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
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)