Only a ten minute stroll from the stunning medieval town of St Antonin Noble Val, the setting of major feature films including “Charlotte Gray” and “The Hundred Foot Journey” and voted France’s third favourite village in a national television vote, this charming three bedroom detached house sits peacefully on the bank of the beautiful river Aveyron amidst the spectacular gorge and its surroundings.
Recently refurnished and renovated inside and out, the house provides a relaxed indoor/outdoor lifestyle with a two-tiered sun deck overlooking the river and the 10 x 5m swimming pool. It’s the perfect setting for watching the river go by as you eat breakfast or lunch, or later in the day as you sip your chilled glass of rosé while the children splash in the pool and dinner cooks on the BBQ. The house is surrounded by a half acre garden bordered by trees and hedges affording seclusion and privacy and with plenty of space for outdoor games (pétanque, badminton, garden cricket and a selection of pool toys are all available).
Inside, the ground floor features a large living area with comfortable seating for eight people, a large dining table and French doors into the garden. The kitchen leads out on to the terrace overlooking the river. Down a short corridor, there are two bedrooms (one double and a triple with a bunk bed and a single) with a family bathroom. Upstairs, the mezzanine overlooking the living area offers flexible accommodation be it a play area for children, an office, a library for a browse through any of the books and tourist information on hand or an extra sleeping area (double sofa bed). The airy master bedroom has a queen size bed and a large ensuite shower room. All bedrooms have plenty of built in cupboard space and the adult bedrooms come with padded mattress toppers, crisp white linen and White Company towels.
The house faces south, and so the accommodation is bright and airy. Entry is from the large covered front terrace next to the driveway. One enters into:
The living/dining room (around 26m²) which has a tiled floor and a high ceiling to the roof. There are two large comfortable sofas and a coffee table, with UK Satellite TV (note reception can be variable due to location and atmospheric conditions), flat-screen TV, a DVD player and an iPod docking station. There is a wooden dining table and chairs for eight people, and this looks out over the pool area and the upper tier of the new decking terrace. There is a further cosy seating area by the open fireplace. French doors open out to the south-facing front of the house.
Through the living room we reach:
The kitchen (12m²) which is well-equipped. There is a new fridge-freezer, dishwasher, washer-dryer, an electric oven/hob with tiled surround, toaster, a modern espresso coffee machine, and plenty of storage. The floor is tiled. The most attractive feature of the kitchen is that it leads to the decking terrace with the river view just outside, which makes the French breakfast experience of coffee and croissants (whilst overlooking the river) a daily pleasure.
Along the hallway leading off the kitchen there is:
A bedroom with a double bed. This room has French doors opening onto the front covered terrace, and a window to the side making the room a very bright one. There is a chest of drawers, a built-in wardrobe, bedside tables with wall lamps, and a wicker armchair.
A further bedroom with two bunk beds (proper "single" size) and another single bed. The room has a laminate wood floor, bedside table with lamps, built-in wardrobes, and windows to two sides. This is a perfect bedroom for children.
The family bathroom, which is tiled on both floor and walls. There is a double-width medicine cabinet with mirrored doors, spotlights, and make-up mirrors. The shower has a thermostatic control, there is a WC and bidet, and a towel rail.
Upstairs from the living room leads to:
The master double bedroom (Queen-sized bed) with a brand-new ensuite bathroom. The room has a laminate wooden floor, chest of drawers, two wardrobes, and bedside tables with lamps. Windows overlook the garden.
The new ensuite bathroom is fully-tiled and has a washbasin with mirror and spotlights, a tiled shower with a thermostatic control, and a WC. There are lots of modern wicker storage cupboards. Windows overlook the river.
The mezzanine at the top of the stairs has a leather armchair and bookcases, and an office area with a desk and chair. There is a sofa too, making it all a quiet place to work if you should need to - but it makes a great play area for children! The WiFi extends to the pool terrace if you'd prefer to work there.
The Swimming Pool
The exclusive and private swimming pool measures 10 x 5 metres, and has a deep-end and Roman steps. The liner is brand new, and there are lots of sun chairs, sunloungers (with cushions), parasols and inflatable pool toys. There is a newly-built two-tier decking terrace overlooking the pool, measuring 11 x 3 metres on each level, and the terrace surrounding the pool is tiled. Spotlights and other ambient lighting has been installed to provide a superb environment to spend the summer evenings at the poolside. The whole pool area is screened from the country lane. The pool has an alarm to conform with French law.
There is a large decking terrace (with a table and seven chairs) leading from the kitchen, which offers an unobstructed view of the river as it gently glides by. This is a splendid terrace for enjoying breakfast with the morning birdsong. You will also see the occasional canoeists passing by - an activity which is widely available in Saint Antonin. Steps lead down from this terrace to the pool area.
The house is surrounded by grassed areas, and is very well screened by tall hedging and trees - there are no houses which overlook the garden or pool area. To the rear of the house lies the river Aveyron, and this has been fenced (with a gate) for safety.
The house has plenty of parking for three or four cars.
St Antonin has a wide selection of restaurants ranging from pizza to gourmet cuisine, a famous Sunday market (not to be missed), a stunning medieval square perfect for relaxing with a cold beer, two supermarkets, a medical centre, bank, post-office, pharmacy and even a cinema! There is also a municipal swimming pool and tennis courts. The Aveyron river is well known for canoeing and there are a number of canoe hire places for all ages within easy walking distance of the house. There are several other activities on hand including cycling, horse riding, rock climbing, caving and potholing. Zip wiring/tree swinging is available in the nearby medieval town of Najac but if you fancy a more relaxed way of sightseeing, take a mini train to the top of the historic Cordes sur Ciel. The world heritage site of Albi, the Roquefort caves and the vibrant ‘rose city’ of Toulouse are all an easy drive away.