This is the sort of property that many of our customers dream about: an old farm just outside a quaint French village with numerous tourist attractions and international airports less than 75 minutes away. The farm has been cleverly converted into a complex comprising a three-bedroomed (owner’s) house and four gites, useful outhouses and a 12 metre heated pool set in over 4 hectares of gardens and garrigue.
The property lies in the fairly populated and accessible part of the Tarn between Castres and Albi. It is a wooded and undulating landscape, not unlike part of the British Isles, dotted with pretty villages, former spinning and weaving towns and renowned for its pink garlic in particular and good food in general.
The 4.5 hectare estate (about 11 acres) surrounds and protects the farm building. There is the old farm house – dating back to 1610 – and its outhouses and then, set back a hundred yards or so, the owners’ house which overlooks the estate.
The main farmhouse has been divided into two gites:
– a generous 3 bedroomed gite in a magnificent 135m² space which includes a vast living/dining area with vaulted roof and French windows giving on to a patio/balcony with superb views over the valley.
– a 4 bedroomed gite with a genuine 17th century feel to it: all oak beams and half-timbered walls and terracotta floors.
Then there is the ‘cottage’; a spacious one-bedroomed gite for 2 or 3 guests, between the farmhouse and the owners’ house.
The fourth gite is a brand new addition to the complex: a delightful 2-bedroomed gite in the old stone barn looking out over the valley from its own terrace and garden.
The owners’ house is post-war, well-insulated and practical. It has four bedrooms including a superb split-level bedroom giving on to the south-facing sun terrace.
Between the cottage and the farmhouse there are a number of outbuildings in excellent state. Former byres and milking parlours, these have had their roofs checked and repaired and are now lying empty, ready for inspiration and development. They cover some 550m².
Finally, the pool. A generous 12×6 metre affair, with its pump-house cleverly hidden underneath and a child-proof fence with self-locking gates all around. For those of us who cannot sleep easy knowing that our pool is protected only by a cheap alarm, this sort of fence is a must. The heating is not needed in high season but very useful in the early months – March, April – to get temperatures up to 28 – 29°.
The business has been run at half speed over the past year: the gites are only let for the two summer months. This ensures enough income to cover all the estate’s running costs. The excellent website – which goes with the sale – attracts all the custom they currently need with the 2022 season already fully booked.
There are four excellent gites ready to run. In the off-season we would transform the main farmhouse into a luxury B&B and run a series of seminars/theme weeks on history (Albi Cathedral), ecology as well as offering cooking courses based on pink garlic, Gaillac wine and the delicious charcuterie of the region. There’s room for a few horses too … so some sort of equestrian activity is also possible.
At least one of the outhouses should be converted into a big meeting room so that low season activities can flourish.
This is an excellent property which is sold furnished, equipped and ready to go: no hesitation – go for it!
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What’s for sale?
– Main farm house on 3 levels comprising :
– ground floor: storage space/cellar
– 3 bedroomed gite on 135m². Two ensuite bedrooms, vast kitchen/dining/living area with wood-burning stove and French windows to patio.
– a 4 -bedroomed separate gite on two levels (but which can communicate with the other gite) including a large kitchen, dining/living room with open fire, four bedrooms (2 ensuite).
– an independent cottage of 60m² with a bedroom, bathroom and living/kitchen area
– the owners’ house with four bedrooms, kitchen, living room, sun room and terrace.
– 550m² of outhouses
– 12×6 metre heated pool with secure child-proof fence
– 4.5 hectares of grounds: woodland, gardens and garrigue.