St. Jean remains, at heart, a home. Whilst the owners now want to open the Property to a much wider ‘family’ of clients and future friends, there are still parts of the Estate that remain private family quarters.
The house has four bedrooms that also enjoy a spacious living room with stone walls, beamed ceilings and a stone built fireplace, together with sofas and armchairs to relax, read or watch TV – if you must. The dining area and kitchen in this building hosts one of the two main inside eating areas for breakfast and lunches when the weather is cooler. There is, in addition, a large covered terrace overlooking the main lawn for outside dining.
Nearby, we have a large covered, but outside dining room with an open fire – wonderful for breakfast, wonderful for lunch but fantastic in the evenings where curtains can be pulled and the fire enjoyed if things turn a little chilly. There is another adjacent open but covered room for relaxing or maybe for an afternoon cup of tea!
If you’re not eating outside in the evening, our main dining room comes into play. Entering through the tower, we have a really unusual dining room next to the library – itself, perfect for gathering before dinner .
St. Jean is quirky and what architects love to call ‘vernacular’. It’s not a formal house in the chateau style but made up of different, beautiful, stone buildings many of which were originally barns and stables. There’s lots of ‘up steps’ and ‘down stairs’ – and what is upstairs in one part is actually ground floor on another. Indeed the gardens and courtyards are on a number of different levels – difficult to articulate on a website, but you’ll get it once you’re here .
It’s fun to work out how it all fits together – but a square box St Jean most certainly is not!
The old stables are on two floors and are nearer the pool. There are two lower ground floor bedrooms – the stable courtyard rooms (both doubles with en suites) and two/three first floor bedrooms – whose main entrance is on a different ground floor!
These ‘upper rooms’ – the White Room (a nice sized double with an ensuite bathroom) and the Terrace Suite (one double room, one single with a shared shower room but which also benefits from its own private sitting room and large outside terraced balcony) also share a large comfortable sitting room with sofas and a TV.
These 5 bedrooms all form part of the old stables. This building also houses the ‘studio’.
This is a multi functional room – regularly used for yoga (and there is a large wood burner which is wonderful for winter classes) sometimes as an art or dance studio but it can also open up to a larger gathering space.
This area is deliberately different to the rest of St. Jean – we wanted to keep the feel of the old stables and so we converted them into, to one side a bar and to the other a large rustic entertainment room with a screen for those occasional rainy days.
People have played here, lectured here, danced here, cheered here. It is a great space in general but is perfect for larger groups to gather and relax – every retreat should have one!