Steeped in history, this country cottage combines charm and modern comfort making it the perfect retreat.
The concept of living in a charming country house in France is particularly alluring. Imagine this: Clean air, verdant fields, fresh produce, seasonal flowers, the scent of pine lingering in the air, long walks on the undulating hills.
For three Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire - one of the world's most renowned French chefs and owner of the eponymous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant located in Paris - finding that dream house took patience but he's found it.
The house is delightfully secluded - it takes a short drive down a gravel road before the house pops out into view! The atmosphere is serene with the sounds of finches and robins. There's also a thicket of woods nearby with sprawling fields filled with daisies in spring. What made this even more enchanting was when his neighbour brought him fresh milk and seasonal produce everyday.
Interestingly, the country house flaunts a rich history. Built between the 17th and 19th century, it was partially destroyed in the mid 1970s. This meant that serious work had to be done to restore the house to make it sturdy and liveable.
The unique part of the design process for this home was that no architect or designer was involved. In fact, Gagnaire and his wife were behind the whole decorating process. The three years of renovation bore witness to trials. During the construction process, the couple had to travel from Paris to the countryside frequently to supervise the work. Moreover, the builders' skills were not up to par as they preferred to build new houses instead of restoring and refurbishing existing architecture. The builders also didn't understand why the couple wanted to save old doors, ancient taps and tiles.
Beneath that historical shell, Gagnaire wanted a home that bore aspects of traditional Belgian interior décor fused with modern technology, which included intelligent heating to combat the coldest of winters and electronic functions that enhance the ambience and creature comforts of the home.
Today, the house sits proudly in the French countryside. It has five bedrooms kitted out in modern comforts but the children prefer to sleep outdoors or camp outside on the lawn with their friends. Gagnaire and his wife love their cosy bedroom and the living room, which look out to a large wooden veranda offering picturesque vistas.
Naturally, the kitchen at home is the pride of a renowned chef. One of Gagnaire's requirements for his kitchen was to include a made-to-measure Corian top that would withstand the rigours of his preparations and cooking methods. The unique Corian top also has the names of some of Gagnaire's favourite dishes embedded in it. Wining and dining is in Gagnaire's blood and he goes to great lengths to ensure that guests are well fed. And it's not hard to understand why Gagnaire chose De Dietrich appliances. He shares, "I already had some of their appliances at home in Paris and their design was exceptionally elegant with a touch of sophistication. They always perform well and have never let my family down. I certainly had to have the same brand of kitchen appliances for my lovely countryside home!"
Incidentally, Gagnaire's love for De Dietrich ended up in a stunning collaboration. He has designed a limited edition induction hob with inspiring words such as "What is cooking, but love, art and technique?" inscribed on the hob. The induction hob also boasts two revolutionary free induction zones and his signature.
Today, the country house holds special meaning for the Gagnaire family. It is a perfect venue where friends and family gather to relax over a wonderful meal and a luxurious escape for the family where they unwind from hectic Parisian life.