Spend Christmas in a rural French village
Originally from Devon and Essex in the UK, we have been living in France for over 25 years. We were both working for Eurotunnel and moved over here when the head office relocated from London to Calais. We bought La Ferme Bleue in Hardinghen after a long lunch and have been rebuilding it ever since! My dream was to buy a farm around a courtyard with enough land for a horse. The 'farm' now consists of 2 gites, one long term let, our house and 'the unfinished gite' as it's known! (You can see the gites on the Chez Nous website - references 222700 and 222701, which will give you a view of the overall property).
Hardinghen is a small village, half way between Calais and Boulogne in the North of France. We have wonderful walks close by - beautiful beaches on the Cote d'Opale and many forests/woods close by.
Our Home & Location
We built our house in the old stable block, about 8 years ago, so it is quite modern inside. We designed it how we like to live - big kitchen/dining area for cooking and entertaining, downstairs guest room and bathroom, utility room, downstairs loo and storage area, big lounge upstairs with views over the countryside and of course a 'dog window' so Genna and Mowgli can keep an eye on everything! We have two bedrooms upstairs, both with their own bathroom. We are changing our downstairs office into a gym, as we prefer to work in the kitchen and need to keep fit now we are getting older!! We have underfloor heating downstairs (geothermal power from the fields), radiators upstairs and a woodburner in the kitchen for added cosiness. The house is really light and spacious. We love it.
Hardinghen is a small village, but has a bakery, butcher, wine shop, chemist, restaurant and bar within easy walking distance. There is a Netto supermarket 2 miles away and other supermarkets an easy 10 minute drive away. We have lived in this village for 24 years, our son Jacob (now 22!) went to the local primary school, so we know lots of people and have lovely neighbours....
There are lots of excellent markets in the area if you enjoy French food, and of course plenty of wine! + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
Genna and Mowgli are very much part of our family. They are typical terriers in as much as they are active, affectionate and full of character but are certainly not hyper or yappy. They will bark at the cats, but not people, as they are very used to guests coming and going. They usually have one decent walk a day (minimum an hour, preferably partly off lead) but will both walk as far and as fast as you like! I take Mowgli to a dog club twice a week to learn agility - if you are up for that then please continue, but it's not essential! The people are very nice and friendly and it is very relaxed. The dogs eat once a day, the same thing, no medication, and have a treat at breakfast time and before bed. They are loose in the house and night but do not go in the bedrooms (doors are shut!) . They usually sleep upstairs in the sitting room or downstairs on the sofa in the kitchen.
The cats are outside cats and do not come in the house - they have an automatic feeder which needs topping up every few days, and fresh water refilled as needed. They are however very friendly. They sleep in the boiler room, which is where their food is. The dogs will chase them if they get the chance, so be careful when out in the courtyard!...
The small horse and pony are retired. In the winter they live outside in a barn with access to a field. They need feeding twice a day (hard feed and hay) with fresh water and straw on the barn floor as necessary.
The chickens need some grain every couple of days and water as necessary. They will also enjoy any scraps. They lay from March until October so you have fresh eggs during this time but sadly not in the winter!
Regarding the gites - it's possible that we may have guests staying over Christmas. If so my friend Gill will get the houses ready etc and check up on them. This is NOT your responsibility! If of course you meet them and get asked any questions you can't answer I will have given you information and contact numbers, depending on the question! + More info
December 2018 | Gina
December 2018 | Gina