COTE DE TEXAS: LOOKING TO LIVE IN A FRENCH CHATEAU?

LOOKING TO LIVE IN A FRENCH CHATEAU?


I love when a reader, or in this case, a sometimes-reader(!) emails me to say, “I think I have a house you might be interested in showing….”

As you know, I have now entered my 10th year of blogging and after exhausting every topic there is (I think!) I am always on the lookout for a new house to dissect, a new movie set to discuss, or a new designer to introduce to Cote de Texas readers.   I am truly always open to all story line offers.  The only criterion is “will the readers like this story?”


The vineyards around Saussignac, France


And so, I was thrilled when this sometimes-reader (two lashes with a hot noodle!) wrote that she was a fan of the Skirted Roundtable interview with Francophile Vicki Archer HERE and she thought I would be interested in her house in France.

The reader, Andrea Bradley, informed me that she was going through a career change, leaving the corporate world in New Zealand behind her.  She thought about studying Interior Design and so she did what any other interior designer wanna-be does – she bought an apartment in a chateau in France!!   During all this, she managed to get a degree in Interior Design and is now mulling over her options.


Another vineyard near Saussignac.


As for the chateau?  Andrea, the sometimes-reader, will be renting it out during the months when she returns back home down under, and would I want to advertise her chateau?

A few back and forth emails, including a long distance phone call, we decide that rather than running an ad,  we would do a story on her vacation house so you can see the photos,  and perhaps someone will want to lease it this summer:  end of July onwards. 


X marks the Chateau.

The Chateau is located in one of the oldest wine regions of France - in the tiny village called Saussignac.   The village lies between Bordeaux and Bergerac, two well known names to oenophiles.



A misty morning view of the vineyards of Saussignac. Photo by Ed Purcell.


And here is an aerial photo of the U-shaped Château de Saussignac – where Andrea’s apartment is – in the wing on the right.

The Château de Saussignac is one of the oldest chateaus in the area.  It sits on the tallest point in the village and its twin towers can be seen from far away in any direction.

 


The Château de Saussignac dates to the 16th century and before.  Its oldest section are the two towers, connected together by the long expanse between.   Sixteenth century.   Wow!  Think about that – the chateau was started a century before there was even a United States.  

And, even older – the chateau was built atop the ruins of an abbey.   The oldest section was completed in the 16th century and the two wings were added later - during the 17th century.



An aerial view from the opposite direction.   The two long wings, that make up the courtyard, were added a century after the towers.

The wChâteau de Saussignac, with its two wings, was built by Pierre D’Escodeca de Boisse, aka the Cavalier de Pardaillon, an important man in the area under the rule of King Louis XIII.  This was a time of great strife between Catholics and Protestants and to keep his prestigious position, de Boisse had to convert to Catholicism.   The Protestants weren’t happy with his conversion and de Boisse was murdered by a gang in 1621 just 25 miles from where his chateau is.  Work on his chateau stopped and it would be another century before the work was taken up again, but his original plan was never completed. 

 


The vineyards to the north of Chateau de Saussignac.



The courtyard of the Château de Saussignac, showing the left wing.  Andrea’s apartment is located on the opposite wing, on the right side.




The courtyard is filled with flowers during the different seasons.


During the 1850s, Château de Saussignac was divided into five apartments.  One wing remained the property of the county, or commune, as they are called in France.  Today, an English family owns one tower which they use as a vacation home.  In the center section, a French family lives there full-time.  American artists live part-time in the second tower.   Two-thirds of the right wing is owned by Andrea.  A French farmworker owns the apartment between the right tower and Andrea’s – but it has remained empty for half a century. 

The French family’s apartment once was home to five shops on the lower floor.  Under the cellar stairs, they discovered a Protestant bolt-hold where they hid from Catholics during the One Hundred Year War with England.  

Andrea’s own apartment was once the local post office!




Wisteria blooms along the oldest section Château de Saussignac.



Inside the courtyard, the right wing – where Andrea’s apartment is.

Built during the Renaissance period, this section of the chateau is more sophisticated than the older sections, including the towers, of Château de Saussignac.



The courtyard photographed by Craig Hollis.


A view from the apartment of the village church and the landscape beyond.


