Authentic village house near Fontainebleau and just 40 minutes from Paris

Authentic village house near Fontainebleau and just 40 minutes from Paris




Apr 2009

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5 Bedrooms
Sleeps 7
2 Bathrooms

About our home

Our village house is about 250-years old and started life as a farm labourer's cottage. As it became too small for our growing family we built a large extension. It sits in a landscaped garden which is where we spend most of our time in the summer. The house is not air-conditioned but the very thick stone walls keep it pleasantly cool in the summer.
In the oldest part of the house on the ground-floor there is the sitting-room; the kitchen which we completely refurbished in November 2008 and a laundry room refurbished in summer 2010. These three rooms all have double-doors onto the terrace. There is also a shower-room which we entirely renovated in November 2007 and a separate toilet, refurbished in summer 2010.
On the first floor is a family room with a television, , hundreds of LPs and many DVDs... and the fishtank! The library/art studio contains over 2,000 books in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese; the family bathroom is also in this oldest section of the house.
In the newer part of the house downstairs there are two large bedrooms (one has a 90cm wide single bed, the master bedroom has a 180cm wide double bed) with double-doors into the garden; a hall which doubles up as the family computer area and my office which is not part of the exchange and will be locked. Upstairs there are three large bedrooms, two with a 90cm wide bed, one with an 80cm bed which extends into a 160cm wide doublebed.
There are two outdoor dining-tables (one for 6/8 and one for 4) and a parasol on the west-facing terrace so you can sit here and watch the sunset overlooking the mature garden which needs no watering.
We have a table-tennis table, badminton, croquet, cricket and bicycles. Our guests could take advantage of our membership of the village tennis club (one covered court, one outdoor court a 5-minute walk from the house).
As our children are now older the house no longer has child-secure stairs, cupboards, drawers etc. so is not recommended for families with children under the age of four or five.


More about us

  1. We are a non-smoking couple in our 50s.
    Christophe, who is French, is a lighting manager at the Opéra Bastille in Paris and a nationally ranked Finn sailor while Christina, who is Franco-Scottish, is a journalist who works from home.
    We have three daughters (20, 18 and 16), and a son (12). Our two eldest daughters are at university in the UK and may not travel with us.
    Christophe and our youngest daughter are both allergic to cats so unfortunately we cannot exchange with a family that has one, even if the cat is not present in the house during the exchange. Our only pets are two goldfish, and they need occasional feeding .

Swap availability

Open to offers
Not Available

Where is it?


Our house is in a very small rural village (634 inhabitants at the last count!) on a dead-end road so there are very, very few cars that drive past (maybe 15 or 20 a day: usually the people who live in the 10 or so houses further down the road).
The village has a shop that stocks vital necessities; a café; a school; a wine press; an early 20th century wash-house, and is surrounded by fields with cows, sheep, horses. There are wonderful walks through the surrounding woods and lovely restaurants along the river Seine which is a 10-minute drive away. The rocks in Fontainebleau forest (just 10-minutes drive or a half-hour cycle) draw climbers from all over the world but there are also nice easy rocks for children to scramble on. There are golf courses, swimming-pools, riding clubs etc. within a few minutes drive of the house. We are also very close to both the Seine and Loing rivers where you can rent canoes and kayaks and a number of artificial lakes in former sand quarries where you can rent sailing boats and water-ski.
We are a 10-minute drive from the train station in Fontainebleau from which there are half-hourly trains for the 40-minute ride into Paris (my husband does it every day). Our home would be a very good base for visitors who would like to spend some, but not all, of their holiday time in Paris (an hour by car if you prefer driving).
Fontainebleau is a beautiful town also famous amongst horse-riders as it is the French centre for show-jumping. It is also home to the INSEAD business school so has a very international population for a small town (pop.16,000) and an astonishing number of restaurants and bars. Fontainebleau is also famed for its beautiful 16th century palace and gardens. Ten-minutes' drive north-east is another world-famous chateau: Vaux-le-Vicomte which inspired Louis XIV to build Versailles. A 30-minute drive east takes you to the the UNESCO World Heritage medieval city of Provins while a 90-minute drive south will take you to the Loire Valley and all the chateaux there while less than an hour north will get you to Disneyland Paris.
You can swim in both the Seine and the Loing (at your own risk) and there are siwmming pools in Fontainebleau, Moret-sur-Loing, Nangis and an Olympic-size outdoor pool at Nemours.

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