La vie en rose

Va­ri­ety is the spice of life in France, with its cor­nu­copia of land­scapes and life­styles open to prop­erty buy­ers. Ara­bella Youens makes her top 10 rec­om­men­da­tions

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Ara­bella Youens seeks out the pick of French prop­er­ties

Best for food: Gas­cony

Ear­lier this year, the New York Times de­scribed Gas­cony as the ‘most de­li­cious cor­ner of France’. The largely agri­cul­tural re­gion of the south-west has es­caped the blights of mass tourism, mo­tor­ways and TGV lines and, ac­cord­ing to Knight Frank’s long-stand­ing as­so­ciate Ian Purslow, lo­cals are fiercely proud of their lo­cal cui­sine.

‘Eat­ing in Gas­cony is fresh, hearty, fun and un­pre­ten­tious, with recipes rooted in tra­di­tion more than in trendy fu­sion. Restau­ra­teurs are obsessed with sourc­ing pro­duce lo­cally and the Cit­taslow—the Slow Food move­ment—is catch­ing on,’ he ex­plains. Duck plays a lead­ing role and the con­fit is de­li­cious.

This five-bed­room manoir sits on the edge of a small ham­let. It boasts ceil­ing heights of 11ft on the main floor, a mod­ern kitchen, a fan­tas­tic li­brary and a cov­ered out­door din­ing ter­race. €890,000. Knight Frank (020–7629 8171)

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