The same view at sunrise.


An early cold, spring morning with the large cherry tree blooming.


The front of the apartment. 

The living room’s tall window, above, overlooks the lane that runs through the village.


And the front of the apartments captured at night.


Inside, the apartment is filled with beautiful antiques, fireplaces, beamed ceilings and Baccarat crystal chandeliers.

The ceilings are over 13’ tall with whitewashed beams.  In the living room, there are paneled walls with armoire styled doors.

Most interesting and a bit unbelievable, in an earlier life, this room was once the Post Office for the village of Saussignac.  At that time, the ceiling was lowered and you can still see evidence of that in the paneling.

  The windows on the left overlook the courtyard.

Notice the beautiful chandelier and amazing fireplace and paneling with the beautiful doors!!


The other side of the room – the main window on the right as seen before, overlooks the village.   The tapestry is one of two in the room.    The side window on the left overlooks Andrea’s own garden:


The private garden of the apartment.  Through the open window is the kitchen and dining room.   Recently, a wedding took place in this garden:


The garden is large enough that a permit has been obtained for a swimming pool to be built which should be ready by next spring.


Andrea has been spending some time in France’s brocantes, adding to the antiques already in her apartment.    Love the mix of the dressy crystal chandelier with the rustic horns.


The main room has an antique rug and is filled with antique furniture.  I love how the paneling opens through two doors to the dining room. 

The crystal chandelier adds just the right amount of finery.


The mantel with antique books.


This apartment reflects its setting, in the ancient wine country.  It’s more sophisticated than Provence with its country look.  The chateau in this region have a similar look with pointed towers and gray stone.  Here, this apartment shows a more fancy aesthetic with all the crystal chandeliers, velvet fabrics, and antique rugs. 

I love the ancient tapestry and bench beneath it which are in perfect proportion to the tall windows!  LOVE!!!


Another view of day to day living in the chateau.  And look!   “Beautiful” by Mark Sikes made its way across the Atlantic.


The two doors lead into the dining room and kitchen.


The dining room which is on the other side of the living room.   

That mirror!  It fits beautiful in the over mantel.   AND of course I love the oval framed portrait to its left.  I just love those so much!!!   At the side is the baker’s rack and another tall window that overlooks the private garden area.  Antique rug with large table and French chairs.  Notice that through the double doors is the living area with a lighted niche that wasn’t seen before in other photographs!


At this side is a large painting.  Beautiful plates and glasses.  Even the votives are pretty!!!


Close up of the dining room details.


After the photoshoot, the gilt barometer was added to the right of the mirror.  Beautiful!


Beautiful ceiling of beams, whitewashed with a crystal chandelier that sets it all off.  AND notice there is a stone floor, not wood.   Notice one door is shorter than other.  The tall door was for the noblemen, while the shorter door was for the servants to use.

And notice, there is a second tapestry in the living room, across from the one previously seen.  Very nice. 

The kitchen is off the dining room in the back part of the room.  Wood stairs lead to the upstairs bedrooms.  AND notice the beautiful armoire, again tall enough so that the proportion with the tall window is perfect.


The painting is of King Charles I,  a copy of the one by Gainsborough which today is hanging in the National Museum in London.


The galley kitchen proves that you don’t really need all those humongous kitchens that are in newer houses.  Here, you have a nice sized refrigerator, sink, and range.  The island  adds counter space.  Under the window is a table/desk/counter – whatever you need.   Love the stainless backsplash and the row of small pendants – the smaller size allows room for four and it doesn’t look overcrowded at all.  At the right is the large armoire which holds linens and dishes.


The kitchen looks so nice from this angle. 

Notice it was built so that the top of the backsplash is in line with the top stair, another nod to perfect proportion.


Another view of the dining room.   Notice how the chandelier is perfectly reflected in the mirror – just how it should be!

NOTE:  Mirrors should always reflect something beautiful.  Be careful how you hang them so that reflection is just as pretty as the mirror itself.

Doesn’t this make you want to dress the table with crystal and china every night?!?!?   Love the texture of the seagrass placemats with the finery.


Tulips and a barometer.


The host likes to antique, adding extras to make the apartment even more beautiful.


