Reception Rooms: 7
Land: 0.75 ha
L'Orangerie was built in 1703, originally part of the local historically important chateau and 8th Century Priory. It is a stunning base from which to experience the best that Normandy and the Suisse Normande has to offer.
L'Orangerie has been running as a successful gite business (with separate owner cottage) since 2004. It is over 300 years old, and is a property of local significance in La Suisse Normande. It was annexed from the neighbouring chateau over a hundred years ago. With the owner cottage adjacent to the main property.
You approach the property down a tree lined drive, and enter through ancient 200 year old wooden gates. Look up during the day and you will see the kestrels, red kites, and buzzards soaring on the thermals. During the nights, the area is alive with the sounds of the large population of owls hooting (hence why we call the owner cottage The Owlerie).
Its appeal to clients is the stunning setting, the massively spacious living accommodation, and the number of en-suite bedrooms, Plenty of private parking for cars both inside and outside the walled garden. Many large capacity gites are actually a complex of smaller properties - L'Orangerie accommodates everyone in the same building, but its amply sized rooms give plenty of room for privacy if desired.
There are two large gardens - one walled garden, containing a small 2 roomed cottage at the end, currently used as a children's play room upstairs and lathe workshop (man-cave) downstairs. The second garden is adjacent to the property, and contains two full sized football goals, and is lined by ancient huge trees with a small copse at the end (wonderful sweet chestnuts). From this garden, you have fabulous views of the 8th century priory entrance, towers and walls surrounding the chateau next door.
We are semi-retired UK residents, with our main home in England. We have lived in the L'Owlerie, and happily rented L'Orangerie as a Spring & Summer gite for the past 10 years. The possibilities are endless for growing the business. If you want to follow our model, you will meet interesting people from all over the world and have a lot of spare personal time and privacy. If you wanted to maximise the income, you could completely annexe 3 private downstairs rooms in L'Orangerie (with its own entrance door), rent the remaining 5 rooms as B&B and let the Owlerie as a 3 bedroom gite. Providing evening meals is a popular and profitable addition to the rental business.
The main house (L'Orangerie) accommodation is laid out as follows - where bathroom and shower rooms are mentioned, they include washbasin and wc: There are 3 separate water heaters serving L'Orangerie.
Bedroom 1 (14.5msq) with double bed and window overlooking garden. Ensuite bathroom.
Bedroom 2 (14.5msq) with double bed and high arched window. Ensuite shower room.
Second sitting room/games/tv room with separating door to the main sitting room, and private entrance door. This space has been popular with guests with limited mobility, and could be separated as 3 room living space (14.5msq)
Huge main sitting room (77msq) with easy comfortable seating for 22 and double height oak staircase leading to upstairs bedrooms. The sitting room has opening doors and windows with views down the garden and up the forest hillside - stunning views. Large fireplace with Douvre dual fuel burning stove - glass doors can be used closed or opened wide for 'open-fire' effect.
Large, well equipped kitchen (6.5msq), with plenty of worktop serving space, 6 ringed gas cooker, 2 fridge-freezers, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, microwaves, worktop grill/oven, and a large table set up with seating for 12 (can be extended to take up to 18)
Separate dining room (21.5msq) with usual seating for 18 people, and the potential to extend for larger groups (max 30).
Separate downstairs cloakroom and WC.
Large built-in laundry storage cupboard for cleaning materials, linen, christmas decorations etc.
Long corridor (24msq) with impressive exposed beams, showing the conversion a hundred years ago, when the house was used as a nunnery, from a pitched pointed roof to a mansard roof style. All rooms have original exposed beams. 4 z-beds stored in one of the landing bays. Feature window overlooking garden
Bedroom 3 (21.75msq) - double bedded room with en-suite shower room. Feature window overlooking garden and showing original gothic 7th century rose carving in the windowsill stonework. Additional Velux window.
Bedroom 4 (20.85msq) - three single beds with separate dedicated en-suite shower room (ideal for children) with Velux window
Bedroom 5 (21.67msq) - two double bedded room with en-suite shower room. Velux window.
Bedroom 6 (23.42 msq) - one double bed and one single bedded room with en-suite shower room. Velux window.
Bedroom 7 (28.8msq) - two double bedded room with en-suite shower room. Velux window and feature window overlooking the garden, with view of chateau.
Very large built-in laundry storage cupboard for towels, toilet mats, pillows and spare duvets. All the bathrooms and shower rooms in L'Orangerie are spacious, and equipped with electric towel rails. Upstairs bedrooms have electric radiators and downstairs is heated by oil system.
Sitting room (18msq) with door to the garden and window. Large stone fireplace with Supra wood burning stove
Kitchen/dining room (25msq) with staircase leading to upstairs and window. Gas hob and electric fan oven. Fridge freezer and large fridge, dishwasher. 2 electric radiators.
Study/dining room (14msq) (with potential as another bedroom) with door leading through to downstairs bedroom and outside french doors leading to garden.
Bedroom 1 (13msq) leading through to en-suite shower room (10msq), with laundry and storage facilities. Separate water heater. Door to outside garden (ideal for garden parties).
Bedroom 2 (13.25msq) - double bedroom 2 x velux windows and cupboard housing separate water heater.
Bedroom 3 (12msq) - double bedroom with velux window.
Bathroom (6msq) - with bath and shower screen, washbasin with built-in storage, wc and dormer window.
The property has two gardens.
The main garden, looking down from L'Orangerie and across from L'Owlerie is walled, and enclosed by a large, very secure old wooden gate, which is a real feature, and is over 200 years old. The main garden has raised lawns and well established flower beds. A greenhouse. An open garage area which currently houses a large collection of push bikes for use by guests, garden furniture, and wood storage. There is a large lockable storage room for bbqs, mowers, garden tools etc., which is shelved at one end and is a wood store at the other end. There is a separate room housing the oil storage, the central heating boiler, and has an upstairs storage area. The raised lawns at the top form part of a gravelled quadrangle around which it is possible drive and park.
Features in the garden are the large old concrete fountain, which is perfect as a cascading flower display, and the central stone mill ring - also used for flower displays. There are two water taps in the inside garden.
The second garden is outside the walled garden, and is less formal. There is an area on which you can park several cars, if you prefer not to look at them from the main house. This area leads to an open field, perfect for all sort of ball games - including football, cricket and rounders. This area is surrounded by large, well established trees - oaks, sycamore, linden, chestnut which form a part of the property.
The property is in a region which the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development has endorsed a "natural site" classification of Suisse Normande. At stake is the preservation of the landscape and its biodiversity. "The Rivière de la Rouvre, with its inaccessible gorges, is a refuge for a very characteristic fauna, made up of remarkable animal and plant species," explains the ministry. On the list, trout fario, Atlantic salmon and pearl mussel, present only in about fifty rivers in France. The lake and the castle of Rabodanges as well as the Roche d'Oetre were already classified. In total, this represents 2,276 ha on which any work likely to modify the aspect or the state of the site will be subject to control of the department or the departmental prefecture. The objective is to preserve the characteristics of the site by preserving it from any attack on the spirit of the place. This means that the area surrounding L'Orangerie will retain its character, with nothing to be anticipated that can change its character and charm for generations to come. It is a very special recognition, that will maintain La Foret Auvray's charm for holidaymakers who enjoy spectacular unspoilt landscapes - filled with wild animals and charm.