Simon Pocock - Blues in Brittany

A couple of fields away from our house, there is a château: a real French château! It is not massively big, but certainly bigger than a manor house.

I have often wondered what it looked like inside as I drove regularly past over the last 20 years and recently got the answer to my many questions: a week ago, the new owner (a lady from Nantes who inherited it and bought out her sisters) asked us to do a clean on the “gite” which is attached to it.

As you can imagine, we didn’t hesitate to say yes and so on Monday, armed with all our house cleaning equipment, we got started.

Cleaning supplies-Mop-Sponges-Scourer

To be perfectly honest, it is a bizarre gite. I have seen a lot of them over the years, including the good, bad, indifferent, and even boring, but this one is in a class of its own. The entrance consists of two big wooden doors opening onto a wide space which can only be described as a workshop full of gardening tools and a ride-on mower. Not the impressive start I had expected…

To the right of the cluttered entrance “hallway”, there is a white kitchen: very boring, with minimal furniture and no personality. It certainly doesn’t provide an inviting environment for guests to cook or even spend a bit of time in it. I had visions of a rustic kitchen with a beautiful Aga, a wide farmhouse sink, and copper pans hanging from hooks, interspersed with bunches of dried wheat, herbs, and flowers. What a disappointment!

From the back of the kitchen, there is access to the upper floor, across the workshop, via very fine oak stairs (definitely the best feature), and three bedrooms.

Snooping around the chateau 1

At the top of the stairs is a door to access the château, so we took a quick tour of the place.

There were two enormous bedrooms with very grand fireplaces and an 18th-century ensuite in a tower (a washbasin), as well as four granite sets of stairs. It was pretty big: we almost got lost.

The downstairs living area has been altered, as the owner’s brother-in-law is an architect. It is fitted with a very compact kitchen which would suit an apartment in Paris rather than a 17th-century château. I am beginning to think kitchens are not the priority in this decidedly surprising place.

Having said that, all in all, a very interesting house, but somehow I think the new owner would make much more money renting the château rather than the “garage/gite“. I did ask her if that was her plan for the future but right now she doesn’t know. The château part is being slowly restored but whether she will move in or decide to simply rent it out, she couldn’t say. Having seen the place, I have to be honest: if it was mine, I would certainly rent out the château part for a nice extra income but would definitely not contemplate living in the gite. I would rent that out too!

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