Menginolle is a charming 18th century Gascon farmhouse with accommodation for 10 plus a baby.
The house stands in 10 acres of grounds on a ridge of hills with beautiful views towards the Pyrenees to the South and woods and farmland.
Menginolle was built as a Maison de Maître, with large rooms, high ceilings, thick stone walls and shuttered windows which keep it cool even in the height of summer. As you enter from the South Terrace, you see the original carved Gascon staircase. The ground floor has old tiles throughout and to your left through the front door is the large dining kitchen (19` square) with exposed beams, open Gascon fireplace, double gas oven, dishwasher, sinks, large American fridge, antique pine dressers, and large pine table which seats 14 people. Ample crockery, cutlery, and cooking utensils are provided. The kitchen leads through to a large enclosed veranda and terrace facing West, for outdoor eating, admiring the view, and keeping an eye on the pool. Tables, chairs, and barbecue equipment are provided.
To your right through the front door is the drawing room (17' square) with exposed beams, open fireplace, sofas, chairs, desk and well-stocked bookcase - all antique.
The hall also leads through to a sitting room (22` x 14`) with sofa, chairs, TV, DVD, braodband connection and games table, which in turn leads through to the swimming pool with fountain, 12m x 6m, set between house and woods, and visible from the terrace.
Also on the ground floor is a bedroom (18`6 x 14`) with French windows to the East leading out through a small garden. It is furnished with twin beds, hanging linen press, chest of drawers, tables and chairs. There is a separate tiled shower room with built in basin and W.C and a laundry with sink, washing machine, drying machine and ironing facilities.
Up the carved staircase to the right is the main bedroom (19` square) with fireplace, brass and iron double bed, tallboy, wardrobe, tables, chairs and chaise-longue leading to a bathroom with bath, shower, basin, W.C. and bidet.
To the left on the first floor is a further bedroom (17` square) with fireplace, brass double bed, desk, hanging linen press, tallboy, tables and chairs. It has a separate bathroom with bath, basin and WC, a few steps further up the main staircase.
The house has rustic charm with sophisticated taste. It is comfortably and well furnished throughout, in keeping with its age and style, and with many antique pieces. Sheets and towels are provided as well as many finishing touches, like guest soaps.
At right angles to the South façade of the house are three double storey traditional barns. The first barn houses an open games room with table tennis, firewood, and barbecue equipment. The second barn houses machinery and pool equipment.
The ground floor of the third barn has been converted to a bedroom/sitting-room/kitchen/dining area (33ft x 24ft) with an ensuite shower. It is furnished with 19th century French provincial furniture including 2 beds, an armoire, a vitrine, sofa, table and chairs.
The first floor of the same barn has been converted into a bedroom/sitting room (27'x20'). It has a double bed and ensuite shower room and is furnished in the 19th century Indian style. It is approached by an outside staircase and balcony and, like the ground floor room, has fine views towards the Pyrenees.
The Grounds and gardens
There is a large sloping grassed forecourt with views to the South East and South West, leading to an orchard with herbaceous borders. The land slopes away steeply to the South West, to a small wood with bluebells and rhododendroms. One can walk from the front door round the barns to the West and sit in the shade of two ancient oak trees on a hillock facing South and West towards the Pyrenees and thence walk on round to the West-facing terrace with its veranda and the pool is et in a garden with views to the East. To the North ,walks take you along a pergola with roses and wisteria to the bog garden, rose garden, and wild flower meadow, a large field beyond with a temple, down to a wildlife pond and then round a wood to the West.
There are outstanding views to the West, South and East. The setting is exceptionally peaceful. The garden is open to the public in the first weekend of June under a national scheme. Most gardens which open are public or commercial. Ours is one of only 6 or 7 private gardens in the Department chosen for the scheme.