|Marcilly in the Morvan||Self Catering||Flexible||3||7||2||1 single chair bed and 1 fold-out single bed|
Rosy - Rosemary Border Rabson - here:
First let me tell you why we are advertising this house, because it is important - In 2005 Rosemary Border Rabson and husband John Rabson emigrated to the Morvan in rural Burgundy, where few other Brits have ventured. Their chief preoccupation is Charity Cottage, a holiday home-from-home in our garden at Maré le Bas which we run in aid of Combat Stress and Help for Heroes (money donations - free accommodation). Since 2012, when Charity Cottage won the Daily Telegraph’s Best British Charity award, the total amount raised for Combat Stress, comprising UK royalties and donations from visitors to Charity Cottage, is more than £10,000.
In an ideal world the Marcilly house would function on the same basis as Charity Cottage: we pay the utilities and insurance and visitors donate to Combat Stress. However, it must earn its keep.The owners are currently based in the USA but wish to emigrate to France to be close to us. With this aim in mind they entrusted us with the choice of a property near Maré. We fell in love with the house at Marcilly; and through emails and pictures the young people decided this was the place for them.
The house dates from 1778 – the date is carved above the fireplace in the living room beside the ancient bread oven. It has been in the same family for several generations. Jean-Charles, an aeronautical engineer, inherited it from his aunt. His thoughtful and sensitive renovations are a joy. The exposed stonework – spot the fossils – and the beams exist happily with ‘tout confort moderne’. When you read the descriptions of the various rooms you will see J-C and his wife Marie-Christine at work. J-C loved his aunt dearly and often stayed with her as a boy. And so you will find a loft bedroom in a corridor, complete with a ladder, a lamp and a bookcase for bedtime reading.
John and I made use of our experience with Charity Cottage to furnish and equip the Marcilly house. Every room contains items with a tale to tell, from patchwork bedspreads to the clock which was presented to my late mother when she retired (those were the days!).
We don’t think we have forgotten anything. Study the descriptions of the various rooms, together with our photographs, and judge for yourself.
What you will not see is the care we have put into making sure the house satisfies all the French ‘normes’ for electrical and gas safety. Standards move with the times, and our favourite fixer, Gérard, went over everything, exclaiming over the anomalies he found.
The big kitchen combines homeliness with convenience. There is a big wood stove, well supplied with logs and kindling from our own wood store. The dining table seats 8 people. Proudly displayed on the wall is a small patchwork quilt which a visitor to Charity Cottage bought at a local vide-grenier and presented to me.
There are all the appliances you would expect: oven, microwave, hobs, fridge/freezer, washing machine and dishwasher, cafetière, kettle and toaster - all checked by Gérard. J-C and M-C were moving abroad to be near their children.They sold us the entire batterie de cuisine at a knockdown price. So we can offer crockery, cutlery and glassware for 12 people, teatowels and pots and pans.
Ancient meets modern in the living room. A modern wood stove sits next to an ancient bread oven. The tv and hifi contrast with the ancient stone sink, brought up to date, in the drinks corner under the stairs.
An antique English chaise longue coexists with a modern rocker/recliner from Amazon. Two obscenely comfortable old easy chairs came to us from the previous owners of Maré, who were downsizing and moving to the Basque country, where we visited them: a riotous time was had by all. Those chairs were too bulky for our tiny sitting room; they do better at Marcilly, along with a folding armchair which converts to a single bed, and a folding foam bed which would be ideal for a child’s nap.
We offer an electronic keyboard with music, a variety of books for all ages, writing and drawing materials and what our son used to call ‘bored games’. We hope we have created a family-friendly room.
The master bedroom is on the ground floor and has en suite facilities. It also has a whirlpool bath which Gérard has blocked off because the controls are not user-friendly and he feared floods or fatalities. If you want a bath or shower, use the family bathroom.
A friend created the découpage chest, and I made the needlepoint rugs and stitched the patchwork bedspread from my late parents’ silk scarves and neckties. I did not make the fossil ammonite in the wall behind the bed.
Gérard built new shutters for the huge french windows. which open onto the garden. Digression: Shutters in the Morvan are functional well as decorative. They keep out the summer heat and the winter frost.
The two upstairs bedrooms feature queen size beds and patchwork bedspreads. They also feature low beams.
There is also a loft bedroom in a corridor (making the 7th bed), complete with a ladder, a lamp and a bookcase for bedtime reading.
I have already mentioned the en suite facilities in the master bedroom. The family bathroom has a full size bath and shower, wash basin and lavatory.
We supply towels as well as bed linen. Do not, however, expect white towels and bathmats as supplied by hotels. Ours come in all colours and sizes.
The wood stoves in the kitchen and living room do a great job. There are electric radiators in all the bedrooms except the loft bedroom.
It depends what you mean by entertainment. The living room is large enough to stage a pantomime if the excellent tv and hifi seem too tame. Our electronic keyboard offers possibilities. However, we offer plenty of ‘quiet’ activities: boardgames, cards and chess, jigsaws, books and writing and drawing materials.
