Friday, March 4, 2011

Coffee with Jane & Yves

Laury's good friends, Jane and Yves invited us for coffee this morning. After a quick stop in Cajarc for a selection of pastries to enjoy with our hosts, we drove the short distance beyond town to their road. Marked only with a stone cross set in a grotto, the road turns steeply uphill and left to their 19th century farmhouse. The lintel over the front door is inscribed with 1864. The  house has been enlarged over the years, but kept otherwise authentic including paint, the old stone sink in the kitchen, the stone and wood plank floors, and the hand pump in the kitchen that pumps water from a large cistern under the house which is fed by a natural spring. Jane and Yves have finished the attic into a large bathroom and three bedrooms, two of which are en suite. They've brought in a ton of light to both the kitchen and the upstairs without sacrificing any of the historic charm. The farmer who built this house was evidently very properous. There is a huge livestock barn (now a ruin), another smaller barn next to the house, a separate stone chicken house, a separate bread oven/cooking space, as well as a large cellar that houses the cistern, and an attic. There is another space by the cellar that was a wine in, it has a huge barrel that could hold several hundred liters of wine where they actually fermented the grapes and made wine! One concession to modernity: Jane and Yves have added a nice swimming pool in the back; Lotois summers get very hot and a lot of people here have pools.
Set on a hillside, their property has some lovely views to the valley of the Lot.
If you click to enlarge this picture, you can read the 1864 chiseled in the stone over the door.
The road to the house and beyond was built by the Romans when this area was controlled by Rome and was known as Gaul.
Our welcoming committee!
While restoring and renovating their house over the years, Jane and Yves have discovered many 'treasures' hiding in dark, cob-webby places.  This ladder hanging on the side of the smaller barn is just one of them. Tomorrow's post will show you a few more..

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