Sunday mornings spent flicking through seductive images of fairytale rooms adorning the weekend property pages can make the most contented Brit dream of leaving everything behind for a new life in a grand French chateau. One British woman’s televised story of what happened when she and her young family did just that, not only makes highly entertaining viewing (“Dick’s always wanted a moat”) but is also sound advice for those captivated by the lifestyle and open spaces of French country life.
Any buyer hoping to make their French dream a reality by renovating a farmhouse or chateau bought for a song, must of course set aside sufficient funds. The slower pace of life so attractive to British buyers in France, plus the challenge of doing business and communicating in French can mean the process may take longer. Once finished, properties like this can pay for their upkeep so consider whether you’re the sort of person who could entertain paying guests or wedding parties. Most importantly, Angel Adoree, narrator of this tale, stresses the importance of retaining both a sense of humour and a solid unit with your partner in renovation. We couldn’t agree more.
So, if you’re looking to buy in the French countryside but renovations aren’t necessarily for you, we’d love to show you some alternatives. If however, reading this makes you eager for a French restoration project, we’d love to hear from you too. With a vast property search network and a number of Chateaux already on our books, Winkworth International may just be able to give you that fairytale ending...
So far, we’ve spent about £100,000 on infrastructure, renovations and the garden. We’re about halfway through decorating the 45 rooms. You can find some amazing bargains in the flea markets here, unlike in England. We had our first paying guests recently, and we’ve got our first client wedding here in September. I love going back to London, but as a visitor. My French is still terrible, but I feel as though this is home.