Does ‘entertainment’ include retail therapy? You won’t find many shopping malls, but how about French shops, markets and supermarkets, not forgetting brocantes and vide greniers? Visiting children have returned to school with lively descriptions of their experiences, (a trolley is a caddy here, and you pay at the caisse).
We mostly make our own night life. Corbigny has a night club a safe distance from civilsation. Films are screened at Corbigny’s Centre Médico-Social, which also offers tapdancing classes and scrabble. There is no public swimming pool, but Lormes has a lake where swimming is free and boating is cheap.
The enclosed garden with its apple, walnut and plum trees offers plenty of space for games and no cherished plants to avoid. The shed is out of bounds to children because of the garden tools.
I am writing this in winter, and the pictures of the garden date from early spring 2018 when the estate agent, Monsieur Hulot (no relation to the hero of Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot), prepared his portfolio. Before any visitors arrive we shall mow, edge, plant geraniums in the tubs, set out garden furniture and a big parasol, and import our gas barbecue from Maré. Until then you must use your imagination.
The garage is unusual in that you can drive straight through and park in the garden. This could please owners of posh cars... The garage has an access door at the side.
There are 2 parking spots at the road side of the house. It is worth mentioning here that the house’s delights are not visible from the road. I have included a rather boring picture.
This house is not disabled friendly because of the stairs.
The thing about this house is that it is family (and dog) friendly. We love children and dogs and we have furnished and equipped the property accordingly. Apart from a potty and a changing mat we do not provide baby stuff – in our experience families bring their own – but we could borrow a cot if required.
Digression: What Marcilly is like - on September 8th 2018 we attended the village get-together, taking a photo of the future owners. A lamb sizzled on a spit; wine and talk flowed free. Everyone brought something to enjoy. I took along my signature curry puffs and a cake for John, whose 76th birthday it was. Monique, who masterminded this gathering, was shocked by the lack of candles, etc. She rushed home and fetched plastic numerals and a candle, and everyone sang Happy Birthday.
John Rabson and Rosemary Border Rabson, married 46 years, managing this property for family in USA until they can emigrate to France. Lived in Burgundy since 2005. We have equipped the Marcilly house to within an inch of its life and hope visitors will fall in love with it, and with this beautiful region. We also run a holiday cottage in our garden in aid of charity.
|Year property purchased||2018|
|Why this location?||The owners chose this house with a view to living close to us, as we are not getting any younger. We chose Maré le Bas in 2005 after decades of visiting France several times a year. There is some night life in Corbigny, where they show movies at the Centre Médico- Social, which also offers dancing, scrabble and a sewing circle. The Morvan is beautiful and Brits are thin on the ground.
You won't find many shopping malls or cinemas. Like Maré Marcilly is part of the commune of Cervon, where we make our own entertainment. There are activities for young and old: the Cheveux Blancs (minimum age 70) are particularly active. We will be happy to help any visitors wishing to join in the fun. A copy of the Cervon magazine is available at the property.
If you enjoy beautiful scenery, tranquil lakes, ancient churches and châteaux, museums and archaeology - don't get us started on Gallo-Roman relics - this is the place for you.
|Unique benefits of property||Where do we start? A welcoming village and a beautiful old house majoring in exposed stonework and beams but with 'tout confort moderne'. Children are especially welcome, and we provide games and a worksheet to encourage them to spot items of interest. The pictures speak for themselves; how many holiday properties feature fossils in the stonework and an ancient bread oven along with an electronic organ, state of the art tv and hifi?
Marcilly is a few minutes' drive from Corbigny with its many amenities. Marcilly is also a few minutes' drive from our home at Maré le Bas. Like Bilbo Baggins we are fond of visitors and hope for a visit from you.
We supply tourist information at the property, but it is worth doing some research beforehand. Check out the Château de Bazoches, which is open to the public while the Château de Marcilly 100 yards away is not! Saint-Père is our favourite church, majoring in gargoyles and with a working potter, wood turner and sabot maker close by. Vézelay is a 3 star Michelin tourist site.
The Fontaines Salées is a feast for lovers of Gallo-Roman archaeology, with frogs living happily in the salty water. There are beautiful lakes - the Lac des Settons is the largest and offers boat trips and fishing. Château-Chinon has an amazing fountain and two delightful museums. Don't miss Autun with its Roman amphitheatre and breathtaking cathedral and museums, or Beaune, famous for wine and the astonishing Hospices de Beaune. See ancient stone coffins in the churchyard at Quarré les Tombes. Visit Guédelon, where a medieval château-fort is being constructed using contemporary materials and techniques. Don't forget the dinosaur park at Cardoland.
Ask for a selection of extracts from Murmurs from the Morvan to help you plan your holiday. She is a published author many times over (check Rosemary Border/Rosy Border just for laughs) but Murmurs exists only on Rosy's PC and everyone is welcome to enjoy it free of charge.
As for eating out - don't get us started. Almost all restaurants welcome dogs as well as kids. Le Marode in Corbigny serves the best weekday lunch in town for 12 euros 50 - their home made chips are mentioned on Trip Advisor. The picture of John and Rosy was taken at Le Marode on St Valentine's Day 2018.