This is the most whimsical property that Jennifer and I have seen in a month of Sundays and if you are a dyed in the wool romantic with Baroque leanings – this could be the property of your dreams!
Imagine a property where you move seamlessly between ” French Farmhouse ” – 3,000 sq metres of land surrounding it, barns, south facing, and wonderful views to the hills beyond – and ” French Chateau ” – a scaled down Long Gallery and an eclectic mix of Chateau and English Manor house, multi levelled, steps up, steps down…. ( classic English ) staircases that confuse you totally, broadly speaking at least two options of getting from one part of the property to another at all times. It’s a joy – we wandered around going from amazing room to amazing room – and loving every minute of it. Oh, and did we mention the totally independent, turreted gite thrown in for good measure? The last time I saw a property like this it was a manor house in the depths of rural Essex in England….
You drive up into a tiny hamlet, only minutes from Foix, the County Town of the Ariege, and about equidistant to Lavelanet – fabulous Friday market – totally un touristy – and wonderful farm produce. You see the crushed raspberry coloured shutters of what appears to be a classic french farmhouse. Park in the generous front garden area, then walk up between the lavender beds to the front door. When you enter, you will have arrived into something totally unexpected. The current owners have spent – clearly – an enormous amount of time sourcing original doors / timbers for the floors / etcetera and chasing down elements of the property that had previously been sold. For example, in the cellar, the made to measure barrel rack has been reinstated. And this attention to detail shows throughout the property.
This property is deceptively large, impossible to say how many bedrooms – because that depends on you – ” lots “is the honest answer – is it a dressing room or is it another bedroom ? your choice. But, essentially, it is property of two halves as we said… ” French Farmhouse ” but also a Chateau / Manor House as well. Designed and achieved by someone with an in depth knowledge of both French and English architectural heritage – but done with a ” tongue in cheek ” view of the sheer fun to be had from historical referencing. The result? Charming, quirky, whimsical…. and amazingly liveable. Jennifer and I did our frequent stereo ” I could live here ” as we got in the car and headed to our respective homes.
If you are want to build a Chambre d’Hotes business / run gites this could be perfect. It is certain that this property is exquisitely memorable – it is a total “one off ” almost impossible to duplicate due to location and the months and months and years of work that have gone into its creating. Equally it is the most wonderful family home … big enough to absorb various generations …. distant relatives….. large dogs, horses ( due to the barns ) and children – who would find it a total paradise!
With our business heads on: We stand by amazing, quirky, whimsical and wonderful… also “total one off” yet amazingly flexible. Downsides ? the heating system needs repair – a heat exchanger that decided to stop working a few years ago – the septic tank, although functioning and with no problems, is not up to current standards and would need to be addressed. A bit more ” bathroomage ” would be nice – but by no means essential, and, as a gardener, were you to want to put in a pool – which would not be complicated – we would swap the geese for a bit of landscaping – and as the highest house in the hamlet the views are uninterrupted… they are joyous!
This property is just waiting for someone who appreciates architectural references made reality, a romantic who will adore living in a property sitting in the middle of its own land with two huge barns – yet within very easy reach of all the benefits of the ” modern ” world. Someone who – like the owners – has a dream. Jennifer and I both feel that this property offers excellent value for money, is priced to sell and is a seriously good investment, either as a family home or as a home plus income stream… we both adored it.
- Equestrian Potential