Like every good campsite should, Manzac Ferme has maps detailing a few walking options that leave from the campsite. When I was here last year, I chose a walk that took me by an idyllic little cottage on a lake. When I returned from the walk, I told George – the guy who runs Manzac Ferme with his family – that I’d seen my dream house. I pointed it out on the map, to which he exclaimed, “Hey, that’s MY dream house!”
I think it was then that I really knew that George and his family were kindred spirits and that I’d be coming back to Manzac Ferme again. And so, here I am, back at Manzac as of last night, and the first thing I wanted to do this morning was to go and see the dream house.
Sure enough, it was still there, and it seemed even more perfect than before. It got me thinking about what I really mean when I think about my “dream home”, and what it is about this place that makes it feel so right.
The house is a small cabin, possibly no larger than one room, situated on a lake in Parc Naturel Regional Perigord-Limousin, a very woodsy national park in Dordogne. It’s the kind of place where I’ve always wanted my dream house: in the woods, on a lake and off of the main road (a whole post could be written on “woods people” verses “sea people”, but I’ll forgo that for now and simply say that I am definitely the former). The track to the house is barely drivable (more of a footpath, really) and from the other side of the lake, the house is barely noticeable.
The house is equally ideal, which is strange because on the outside, the house isn’t all that special to look at. It’s really just a small box on a bit of land. It’s not hugely stylish, the paint isn’t very fresh and it’s small. The decking that surrounds it appears rickety, and potentially unsafe, but it makes me love it even more. It’s simple, back to basics, minimal. It seems to say: “less is more; see how beautiful life can be when you pare it down to the bare necessities!” And things like the rickety decking make the place seem like a world of DIY possibilities. An adventure waiting to happen!
There are a few caveats to the dream house. First is the electricity / Internet issue. It’s one sole solar panel seems to be the only source of electricity. But this could be dealt with.
The other drawback is that there was a car park next to it, suggesting that my dream home may already be taken. However, the car had a “Europcar” decal on the window, so maybe the house is a holiday home. In which case, I must find out where I can rent it, and start planning my next vacation!
Then there is the issue of my dream kitchen. The dream house is just about the size of my dream kitchen, which I think I found today at Manzac Ferme in their freshly completed second kitchen located outside of the main house (most of the handiwork done by George himself). Look at how seamlessly the brick oven blends into the space – and yes, the brick oven works:
The final concern is that my dream house is also George’s dream house. But we both agreed that we can share it. And given the phenomenal job he did on his kitchen, I’d say I lucked out on the deal!
Update: Since writing the above, I used some Internet searchery that impressed even myself and managed to find the dream house on the interwebs (my search term: Parc Naturel Regional Perigord-Limousin lake cottage). It is indeed an “eco friendly” rental cabin, filled with “crafty curios” to inspire (including art supplies, telescopes and microscopes!) and standing stones hidden in the woods (how solstice is that?). I sort of miss the mystery, but I also like knowing that whoever owns the place seems to get the dream. Maybe not so much the “less is more part”, but definitely the part that likes to have an adventure and be in a creative space.
It also means there’s a possibility that I could actually stay in the dream house someday. Summer road trip 2014? Or maybe a winter hideaway?
What does your dream house look like?