Our beautifully restored stone farmhouse is set deep in the heart of Normandy, within the Normandie-Maine national park. Our property covers 27 acres of rolling, green fields and forest, including three acres of fenced lawn and gardens immediately surrounding the house. The last farm on a tiny dead-end road, it is fabulously peaceful. It is fully equipped, and sleeps 8/9.
The facade in summer 1999. The new south bedroom window is above the french doors.
On our property, we have two, 400-year old stone buildings with red-tile roofs. We have restored one end of the "Big House". (The rest of the building, as well as the other smaller building, are currently un-restored and uninhabited.) In restoring the house, we have been careful to preserve the classic character (beamed ceilings, exposed stone walls, terra cotta tile floors), while adding modern amenities (heat, appliances, new plumbing).
On the ground floor, you'll find the kitchen, dining room and living room. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, a full bath, and a shower room. All rooms except the smaller bedroom and bath, and the two recently renovated bedrooms, have exposed beams. The downstairs floors are all the old terra cotta tile; upstairs is wood, or tile in the bathroom and shower room. There is electric heat throughout.
The kitchen, which is about 300 sq. ft. (30m2), is fully equipped and features a large fireplace. There is a kitchen table and chairs, refrigerator, 4-burner gas stove with oven and broiler, sink, dishwasher, and lots of counters and cabinets. There are plenty of pots and pans, cutlery, dishes, and glasses, as well as numerous small appliances (toaster, coffee maker, teapot, cuisinart, blender, mixer, kitchen scale, microwave, etc.). The fireplace also has a grill in it, which is wonderful for cooking over.
The dining room has two walls of exposed stone, lots of well-stocked bookcases, and a large farm table that can easily accommodate ten people. It is about 250 sq. ft.(25m2), and opens onto the living room. The living room, which is about 300 sq. ft. (30 m2)features exposed stone walls and a huge fireplace. There is a large couch and two easy chairs, coffee table, stereo and color television.
The main entry is through the library, built with free standing oak book shelves. Off of this are two offices, with computers and other equipment. A corridor leads to a laundry room, with pantry and storage shelves, and a sink and toilet. There is a back door that leads to the wood shed so that we can bring in logs without getting rained on.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a double bed, a couch with coffee table, bureau, armoire and a small fireplace. There is a small shower room with sink and wc off this bedroom. The smaller bedroom has a double bed, bureau, armoire, desk and reading chair. Two bedrooms have recently been added, communicating with the bathroom by a short corridor. The north facing has a brick window, and two single beds. The south facing has a granite window looking out over the courtyard, and an antique twin bed. Both new bedrooms were built in the "old" style, with plaster over brick walls and ceilings. The bathroom has a tub with hand-held shower attachment, sink and toilet. The washer and dryer are in the bathroom. There are plenty of towels and linens for bed and bath.
Outside, there are three fenced-in acres of lawns and flower gardens directly surrounding the house, lovingly tended by our caretaker. We've planted over 70 trees, including a dozen fruit trees. Beyond the lawn, we have five large fields, which sometimes have horses or cows on them. There is forest all around, with immaculately maintained trails for walking or horseback riding. Numerous nearby equestrian centers (including one at a neighbor's) offer horse rentals.
The general area we're in is called Lower Normandy (Basse Normandie). Our "department" is called the Orne. We are 70 km (about 40 miles) south of Caen and the Normandy Beaches, and 180 km (about 110 miles) due west of Paris. There are literally dozens of beautiful, smaller chateaux and cathedrals to visit within a half-hour drive. Mont St. Michel, Chartres, the Bayeux Tapestry and the Loire are all within an easy couple of hours. There is regular, direct train service to Paris from a nearby town. The region is the heart of horse and apple country. It is also famous for its cheeses (Camembert, Pont Leveque, Liverot, to name a few), fruit products (especially the apple brandy known as Calvados), dairy products, hiking, hunting, fishing, and mushrooming. There are very good restaurants and weekend outdoor markets in all the nearby towns (Alençon, Argentan, Seés, Carrouges).Every season has its beauty. We are good friends with many of our neighbors, and past renters have also found them to be warm and welcoming. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.
New garden pictures from fall 2009!
For more information on our region, go look on the Web.
If you like, you can email us.