In 2002 we took possession of the keys to our little bit of paradise. Trepidation about the place (we’d really only been inside for about 10 minutes when we viewed it) turned to joy as it surpassed all our memories.
Set high in the Cevennes (600m) it is an old farmhouse in the hamlet of Sambuget which sits within the the Department of the Lozere.
It’s in the Parc National des Cevennes in southern France – west of Avignon. We started cleaning (and repairing) the slate roof, pruning our orchard and weeding around the house. This view is taken from the road above, showing about 2/3 of the main house. It’s got all the necessary modcoms: a roof, electricity and heating 🙂 with 3 bedrooms, a summer kitchen, a huge fireplace and a (very) small “gite” (on the left), set in 3 acres (1.2 hectares) of land. The house is located up on the hillside on the edge of the small hamlet of Sambuget (6 other houses) with fantastic views across the valley of the Gardon to the Montagne de Mortissou.
Approaching the property through the orchard – the house is beyond the trees in the distance. If you make it to here, you’ve found us.The landscape is dominated by hills, mostly covered in chestnut, with the odd clump of pine. As the house is at 600m, so we get a glorious view down the valley.
A view from the side – taken earlier in the year before the vine was in full grape. You can just see the front door. The bulge next to it is a bread oven which is part of a summer kitchen. The summer kitchen has been joined to the main ‘barn’ over the years and now serves as a large cool area used during the summer months.
We purchased the house with all its rustic, typical Cevennol decor – or so they tell us. We also proudly boast an enormous fireplace – which initially made us a little nervous about the ability of the central heating to cope in winter! However, view this as an opportunity for visitors to hone their wood chopping skills;-)
Looking down to the terrace. That’s where you find us after a hard day or strimming, weeding and DIY, sipping the local plonk and trying to remember what an 8-lane highway looks like.
In the background is the little gite which Rodger has now turned into a makeshift pottery studio and on the terrace below is an old ‘agricultural basin’ that serves as a small pool in the summer when the temperature climbs above 30oC
Where on earth . . . ?
The little hamlet of Sambuget lies halfway between Florac and Ales (each about 45 minutes drive away), 20 min. from the next village (no traffic jams, or traffic lights for that matter).
It’s about 1 1/4 hours to Nimes or the Gorge du Tarn, and 2 hours to Montpellier, the sea or Avignon.