Beaches, Bakers and Châteaux Caretakers
Glorious Château des Milandes
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
July 20, 2006
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
I’ve got Beaches and Bakers and Châteaux Caretakers on my mind…
Beaches: Paris Plage because it opened today, San Diego because that’s where we’re headed for the Living and Investing in France Conference in September and Viareggio on the Versilia coast where I will be early tomorrow morning for a few days of fun in the Italian sun.
Bakers: j2999ephine Baker keeps popping up all over town. First her name appeared on the new pool that floats on the Seine, then Paris journalist Susan Spano paid homage to Baker and her "Château Fit for a Jazz Queen in her Los Angeles Times article about the "icon in a banana belt" who was really a "stubbornly idealistic flesh-and-blood woman who wanted to believe that people could live together, regardless of race and religion" and all that happened after a reader asked me where she was buried! Do you know?…Cimetiére de Monaco, Monaco!
Châteaux Caretakers: j2999ephine Baker is of course one of them…her Château des Milandes in the village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle in the Dordogne region of southwestern France. (It’s open from April to October to visit for $10). The other is Audrey Friedman, who’s Château la Cellette is also in the heart of the Dordogne and which she’d be willing to sell…for the right price!
So, we take you to the Beach, we allow you to get to know a little more about j2999ephine Baker and we take you to the châteaux of the Dordogne along with properties for sale there…all in this Summer issue.
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
Volume IV, Issue 29, July 20, 2006
In this issue:
* Château Living in the Dordogne
* j2999ephine’s French Castle
* France’s African-American Connection
* Cool Pool Named for Hot Jazz Singer
* The Dordogne Landscape
* Living and Investing in France Conference, September 16 & 17, 2006, San Diego
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: September 12, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: Delightful Dordogne Châteaux
* Leasebacks: Residence des Ramparts, France, Mediterranean Coast, Carcassonne
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments, Leeds Marais Apartment, "Le Provençal" Studio: Available as of August 2006
Behind the 15th-Century Dordogne Walls
By Adrian Leeds
Seven years ago, Audrey Friedman bought a shell of a château named Château la Cellette in the heart of the Dordogne (postal code 24600) — centered in "un petit village" (population 597) called Celles next to the church whose bells toll on the hour. The cost of the house in ruins, the grounds and the outer buildings was, at the time, about the same price as my 70 square-meter apartment in the Marais in Paris. I was shocked at the stark comparison — even knowing how much time, effort, care and expense it would take to restore the ruin to proper habitation.
The family who built the château was Dulau d’Allemans, whose name is identified in the letterpress edition of the papers of George Washington. With a master architect from the region who fully understood the character of the house and whose investigative powers led him to find the hidden massive stone fireplaces and secret stairwells, he and Audrey who invested five times the price she paid, restored the 15th-century manor into a 21st-century splendor.
It took a mere year to complete, an amazing pace considering the breadth of the project and the perfection to which each detail was paid attention. Audrey is clear in her conclusion that if she had attempted to renovate the house on her own, as many new Expat landowners do, it would have taken
her eons more time a
nd wouldn’t have been so true to form and style. She values her architect as one would any great artist.
The entrance to the château was originally next to the church on the main street through a small garden, but Audrey reverted the entrance to the back side of the house and added a circular pebble driveway you enter through electronic iron gates from a small road. The full length of the house is visible from this vantage point along with a detached "orangerie" and a tool shed at a right angle on the left, a large pool and grassy plane on the right several steps lower.
Behind the ecru gauze drapes added to the orangerie arches lies a long dining table and cane chairs for cool repasts sheltered from summer showers. The tool shed was transformed into a detached cottage and now comprises a living room, kitchenette, bath and three bedrooms on two levels. Between the main house and these two structures is a small courtyard grounded by round stone table and curved stone benches, protected by an ivy-covered wall and the towers of the château — a perfect corner for reflection, meals or casual conversation.
While the main entrance is on the same level as the driveway on the left side of the house, most visitors seem to want to climb the few steps to the inviting and spacious kitchen behind the glass French doors. This is the room where everyone gathers. A square table for eight is the center of activity, and along with the warm golden cabinetry ("antiqued" with a touch of burnt sienna) makes you feel right at home. The black iron six-burner French stove/oven just begs to be lit and utilized and the black "Subzero" refrigerator with ice maker begs to be filled with fresh produce from a local market.
