The story (how The French House came to be)

Hi! We are Narelle and Andy, a Melbourne-born couple with a young family. The French House represents a long-held dream we share to bring a taste of French lifestyle to our hometown.

We were lucky to live in Toulouse “la ville rose” in 2006/07 for work and study. During the year we travelled often and stayed in many chambre d’hôtes. The old French farmhouses we visited both fascinated and enamoured us: the casement windows with their cremone bolts; the large stone fireplaces; the crunch of gravel underfoot. The sheer history of the homes (if only walls could talk!)! We shared many a glass of wine with their owners as we enquired about their construction, interiors and gardens.

Fast forward to 2014 and France was calling us back like a magnetic force. It had been six long years and we had celebrated our wedding, survived two home renovations and welcomed two energetic kids. We were tired and it was time for a holiday. Despite being petrified at the very prospect of travelling with our two “angels”, we just couldn’t wait any longer.

After 36 hours of transit we pulled into the driveway of our gîte in Bordeaux. Bless our dear host who greeted us with a chilled bottle of rosé!
It took little more than the sound of that cork popping and the sight of the kids doing laps of the garden to know that our hectic city lifestyle needed to change. We needed more time for the simple pleasures we cherish most:
1) quality time with family and friends, where no one has to be anywhere in a hurry
2) space for our cityslicker kids and their pals to roam free

And the question was posed: could we recreate a little piece of France back home?

How many other busy families were there, just like ours, who were desperate for the type of holiday when time stands still and one drinks wine on the terrace until the sun goes down and the mozzies start to bite? Plenty, we reckoned!

And so here we are 18 months later! We found our land in gorgeous Trentham, selected a wonderful team to design and build the house, and enjoyed watching it all come to fruition.

And we are thrilled to share it with you!

Bien amicalement,
Andrew & Narelle

thefrenchhouse • April 11, 2016

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