Period House on a Hilltopclose to Nérac
A warm and inviting property
This old Gascon farmhouse is set against a lovely rural backdrop to the North of the Gers, with easy access to the motorway and to Toulouse international airport.
The driveway to the property is an interesting feature of the house with a long private lane cutting its way through the valley and leading to the property which sits alone.
The horizon to the front is dotted with a line of oaks. To the rear, the garden sweeps down to the pool area, which overlooks the valley, offering a breath-taking sweep of landscape to swimmers. The pool is a salt water pool, and benefits from a new liner which has been recently replaced.
The property has an official entrance and hallway, but on our first visit we enter directly into a spacious kitchen with a contemporary rustic feel. The current owners refurbished the kitchen using a range of designer units in the style of the Cotswolds (country style light coloured wooden cupboards and table). There is an old fireplace (not currently in use) and a pretty view onto a terrace area to the pool beyond.
The kitchen is the heart of the property and is light and bright. It is here where all the family gather, the current owners tell us, having used the property as a family summer home for many years. From here, there is a small summer room with a table, used as a breakfast or dining-room, with an arched window and French doors.
The main reception room is a long rectangular room, with a fireplace and wood-burning stove. On a later visit to the property the owners invite me for a glass of wine besides the roaring fire, in what is a pleasant evening room, and a cosy place to nestle down and watch a film.
“The property is an ideal house for guests and large families,” the current owner tells us. “On two levels, with two bedrooms on the ground floor, each with a bathroom and shower room, two further bedrooms and a large family room or games room on the first floor, with a shower room, and a bedroom on the lower garden level, also with a shower room, children and grandchildren can fill the property from top to bottom. Some summers have been spent here with up to seventeen guests, and all the space outdoors that any child could need to play.”
The entire first floor has been developed by the current owners and built into the eaves, with old oak beams traversing the ceilings. The shower rooms have been newly fitted, and throughout the house is comfortable and warm, with all modern comforts.
With full oil central heating, and the additional fireplace down in the main reception room, the house has also been much loved during the winter months.
Who might this property suit?
This property will suit a large or extended family, looking for a holiday home or permanent residence. With private access to the downstairs bedroom and shower, it is also possible to imagine a summer lettings room.
The house will also appeal to anyone seeking a home in the heart of the countryside with no near neighbours, and plenty of space around. This house really is “Far from the Madding Crowd.”
What I might consider doing if this house were mine:
There is little I would change from a decorative point of view since its warm and rustic style suits the property perfectly. I would change the occasional remaining single glazed window, for example in the bedroom. I might add a second shower room to the second bedroom on the first floor since there is plenty of room to do so.
Here at Bliss we love:
The sense of living far from the crowd, close to the nearest towns of Lectoure, Saint Clar, and the bigger cities of Agen and Toulouse, but in a rural context with stunning views.
The old oak tree, possibly three hundred years old by the swimming pool, which certainly looks as if it could tell a tale or two, and the views from here which are sublime. The vista from the pool is so far-stretching it could almost be an infinity pool.
If this house had a soul it would be one closely woven with that of Mother Nature, the seasons, the trees and the wildlife around. This is a house which requires a home-maker at the kitchen stove, children playing in the garden or the pool, and the occasional smudge of wild red deer on the horizon, darting between the trees.
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