Every so often, we come across a French property that knocks us for six. This month, Emma Rawle falls for this rural château in Ariège
As soon as I saw the floor-to-ceiling bookcases lining the walls of the library in this house I was sold! I have always had a dream of browsing the hundreds of books lovingly arranged in my own library and settling down to read in a comfortable chair overlooking a beautiful garden – and in this property I could actually realise my dream!
Location is the second big attraction of this property for me, being tucked away from the world in the southern reaches of the Midi-Pyrénées and only 10 minutes from the Aude border. After visiting Aude recently I was struck by the beauty of the area and it really appealed to me, offering a peaceful rural life with a few bustling towns and plenty of local wines to enjoy. So I would be right at home in this countryside château in Ariège, it even has a wine cellar to store all the local vintages.
With three hectares of land there would be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the many hours of sunshine in this part of France, whether I am tending the already established gardens, picking fruit from the orchard or looking after my chickens living in the poultry house.
As for the house itself, there are seven bedrooms plus high-ceilinged attics that could be converted, several sitting rooms, a kitchen and a couple of bathrooms – so easily enough space for me, and my family and friends. I might be tempted to convert the property into a chambres d’hôtes to utilise all the bedrooms and allow other people to enjoy my magnificent country château. Now all I need to do is somehow scrape together €1,000,000 and it could be mine…