A dear friend of ours is selling his beautiful house and I have a problem. I'm not worried about the friend going away because he's moving locally to another wonderful place so we'll still see him .... no my problem is purely selfish, it's the house. This house is very special, and unless someone I know buys it I may never get invited there again.
The house is what we call a maison de maître, the sort of grand house of the village. I don't have the exact date but I guess it's about 150 years old. It's in a tiny village less than 10 minutes from here, on the hill above our valley.
Push open the front door and you will discover that the main house is beautifully symetrical, but not actually too enormous inside. On the ground floor there is a wide entrance with fireplace, a kitchen and a very cosy living room each with their own fireplace!
On the first floor there are two bedrooms, a dressing room and two bathrooms. On the top floor I love the huge open family room, and two more bedrooms, all in the eaves of the house with beautiful pale beams showing.
From this top floor you can look out onto part of the outbuildings or 'dependances'. It is typical around here to have outbuildings, but not many properties have as many as this one.
This little house lies directly opposite the main house, for the moment it's not used for much, but I always thought it would make the most wonderful place to paint or write.
To the right of the main house as you walk out the front door is the barn, with a sort of double garage and workshop area adjacent.
The inside of the barn is beautiful, herringbone brickwork on the floor, pale beams and you guessed it, another fireplace, although this one is just for decoration.
The garden is pretty big, with enough cherry trees in it to feed the village! But my favourite part is the stone- walled potager, or vegetable garden. I love it's crooked stone columns leading in and the symmetrical layout of the beds.
From here you can stroll out the other side and discover what today is officially an outbuilding but could actually be a good size house. I believe that this building won't be included in the sale though.
A part of the downstairs has been renovated and is used as an office, but the whole upper floor and the right wing needs restoration. Where the cow shed stood there are still the names of the cows written on slate tiles on the walls, and behind the next door is the original bread oven, still usable.
So, who will come and be my new neighbour? I'll help you settle in, I promise! But seriously, if you are interested then contact me here by email and I'll give you more details and put you in contact with the owner if required. He feels as strongly about this house as I do, and we both want to see it go into the right hands!