“Our” Hamlet…

Pool view from Garden – Full Summer

There are some days that are totally amazing in this job – today was one of them… it’s late January – midwinter here…. the sun was shining, blue sky, warm…   and today was the day we saw what we think of as ” our hamlet “… we saw it first in pouring rain, freezing cold   and both of us fell in love with it.   Today, when we had arranged to see the interior,  we fell in love all over again… it was just one of those days when everything was perfect, one of those days when you know why you choose to do this work, one of those days when it’s not work – it’s pleasure.

Dogwood House

It was a voyage of discovery…….  to corridors and rooms that have the walls covered in padded brocades….  it felt like stepping back into the 18th century…. a huge room with a cathedral ceiling leading to a terrace the width of the room  –  such thought has been given to this wonderful property –  where the garden furniture has been chosen with loving care, seats with lion feet… where a sundial smiles down on trees that the person who originally planted them knew they would never see grow to maturity….. centennial pines,  old stone steps….leading to a terrace bordered with kitchen herbs and a sprawling bay tree…. the orchard where we saw wild orchids pushing up leaves in January….. magical,,  and, from the orchard, a view of the Pyrenees…. mountains covered in snow with a sheen like the icing on wedding cakes..

Dogwood House Balcony & Sundial

House followed house – five in all – each with its own special character, one with a rustic feel, the main house elegant beyond belief, a house with a summer kitchen with a terrace overlooking the swimming pool and shaded by a mixture of kiwi fruit and roses.. roses everywhere, punctuating the line of stepping stones leading up to one of the houses, trailing gently around an entrance .. even the shaded areas are a wonderful mixture of plants with variegated leaves and the papery seed heads of the plant called ” Honesty ” rustling as we passed …

Lovely even in Winter

And birds…  birds we knew, birds we had never seen and didn’t have a clue what they were –  one with a flash of blue on its wings as it flew off – probably miffed that we had had the audacity to disturb it… and a buzzard with eye markings on the underneath of its wings circling slowly above us… in summer this must be a garden that is full of the perfume of flowers, even in winter we could see roses, jasmine, passionflower, philadelphus, iris  – everything chosen with a gardener’s eye and an artist’s arrangement – a garden like a painting…

Pool view from Roses House terrace


We both  just felt so spoilt, so privileged  –  for that afternoon it was ours…. We sat on the old well head by the swimming pool,  just looked around and, for a few minutes did nothing……  it is such a magical place….



Mountain Views

And, finally, having taken pages of notes and loads of photos, we had no choice but to leave, down a little road bordered by trees and a small stream, no other traffic and, in ten minutes we were in Mirepoix – a bustling little market town that is beautiful in its own right –  back to the real world from a world outside of time …  and “Yes ” we have bought the lottery tickets !!

~   Lizzie & Jennifer

Winter view from the Orchard



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