OUR DREAM PROPERTY
Every so often we come across a French property that knocks us for six. Catriona Burns falls in love with this traditional cottage in the Breton countryside
Catriona Burns explains why a traditional Breton cottage in Morbihan is her dream buy
You might think an Irish girl’s dream home would be somewhere with guaranteed sunshine like LanguedocRoussillon or with worldfamous glamour that you’d find in the Riviera. Not perhaps, in rural Brittany where the region’s Celtic folk music, ruggedly beautiful coastline and even the unpredictable weather isn’t a million miles from what you’d find on the Emerald Isle. But from family camping trips to seasonal summer work, I’ve always identified with the region, and this picture-perfect stone cottage in a peaceful hamlet near the village of St-Nicolas des Eaux only makes me love my home from home even more.
A former farm property dating from the 1890s, this sweet cottage has an old-time charisma, with its blue painted door and cobbled stone exterior oozing a quaint countryside charm that wooden beamed ceilings and paned windows continue throughout, with recent renovations giving a fresh, modern finish.
Cool evenings would provide a perfect excuse for me to indulge my rusticliving aspirations and gather logs from the woodland outside to throw on the wood-burning stove in the open-plan living room. Here I could snuggle in front of the fire with a warm glass of red wine and a few friends as something delicious simmers in the kitchen before retiring up the winding staircase to one of two double bedrooms. A spacious bathroom, complete with a bath and shower is a luxurious place to unwind, while the bedroom’s small terrace overlooking the acres of land provides an idyllic setting to lounge in the early morning sun.
An extension, accessed through glasspanelled doors from the main cottage was carried out by local artisans and is in keeping with the character of the old house. Comprising a cloakroom and an extra bedroom, this would be an ideal space for a home office or for one of the many visiting guests I’ll be expecting.
For a countryside stroll, I would walk along the woodland path set at the garden’s end that laces the Blavet river to the village of St-Nicolas des Eaux where I would buy freshly baked bread and treats from the local pâtisserie. Then I’d come home to enjoy a cup of coffee in the tranquillity of the south-facing garden, with only the sound of the woodland wildlife to disturb me. Parfait!