Our first summer rental season at Durantie

Throughout July August and September we rented out our first 10 villas at Durantie.  We had a brilliant first season with many wonderful reviews.  Lovely to meet all nationalities.  We had 7 different nationalities one week during the world international amateur cycling competition.


Hope to see you all back again soon.  We have heated pools so these can be enjoyed in the cooler autumn and spring rental period,  not forgetting winter rentals with our spa and jacuzzi villas.


Heated Swim spa villa


Upcoming events

Chinese Lantern festival coming to Gaillac in December.


Chinese lantern Festival coming to Gaillac in December

Toulouse Airport Benefits from New Routes


Getting to your holiday home in the Tarn has just become easier with several new flights to Toulouse.  Easyjet, which already flies from London Gatwick, has now started a flight from Luton. Flybe has a flight from Birmingham and Ryanair is now flying from Stansted. This is in addition to British Airways flights that depart four times a day during summer months and three times a day during the rest of the year.


For those that like the train to take the strain, you can reach the region by taking a Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord, then take a train to Toulouse Matabiau station.

Vous immerger dans un mélange de cultures et de langues à la Durantie

Le Country Club


Le château « Belle Époque »  de la Durantie va devenir le centre de la vie sociale de ce programme immobilier de luxe en devenant le Country Club. Il sera un lieu de rendez-vous, d’échanges et d’apprentissage pour les résidents mais également pour les visiteurs de tous les endroits de la région.


Les membres de toutes nationalités pourraient faire connaissance autour d’une activité commune ou sport, tels que le tennis, la poterie, et le volleyball. Le Country Club permettra également à tous les membres de profiter des événements, tels que  cours d’apprentissage de cuisine  et de partager des anciennes recettes paysannes accompagnées de dégustation des vins locaux. A la fin de la journée, le bistrot offrira une belle occasion de vous détendre et de faire la conversation à d’anciens et à de nouveaux amis autour d’un verre ou d’un repas.


Les Pyrénées


Ces nouveaux amis pourraient profiter des voyages locaux organisés par l’équipe de gestion, vers les terrains de golf, les monuments historiques et les villages voisins. Les voyages vers les villes et les régions plus éloignées seront également organisés, tels que la journée au bord de la la Méditerranée ou séjour de ski dans les Pyrénées.


Le Country Club donnera l’occasion pour les membres de toutes nationalités de partager leurs traditions et leurs cultures. Par exemple les résidents Britanniques peuvent découvrir « la soupe à l’ail de Lautrec », et les français peuvent découvrir le plat anglais, « Shepherd’s Pie ».


Les terrains du domaine seront idéaux pour les promenades d’hiver avec de nouveaux amis, alors que l’on peut profiter des longues randonnés dans la Forêt de la Grésigne, couvrant près de cent hectares de nature intacte et sauvage. On peut également découvrir la forêt à cheval et prendre des cours d’équitation avec des chevaux dans les écuries des proches environs.


Visitez régulièrement notre blogue pour vous tenir au courant des grandes nouvelles à la Durantie ou suivez-nous sur Twitter  @ChateauDurantie  et consultez notre page Facebook La Durantie.

Build continues in an area of outstanding natural beauty


La Durantie sits in an environmentally protected area surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside and between two of the most beautiful villages in France, Puycelsi and Castelnau-de-Montmiral. It is one of very few developments in France to receive a permit to build in an area of such outstanding natural beauty and the developers strive to conserve this area’s rich biodiversity.



Castelnau-de-Montmiral market, 5 minutes from La Durantie


Whilst construction continues at La Durantie, all is done correctly according to environmental regulations to make sure that every bird, Caterpillar, and orchid is logged and “rehomed where necessary”. Residents will be able to enjoy the diversity of flora and fauna found at La Durantie by getting involved in a variety of “back to nature” activities right on their doorstep. Sit in your garden and listen to the beautiful sound of the nearby deer mating calls, go wild mushroom foraging in the adjacent Grésigne forest, or simply sit back and enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the surrounding countryside.



With the autumn sun continuing to shine in the Tarn, weather conditions are set to be perfect to complete the foundations of the first 10 houses at La Durantie, keeping it on track for its first homes in early spring 2016. Keep checking our blog to keep track of the exciting developments at La Durantie, or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie.

Top Tips For Brits Moving To France

Jeanne Boden, Sales Director at La Durantie offers some tips and advice from her 19 years living in The Tarn in South West France with her family of four.  Her experience as Sales Director at La Durantie – a historic chateau development with 57 new build homes on the estate, means she has personally spoken to many British second home seekers.  She has a good knowledge of their concerns and frequently asked questions.