A beautiful photo of the beams reflected in the mirror.   Notice the curvature of the stairs and how pretty it looks from below.


The view from the landing shows there is yet another crystal chandelier!  


Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and one bath.  Here, the guest room is painted a soft green and is filled with romantic antiques.  Crystal candelabras light up the side tables.  The small chandelier overhead is a nice touch!


Another view.  Notice the floors are wood upstairs.


Against this wall are two charming oval portraits.  LOVE!!!!!!!


Toile headboard.


The two nightstands are painted the same green as the walls, with pink accents.


Love!


The bathroom is a mix of new and old.  The hardware is brass – with a lovely towel warmer.  White tiles are mixed with a painted vanity.


Who knew a towel warmer could be so beautiful????  Love the side table with marble top.


A view of the tiled tub.   The vanity – everything is done so nicely!  Orchid and French soaps.


The master bedroom is rather large with windows on both sides.  The iron chandelier is a surprising change from all the crystal ones!  


Or you can have this velvet bedspread.


On this side of the bed is another beautiful carved wood door.  And the silvered headboard is quite pretty!  


I love the armoire doors.


One more look at the dining room and….


the living room.


the vineyards to the north…


and the private garden of the apartment.


Renters can play tennis in the village, canoe on the Dordogne river, and play 27 holes of golf at Chateau de Vigiers.

The village is on the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela, which makes the area popular with cyclists and hikers.



The Deets:  Included with the apartment are kitchen, laundry and bathroom consumables, including coffee.   There is also a washer/dryer.

Included are high quality linens and towels from the The White Company in England.

In addition to the two bedrooms, there is a double sofa bed.

Mid-week housekeeping is included for full week renters.

There is Wi-Fi and satellite and local telephone.  There is an alarm  system and a BBQ and free parking.




If you wish to participate, rather you are a renter or not, Andrea has established two tours in April and May 2019.  There is the Fine Wine & Food of the South-West especially geared for gourmands.  It includes dining at three Michelin Star restaurants.

The other tour is the Chateaux & Vineyards of the South-West, focusing on beautiful castles and gardens found in the area.

If you are interested in staying at Château de Saussignac or visiting the area, or joining in on the tours,

Please contact Andrea HERE

AND please visit her instagram HERE


A huge thank you to Andrea for sharing her beautiful chateau!!

…..

Can’t go to France to antique shop?  Try these ideas!



Love these, white with gold plates.  HERE


Real Rose Gold Leaf London Map

The famous antique map of Paris with a gold river.   HERE

S/4 Ribbon-Etched Round Vases, SilverSilvered votives to dress up the table.  HERE

Odeurs Royales Candle Set

These beautiful candles first introduced to me by the Juicys.  HERE


Josephine Room Spray

AND, in a room spray!  HERE


8" Rose Arrangement, Faux

Everlasting roses in a white urn:  HERE



6" Alice Porcelain Flower Vase, WhiteFabulous flower bowl:  HERE



Italian Gilt Wood Wall Shelf

Dress up any wall with a gilt sconce:  HERE

Small Chanel White Silk Camellia Pin

CHANEL SILK CAMILLE PIN: HERE

S/6 Collins Votives, Bronze

SET OF SIX BRONZE VOTIVES: HERE


Hermès Collier De Chien Parchemin Belt

VINTAGE HERMES BELT: HERE

Oval Carved & Gilt Mirrors, Pair

ANTIQUE MIRRORS, OVAL: HERE


Stanley Linen Footstool, Natural Wood

FOOTSTOOL:  HERE


Louis Philippe Mirror, Gold

LOUIS PHILIPPE MIRROR, NEW: HERE


Antique French Dinner Napkins, S/11

ANTIQUE LINEN NAPKINS, SET OF II HERE



Motivo Chandelier, Persian White


GILT AND WHITE CHANDELIER:  HERE


Antique French Scale Weights w/ Box

ANTIQUE FRENCH WEIGHTS: HERE


Antique French Marble & Brass Scale

ANTIQUE FRENCH MARBLE SCALE HERE


UNTIL NEXT TIME!!!

