We have strict criteria for property searches in France. It must be a house in a town, no mote than 4 hours from Ouistreham or St Malo, no further than an hour from the coast, with bakeries, cafes and restaurants within walking distance. A garage or off road parking are a must too. How hard could it be?
Hours of internet searching had identified Ruffec, in the Charente, as a possibility for us. A question about the area on a Facebook group had offered up an opportunity for a viewing.
The approach to the house was gorgeous, along Le Lien river, past a little cinema and over a bridge by a mill. It was picture perfect (but we forgot to take one!).
The house was rather lovely
But…. Ruffec is over two hours to the coast and 4 hours 7 minutes to Ouistreham, something has gone seriously wrong with Google searches. In the spirt of scientific research we decided, instead of visiting Oradour-sur-Glane, we would house hunt in Ruffec.
We headed for the only Estate Agent open at lunch time and came away with details of 5 properties. A drive by dismisses three but 2 warranted leaving the car to investigate.
The first was a gorgeous townhouse on an unusual plot. It was empty to we trampled through overgrown grass to investigate. Ten years ago, we’d have taken it on but it’s not for us.
The next had us driving by several times before John dropped Kim off to walk past. After 15 minutes of suspicious behaviour we decided the garden was too big and we ought to move on before gendarmes were called.
It’s been an interesting and surprisingly challenging day. Kim loves being 30 minutes from the coast but a Ruffec has a lot to offer with swimming and water sports 5 minutes up the road on the Charente river.
We consoled ourselves with dinner at …….. The restaurant had been recommended by our hostess and it was delicious.
We were the last customers and you could tell we’d outstayed our welcome when lights were turned off at 9:45!