Friday Fun: Back to France

Who am I kidding? English country mansions are all very nice, but my heart beats faster when I see a French chateau – or even a ‘humble’ maison de maitre. And, who knows, maybe in the region Bourgogne -Franche-Comte, it might even be affordable? My ‘retirement’ plans are to acquire one of these and organise writing, reading and thinking retreats. Any takers?

Gracious stone pile in Besancon, from immobilierfranche-comte.fr
Modest little house from Mitula Immobilier.
This one is slightly more expensive, but has extensive grounds and outhouses. From clairefontaineimmobilier.fr
My kind of farmhouse building in the Jura, from regions-of-france.com
House in Bourgogne, close to the vineyards, from my-french-house.com
The real dream, this 13th century renovated chateau in Oyonnax, only 9 minutes from Geneva by helicopter! From Cortebil.fr

Friday Fun: Homes to Tempt You in Britain

I’ve been doing so much property search abroad in the past few months that it’s high time I reminded myself that I am still here in the UK for the time being. And there are many fine (if rather unaffordable) properties on this island…

Suffolk retreat, what I imagine a vicarage should look like. From Prime Location.
Clathwaite Hall in Cumbria. From H.H. King website.
© Brian Young Architectural Photography for Bradley Hall in County Durham
Another picture-book Suffolk property, from David Burr.
Georgian manor house for sale in Lancashire, from rightmove.co.uk
Of course, you can’t mention Lancaster without mentioning York… This is Thorpe Hall in Yorkshire, likewise for sale, from countrylife.co.uk

Friday Fun: Return to the Small Chateaux

This week, a group of women writers whom I am honoured to call friends, L’Atelier Writers, are having their annual retreat in a French chateau. I joined them one year and it was magical. You bet that I am extremely envious. So I’ve found some additional chateaux to make them envious too!

Yes, a majority of them are French, but I am including a few from other countries as well. This time round, small and compact are the keywords. Well, for chateau standards at least.

Alone in Copenhagen, from Pinterest.
The comforting standard French shutters, from Architectural Digest.
The House on the Lake, in Brussels, photo credit Quentin de Briey.
Less of a chateau, more of a manor house in Gascogne (land of D’Artagnan), from Architectural Digest.
Hidden amongst flowering trees, French chateau from Thingsthatinspire.net
Solar de Alvega in Portugal, from manorhouses.com
In England we call them manor houses, but they are still chateaux to me, like this one for sale in Woodstock, from Country Life.

Friday Fun: Chateau Location Scouting

Some grand old manor houses look good by day or night, and here are some which would make a great backdrop for a film or a book. Any additional suggestions of appropriate films or books would be much appreciated.

Chateau owned by Catherine Deneuve, from Le Matin.
Chateau owned by Catherine Deneuve, from Le Matin. Suitable for Netherfield Park in French version of Pride and Prejudice?

Another beauty near Poitiers, from Le Figaro property section.
Another beauty near Poitiers, from Le Figaro property section. Cyrano de Bergerac might be hiding in one of those bushes.

Chateau near Rouen, from
Chateau near Rouen, from Selectimmovexin.com. I could see the Three Musketeers hiding here and bewitching the lady of the house on their way to new adventures.

Chateau d'Artigny. Wouldn't this be a great location for Gatsby's famous parties? in the Loire valley, from winerist.com
Chateau d’Artigny. Wouldn’t this be a great location for Gatsby’s famous parties? in the Loire valley, from winerist.com

Chateau in Provence, perfect for a Russian aristocrat forced into exile with all of the family jewels. From Maisonsavendre.fr
Chateau in Provence, perfect for a Russian aristocrat forced into exile with all of the family jewels. From Maisonsavendre.fr

If Tintin ever does decide to get married at Captain Haddock's chateau, this Chateau Buffemont would be it. From French Wedding Style.
If Tintin ever does decide to get married at Captain Haddock’s chateau, this Chateau Buffemont would be it. From French Wedding Style.

Finally, for thirsty pirates landing in the Bordeaux region, the cellars of Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron might prove irresistable. From Wikimedia.com
Finally, for thirsty pirates landing in the Bordeaux region, the cellars of Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron might prove irresistible. From Wikimedia.com