35 comments :

  1. It's gorgeous. Speaking of the former post office, it's quite common to find government offices that are in the most splendid buildings, with elaborate moldings and antiques, and then a computer on some fabulous antique desk.
    Buildings from the Renaissance are so much brighter and airier and far more elegant and regal than those from the medieval time (which are charming in their own way--more rustic, with lower ceilings and overall cozier). I see the interior shutters have been preserved. Kudos. And the rooms generally would have the doors lined up, near the windows, to promote circulation of air. It's called "disposition à la française." The original floors on the ground level undoubtedly were ruined by the traffic, especially during the post office tour, because what's there now is a very nice, new floor--well chosen.
    She did a great job of decorating it. Bravo! Personally, I am jealous of those big paintings (some of the mirrors, too! but paintings are harder to find).

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    1. I think it's beautiful. I love the way it's furnished!!!!! I am obsessed with oval portraits.

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  2. That is a map of London you are showing for sale, not Paris.
    But cool anyway.

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    1. God. I didn't even notice! It was under the "France" antique sections. thanks for the correction.

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  3. When my husband retired, we looked for a Chateau ... but decided on a Town House (16th c.) in Beaune...a wonderful way to spend our summers

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    1. Well, aren't you the lucky duck. Bully for you.

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    2. Anon - be nice, please. She IS the lucky duck!!!!!

      I would love to see photos!!!

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    3. I looked for a chateau, but ended up in a one bath tract house.

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  4. Oh Dear Joni...please tell me you aren't going to leave us! I was just showing my husband your previous post on "The Most Beautiful House" and explained (as I have many times) "please look at Joni's latest blog post with me"...to which he replies "who?" To which I reply..."YOU KNOW JONI...WHO HAS ONE OF THE LAST REMAINING MOST BEAUTIFUL AND EXTENSIVE BLOGS IN THE BLOGOSPHERE...ONE-OF-THE-PIONEERS-OF-BLOGLAND!!!" Oh yes..he says...the Texas lady whose house which you TRIED to copy and bought all of that blue and white stuff!!!
    Thank you for all of your extensive research and effort for us last of the die hards who live for your blog post!!!

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    1. Leave? ahahahah. Nah. I'm afraid I'm here for the duration. One day you will see my obit and that will be the end of it. I hope it's that peaceful though. ???? Too early to be morbid. And thanks for your kind words. Ben never reads my blog. Never. Unless I say - you might like this one!!!

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  5. Just stunning! I love your blog, which I only recently discovered. I look forward to each post and try to savor them.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I truly appreciate all the detail and research in each of your wonderful blogs. and the photography!

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    1. These photos were professionally taken of the apartment. They ARE gorgeous! I need to get the photographer's name. I totally forgot to do that. Andrea? Who took the photos of the chateau?

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  7. Wow! Just wow! I love your blog - I gain so much knowledge of worlds unknown and love your witty writing! You're the best!

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  8. Fabulous photos....as always!! Incredible details...those bed pillows...ooh-la-la!! franki

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    1. The bedspread too. I wonder where she found that? I do like the white one. I'm addicted to white I guess.

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    2. White bedspreads are pretty much available at any store you choose. I got a beautiful matelassé one at Marshalls and a quilted gorgeous one at T.J. Maxx. It's so funny how people ask where people on social media have bought every single item they picture, where, etc., especially when it's something so simple and basic as this. Just get thee out to a store and whip out the card. End of. Geez.

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  9. What lovely scale - it must have been fun, if hard work, to furnish the spaces with such huge pieces!

    Love those windows, too - sort of a double French casement, or something? So practical, as you can catch a breeze whichever way it blows, and open higher or lower depending on the seasons. Perfect.

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    1. And to think it was built in the 17th century. Amazing.

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  10. Joni WebbMay 16, 2018 at 12:07 PM
    ok. One very knowledgeable reader sent me an email correcting what I wrote about the large portrait of Charles I.

    As my esteemed reader says - Charles I was executed in 1649 and Gainsborough was born in 1727. The image shown is actually a copy of the main section of Van Dyck's painting "Charles I with Monsieur de St. Antoine" painted in 1633. Here is the actual painting by Van Dyck

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Anthony_van_Dyck_-_Charles_I_%281600-49%29_with_M._de_St_Antoine_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

    As you can see, the painting in the chateau cuts out the setting, the King riding through the archway and his riding master to his left. On his right is a huge heraldic shield. Missing are the pretty red, green and touch of blue colors - in favor of a muted view. The original is in the East Gallery of Buckingham Palace, there is no National Museum in London.