An adjacent formal dining room is absolutely elegant and fitting for the finest of parties. Further on across the entry foyer and down a few steps is a cozy living room filled with overstuffed sofas and chairs. The focal point is a massive stone fireplace fit for a king and several roasting pigs. In the corner sits a large armoire that a "trompe l’oeil" artist created for the room using objects symbolic for Audrey and names of her friends are in the hand painted motif.
On that side of the house, a stone spiral staircase leads to three suites. One is Audrey’s master suite consisting of bedroom with large stone fireplace, bathroom with footed tub next to a table of bath oils and scents, a separate shower room with toilet and bidet and a closet/dressing room. In the corner of the room within the round tower sits a small reading nook furnished by two silk brocade arm chairs and table. It speaks of an era long ago.
The highest bedroom was introduced to us as "la chambre la plus belle dans le château" by Audrey’s caretaker — under the eaves of the house, with high ceilings, wood beams fully exposed — the room is masculine, spacious and charming. In one corner, there is the round tower with a gaming table and two chairs. A full bath and dressing room is hidden by a wall with no doors, only entrances at both the right and the left.
There are another three bedrooms on the opposite side of the house, each stacked over the other, off a wooden staircase, each with its own private bath. Fitted with either a double bed or twin beds, each is decorated sweetly in traditional decor, each with a fireplace. The baths are all contemporary and tastefully appointed.
Throughout the house, the furniture style is harmonious and in perfect keeping with the rustic period of the château. Every corner has some beautiful "objet d’art" and the walls have interesting original paintings. I was certain, just from the pristine appearance, that Audrey had decorating help to have so skillfully found the perfect pieces, but she claims to be the "author" of the work and we commended her on her good taste and sharp eye to have created such a sumptuous environment for herself, her friends and family.
EDITOR’S NOTE: When Audrey is Stateside, the house is left to the care of the "gardienne" who lives just opposite the château and a rental agent who rents it to small families in its entirety. If you’re seriously interested in having La Cellette for yourself, I am told that Audrey would sell for the right price! Write me at [email protected]?subject=Cellette_Château
Baker’s Château: A Château Fit for a Jazz Queen
j2999ephine Baker’s Legacy Lives on in the Castle She Shared with a Brood of Orphans
By Susan Spano, Los Angeles Times
From Kansas City Star
It was, as the French say, "un coup de coeur" — something like love at first sight but stronger — when j2999ephine Baker saw Château des Milandes above the Dordogne River in southwestern France…
Click here to read the rest of the article: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/living/15032870.htm
Excerpt from Insider Guide to Black Paris
B y Melinda Herron
…Black fighting forces that served in France also connect African-Americans to France. One such unit was New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment, the "Harlem Hellfighters," who saw combat in World War I under French command. African-American GIs first introduced jazz to the French as their regiment bands played and dazzled the country. Aviatrix Bessie Coleman studied flying in the Somme and earned her pilot’s license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1921. By the mid twenties, the first influx of U.S. Blacks began arriving, and over the next twenty years many had either settled in Paris or visited for short periods — among whom were Bricktop, Langston Hughes, Loïs Maillou Jones, Augusta Savage, Gwendolyn Bennett, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Sidney Bechet and j2999ephine Baker, the toast of Paris and certainly the most famous Black female entertainer of her time. The Paris music scene took off in the years between the wars, as the city became the jazz capital of Europe and clubs featured Black musicians and "le jazz hot," particularly in the quarter of Montmartre. The "Bal Nègre," created in the late 20s, was a popular Caribbean dance club that attracted Blacks and Whites. Located on rue Blomet in the Left Bank Montparnasse neighborhood, the club featured music and musicians from the French West Indies. Parisian artists of this period, such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Breton, were strongly inspired and influenced by African art…
Did you know that…
* Henry O. Tanner, j2999ephine Baker, Barbara Chase-Riboud, James Baldwin and poet James Emanuel were all recipients of France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur? The National Museum, where these decorations are housed, is situated directly across from the Musée d’Orsay in the 7th arrondissement (Métro Solférino).
