Philomena

This lovely seventeenth-century house was once the local priest’s residence on an estate that before the French Revolution was a far greater and more prosperous holding than it is today. The priest’s house stands alongside the main house which was christened the ‘Mad Old Chateau’ by me. It, the priest’s house, has recently been renovated and renamed ‘Philomena’ in memory of my late mother.

Although it is a four-bedroom house we are currently renting it out with use of two of the upstairs double bedrooms – one is closed off and the other is a smaller, single room where you can sit and read, stare out the window and watch the birds – dozens of swallows and martins in summer – and the chickens across the street.

Although “Philomena’ is a mere 80 kms from Paris, it is situated in the heart of La France Profonde, a true French agricultural region where the daily rush hour is a tractor or maybe two if a harvest is in swing.

Downstairs has a large walk through living area and dining room with open fireplace. To the left is a country kitchen with back door that leads out into the garden with a pond where currently, as I write, the newly-born coots are playing on the lily pads.

“Philomena” is a haven of peace and quietude.

You will need a car. Once you are in installed, there are two small towns equidistant where you will find supermarkets, bars, small restaurants and all the amenities you will need.

We have internet at the house and along with this you have free calls to landlines in UK, Europe and the United States.

A fifteen minutes drive eastwards takes you to the beginning of the Champagne region, the Napoleonic route and dozens of tiny villages. In mid-summer, the vineyards are green and heavy with grapes. In autumn, you will see the farmers harvesting the world’s most famous sparkling wines. You can stop at small estates or famous chateaux and stock the car with bottles of your favourite Champagne. Have a meal in one of the chateaux or one of the many more modest restaurants along the route.

Heading a little south from “Philomena”, a forty minute drive is the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CITY of Provins. The old town is a Medieval jewel, not to be missed.

This whole area is rich with history, old convents, churches, long walks alongside the local rivers, visit a fromagerie and see how the famous Brie de Meaux cheeses are made, buy a half wheel of it to take home with you. The local Meaux Beer is also famous.

There is so much to discover, and it is a France unknown to most. A revelation.

Towards Paris, is Euro Disney. Thirty minutes drive from your holiday home. If you want to spend a day out shopping in Paris but prefer not to drive, park your car at the station of La Ferté-Sur-Jouarre, twenty-five minutes from the house, and ride into the capital. Trains run every half hour. Memorable days out await you. Reims is one hour away. Fontainebleau is about the same distance.

“Philomena” sleeps four. Weekly rates are available upon request.

Here are some photographs of “Philomena”. If you are interested, please email me at olivefarmbooks@gmail.com

 

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