A feature called ‘The Spirit of Place’ in the January issue highlights five inspiring properties that are currently for sale through French Connections, in five varying regions. Over three pages, the article considers the history and place of each house in the local community, along with the area’s landscape and lifestyle.
Anyone considering buying a property in France quickly becomes aware of the size of the country and the varying character of its many regions. These regions hold history and traditions that are reflected in the landscape, architecture, food, lifestyle and even language. Together they make up what might be termed the ‘spirit of place’.
The article reminds buyers that when hunting for a property, it’s good to choose both the house and region that suit you best, remembering that you are entering the spirit of both.
One property featured is a Mayenne watermill, where the owners discovered that village women from both Madre and nearby St. Julien du Terroux used to walk to the mill and do their weekly wash in the river. There is a mill pond in the garden and the river meadow attached to the property is teeming with local wild life.
A converted Basque farmhouse at Loucrup dates to around 1905 and stands in the Hautes-Pyrénées, with sweeping mountain views. From dizzying heights to lush valleys, this is Basque border country where France meets Spain, where both proud traditions and sacred mysteries are maintained, where vultures soar and mountains dip their feet into the sea.
Close to Mont St Michel in Brittany is a stone manor farm (below). In the former living part of the farm are kitchen, lounge and 6 letting bedrooms. The old stable has been transformed into accommodation that is accessible and equipped for 2 wheelchair users plus partners and the old hayloft is now renovated into a dormitory for 12. In the former cider press and store are two big rooms for special occasions, one with a stage.
Close to the borders of Seine-Maritime and Normandy sits a spacious modern house, built in 1964 to echo the architectural style of the region, with stone and whitewashed walls and a steeply pitched tiled roof. It’s now been completely modernised and also has a self-contained apartment.
The Southern Dordogne is a lush, pastoral paradise where the gentle slopes of rich, fertile valleys are carpeted in green and ideal for producing the region’s famous wines and gastronomy. Our idyllic farmhouse truly embraces the spirit of its place (main photo). Originally just a stone barn, about 15 years ago it was converted to a home with the addition of a pigeonnier in the region’s style, built with local stone and materials by local artisans.
The January issue of French Property News is on sale now. Browse all our real estate properties and buying guides