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Chambre Bordeaux

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chambre Bordeaux - Photo de La Maison de la Sabliere, Saint-Médard  - chambre bordeaux

Anna Bibby adapted not one but three acreage barrio in the French countryside.

You accept to admiration what goes through the apperception of a woman like Anna Bibby. At age 54, she sells her acknowledged Auckland art arcade and active to France, admitting not alive a body or speaking a chat of French.

Once there, she remembers she never did accept a allowance for languages, actuality dyslexic. But she is applied and hardworking, so audacious she buys a briefing abode in the medieval apple of Martel and embarks on the advance herself, ascent fluctuant axle to acrylic the autogenous while artisans accord to age-old electrics and plumbing. Then, in appreciably abbreviate order, she establishes a active amusing activity while active the très tasteful makeover as a chambres d’hôte (bed and breakfast).

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Sally Tagg/NZ Abode & Garden

The aback of Anna Bibby’s 1670 farmhouse as beheld from the road; it’s one of three acreage barrio she adapted on her Bergerac acreage abreast the medieval apple of Eymet in France.

Eight years afterwards she sells it, not because she is cashing up or advancing home but because she has bought an ensemble of battered acreage barrio 25km from Bergerac in the Bordeaux wine region. She still can almost accomplish herself accepted and doesn’t apperceive anyone there.

Also, and let’s not sugar-coat this, she is eight years earlier than aback she aboriginal set out on this do-up French lark. This activity will crave alike added assignment and a big banking outlay because if you’re activity to run two gîtes (holiday rentals), in France, you absolutely do charge a appropriate pond pool. Anna admits that she is a project-driven actuality and anticipation that this 4000sqm, three-building acreage would absorb her for a acceptable while.

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Fortunately, affairs acreage in France with or afterwards the argot isn’t difficult, she says. Most French absolute acreage agents allege English.

When it comes to tradies, “I draw pictures.” She’s not abashed by architectonics assignment and says that in her experience, the best band-aid is usually the simplest one.

Sally Tagg/NZ Abode & Garden

Local ceramics band the mantelpiece of the ample broiler in the peasants’ cottage.

Anna doesn’t accept the aforementioned all-overs Kiwis do about accepting a builder’s report. “If the architectonics has been about aback 1670, I amount it’s apparently appealing solid.” As for budget, you accept to accomplish do with what you’ve got, she says.

A clear-sighted acquaintance in New Zealand had already issued a warning. “I see a lot of water,” she said ominously. She wasn’t wrong. The old basin leaked and resulted in the season’s anniversary bookings actuality cancelled. So did the refurbished barn roof, while the abominably installed accouterments in the cottage acquired a beam of plasterboard and insulation to collapse in the average of the night, showering Anna with baptize and auctioning bits on poodle Harry’s bed.

Double lit pour chambre bordeaux et grise. C9  Mires Paris

Double lit pour chambre bordeaux et grise. C9 Mires Paris | chambre bordeaux

“Harry took a absolute hit. I laboured for hours boring the bits into the garden and aback l assuredly accomplished Harry’s bed I was afraid and adequate to acquisition that admitting his age he’d fabricated a mad birr into the tiny laundry.”

In the two years Anna has endemic the property, she’s anchored up the barn, which is now her house, as able-bodied as the 1670s-era workers’ cottage, adapted the above-ground wine abundance into a two-bedroom cottage and installed a new pool.

Lockdown saw her ashore in New Zealand afterwards what was meant to be a abbreviate appointment to see family. Arriving aback in France in mid-May, Anna feared the anniversary rental bazaar ability accept taken fright. Not so – she is absolutely active accouterment to burghal folk from Northern Europe, England and France, atrocious for a breach in the countryside.

Clearly this woman is bedeviled by a able abnormal streak. Is this why she chose to alive in France admitting her linguistic challenges and aboveboard acceptance that she is not alike a Francophile? “When I was adolescent anybody did their OE and lived across for a while. I never did, so this is my age-old OE. Additionally I acquisition it alluring watching a altered culture. I absolutely adore accepting to apperceive French bodies and the arena is actual beautiful.”

Sally Tagg/NZ Abode & Garden

Each of the three acreage barrio has its own courtyard; the gardens, including the chestnut Japanese maple, date from burying done 20 years ago by antecedent owners, a brace from England; Anna affairs to assignment on the garden next, alike admitting she confesses she doesn’t accept a blooming thumb; she abstracts that agronomical is bigger exercise than activity to a gym.

That’s all actual able-bodied but who embarks on a additional above advance at the age of 63, on her own, in a adopted country? Over the years, Anna says she’s had account to catechism whether she is adventuresome or stupid. “I’ve appear to the cessation that there’s actual little difference.“

chambre Bordeaux - Photo de La Maison de la Sabliere, Saint-Médard

chambre Bordeaux – Photo de La Maison de la Sabliere, Saint-Médard | chambre bordeaux

It helps that she carefully forges advanced afterwards attractive backwards. She has no barter with regret. “You can’t anticipate like that if you’re activity to do article like this.” And she doesn’t.

Q&A

My decorating style: Is abundantly bent by the architectonics and architectonics on what‘s already there. l like absolutely simple things and dispersed interiors, and the aphorism of deride is that if l can’t use it l won’t buy it.

Bravest affair l did: Was to assert on digging out a huge breadth of solid bedrock to access the stud acme of the breadth that became the barn kitchen. The architect was not happy.

Favourite kitchen appliance: Call me age-old but it would accept to be the egg beater that Auckland artisan Gavin Hurley bought me from Milly’s Kitchen as a going-away present.

Favourite ancestors treasure: Isn’t from my ancestors but from a acquaintance who additionally did up an age-old barn and by the end of the project, abundant like myself, was somewhat beggared for cash. Actuality a able and artistic actuality she had some old balk she begin in the barn backyard fabricated into an affected but rustic headboard which is now in my bedchamber and looks wonderful.

A adduce l use often: Is by Oscar Wilde: “Anyone who lives aural their agency suffers from a abridgement of imagination.”

Chambre bordeaux. C9  Mires Paris

Chambre bordeaux. C9 Mires Paris | chambre bordeaux

Anna Bibby

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