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New Year, New Start, New You?

Posted by Sextant Properties on December 15, 2020

Get in shape, save more money, live for the moment a little more, spend more time with family… It feels like only yesterday I was writing my New Year‘s resolutions for 2014, yet, here we are at the end of 2014, and what have I done? If I’m truly honest, not a great deal apart from perhaps successively break most of my New Year’s resolutions, but I’m hopeful, as ever, that 2015 may be the time I finally embark on some real changes for good. If 2015 is the year that you’ve finally decided to leave the daily grind and live your dream in France, we may have a ready-made option well worth having a look at.

This 18th century mill property is set on the banks of a stream, and partially supplies its own electricity thanks to the water mill.

Set in just under 8 acres of land with lots of trees, a meadow and a picturesque water mill turning with the flow of the stream which runs through the estate; this property just oozes charm. This former flour mill began generating electricity in the 1940s. Today, it serves as a renewable energy source for the house and with its half-timbered and brick frontage, the property certainly retains an authentic charm of times past.

The mill’s history started a short time before the French Revolution, with the earliest document referencing the property dating back to 1794. At that time, peasant had to pay the miller to grind their harvests of wheat, barley and rye in his mill. In 1851 authorisation was given to develop the mill further, with official approval sent directly from the Elysée Palace and signed by Napoleon Bonaparte himself. A few years later in 1885, the owners bought some more land surrounding the mill to build an adjoining house.

The mill stopped grinding grains in 1920 and, started producing electricity instead, as the house was not yet connected to electricity. The property subsequently became a cattle farm and was again extended in 1930. The cattle farm was rather successful and the owners won several agricultural awards. The current owners bought the property in 1986 and began renovating the house before launching the B&B business in 2004. They have some old postcards depicting the mill from 1900 to 1950.

The house is perfect for a B&B business as there are 6 well-arranged bedrooms (most benefit from en-suite bathrooms), a reception hall, two lounges, and a well-equipped, fully fitted kitchen. On the ground floor, the living room leads out onto the garden where guests can enjoy views of the garden and the pretty, natural surroundings while eating breakfast. Outside the house, there is a covered courtyard and several outbuildings.

The mill is currently owned and run by a couple who want to retire and are looking for buyers to take on this historic property and all the adventures and exciting possibilities that will come with it.

Business close-up: the owners cater for around 100 overnight stays per month for six months of the year, though the business could be run for up to 8 or 9 months per year. The revenue for six months activity is an average of around €60,000. Clients are largely British and Australian.

Providing all the comfort you would expect for a peaceful and revitalising trip to the French countryside, the property is surrounded by greenery. Nestled half-way between Paris and the heart of Normandy, the mill is perfectly located for visiting a number of tourist attractions. Set along the River Seine, Giverny is a charming place for nature and art lovers alike. You can even visit the restored home and garden of the French painter Claude Monet in Giverny.

The famous impressionist painter fell in love with Giverny while passing on a train. He rented, and later bought a house there, the garden is still set out according to Monet’s original design. It is a truly magnificent garden with ponds, weeping willows and flowers. This is the garden which inspired some of his masterpieces, such as the ‘Water Lily Pond’ or ‘Le Clos Normand’.

Giverny is a short drive from Vernon, a town well-served by rail services: 50 minutes from the Saint-Lazare station in Paris and 40 minutes from the centre of Rouen with its pretty, historical centre and incredible cathedral.

Interested and want to learn more about this unique property, visit our website or give us a call on 020 7428 4910.

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