THE HOUSE

The architect owner of this delightful house has recently spent a substantial sum on remodelling and internal finishes. The result is a tasteful high specification 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home sleeping 10 people which is far removed from the rustic but also often pretty shabby and/or neglected French rental house!

The main ground floor living area is predominantly open plan with numerous French windows opening out onto a full width sun terrace incorporating a covered barbecue/alfresco eating area at one end. For cooler months there is a log burning stove to the snug part of the living area which also features a flat screen TV, DVD player and PlayStation.

At the heart of the house is a soaring double height volume with a gallery (including piano) and further French windows and balcony at first floor providing magnificent panoramic views over the valley beyond.

Furnishings and fittings throughout are new and modern including comfortable beds imported from the UK. The kitchen is fully fitted with granite work surfaces, large gas range cooker, dishwasher, large fridge, coffee machine, toaster and kettle. A substantial farmhouse style table allows internal dining if desired.

Kitchen appliances are supplemented in the garage by a further drinks fridge/freezer and a washing machine.   

THE HOUSE OUTSIDE
Steps lead from the house sun terrace down to the swimming pool and surrounding garden area. The pool has Roman steps and a further sunbathing terrace.

The landscaped gardens are fully fenced, extend to almost 1 acre and are mostly to lawn with lush bands of mature planting including olive and walnut trees. There are oversized hammocks, a toddler swing, tree swing and a climbing tower.

The house is accessed by a large private drive with off road parking areas.

Just across the road is a communal tennis court with all weather surface.

THE LOCATION
Situated in the Entre Deux Mers wine region of the Gironde (department 33, also known as Aquitaine), the sleepy village of St Vivien de Monsegur sits in rolling hills approximately 40 miles south east of Bordeaux. The fertile landscape of the area is acknowledged as being the prettiest of the region with vineyards interspersed with pasture, orchards and woodland across rolling hills topped with sun soaked medieval villages.

The village and house itself are at the top of a valley and both share a beautiful vista across a small stream to the valley floor with sunflower fields, woods and vineyards beyond.

Within a short stroll you will find a small supermarket, bar, restaurant and ancient church.

Golf, fishing, cycling, walking, swimming, boating, bird watching, horse riding, go-karting and tennis are all available.

THE REGION
The renowned Bordeaux wine region extends to 1000 square kilometres and is the largest in the world. With excellent, quiet roads meandering their way through rolling countryside, the house is an ideal base for exploring ancient towns, chateaux and vineyards without the tourists and traffic of the ubiquitous Dordogne region. Wine tasting opportunities abound including St Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Graves and Margaux.

Over 2 200 hours of sunshine a year make the Bordeaux area similar to the Mediterranean. Rain does of course fall on occasion which creates the green floral environment so attractive of the area.

The location of south west France allows access to Spain and the Pyrenees within a few short hours by car.

NEARBY
5 minutes drive away is the 13th century hilltop medieval bastide town of Monsegur with restaurants, supermarkets, speciality shops and colourful weekly day and night markets. Each July Monsegur hosts the internationally famous ’24 Heures du Swing’ which is a 3 day jazz festival featuring performers from across the world. In addition there is a weekly jazz night at a restaurant in the market square.

A 10 minute drive, the medieval town of Duras is perched high on a rocky escarpment overlooking the River Dropt and has an impressive chateau with fine views. In summer Duras hosts a medieval parade including jousting, fireworks, theatre and banquets. There is also a two day wine festival with hot-air balloon rides in the evening.

Ste Ferme is a village clustered around an abbey founded by Benedictine monks sometime before the eleventh century and is well worth a visit.

The Rivers Dordogne and Garonne are a short drive away with quaint villages and towns alongside their banks and opportunities for boating and fishing.

Sauveterre de Guyenne is a particularly good example of a bastide town and the surrounding countryside is peppered with Romanesque churches. The town itself has cafes and restaurants grouped around the central square which is also the venue for a lively weekly market.

The nearby town of Castillon le Bataille is where in 1453 the French routed the English in the last major battle of the Hundred Years’ War. Each summer a spectacular floodlit re-enactment of this takes places with some 500 actors and horsemen.

FURTHER AFIELD
The enchanting Roman hill town of St Emilion is a 40 minute drive away. It has tiny cobbled streets and appealing limestone houses all crammed together with caves and catacombs beneath which provide ideal wine storage conditions.

Ste Foye la Grande is another bastide town which also holds one of the region’s biggest and most important Saturday morning markets when the whole town centre is closed to traffic.

In the past Bergerac was one of the most important towns in the region primarily due to its port on the River Dordogne. From here the gabare (river barges) carried wine downstream to the seaport of Bordeaux. Today the barges carry passengers for leisurely river trips including to a nature reserve which is home to a variety of wildlife. There are also many galleries, restaurants and museums together with a medieval section packed with ancient buildings.

Dating back to 1597, Chateau Des Vigiers forms the centrepiece of a spectacular 27 hole golf course set amidst plum orchards, oak woods, lakes and vineyards. Alternatively you could just opt for pampering at the Chateau’s health and beauty spa.

A 1 hour drive away, Bordeaux is very much an Atlantic city characterized by a monumental, Parisian style grandeur and sophistication. It is one of Europe’s finest and most historic cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It would be easy to spend several days exploring its splendid architecture, art galleries, museums and shops. Bordeaux is also one of France’s gastronomic Meccas with a comprehensive range of fine restaurants and includes open air summer riverside stalls selling a variety of seafood.

The fabulous sandy beaches of the 150 mile long Atlantic coast are within a 1 hour 30 minute drive. Europe’s highest sand dune can be found at Pilat. The cosmopolitan town of Arcachon and the adjacent Basin/nature reserve are well worth a visit with fine beaches, seafood restaurants and wildlife.