Here are Jeanne’s latest top tips for anyone moving to France:


1. The paperwork – be prepared to be patient as the administrative system is a lot slower in France than in England.  Original copies are required for all documentation whether for a mobile phone or insurance and it is often quite difficult to get things done over the phone or online.


If you are renting a house you need to ensure you have a contract in French even if you are renting from British owners.  Also, some utility bills in your own name will be required to show proof of residency for car insurance etc.


2. Getting connected to TV and WIFI - nowadays the first essential requirement is WIFI and internet.  Check whether your property has “haut debit” or high speed broadband (at Durantie this is all handled for you).


Firstly you need a France Telecom line installed in your own name.  If you are buying a house that is not part of a managed resort, your previous owners must close down all their contracts with utilities before you are able to install your own.  This is still done by letter, so there can be delays.


There are four main service providers with different packaged deals and can include your French mobile phone should you opt for this, when choosing your live box.  The average price is 30€ per month for unlimited broadband with free calls to Europe and some TV included.


It is necessary to call the service providers by phone to purchase order your live box and set up a contract.  You will need to speak good French or find someone who can do this for you.

For British Satellite TV contact your local electrician.  He will be able to advise the correct installation for your satellites in order to pick up the essential UK channels.


If you are renting a house you need to ensure you have a contract in French even if you are renting from British owners.  Also, some utility bills in your own name will be required to show proof of residency for car insurance etc.


3. Rural banking – if you are moving to a rural area it is advisable to open a bank account in your nearest town.  It is much more straightforward for signing documents etc. if your branch is nearby.


4. Car insurance – if you are bringing your right hand drive UK car with you to France, you will need to get the car registered for France.  You have six months where you can still drive on UK licence plates and your UK insurance will cover you. Thereafter you are required to have a French vehicle registration document (“carte grise”) from your local administrative office (“prefecture”) in order to get French insurance.  This can be obtained in person or online.


5. Pets – If your dog or cat is moving with you, they will need to be micro – chipped and have up to date vaccinations.  Many rural places do not have fenced gardens so if your dog is likely to wander then it might be worth considering an underground electric perimeter fence line.  This is a harmless system that creates invisible boundaries for your pet through either a perimeter wire or wireless through radio or WiFi signals to their collar.


6. Income tax – seek advice from your UK accountant to ascertain whether you need a French accountant for your affairs when you become a resident in France.


7. Registering to vote – Once you are settled in your new home in France do not forget to pay a visit to the local Mairie (Mayor’s office) and let them know who you are. You are eligible to vote in local and European elections if you have EU nationality.

The mairie is the mayor of your village, town or city. They are an elected representative with a ‘direct line’ of communication to the decisions made locally, and are usually based in the town hall, which is likely to be one of the most impressive buildings in the town.

The role of the mairie in France is especially key in rural areas.  It is best to know what your local mairie will expect from you or be able to help you with. They will be able to advise on all administrative matters in your commune and if not can direct you to find the information you need.


8. FINALLY do learn French!!

Valentines In France:
Sweet Love in the Town on the Clouds


Valentine’s Day is believed by many to have French origins. It is a long-held belief that the first ever Valentine’s Day poem was sent by the young French Duke of Orleans to his beloved wife, while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Although this may be no more than a sweet fairy-tale, it is certainly no myth that France remains one of the most romantic countries in the world, and residents at La Durantie are perfectly situated to take advantage of this romantic atmosphere and enjoy a perfect Valentine’s getaway. The estate itself is a romantic haven for couples, where residents are able to enjoy stunning views of rolling vineyards and expansive oak forests, while walking through the quaint surroundings of the estate with its fairy-tale roses and Belle-Époque chateau.


A perfect Valentine’s Day for any sweet-toothed lovers should certainly include a trip to the Musée Les arts du sucre et du chocolat in nearby Cordes-sur-Ciel.  Cordes-sur-Ciel is a delightfully picturesque medieval town, perched high on a rock and overlooking the gorgeous surrounding countryside. The town’s name alludes to the way spring and autumn mists surround the foot of the hill, making the town appear to be magically floating above the clouds – ‘Cordes in the Sky’.


The museum is found in the heart of the village, and offers an insight into the work of some of France’s award-winning chocolatiers. There is a gourmet trail through the museum, where couples will discover the fine art of sugar and chocolate while learning about the history and importance of chocolate in the region. The visit ends with a demonstration by some of the resident professionals. Why simply buy a box of Valentine’s chocolates when you can watch them being made by award-winning chocolatiers? After spending the day indulging the senses with some of the world’s best chocolate, couples can head out to the town’s hillside botanical gardens and watch the sun set over the Tarn.



