Every so of­ten we come across a French prop­erty that knocks us for six. This month, Ca­tri­ona Burns dreams of host­ing Christ­mas for the whole fam­ily in this stun­ning prop­erty in Tarn-et-Garonne

Living France - - Contents - lapier­reau­then­tique.no­taires.fr

Ca­tri­ona Burns ex­plains why a five-bed­room home in Tarn-et-Garonne is her dream buy

When it come to cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas, (or any other cel­e­bra­tory get­to­gether) my motto has al­ways been the more, the mer­rier. But, with an ev­er­ex­pand­ing group of mouths to feed and more per­son­al­i­ties to en­ter­tain, each year I find my­self more stuck for space than be­fore, and promis­ing to look fur­ther afield in search of the per­fect re­treat.

This beau­ti­ful five-bed­room prop­erty in Tarn-et-Garonne would be ideal for any sea­sonal shindig. Lo­cated near Dur­fort-La­capelette, it is just an hour from Toulouse air­port and 90 min­utes from Berg­erac, so it would be handy for me to pick up my guests when they ar­rive.

The ivy-cov­ered ex­te­rior would look even more mag­i­cal when we fes­toon it in fairy lights and we could adorn one of the many trees in the 0.8 hectares of land with strings of glitzy tin­sel and colour­ful baubles.

I would be more than happy to swap my usual Christ­mas Day swim in the sea for a dip in the lux­u­ri­ous outdoor pool, where we could take in the breath­tak­ing views of the sprawl­ing coun­try­side that sur­rounds us. To warm up, I would serve mulled wine in the kitchen with car­ols play­ing on the ra­dio in the back­ground.

The an­nual dilemma of cooking for the crowds would be solved by giv­ing our Christ­mas feast a French twist – we’d lay on a ban­quet of oys­ters, foie gras and snails with ev­ery­one in charge of one par­tic­u­lar el­e­ment. The three re­cep­tion ar­eas of­fer plenty of space for prop­erly laid ta­bles, so ev­ery­one could wine and dine in com­fort in­stead of our usual squashed set-up.

For the post-din­ner slump, guests could choose be­tween dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties in each room; a clas­sic film in one, a game of cha­rades in the other.

The beau­ti­ful land­scaped gar­dens sur­round­ing the prop­erty pro­vide an idyl­lic place to walk off the Christ­mas feast come Boxing Day, or we could walk the 10km to the vil­lage to visit the range of shops, restau­rants and mar­ket.

So Santa, you can for­get the clothes, jew­ellery and per­fume; this is all I want for Christ­mas.


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