Jousselin, a stunning nine bedroom house in the French Countryside features on Window Wednesday today.
I have always had a thing about windows, about the view through them that gets perfectly framed by the frame itself, or by stained glass and the stories they can tell. To me they perfectly encapsulate a moment, a view, a feeling and when I look at the photo afterwards I can be instantly transported back to how I was feeling as I stood in front of it to take the picture. I also feel the same about doors (my phone gallery is filled with photos of doors), but it was windows I chose to focus on when I started Window Wednesday a few years ago because I liked the alliteration. I found it was a lovely way to share pictures from places we had been, or to tell a story of the window itself but like a lot of things real life has taken over and I haven’t really had a chance to focus on windows. Or indeed anything much.
But one day last week I got up to go to the loo just as the sun was coming up in France and I was struck by how beautiful the light coming through this window appeared. My wee instantly forgotten I crept back to our room to grab my phone so I could capture the light, the flowers, the shadows on the stone window sill. It was breathtaking. And made me really want to start sharing my love of windows and doors again.
If you follow me on Instagram (and particularly stories) you will know that a few weeks ago we spent a long weekend in France, in the Vendee to be exact. I had seen a tweet from Dan Tombs, The Curry Guy, back in March who was talking about a weekend he was hosting later in the year, at a farmhouse called Jousselin which is owned by Big In France. Big In France have a few similar properties in France that are available to rent as a whole, or where you can book a room on a themed weekend (photography, yoga, other foodies) such as Dan’s. Dan’s weekend was all about making curry and we thought that as we loved curry, and France we would sign up.
We came away thinking all we would take away would be a new knowledge of how to make a killer balti, what we didn’t expect was just how fabulous the property would be, or how much fun we would have. To the extent that the Whatsapp group we started to share all our pics soon became littered with “can we do it again next year” and as soon as Dan, and Matt and Em suggested a date we were all in and booked instantly.
I will share more about our foodie weekend in a subsequent blog post but for now I wanted to just share some pics of the place to give you a taste in case you might be on the lookout for a place to stay in France, or fancy a weekend away learning something new.
There are nine bedrooms and six bathrooms and it sleeps 22! The kitchen is fully equipped and as a bonus there is another kitchen outside in what feel like old stables (there is even a dishwasher and three fridges so you don’t need to trek back and forth). There is a wood fired pizza oven and a huge barbecue with plenty of work space for friends to stand around drinking, laughing and helping to prep dinner. All whilst looking over the garden and countryside beyond. There’s an infinity pool, Sky TV and even a pool table.
Jousselin is secluded enough that nobody will be disturbed when you start belting out show tunes at 11pm, but close enough to a local village that you can walk to a bar in ten minutes.
I don’t think I have felt so relaxed as I did when I spent an hour on our last day at Jousselin lying on a sun lounger surrounded by the gentle aroma of French lavender.
And more fired up than ever to cook more curry at home.