The ‘central’ part of the Garonne valley – from Agen upstream to Toulouse – is a wide flood plain of rich alluvial soil, much prized by local farmers for apple, plum, cherry and peach orchards. The surrounding hills are dotted with ancient villages and, sometimes, on a rocky outcrop, one finds beautiful old villages in the valley itself, complete with church and chateau, constructed out of crumbling dark red brick. St Nicolas-de-la-Grave is one such village.
The property is on the outskirts of the village, on a quiet lane leading to the river. It is a fairly modern villa, dating back to the seventies, with an independent gite in the garden. The main house has a vast garden of exotic trees and shrubs and, beyond, a hectare of cherry trees.
The main house is very big: over 236m² of living surface. Downstairs there is a very large living room which gives on the spacious kitchen on one side and to a shaded veranda overlooking the garden on the other. Three of the five bedrooms are on the ground floor, along with the dining-room, bathroom, a study and a toilet. Upstairs there are two more bedrooms plus another bathroom. There is more ‘attic’ space as yet unexploited: room for at least one more bedroom.
The gite is in a separate, independent cottage with its own entrance, patio and terrace. It is designed for two to three guests with a comfortable double bedroom, lounge/kitchen, bathroom and wc.
Central-heating is by modern oil-fired boiler – recently installed – and the roof is very well insulated. There’s a garage and plenty of parking space.
The challenge here is to make something out of the cherry orchard. We would be tempted to place a number of wooden chalets in among the trees for use by cyclists, hikers and nature-lovers who want to spend a few days exploring the area. The main house is in perfect condition – as is the gite – so no further work is needed. The two upstairs rooms could be used as simple B&B accommodation. The proximity of the village (shops, cafés etc within walking distance) is a big bonus. The ‘Camino’ village of Moissac just down the road is a big tourist attraction. If you like this area then this is a very good buy.