* j2999ephine Baker now has a place of honor in the 14th arrondissement at the intersection of boulevard Edgar Quinet and rue Poinsot (near the Bobino Theatre where the star gave her last performances in 1975) (Metro: Edgar Quinet or Gaîté). A ceremony to commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday was held at this square on Saturday, June 3, 2006.
Editor’s Note: Available now — the Summer 2006 Edition of The Insider Guide to Black Paris! Get all the insider information about what there is to see and do in Paris, from and for the very active Black community. This is the first guide of its kind, totally devoted to Black Paris. Order your copy today! http://www.insiderparisguides.com/black/index.html
j2999ephine Baker Honored
Every summer Paris turns a bit of itself into Paris-Plage (Paris Beach) when part of the Pompidou Expressway along the banks of the River Seine are cleared of traffic and a mad-made beach created with tons of sand to create a tropical island atmosphere in what is a noisy, fume-laden, congested major artery through the center of Paris.
This has proved very popular with Parisians and visitors alike. However from 6 July 2006 there is another reason to take your bikini to Paris – with the opening of the Piscine j2999ephine Baker, a swimming pool floating on the Seine!
It all looks very modern with plenty of deck space, a huge pool, café and gym etc – all moored on the Seine on the Quai de la Gare in the 13th Arrondissement – just by the Bibliothèque Nationale — see map: http://maps.google.fr/maps
The pool is named after j2999ephine Baker a famous cabaret artist from the USA who made her name in Paris with sensual and scantily-dressed (or scantily undressed) performances from the 1920s onwards. She reportedly appeared on one occasion with a skirt made from 16 bananas strung together!
Whist the dress code will be less formal than normal for Paris, I suspect any attempt to emulate j2999ephine will not be welcomed.
Interestingly this is not the first floating swimming pool on the Seine – the Piscine Deligny was built in 1805 but unfortunately sank in 1995.
For more info on the Piscine j2999éphine Baker – see http://www.mairie13.paris.fr
(A compilation of information from various guides to the Dordogne.)
The Dordogne is where Sir Lancelot was exiled from the court of King Arthur, where the Hundred Years’ War was fought, and where human pre-history seems more present than past in the stunning cave galleries of Lascaux (dating back 400,000 years). A visitor can peel back the layers of history, walk forested paths and country lanes and discover that every path reveals a fantastic scene from traditional France — timeless villages of golden stone, hilltop castles shining like visions from a medieval tale, towering oak forests where a knight on a white horse might not look out of place.
There are 557 communes in the department of the Dordogne and the region is divided geographically in four parts:
* Black Périgord: Earth of oaks and
town develops around the Grande Abbey Benedictine in the 9th century
Actually it is not named for its truffles. In fact, black is the color of the abundant live oaks which cover the high hills around Sarlat and whose dark silhouettes can be seen from miles away. It is the best-known part of the Périgords thanks to its prehistoric and historic remains such as its painted or sculpted caves (Lascaux, Font-de-Gaume…), its medieval castles (Beynac, Castelnaud, Montfort…) and its picturesque towns (Sarlat, Domme, Les Eyzies…).
* White Périgord: Earth of the chalky stone, capital of the Gallic Pretocores, seat of the Roman city and after of the Means Age.
It cuts the Dordogne in two from East to West following the course of the river Isle. Centrally situated, it is a region of limestone plateaux rich in quarries which produced the noble white stonework of which the ancient buildings of Périgueux are made. We can also find wide valleys, rolling meadows and forests. From Hautefort to Montpon including Périgueux, the region also features towns of interest such as Savignac-les-Eglises, Sorges (with its truffles), Saint-Astier, Neuvic and Mussidan.
* Green Périgord: Earth of agriculture…
To the north, this area is aptly named. Indeed included in the Natural Park Regional Périgord-Limousin, the Nontron region and the Dronne valley offer a landscape of trees and meadows crossed by a myriad of rivers and streams. It is also the least known to tourists. Yet, interesting places are worth visiting such as Brantôme, the "Venice of the Périgord" or Bourdeilles and Mareuil castles, two of the ancient Périgord’s four baronies.
* Purple Périgord: Wine Earth, known also for the redoubtable Cyrano.