There are other options for those staying at La Durantie for Valentine’s Day. Residents at the estate are able to reach Paris directly on the TGV, France’s high-speed train, making it an ideal trip for those who would like to spend the most romantic time of the year in the most romantic city in the world.  Exactly what makes the city a great location for a Valentines’ Day trip hardly needs to be explained; the city has long been famed for its romance, which can be felt in the air while walking along the Seine, dining in picturesque cafes on cobbled streets, and enjoying the views of the Eiffel Tower aglow at night. The beautiful architecture and fine art also help the city live up to its romantic reputation.


Whether couples decide to spend the day in the city of love, visiting the seductive chocolate museum of Cordes-sur-Ciel or simply relaxing in the romantic surroundings of La Durantie, it will be easy to fall head-over-heels for Valentine’s Day in France.



The Hundred-Foot Journey – In Cinemas 5th September 2014


The spotlight is set to shine on the undiscovered rural beauty spot of The Tarn region in south west France as “The Hundred-Foot Journey” film, based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais is released in the UK on 5th September. Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, and directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallström (Director of Chocolat).  Scenes for the film have been shot in both France and India and La Durantie, the historical belle époque style chateau in The Tarn, has been used as the film set for a Michelin-starred French restaurant, run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).  The chateau is also currently being renovated and transformed into a Country Club and Spa for a new development of vernacular holiday homes on the estate.



An uplifting and feel-good cultural feast full of Indian spices, French sophistication and British wit, The Hundred-Foot Journey is produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.  Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. When Hassan and his family, led by Papa (Om Puri), move to a quaint village in the South of France with the grand plan of opening an Indian restaurant in the picturesque countryside, they are undeterred by the fact that only 100 feet opposite stands a Michelin starred classical French eatery.
However upon encountering the icy proprietress, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), the Kadam family realise they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash and food flies, a heated battle escalates between the two establishments – until, that is, Hassan’s passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory and even she can’t deny this young chef could have what it takes to garner even more acclaim for her beloved restaurant.



This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and, despite their different tastes, they discover an unlikely recipe for success that surprises them all.


The Tarn region is a credible setting for a film with its plot relating to top quality food, as the region has retained a strong connection to the land through farming and the local cuisine is renowned for its rich cassoulet, foie gras, Lautrec pink garlic and Toulouse sausage as well as its premier Gaillac wines.



Jeanne Boden, Director of La Durantie has been a resident in The Tarn for seventeen years and agreed to the chateau being used for filming after receiving a phone call in July 2013 from a location scout.  She says: “The scout was searching for a period property in an area of the south of France which is relatively undiscovered rather than the places visited by the masses and the Artistic Director was quick to appreciate its charm and cast La Durantie as home to Madame Mallory’s Michelin starred restaurant.  It was eye-opening to work as an ‘extra’ on set here and see the chateau come to life once again.  The local community is delighted the esteemed actress, Helen Mirren will star as the French restauranteur and the exposure should bring more international visitors.”


Lasse Hallström’s entry in La Durantie’s visitor’s book says:

“What a beautiful place in the world. A very special place and thanks for allowing us to film in it.”


The Tarn is a quintessentially French rural region which is not as well-known as nearby Provence, but is much loved by a number of British expats who have stumbled upon it and then never left!  The elegant belle époque chateau is one of the region’s prized architectural possessions; it lies just 50 minutes north of Toulouse and close to the village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral in a landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and ancient hill-top towns.  It has seen several owners throughout its lifetime but significantly, the Schwarzkopf family, famed for perfumes and beauty products, bought the chateau in the 1980’s and held lively parties whilst farming the 800 acre plot. In the interwar period the vineyard estate was run by nuns and their peaceful influence can still be sensed when entering the chateau gates today.


Jeanne Boden says: “There has always been energy and dynamism linked to the chateau relating to women and the two sisters that built the chateau had a lot of success in economic farming and were the owners of the first car in the town.  Later, the resident nuns brought calmness to the building and now it seems apt that such a renowned actress should play the role of an aristocratic lady running a top-notch restaurant here.”


In cinemas 5th September.


The Hundred-Foot Journey

Novel – Richard C. Morais

Producers – Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake

Executive Producers – Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini

Co-Producer – Raphaël Benoliel

Production & Distribution – DreamWorks Studios is producing, with Participant Media co-financing. Mister Smith Entertainment is handling foreign sales to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, DreamWorks’ partner Reliance will distribute in India. eOne will distribute the film theatrically in the UK.