Cathar Country Houses – French Property Specialists – Southwest France
Fabulous View Property with 9.7 Hectares
St. Benoit, Aude
En Français ICI – We arrived at the lovely gates of this property bearing a large bunch of carrots because this incredible property, dating back 800 years and sitting in the middle of 9.7 Hectares of fields and woodland, is currently home to three charming horses… and what sweethearts they are too! But even if you have no interest in horses or other large animals, this is a property to fall totally, immediately and utterly in love with!
Even the approach to this property is stunning, leave Chalabre – the village we are lucky enough to both live in – and wind your way through woodland, climbing up gently and with increasingly lovely views on either side… then turn left up the lane, drive through the double wrought iron gates…… and you have arrived at what feels like the top of the world.
The most beautiful views we have seen stretch away in every direction – 360 degrees of breathtaking beauty – the Black Mountains in one direction, the more Mediterranean landscape heading down to Limoux in another, towards Chalabre there are views of the Pyrenees to take your breath away…. and this property sits at the epicentre …. untroubled by neighbours, cocooned in its own land. This a level of luxury in relation to location that few of us are ever privileged to see. 9.7 Hectares may sound an awful lot – but it really doesn’t feel like it. Yes, you would need more than a hand mower, but a few decorative sheep to act as mobile lawnmowers would be one solution or you could let a local farmer graze some animals there and do all the work. It really doesn’t feel dauntingly big, simply a lovely, lovely balance of open fields and woodland.
The plateau in the middle of the property, where a building has stood for over 800 hundred years, is home to a totally renovated farmhouse – hugely thick walls – stone built – which the current owners have adapted to maximize the views in every direction. Two salons, with a beautiful double sided fireplace, a fully equipped modern kitchen with one of the best views for your morning coffee, plus 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an office and laundry. Central heating as well.We both lusted after the farmhouse kitchen….a dazzlingly good mixture of modern, clean lines, utterly top end furniture and appliances and – of course – those views…. we are both intending to pinch – on a smaller scale of course – some of the ideas this kitchen showed us … you really have to see it – a classic “cook’s kitchen” but warm and welcoming too. The rest of the house has the same ambience … space, comfort, gorgeous design… utter quality throughout – the showers alone are enough to make a person happy… spacious, well thought out arrangements and, in the master suite, a dressing room that gladdened our hearts ….. and all this without compromising the ” feel ” of the old building… wonderful stuff.
The middle section of the classic “longhouse” property is arranged as 6 chambres d’hotes rooms with en suite baths arranged around a center atrium that is open on one end and enclosed by an enormous glass wall at the other. The views off each side are spectacular! These rooms are large enough to easily be converted to gîtes if you prefer. Beyond this section is a workshop of 100 m² on each of 2 levels and a large hangar of 500 m².
As the current owners adore their horses – who are clearly family members – friendly, following us around the outside of the buildings, occasionally a velvet nose nudged us for more carrots – but no wonder they are happy… the 500 sqm hangar has every need supplied… and to the same high quality as the rest of the property. Stabling, feed stores, tack rooms, a well equipped workshop, and all sheltered by a purpose built open sided barn… details like an on site water supply organized conveniently to hand. If you did want to keep horses, your horses would be ecstatic to be living here ….if not, you would have enough parking for a fleet of vehicles plus a giant play are in all weathers for children.
We both recommend this property unreservedly… it’s utterly scrumptious….hugely flexible ….and, importantly, we feel that the price is very realistic. It would be nigh on impossible to find another property of this beauty at this price…. and we are convinced that, in addition to being a glorious place to live happily ever after, it will prove to be a very intelligent investment.
We could tell you about the old well, shaped like a half buried onion, that never runs dry, we could tell you about the stream to one of the property boundaries, we could tell you about the profusion of wild flowers …..but if this property could meet your dreams do come and visit …. there is too much to tell! We are entranced and are certain that you will be too.