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The Domaine de la Richardière has a well kept secret: set on the side of a hill from which it looks out over the surrounding countryside and the paths that wind through the vineyards and fields, it discreetly unveils a cluster of small houses. Each of these houses has been designed to inspire creativity, interactions with others or, quite simply, rest and relaxation. Quite literally covered in nature and light, this little corner of paradise will meet every desire with great consideration for the rhythm of its guests.
As lovers of freedom, we had been trying to break away from the constraints of the city for several years. The Richardiere has fulfilled all our expectations in terms of quality of life. We moved here in 2015 to work, live and create a home that would inspire creativity in each of our crafts (architecture and art). The Richardière is not far from Paris, but just far enough to be free from areas still marked by the Ile-de-France. It has the indefinable Angevin softness and is full of beautiful light all year long in the hollow of small, viticultural valleys and large forests. In terms of activity, we stay in touch with the world if we feel the desire or need to. The encounters are always warm, original and exciting, and we are more curious than ever to make new acquaintances!
When approaching the property from the small private road, the strength of its proportions are very apparent. A large, pink house with old, blue-grey shutters hides behind the garden wall. Present, welcoming and reassuring with the proportions of the former house, it seems as though it has always been here. It is a 13th century building built in the hollow of a small, wooded, wine growing valley nearby. The large courtyard, laid with gravel and a lawn, is protected by the hundred-year-old linden trees. This farmhouse-like tufa ensemble was partially built in a troglodyte style in the 19th century. The large pediment of the winery shows the ambition of a family of winemakers who had installed a real ecosystem of wine production, agriculture and animal farming with an architectural refinement that was unusual for the area. A manual press in the cellar, and a "bakery" with a beautiful bread oven still exist as well as a charretterie, pigsties, small stone walls built by hand, and the lookout terrace between the main building and the courtyard. We have revived the Richardière's potential by investing a lot of time in the stables and its hayloft, the barn and the cowshed. The style of Marc's drawing in terms of modernity adapted the old to our time.
La Richardiere is a former seigniorial stronghold from the 13th century and was owned by the duchy of Chartre sur le Loir or the château de la Gidonnière in Lhomme. Small lords lived here and operated the farm until the 19th century when the wine cellars were built. It was then inhabited by two peasant families in the early 20th century who continued to exploit the land and the Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir vineyards. It then fell into disuse before becoming the second home of a Parisian decorator and bric-a-brac trader from the 1990s to the present day.
We have four independent cottages for guests to stay in at the Richardière. Everyone can find the right place for them place on the estate, it is a creative retreat where everything is arranged to create peace and convenience. An excellent fibre-optic wifi connection allows guests to work online. Each cottage has a unique layout. The furniture marries the old with modernity. They each have an outdoor area surrounded by nature and far from the roads. Safe parking is available on site. It is just like being at home, only with hosts who provide you with everything you need and want during your time here. A general sense of tranquillity is always present and carefully preserved. We offer breakfast in the form of gourmet baskets, and can prepare dinners that are delivered to your door. Studio workshops are designed primarily for adults. Pets are also welcome, our own dog is very friendly!
In Lhomme, the church has recently rediscovered frescoes that are being restored and added to three remarkable paintings already on the heritage list. The village also includes a vineyard museum that can be visited by reservation. Chartre sur le Loir is famous for its twelve second-hand dealers such as Grégoire Courtin, he transformed an old hardware store to showcase his merchandise which included numerous gypsums that featured in the Beaux-Arts establishments. The Hôtel de France is a good spot for a drink – it serves as a home port for vintage car enthusiasts who circulate the region throughout the year, they especially enjoy meeting up in June during the Le Mans 24 Hours car race. About ten kilometres away, it is possible to go for a dip at the site of the Poissonnière, where Pierre de Ronsard is buried and the house where he was born can still be visited. An hour's drive away, tours of the châteaux de la Loire are available, they include Chaumont and Villandry (our favourites). There is plenty of art in the area with my workshop open for meetings, browsing and demonstrations. We are also fortunate enough to be close to a unique, contemporary art venue, "Les Moulins Paillards". There are occasional concerts for members, and high-quality exhibitions from May to October. Finally, the biodynamic winegrowers who know so much about their wines and offer tastings are not to be missed. The delicious Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir in white and red are rare among wine merchants. Our collaboration with "les maisons rouge" on our grape varieties allows us to organise wine tastings. Not far from here are natural winemakers: Sébastien Cornille and his wine "Les Roches Bleues", or the very unique winemaker Michel Robineau, or the highly sought after Eric Nicolas. Marc is a excellent guide in the cellars!
A workshop can serve as a meeting room for seminars. For maximum tranquillity, workshops can be used by one guest at a time. Two of the places are equipped with sofa beds on the ground floor and can accommodate two additional people.
Guidance for beginners, amateurs. Or consulting collaboration for residency projects. Etching courses, drawing.
Engraving workshop to practice with guidance. Tour with demonstration on request.
La Richardière's purpose is to welcome any creator. The workshops are arranged so that they can be transformed into the space that suits them. Tarpaulins, easels, tables, adapted seats ... Any form of creation finds its place behind these walls. You can also rejuvenate by practising yoga, meditation or pilates, we will help you to feel good.
Meeting by appointment with the winemakers who take care of the estate with biodynamics. Informal tour of the cellar. Guide to discover other hidden troglodyte wineries of the region. Wine tasting with Marc.
Interested a little tour of the property? The renovations too? Does a tour of Nathalie Grenier's studio pique your interest? Nothing could be simpler: let's talk about it, let's take a moment to discuss. Sale of art work.