Summer 2013. A Belgian friend invites us to his small village between the mountains, in the south of France, not far from one of the village Olargues.
Why not? Who would not want to visit a good friend in the beautiful Occitane region?
After several hours of traffic heading south, we finally arrive. Impressed by the beauty of the nature of this region, it is time for us to release the pressure.
The house of our friend is far from finished: no electricity or modern comfort.
So, what do we do in these circumstances
We light the BBQ and oil lamps we listen to the songs of the crickets and we spend an unforgettable evening ... The magic is present ....
The next day, we wake up in the sunny nature. The South of France presents itself at his best! Unfortunately we have to leave, but the first seed is sown!
Two years later, on our way to Spain, we decided to make a detour, and spend two days in Olargues
We are welcomed by our friends, who in the meantime are perfectly integrated.
Passionate about real estate - it's in the DNA of the Van den Berghe brothers - we take a ride in the orange Citroën Méhari to discover the area and its real estate for sale. No intention to buy, no, just for fun.
And there it is ... it's love at first sight !
The ’Sacre Coeur', the old boarding school, with its breathtaking view!
We have never seen anything so beautiful, and yet we have already gone through a lot of countries. Neither in Spain, Italy or Croatia, we have seen such a surprising view.
No time to visit the house, we must leave and continue our journey to Spain. Three weeks later, the unique "postcard" view is still in our heads.
We call our friend, we absolutely need more information.
In what state is the building?
Is it realistic to renovate this huge house abandoned for over 10 years, 1000km from our home?
This is not our first work of life, but still ... the practical problems are not negligible.
On a whim, we decided to shorten our stay in Spain, to return to Olargues to visit this huge house. An hour after the visit, the purchase was a fact. That was good! My brother always told me that a building is bought without emotions. Here it was only emotions!
We are therefore owner of a former boarding school, abroad, 1300m² of living space ... Without knowing what to do with it.
A family home that's certain. We would like to share this magical place with them. But it’s a little big for a few weeks of vacation isn’t it?
Other ideas grow slowly. But first the renovation has to be done!
Taking into account the scope of the work, we decide to work in stages.
The "family" part is finished in the summer of 2016.
From our many terraces, bedrooms and garden, we can not satiate our eyes the splendid panorama we enjoy when we are there. Many pictures have been taken.
We love having dinners with friends and family on one of our many terraces. We imagine facing the history of the twenty-second century; accompanied by a glass of red wine, listening to classical music.
And that's how our slogan was born; "BE A PART OF HISTORY".
After the summer of 2016, work resumed.
In the summer of 2017, we opened a restaurant and an art gallery.
In 2018 we renovated the -1 level.
2019 we finised the rooms
2020 we opened the rooms
2021 we became a member of les collectionneurs, we renovated an extra room and loft. We landscaped our garden, our own vegetable garden and petanque court.
2022 we added a fitness and pool to our facilities. We wrote a book with several plantbased recipes and beautiful pictures. Published spring 2022.
We hope to share with you all these magical moments,
See you soon?