This new "appellation" strictly "contrôlée" of course is the name given to the area around Bergerac and its bastides or fortified villages. It is the main wine-growing area. The wines of Bergerac, Pécharmant, Montbazillac, Saussignac are kings. The French and English bastides built in the 13th century, all on the same pattern surrounding a central market place, recall an important page of our history: the Hundred Years’s War.
Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. Present the…
Living and Investing in France Conference
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Sheraton Suites San Diego
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If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a "pied-à-terre" of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed conference is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co., Law Overseas, London, these two days in San Diego will arm you with all the information you need to make it happen!
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Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of Parler Paris and French Property Insider, director of French Property Consultation, author of the Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants and co-coordinator of the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group!…
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• Douglas Johnson, Moneycorp Currency Brokers
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o Know the Conference Presenters…Click Here
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HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Delightful Dordogne Châteaux
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation
*** Dordogne, Château, 10 rooms, approx. 300m²
This Château of traditional stone construction provides a very generous 300m² of living space within its principal quarters. It offers two large bedrooms and two smaller ones, all with en-suites. Built into the elevated shoulder of a high ridge, it has fine views of the open countryside from its walled garden. The property also offers a large swimming pool (14m x 7m), several stone constructed outbuildings grouped around a pretty courtyard and a garage.
Asking Price: 1,300,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Dordogne, Château
Grand 19th century Château with swimming pool, currently run as a Chambres d’Hote business, and with further accommodation and garage in converted outbuildings. It has 8 bedrooms (5 en-suite) on 3 floors. It also offers elevated terraces, a swimming pool and garage, and is situated in a lovely setting, beside a stream, with about 7.4 acres of parkland and meadow. Most furniture and fittings are included in the sale.
Asking Price: 1,060,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Dordogne, Restored Château and 3 farmhouses
Superb 16th – 18th century Château with gite and chambres-de-hote potential. Lots of original features, including lovely fireplaces and a bedroom with vaulted ceiling. 10 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and 7 toilets on 2 floors. Set in a courtyard with arched stone entrance, surrounded by a perimeter wall with 2 round towers. 3 Farmhouses (2 to restore) around a second courtyard. All set in 148.5 hectares including 3.5 ha. of truffle woods.
Asking Price: 2,000,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
RESIDENCE DES RAMPARTS
France, Mediterranean Coast, Carcassonne
Studio 29m² to 32m² €89,000 to €95,000
One Bedroom 35m² to 40m² €100,000 to €150,000
Two Bedrooms 40m² to 47m² €155,000 to €190,000
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 4.50%
TOP RATED LOCATION WITH ALL THE EXTRAS
High-quality 3 star tourist resort with indoor heated swimming pool, hamman and fitness centre. Situated in one of the most dramatic, if
also most-visited, towns i
n the whole of Languedoc-Roussillon. Carcassonne is divided into two separate "towns" — the Cité and the Ville Basse — the residence is situated 300m from the Cité, not far from the city centre. The residence is bordered by Saint Saêns Street where parking is located for the Cité and avenue Leclerc that leads directly into the city centre, making for an extremely ideal placement. This area presents a very calm and inviting atmosphere with tree-lined streets. The city is surrounded by ancient walls dating back to the 14th century.
This residence will be serviced by France’s top management company allowing for a hassle-free investment. Investors are given the choice of receiving a guaranteed rental return of 4.5% net with no occupation or a reduced rental return of 4% net with 2 weeks holiday use. VAT will be refunded in full to the investor approximately 6 months after building completion. Completion is expected during the 2nd quarter of 2008.
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1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
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PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
Parler Paris Apartments is finally up and running! It’s just the beginning…as we put the finishing touches this Summer on a collection of vacation rental apartments in Paris that have our "seal of approval." Keep your eye out for new additions to the site and new ways of making it more and more user friendly, as well as adding properties you will love calling your home in Paris.
* Available in its entirety September 8 – 18, 2006
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hôtel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for up to 4 people when she’s traveling. Includes high speed Internet access, free international calling, housekeeping one time per week and all linens.
Pictures and more details available here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
Email [email protected]/parlerparis
* "Le Provençal" Studio: Available as of August 2006
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
Pictures and more details available here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html
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