St Antonin-Noble-Val – plus beau village de France
Early 19th century townhouse with mature garden
Recently used as a successful Guest House
Entire floor for the owners
4 ensuite guest rooms
summer kitchen, central-heating, wine cellar and more
magnificent mature gardens with adjacent vegetable patch
Price: €425,000 (includes agency fees) – ref n° 254
St Antonin-Noble-Val is one of those French villages that seems to step out of a 1950’s tourist brochure: ancient mediaeval streets and lanes teeming with cafés, restaurants, bakeries and street markets … as well as real people, all year round. Only it is truly for real, right now in the 21st century. In a time when rural communities in general are feeling the pinch, St Antonin is booming and attracting not only tourists but lifestyle-changers as well.
St Antonin Guest House
This property was up until recently exploited as a successful guest house. It has an excellent location, right on the tree-lined main street, within walking distance of the cafés, restaurants and shops. And yet, with its extensive mature gardens stretching out at the rear of the property, it remains a quiet and relaxed place to live for both owners and guests.
Dating back to the early 19th century the property has been renovated and refurbished over the years in the aim of creating an upmarket guest house. This has centred around separating the two functions: a distinct floor for the owners to live their own lives and a floor dedicated to the guests. The third level – the garden floor – is devoted to a large summer kitchen/loung area, wine cellar, workshop and boiler-room.
Independent owners’ quarters
In practice this gives the owners a vast living/dining room, fully-equipped kitchen and scullery and 4 bedrooms/studies three of which are ensuite. About 100m² of living space with balconies on three sides. There’s a roof space which is used for drying linen but which could be converted into bedrooms.
The ‘guest section’ of the house starts at the front door with its entrance hall and reception rooms left and right. These were used as dining room and lounge. A small ‘breakfast’ kitchen serves the dining room. Towards the back of the house there are four guest rooms, all ensuite.
The garden floor has a wine cellar in what is probably the mediaeval foundations of the building: thick stone walls with constant temperature. The rest of this floor opens up towards the garden with terraces and patios on two sides. The garden is dominated by some ancient cedars, circular box hedges and an alley of hornbeam. The vegetable garden is a serious patch of over 250m².
We could go on about the beautiful oak parquet floors, the original terracotta tiles, the excellent central-heating system … but we think you have the picture: a property just crying out for someone to re-create the quality guest house it once was. Local agents try and sell this sort of property as a ‘family home’ but clearly families don’t need 7 or 8 bedrooms these days. Other uses could be as a ‘very big gite’ catering for groups of up to 20 guests … but this would mean the owners living off-site. Whatever your project this is a property well worth viewing: it has the space, the ensuite bedrooms, the independent owner’s quarters and the superb mature garden: no hesitation – go for it!
- Ref n°: 254
- Summary: St Antonin Guest House project: used up until recenly as an upmarket guest house this imposing townhouse on St Antonin-Noble-Val's main street is just crying out for a decorative makeover and re-creation of the quality guest house it once was. An independent owners' section is a big plus, as is the mature garden out back.
- Address: Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, Occitanie
- Price: €425,000
- Commission: 4% (included in asking price)
- Surface Area: 352m² + 176m² (attic) + 176m² (basement)
- Bedrooms: 7
- Bathrooms: 6
The Tarn & Garonne
The Tarn and Garonne department is, as its name suggests, centred on the confluence of the two rivers, Tarn and Garonne, in the middle stages of their journey to the ocean at Bordeaux. In fact there is a third important river - the Aveyron - which also cuts a swathe through this varied and delightful county.
The major towns are Montauban - home to the French painter Ingres and birth-place of Franco-German student leader and democrat Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Dany le Rouge), St Antonin-de-Noble Val - a little jewel in the Gorges de l'Aveyron, and Moissac, ecclesiastical centre and a must-see stop on the Camino.
Three slow-moving rivers mean fertile valleys and this the Tarn & Garonne has in abundance. The flood plains of the main rivers support an intensive and professional fruit and vegetable industry with apples, pears, plums, dessert grapes, kiwis, apricots and peaches all doing well on the rich soils.
The département is also crossed by the canal latéral which provides a navigable waterway from Toulouse to the ocean.
- cons: no pool