Maison Blanche

Built circa 1600

Maison Blanche is the home of writer, artist and weaver Emma Wallace. It is a three storey stone farmhouse with walls two foot thick and great oak beams. There are red terracotta roof tiles that occasionally blow off in a storm. There is a chimney, woodburning stove and a larder that has mice from time to time.

Scattered over the three floors are several bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces. There is a kitchen built from a wheatsheafing machine and a lot of pots and pans that hang from the ceilings. The kitchen tap has never sat correctly but I like to pretend it is one of those fancy restaurant ones that moves about. Several visiting men have tried to fix it. I tell them this is not possible, but they try anyway and then give up.

In the winter it is cold so we sit by the fires or put on more woollen jumpers - slippers are recommended. In the summer it is cool inside and provides the perfect conditions for a siesta when the temperatures head into the 30's. The temperatures are rising year on year. We notice the drought and the flood. There are plans to build an Ark. Sometimes there are flies, so be careful not to walk into one of those sticky fly-catching devices that hang from a drawing pin.

From €95 per night. Weekly and Monthly rentals are available.

There is a tradition (or plain old habit) in this village to name the homes after their residents. The House of Blanche was the home of Blanche Rapidel until the 1990's. The Rapidel family have been landowners in the village of Fosse since the late 1600's. They still are. One of them grows a crop of potatoes each year in an allotment by the communal bins but he is quite an illusive creature. I wouldn't recognise his face. I swear he comes under cover of darkness. — Emma