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Domaine de Pradelle

"When we first visited Domaine de

Pradelle it was love at first sight for

my wife - but despite its beauty I

could just see work ..."!

Koos and Elly Van Hooven

A

FTER SELLING THEIR BUSINESS IN HOLLAND, KOOS

and Elly Van Hooven bought a camping car to travel

around France looking for their forever home. The architect and

entrepreneur explains: "we needed a complete

sea-change or else work and business would continue

to dominate our lives. We discovered the Perigord Noir area, decided it was perfect

for us and started looking for a secluded property

with perhaps just a simple renovation needed... and then we found

Domaine de Pradelle!"

Not far from the ancient village of Ste. Alvère, famed for its truffle

markets, Domaine de Pradelle is set above the valley and river - it

charms from the instant you arrive. Built of glorious golden stone

with Perigordine style roofs, the chartreuse dates back to the early

18th century. Symmetrical in style it looks over a courtyard with ancient chestnut

trees. Now immaculately restored, light floods every

room - each boasting its own fireplace - glorious living rooms are set

garden-side. The luxurious master suite, another lounge and further

rooms offer comfortable accomodation.

Back in 2008 it was uninhabitable but, with outbuildings and two

pigeonniers, it had possibilities and robust beauty. Calling on his architectural

skills, Koos sketched what might be achieved. His vision

was clear - the original design hardly changed over the course of the

renovation which took four years to complete.

"From the start our local mayor was excited by our plan and was

extremely helpful," Koos says. "We worked closely with Bâtiments

de France and established a team of 15 skilled artisans - it's so important to use people who know

their trade and understand local

buildings."

Today the Domaine includes three highly enviable luxury gîtes

set close to the glorious swimming pool carved out of rock. The first

year they finished the renovation of what is now their home in time

for a family Christmas (in true renovation style they'd lived on site

in a caravan), however their gîtes Lavande, Glycines and Les Rosiers,

each with three romantic bedrooms and wonderful living spaces,

took far longer to create from semi-derelict buildings and cowsheds!

Highly popular with holidaymakers they are fully booked each year.

Attention to detail is evident throughout - from retaining architectural

features to energy-efficient solutions - this restoration is

simply superb. The outside spaces are also breathtaking with glorious gardens

and a 23 acre truffle wood - this really is a wonderfully

romantic place to live!

Domaine de Pradelle is currently for sale through Leggett Immobilier

property reference: 86783JF24.

10 LEGGETTFRANCE.COM

10

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