This is an ideal property for those seeking an improved quality of life.
Enthusiastic gardeners wishing to expand their horizons will love this opportunity.
For those wishing to run a holiday homes business this provides a source of income.
The whole property covers 1.3 hectares including a renovated Gascon Farmhouse and gîte complex.
The property is at the edge of the friendly medieval Gascon village of Tillac.
We are three kilometres from a well designed 18-hole golf course with the area’s best restaurant.
It is an easy 10 minutes drive to Marciac, home of the annual International Jazz Festival.
Tillac has the best butcher in the area, a general store, a bar/restaurant and, soon, a wine bar.
We have easy access to international airports, TGV stations, Autoroutes and yet largely quiet roads.
Tillac has VDSL internet access at speeds up to 70 Mbps.
Nestling between Toulouse and Biarritz and located in the delightful medieval bastide village of Tillac, this Gascon farmhouse, “Touchat”, has been sympathetically renovated to retain much of its original light and airy character and traditional features. It has a habitable area of 193.4 sq m. It is available with surrounding parkland, gardens and lake The house and grounds are adjacent to a converted farmworkers cottage and barn that we currently use as gîtes (holiday homes) - “Maison Tillac” (habitable area 201.8 sq m) and includes a swimming pool 11mx5m. The two properties together occupy a total of 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres) and are surrounded by evergreen trees and bushes. Both properties are included in the one sale price.
The Main House - “Touchat”
Entering the house through the original solid oak double doors leads you to a spacious foyer (15 sq m) with a floor of traditional terre cuite tiles and a double turn staircase in poplar . Here there is also a downstairs w.c. with wash basin under the staircase. To the right is the drawing room (25 sq m) with unusual patterned decorative floor tiles, double outlook windows and functioning fireplace. To the left of the foyer is the living room (23 sq m) with a powerful wood-burning stove set into a large classic dark oak fireplace. The stone evier (washbasin) on the outer wall hints at the room's former use as the family room.
The kitchen (29 sq m), with dining area delineated by an island unit with tiled food preparation surfaces and double sink, is conveniently situated next to the living room, with ease of access for outdoor eating both front and back. The well appointed kitchen is large enough for all modern equipment. A door from the kitchen leads to the walk-in larder, boiler room, workshop and an enormous garage (69 sq m) with wood store. Outside the garage is a functioning well. Another door from the kitchen leads to a south-west facing 400 sq m pebbled terrace with an 8m x 4m pergola well covered with flowering plants for al fresco dining whilst watching the sunset. There is a stone wall and solid wood double gate giving a second access to the property. The large back garden is mainly laid to lawns and paths with flowering bushes and trees, fruit trees, a large lake and a rockery. The double side door of the kitchen leads to a covered, paved area which, in turn, leads to a garden accessories room and huge barn (formerly a cattle shed/milking parlour) awaiting development. This is at right angles to the main house forming the L-shaped layout of the traditional Gascon farmhouse
Upstairs, the landing (8.3 sq m) is airy and bright and leads, on the left, to a large double bedroom (22 sq m) with en-suite shower room (8.2 sq m), large built-in wardrobe and exposed wooden ceiling. The spacious Master Bedroom suite (50 sq m) on the right has a well appointed bathroom (11.5 sq m) and a dressing room with substantial built-in storage facilities. Beyond these we have created a huge room (35 sq m) which we currently use as a study but could equally be used as a bedroom. There is further space for another bathroom and w.c. and possible access to the main staircase, currently designed but not yet implemented. Finally there is more space available, above the garage, for two more bedrooms to be constructed.
The house has double glazed and shuttered windows and oil-fired central heating, with capacity to heat further developments if required, many walls and ceilings have extra insulation, and there is loft insulation and a new roof. Oh, and you don’t need to worry about dealing with a septic tank as we are on mains drainage!
The Gîtes – “Maison Tillac”
Maison Tillac is a beautifully renovated 19th century farm worker's cottage with attached barn. It consists of two separate gîtes - "Le Cottage" and "La Grange". However, it could easily be converted into one large home with up to six bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms or shower rooms, according to your requirements. Maison Tillac combines the best of the old with the best of the new. In the conversion we endeavoured to retain as much of the traditional design as possible, but combined this with a level of comfort and range of facilities that will appeal. It is approached via its own entrance off a quiet rural road and has parking for upwards of 15 vehicles. The large enclosed front garden has trees, shrubs, lawns, flowers and seating area. Each gîte has a rear covered terrace with al fresco dining facilities from where you can watch the sun setting. The swimming pool, 11m x 5m, has a sunbathing terrace and is surrounded by oleanders and other flowering shrubs. Both gîtes have open plan living, dining and kitchen areas, ceramic tile flooring and fireplace or wood-burning stove. All windows and doors are double glazed. The upstairs bedrooms have vaulted ceilings with original beams, "colombage" (half-timbered walls) and polished pine floors. All have en-suite bath or shower rooms. There is a new roof.
