An article in the latest issue of French Property News magazine tells the story of two really rather romantic French Connections gites with a fascinating history. Both properties have been lovingly restored and now their owners invite holidaymakers to both savour the past and enjoy modern comforts - all in the glorious countryside of France.
A watermill in Maine-et-Loire
Carolyn and Peter Johnson fell in love at first sight with Le Vieux Moulin (above), especially its tranquil location on a small island between the mill stream and the River Thouet, the fabulous views and the regular sightings of kingfishers, herons, deer and other wildlife.
“The old mill house was re- built in 1846”, explains Carolyn. “We’ve traced it back to Napoleonic times but we know there has been a mill here since the 13th century. Now it’s our home and we’ve made a gite in the extension, which was once a restaurant and space for dances. Couples would get married at the Mairie and have their reception here.”
Now, after major renovation work, the watermill gite offers guests an enormous lounge with conservatory and French doors to a balcony, along with modern kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
A Perigordian farmhouse Pigeonnier
In 1989, Jerry Shively and his wife, originally from the USA, decided to retire to France and discovered Le Tondu, a small estate near the quiet Dordogne hamlet of Naussannes.
“The elderly couple who lived here were self-sufficient peasant farmers leading a disappearing lifestyle,” remembers Jerry. “They wore wooden shoes, there was no toilet and animals were everywhere. The Pigeonnier was full of chickens.”
The Shiveleys used local craftsmen to restore the Pigeonnier, preserving as much as possible of the original character and materials. Now it is a beautiful Perigordian cottage gite with its own garden, a bedroom in the tower and outdoor seating under the eaves.
French Property News October issue is on sale now. Check out more of our Press coverage and read the full article here