Several years ago, my friend in Paris mused about our buying a big old home somewhere in a French village. We both were single at the time and imagined spending our ‘twilight days’ with other friends enjoying one another’s company and being on hand, when support was needed.
While we now are each happily married, I still think of her idea, imagining even today our doing the same thing as couples – sharing market shopping, tending to household chores, tipping the wine glasses at sunset.
And that brings me to the point, in a roundabout sort of manner. I came across a rather magnificent home for sale in Normandy – “The Old Gallery”. Seems that an English fellow – an artist – purchased the six-bedroom ‘manor’ about 10 years ago. Over the years local craftsmen and tradesmen helped transform the heating and insulation, the kitchen and baths. The Old Gallery has hosted many vacationing Brits and corporate groups, who have relished the location, comfort and quiet of the Normandy countryside.
While the property is only a 20-minute drive from Dieppe on the Channel, it is located in the heritage hamlet of Beauval en Caux and within 5 minutes of Bacqueville en Caux and Auffay. Five minutes? It takes us that long to start the car and leave our property, so it would be no imposition to enjoy the short ride to the patisserie and charcuterie!
Petite communes share their own unique history and charm. In 1965 the Beaunay and Sainte-Genevieve-en-Caux hamlets merged into one commune with two village churches. The church near The Old Gallery dates to the 12th century and proudly boasts an onion-shaped dome and elaborate slate work.
Who knows? If my friend’s vision had come to pass, The Old Gallery might have been our chosen retreat. Or maybe it will be yours? It certainly seems to be the ideal blend of country living, village convenience and easy access to coastal resorts.
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