With mild summers and gorgeous countryside, it is no surprise that France is often a well loved holiday destination, particularly if you’re looking for a traditional style cottage just tucked away from it all. In direct contrast to the giant hotels we see in Ibiza and Majorca, boasting sun, sea and fantastic coastal views, the traditional French cottage hosts its own style of quaint beauty, making it perfect for those holidays where you just want to take a breather, away from the stresses of modern day living.
In many ways, French cottages are very similar to the old thatched cottages you see throughout rural England; however there is something subtly romantic about the idea of hopping on a train, ferry or plane and flying away to France for a long weekend, to spend it in a gorgeous little cottage hidden away in a traditional French village. When you’re looking for a classic French cottage to rent or to buy, make sure to keep in mind these three important features which you do not want to miss out on, as they bring charm and character to every classical building, and are symbolic of 18th century French couture.
1. Exposed Timbers and Stonework
A classic feature of any traditional French cottage, exposed timbers and stonework really capture the essence of 18th century French home design. Often 18th Century French cottages would just leave the stonework open to the naked eye, allowing for some interesting patterns as you look into the very building blocks of the building. Traditional cottages used a mixture of large and small stones, so the patterns you will see will be unlike any other, giving each cottage an original, rustic feel to it.
2. Authentic 18th Century Furniture
Many classical French cottages available to rent have a beautiful selection of traditional 18th century furniture, from the beds to the dining room tables and chairs to the ancient coffee table in the study. 18th century furniture is well made and sturdy, with small defects that really highlight the ‘homemade’ style of each cottage.
Traditional French cottages often look out of place with modern furnishings, so if you rent or plan to buy a cottage with the original 18th century furniture, don’t pass up this opportunity! It all adds to the style and unique charm of the property and it will be a great hit with many of your guests if you are planning on renting the cottage out throughout the year!
3. Proximity to Local Establishments
Although not necessarily a feature of a traditional French cottage, it is an important point to consider when you’re looking for a holiday home to rent or buy in France. Proximity to the local amenities is important, especially if there are no super or hypermarkets around, so it is essential to scout the local area and see where you can buy your produce, your amenities, entertainment etc. from.
Look around with both function and form in mind. If you’re just planning to live there yourself during the summer, perhaps you can go a week or two without Wi-Fi or a working television, but if you’re planning to rent it out to other holidaymakers, they may find the lack of usable internet a deal breaker when looking at cottages.
In theory, a cute little cottage cut off from the modern world is an idyllic place to take a few weeks away as a holiday, however some holidaymakers will need access to their emails and mobile phone service, as business owners can’t often get up and just disappear for any long period of time without being accessible. It is a sad point but it is something to consider if you’re looking at it from a sales perspective. A cottage with a local grocery store and a pay phone would be an ideal ‘meet in the middle’ sort of place to look for, but location is one of the main things you need to think about when choosing a French cottage!
by Tabby Strepthorne