    Van Dyck made at least one other copy of this and it is in the dining room at Highclere, famous for sitting in for Downton Abbey. Here is a photo of that dining room and the portrait of Charles I. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/34269647135444599/

    According to our art expert - Another artist Prado made a copy of this with the setting somewhat more like the Chateau version. But she says Prado's is not the same as the one in the chateau. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anthony_van_Dyck_-_Equestrian_Portrait_of_Charles_I,_King_of_England_(Copy)_-_WGA07384.jpg

    I'm not sure who Prado is. There is a Museo de Prado in Madrid which has a copy of the van Dyke called Charles on Horseback. It looks much more like Andrea's is a copy of this version.


    Our art expert does say that Gainsborough DID make copies of Van Dycks but she can't find any of this particular portrait of Charles I.

    And, there is this - a larger view of the setting. Not sure where this is from, but it must be a poor copy. http://www.artnet.fr/artistes/anthony-van-dyck/equestrian-portrait-of-charles-i-with-m-st-Rag2fTHhMON7i0szddpBgw2



    A big thanks for the new information, and I'm sure Andrea will appreciate it!

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  11. Once again, a thoroughly-presented, well-researched, and charming post. I'm always delighted to see them appear in my mailbox.

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  12. I am ready to hop on a plane! What a fabulous place!

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  13. Another fantastic story......I want to thank you a million times for your blogs. Gorgeous apartment. A dream for sure.

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  14. I think you need to get at least a week here as compensation for such a lovely article! Priceless advertising, AND you could expound further on how wonderful an experience it is!

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  15. Joni, you may rid us all of the acid-tongued Anonymous by changing your settings. Require that people use an identifiable moniker in order to make a comment, and voila, no more sourpuss killjoy. She always has something snide to say because some people can't abide it when others are enjoying themselves.

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  16. Hi Cynthia, I feel sorry for the acid-tongues of the world. I do. Your posting reminded me of a quote: "I don't give any reason for anyone to hate me. They create their own little drama out of jealousy." I don't know who said it, but I concur wholeheartedly. Having said that, I am kinder than necessary to people who tend to annoy. There is always a sad reason for their behavior... In a way, they benefit me by giving me opportunities to practice restraint.

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    1. Well said! Like you, Leticia, I feel sorry for people like Anonymous. Hers must be a very sad life indeed if she feels she must make mean-spirited, vitriolic, caustic remarks about almost anything that's said on Joni's blog. My life has been anything but easy, but I try to practice restraint when commenting about others' ideas, experiences, tastes, etc.

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    2. You are an example, Squeak, of the fact that people can respond differently to the same experience and one of the factors is the degree of their inner strength. Emotional regulation is a function of genetics and life experiences. For example, regarding life experiences: a young person whose parents were neglectful might have had a grandparent or another adult who provided emotional support and often a safe place, thus one single source of support might mediate most or some of the usual affects of neglect.

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  17. These kind of recommendations are great; it makes you feel more secure about spending a lot of money to rent a place so far away.
    On another note, you would definitely need a car when staying there, no? Just dreaming a bit...
    Thanks.

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  18. How very lovely! Who doesn't love a beautiful chateau, thoughtfully renovated for modern living! Just got back from visiting Timothy Corrigan's new chateau. You will love - can't wait to see what it looks like when he's finished!

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  19. Love EVERY SINGLE THING, but I gasped when I saw the green bedroom with the toile fabric; I had already decided to paint my small powder room this shade of green, and have already purchased a red and white toile fabric to make a gathered skirt for the pedestal sink! Any chance you could find out the paint color? I always struggle with finding just the right one...

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    1. Since the paint was probably bought in France, the name of the color probably won't help. Benjamin Moore paint is so easy to work with and they have every color God created. How about "Foggy Pastoral", Balmoral Mist", or "Gray Moss"?

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    2. So true - thank you. I will check out those colors :)

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