Every so often we come across a property that knocks us for six. Catriona Burns dreams of opening the doors to this stunning property in south-west France
ON THE MARKET FOR €495,000
Ilike to think of myself as somewhat of a hostess with the mostess; the coordinator for gathering the troops for nights of home-cooked food, one too many glasses of wine and, more often than not, a merry sing-song session lasting well into the wee hours. I’ve often fantasised about taking this flair to France, where the custom of sitting down as a group to eat and drink together is much more of a celebrated and regular event. Plus, if I had this beautiful house in the town of Pouillon in the south-west as my venue, I’d be able to indulge my wining and dining ambitions on a bigger and better scale – I could even pick up where the current owners left off and continue to run it as a holiday accommodation business.
Split into two separate properties that are connected by a dining terrace, I could easily host family and friends or paying guests while still retaining my own sense of space. The five-bedroom guesthouse that sleeps up to 11 people would allow me to implement my ‘the more the merrier’ motto with ease, while the basement games room, complete with a pool and football table means guests could entertain themselves.
In the mornings I would serve freshbaked bread and still-warm pastries for breakfast, serving them on the terrace so we could all enjoy the first rays of sunshine over copious cups of coffee and croissants. And I needn’t worry too much about my indulgent start to the day – my own house comes with a fully equipped gym and there’s also the heated outdoor pool where I could burn off some calories.
I’d spend daytimes by the sea, just a 40-minute drive away and catch the famous waves at Biarritz. Alternatively, I could just enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet in my woodland garden overlooking the Chalosse countryside before picking up my next set of visitors from the nearby airports of Biarritz or Lourdes, ready to serve up another little slice of the French life.