“Le Cottage” is the smaller of the two gîtes and has an open plan living, dining and fully equipped kitchen area (45 sq m) with ceramic tiled floor, exposed stone walls and a wood burning fireplace. There is a door leading to the rear terrace and swimming pool. There is also a downstairs toilet with washbasin. Up a short flight of stairs there are two bedrooms with polished pine flooring, original vaulted ceilings and colombage. The Master Bedroom (13 sq m) has an en-suite bathroom with bath and shower attachment, toilet, washbasin, mirror, shelves, electric point, etc. The other bedroom (18.7 sq m) has an en-suite shower room with tiled walk-in shower, toilet, washbasin, shelves, etc.
“La Grange” has an open plan living, dining and fully equipped kitchen area (31 sq m) with ceramic tiled floor and some exposed stone walls. There is a traditional wood burning "Godin" pôele (wood-burning stove), a storage area which houses the electricity control unit and hot water system with room for cleaning and ironing utensils. A door leads to the rear terrace and pool. Through a double (soundproofed) door there is a ground floor double bedroom (12.8 sq m) with exposed stone wall and an en-suite shower room with tiled walk-in shower, toilet, washbasin, mirror, shelves, electric point, etc. There is a separate front entrance to this room. From the main living area, a flight of wooden stairs leads to a corridor with exposed stone walls giving access to 3 bedrooms, all of which have polished pine floors, original vaulted ceilings and colombage. The first upper bedroom (14.5 sq m) has an en-suite shower room with tiled walk-in shower, toilet, washbasin, mirror, shelves, electric point, etc. The second upper bedroom (12.2 sq m) has an en-suite shower room with tiled walk-in shower, toilet, washbasin, mirror, shelves, electric point, etc. The Master Bedroom (17.2 sq m) has a tiled en-suite bathroom with a bath with shower attachment, toilet, washbasin, mirror, shelves, electric point, etc.
Tillac and the Surrounding Area
Tillac is "a little medieval jewel consisting of a pretty single arcaded street of half-timbered buildings and a 15th century church" (Cadogan Guides, “Gascony and the Pyrenees”). Beginning as a support village for a military outpost of one of the local noblemen, it is now a pleasant community, rural in character, quiet most of the time but that comes alive for the Floralie (flower market), Brocante/Vide Grenier (antiques and bric-a-brac market), summer fete, its own and surrounding towns' music festivals and dinner dances galore. It has the best butcher in the area, the general store provides the tastiest croissants and bread, plus all your basic provisions and fuel for your barbecue. There are farmers’ markets on Monday at Mirande (14 kms), Wednesday at Marciac (11 kms) and Thursday at Mielan (8 kms) and three times weekly in Auch (38 kms), the departmental capital. Tillac also has its own bar/restaurant and a post point in the general store. There will soon be a wine bar. In the Summer there is a Sunday morning gourmet foods and crafts market in Tillac. If you are a golfer you will be pleased to hear that there is an 18-hole golf course 3 kms away – with one of the best restaurants in the area.
Marciac, home of the Summer International Jazz Festival (now in its 41st year), is the commercial and entertainment centre for Tillac. In addition to its farmers’ market, there is a school (which specialises in Jazz music tuition), a medical centre, pharmacist, banks and post office, petrol station and car repair facilities, supermarkets, DIY/builders merchant, garden centre, art galleries, a church, tourist office, bars, jazz club and restaurants, cinema with 3D facilities and a 500-seater concert hall with weekly events. There are even two car showrooms. Not bad for a village of 1200 people!
International travel is catered for by three nearby airports, Tarbes Lourdes Pyrenees 50 kms away (Ryanair, Air France/Hopi), Pau Pyrenees 72 kms away (Air France) and Toulouse Blagnac 113 kms away (BA, Easyjet, Ryanair, Flybe, Air France, KLM and many more), as well as Bordeaux, Biarritz, and others.
In Gascony, country food and cooking still reign supreme. At 12 o'clock, midday, almost everything stops for lunch. You can't beat it, so join it. You will find many restaurants near to Touchat/Maison Tillac, including one in the village, serving wholesome food and plenty of it at remarkably low prices. Three or four course meals are available in all restaurants, and prices, including wine, can be as low as 13-15 euros! Gascon meals revolve around but are by no means limited to four things - duck, garlic, wine and Armagnac. However, simple country food is not your only option. There are also gourmet restaurants for you to try, vineyards to visit and wines and spirits to sample and buy. The local wines include the tannic red wine of Madiran and the fruity reds, rosés and whites of our nearest wine area, Saint Mont and the whites of Pacherenc and Jurançon. Don't miss the opportunity to try the fiery spirit of Armagnac plus its two derivatives, Pousse Rapier and Floc de Gascogne. Everywhere you will see ducks and geese, for this is foie gras country. Foie gras is the pride of Gascony and a delight for the senses. This is best sampled with a glass of sweet Pacherenc or Jurançon wine.
The surrounding rolling countryside and views of the Pyrenees (one and a half hour drive away) can be breathtaking. There are many places to see and experience beautiful villages, towns, churches, chateaux and historic sites, such as the Cathedral at Auch with its magnificent 15th century original stained glass windows and finely carved oak choir stalls. But you can also arrange a visit to the Airbus assembly factory in Toulouse ! Ancient and modern on your doorstep.