We are Karen and Peter. We have recently retired from many years in education and business to pursue our dream of a new life in France. 10 years ago, we started to dream of a home in France, somewhere with some history, with character and a story to tell, somewhere to share with our big family – 7 adult children with partners and more recently the first grandchildren have arrived.
Family holidays in France have been a big feature in our lives. High on our list of priorities when looking for somewhere to stay is a big outdoor dining area where we can all sit together and enjoy the local food and wine (well, mainly cheese and wine if I’m honest!). A pool is essential with a sun bed for everyone! As the kids grew up the luxury of all having an ensuite pushed itself higher up the list! Local culture that we could enjoy (usually wine tasting!) and some history thrown in (a few chateaux) is key. Somewhere that was private and peaceful but in walking distance of the local village, restaurants and market. We enjoy exploring and trying out new activities, kayaking, horse riding, biking.
It’s a long list of boxes to tick and finding the right place to stay is never easy.
A decade later and we were finally able to realise our dream and look for our own forever family property that ticked all our boxes. Why the Dordogne? Well, having stayed in many places in France, there’s no question in our minds that the Dordogne is the most beautiful of all. Our dream property would need to have all the qualities we were looking for, the story behind the property, the character and the location. We didn’t find Fontalbe – Fontalbe found us. We’d spent a weekend viewing properties and Fontalbe wasn’t on our list to see. Nothing had come close to what we were looking for.
On the last day the agent mentioned a new property that was just coming on the market. With a flight to catch, we didn’t have much time – but we didn’t need much time to fall in love. It ticked all our boxes and so many more.
Rebecca and Greg, the previous owners have done an amazing job renovating Fontalbe. We love the look and feel of the gite, the industrial modern interior contrasting traditional exterior, both showcasing the with the historical heritage of the papermill the building once was.
We have many plans, but only to add to what is there already. The inside is already so beautiful, so our initial focus is on the stunning grounds, introducing a pétanque court, establishing the wooded walk to the beautiful bastide town of Beaumont, padel tennis….just some ideas….. but more on that to follow.
For now, we want to share our new favourite place with you. We hope that you love Fontalbe as much as we do and enjoy making memories within her walls. We think that she is very special.