History lives and breathes at this 14th century villa in Midi-Pyrénées. A winding lane through a dairy farm delivers you to this manor house, an achingly beautiful retreat to simpler times in Aveyron. The original stone walls aren’t just a facade; inside, the rough-hewn kitchen and stairs in the tower testify to the years that have passed. Climb up past the tiny chapel to the lookout tower, where the rolling hills unfurl beneath you.
Nods to the past are everywhere, from the medieval-style art on the walls to the antique sewing machine in one of the bedrooms. Even the modernized bathrooms have walls of rough stone. The formal dining room recalls a moodier time, with stone walls and floors, heavy wooden doors, and intricate textiles. For some time in the sun, head out to the stone patio shaded by the trees.
The nearest village is Auzits (1 km), but you'll want to head to Firmi (7 km) for supplies. Natural beauty is everywhere - if you're up for an hour's drive, consider the caverns at Peche-Merle. The nearest city of note is Rodez (30 km), where the local airport lies. Try the fouace (a sweet bread) for breakfast!
The manoir can sleep up to 8 guests in its 4 bedrooms, 3 of which have en-suite bathrooms. There are seven single beds and one double.
- Ground Floor
The ground floor has a fantastic high ceilinged entrance hall, comprising of a large dining area at one end and the main sitting room at the other. There are some lovely examples of exposed stone walls and beautiful old wood beams. Intriguingly there is a walk in fireplace which you actually have to walk through to reach the modern kitchen, pantry and utility room! The sitting room end of the main hall leads into a comfortable study/single bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
Just off the hall is the beautifully crafted spiral staircase that leads to the master bedroom on a mezzanine level decked out with beautifully crafted wood floors, two single beds, and an en-suite bathroom with its own stone fireplace.
- First Floor
Continue up the spiral staircase, to the first floor you will find 2 further bedrooms, one double and one twin and another cosy study. Attached to the study is a charming consecrated chapel (ideal for intimate wedding ceremonies) and another bathroom.
Take one more flight of stairs and you will reach the old watch tower. Nowadays this is a small room with a window boasting breathtaking views.
Access to the chateau is via a working dairy farm. The herd are taken to pastures nearby out of sight to graze by day. There are, however, two donkeys who call the property home. Their names are Paco and Rabanne, a mother and son who are both very friendly and gregarious! The sunset terrace overlooks the private swimming pool (10mx5m) and valley beyond. There is a wood/charcoal BBQ and an indoor raised chimney in the kitchen to make barbecues when the weather does not allow the outdoors. There is also a "big" "outdoor gas griddle.