With its ornate stone pediment and arcaded orangerie, Château de Lomenie in Lot-et-Garonne is one of the more recognisable properties from the hit TV show Escape to the Château DIY.
Chateau de Lomenie was built by the Lomenie family in 1751. During the 19th century it was passed to the De Bastard family who made good use of it as their own hunting lodge, entertaining some royal guests. American TV executive Ashley Adams and English artist Johnny Darko bought the vast property in 2017, and hit the ground running, immediately starting renovations, from the practical jobs to the more elaborate and decorative tasks.
Rather than turn it into a luxury wedding venue or boutique hotel, they created a stunning gallery to showcase Johnny’s avant-garde art and a beautiful orangerie antiques shop. “It’s a massive space here,” says Ashley. “We fell in love with the original 18th-century features, but also the space.” Something else that appealed was the new roof and double glazing, not to mention the central geothermal heating and hot water solar panels.
Only 10 minutes from the bustling town of Marmande in Lot-et-Garonne, Chateau de Lomenie sits in 15 acres of land with a pond, woods and walled garden. So far, the chateau offers 300m2 of renovated living space, but there’s another 1,100m2 of space to play with, including outbuildings and stables with 11 boxes.
Resplendent in blush pink shutters, the main buildings are arranged around a central courtyard. Off the grand hallway with its mosaic floor and marble statue, is the library, featuring bold black and gold decor and doors leading to the large lounge, dining room and new American kitchen. “When we moved in, the library was dusty and spider web-ridden,” says Ashley. “But we built up into the attic space to create a two—storey room with a vaulted ceiling and now it’s definitely one of my favourite spaces.”
There are currently five large bedrooms (two of them ensuite) but plenty more could be created. “Our bedroom is amazing, with the giant gilded corbel mirror that Johnny created and the view over the courtyard to the front pediment,” says Ashley.
Johnny’s art gallery on the first floor is a vast space of some 2OOm2 with a style he likens to a decaying opera house or alchemist’s den. It could be turned into several rooms or kept as a function space. Johnny and Ashley are now moving on to a new project in southern France, but they will miss their beautiful chateau an hour from Bordeaux. “You could do a million things here,” says Ashley. “The possibilities are endless.”
Chateau de Lomenie is on the market for €850,000