We’re Aussies that for years dreamed of owning a property in France and spent hours googling chateaus for sale. In 2014 we decided it was time to get serious and booked a trip to France where our plan was to view a number of different chateaus of various sizes and condition in the Loire Valley to get a better sense of what we could or should buy. The first couple of days were a huge learning curve as we navigated eccentric vendors, crumbling ruins, vagaries of French plumbing and the frightening cost of slate roof repairs, replacement electrics and regulations for historical monuments. Finding our dream property was not going to be easy. Then we visited Chateau de la Carriere and from the moment we drove up the driveway we knew we had found our French country home.
The chateau consists of 35 rooms (not including bathrooms or towers) on 27 acres of park and woodland with multiple outbuildings in various states of disrepair. Luckily the roof was in fairly good order but with some leaks and the chateau was structurally sound but there was still a huge amount of work required. The grounds had pretty much been let go wild and there is an old tennis court somewhere in the overgrown woods. We started work before the property had even settled as we were concerned about the damage another winter might do.
Having spent more years than we imagined bringing the old dame back to her former glory we are now ready to share our French fairy tale. We love all things French and host tours where you can experience what life is like living in our chateau and enjoying all the local area has to offer. Our barn has been renovated into a luxury self-contained guesthouse now available for rent. We had our own magical Alice In Wonderland themed wedding at the chateau in May 2017 and hope to host just as magical weddings for other couples. We are also happy to bespoke tours or events for small groups.
There is probably no simple explanation as to why you purchase a property on the other side of the world. Yes, it’s a love of the food, the history, the people and all things French but the reality is that you have to also be slightly crazy. It has cost more than we imagined and there have been highs and lows. We could only be in France for part of the year and managing the works from the other side of the world was not always been easy. But we have never had any regrets and when we are sitting on the front terrace enjoying a glass of champagne and watching the deer frolic around as the sun sets we do feel like the luckiest people in the world. Who says dreams don’t come true?
Stay up to date with our French adventures by signing up to our mailing list.