is a village that is “on the up”. The countryside around the village is breathtakingly lovely and we are close to ski areas and only an hour and a bit to the Mediterranean… plus the benefit of the lowest crime rate in France and the biggest proportion of organic farmers. As I said earlier, we really are distinctly spoilt.
We both agree, Jennifer and I, that this is one of the very best houses that we have seen for ages. If you are looking for a seriously elegant, classically French, townhouse with outside space in a lively village in the real South of France – “La France Profonde” this could be the house of your dreams.
DPE en cours *Agency Fees Included ** Taxe foncière €1170