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French Connections

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  • If every French house tells a story, do you have a tale to tell?

    Main House

    We talk all the time with owners of properties in France. Often it seems to us that almost every owner has a story to tell about how they came to move to France or to fall in love with their holiday home.

    This is certainly true of two of our owners whose stories and houses are so interesting and photogenic that they have become the subject of major ‘real life’ features in the October and November issues of French Property News magazine.

    The first story is set in Brittany, where Eileen and Brian Welch came across Le Faouet, which had started life as a 19th century  typically Breton farming hamlet, located close to a village in the Côtes-d'Armor region. “Although we had to virtually machete our way in, it was love at first sight. The former working farms were set in four and a half acres of beautiful land and the buildings were really derelict, but we felt ready to take on the job of restoring them.”

    As it turned out, it was a further five years before Eileen and Brian were in a position to make the move - and to their surprise Le Faouet was still for sale. They moved into a caravan at the dilapidated property in March 1995 and set to work.

    By July, the Welches managed to let out their first gite, then went on to renovate all the buildings and to create their own house and eight separate gites, which they let successfully for many years.

    “Much as we love it here, we are both past retirement age now, so we have decided to put the property on the market and would love for somebody new to take over the reins and put their stamp on it.” Le Faouet is now on the market through French Connections.

    Le Moulin d'Arnac

    Down in Corrèze, close to Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, the story of owner Chris Jubb is very much a tale of real life, with all its twists and turns of fate. About 14 years ago, she and her husband Ken found Moulin d’Arnac in an estate agent’s files.

    This riverside period water mill in an area of outstanding natural beauty had literally just gone on the market and the owner couldn’t be contacted, so Chris and Ken jumped in the car to see if they could find the property. After driving around without success, they spotted a man coming out of the Mairie and stopped to ask if he knew of the mill house. “Actually, Moulin d’Arnac is my house”, he smiled. “Follow me”. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Three years after the Jubbs moved in, they were feeling settled and very happy in their new home and were running two gites – but Ken, who had a heart condition, died quite suddenly. “Everybody expected me to go back to England”, remembers Chris. “But this is my home and I was determined to stay. Almost immediately, my neighbours and people in  the village came forward with help and support.”

    But now she feels it’s time to retire and move into a smaller house, so Chris has placed her beloved water mill on the market – although she doesn’t plan to go far, so devoted is she to the area. Moulin d’Arnac is now on the market through French Connections.

    You can read the full stories of these two owners in French Property News magazine and see these and more features in our Press pages.

    Do you have a story to tell for our France Stories blog? Whether you have a property for holiday lets or for sale, we would love to hear from you. Send up to 500 words, a photograph and your French Connections ID number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

  • New! Win a luxury break in beautiful Brittany

    Take part in a reader survey in the latest French Property News magazine and you could win a break at the gorgeous La Longère, a French Connections luxury bed and breakfast farmhouse in Morbihan, Southern Brittany.

    At La Longère Elaine and Paul Hayden have created a stylish, secret hideaway exclusively for adults. With just three en-suite rooms, a jacuzzi and garden and a heated swimming pool for summer months, this is a haven of calm, tranquility and modern comfort in a warm and homely environment.

    The beautifully renovated 18th century stone farmhouse is close to medieval towns, the Carnac stones and the sandy coastline of southern Brittany.

    Discover the medieval market town of Hennebont, the breathtaking megalithic standing stones of Carnac and the quaint harbour of Port of St-Goustan.Get active with golf, horse riding, cycling, walking or sailing and at the end of the day savour plump local oysters or delicious traditional Breton crêpes.

    To enter the prize draw, complete the survey in the June issue of French Property News. Print and digital editions are available and full details are on page 94 of the magazine.

    See more about La Longere.

  • North or South of France? September’s French Property News features our owners

    Ever been torn between holidaying or relocating to the North or South of France? In the September issue of French Property News, two French Connections gite owners talk about living and running gites in their corner of the country - one in Brittany in the north, the other in l'Hérault in the south.

     France is a large country with massive variations in landscape, weather, culture, local produce, sights and activities. Whether you love to go on holiday or long to relocate, it can be tough to decide which region would suit your taste and lifestyle priorities. Our gite owners are located all over France, but especially in the popular holiday areas – and some of them clearly have terrific enthusiasm for their corner of France. So we asked two such owners to explain the appeal of their region.

    149174 Ollerenshaw La Chaumiere Cottage and pool

    In the three magazine article, which is also highlighted on the front cover and Contents page of French Property News, Ron and Sue Ollerenshaw explain how they grabbed a last minute week’s holiday on impulse at a Brittany gite. They were soon hooked by the setting and the peace and quiet - and then discovered that the owner happened to know somebody who sold properties to British buyers.

    By Thursday they had singled out Poulmarvezen, a former farm close to the village of Ploerdut in Morbihan. Now they offer five holiday cottages restored and furnished to a high standard, each one sleeping either five or six people, with a swimming pool (shown in the image above).

    Sabine and Graham Peek are no strangers to France, having lived and worked in Paris and other locations for many years. But it was in the relatively undiscovered l'Hérault region just west of Provence in the south of France that Graham, originally from the UK, and Sabine from Germany finally chose to settle three years ago, near the medieval town of Pezenas.

    The couple bought a stylish, pink-washed villa with a garden that features a swimming pool (shown in first image at top of page) and palm trees and created a two-bedroom gite in one self-contained floor. They named the gite 4 Paws, both in honour of their tabby cat and because it is a place ‘for pause’. They now take pleasure in sharing their knowledge and love of the region with guests.

    Explore holiday accommodation options at Poulmarvezenand 4 Paws and read the full article in our Press pages

  • Save Money on France Show tickets!

    In an exclusive deal for French Connections visitors, we're offering France Show tickets for just £7 instead of £10. Get your tickets now by using the promotional code FRC21 when you book at this address www.thefranceshow.com/pre-register.aspx?code=FRC21

    The France Show, held annually in London, is the next best thing to a trip to France and a must for Francophiles. This year it's being held at Earls Court, from 18th to 20th January. 

  • See two of our owners’ stories in March French Property News magazine

    A lovingly converted stone farmhouse for sale in Lot-et-Garonne and a beautiful house for rent on the trendy Ile de Ré. The story of the owners of both these gorgeous French Connections properties are featured in the latest issue of French Property News in two separate major articles.