When we bought Le Serpen in 2009 it had not been lived in for over 50 years. Although the main structure was sound and there was access to mains water next to the house, none of the rooms was useable and there was no bathroom or toilet and no electricity.
The farmhouse itself consisted of a small kitchen and three bedrooms. Built onto the back of the house was a barn for wine making and storage in the eaves. The restoration work is still ongoing but so far we have created two en-suite bedrooms in the eaves storage area, a living room and a downstairs bathroom in the wine-making barn, restored one of the downstairs bedrooms and knocked one of the other bedrooms into the kitchen to create a large kichen-dining room. Only the upstairs guest bedroom and bathroom is completely finished.
The land around the house was completely overgrown with brambles, nettles and ivy and we have been gradually clearing weeds and debris and demolishing delapidated out-buildings. We have begun creating garden areas with flower beds and lawns, shaping and terracing the land to accommodate the inclines, and have built a swimming pool at the back of the property where the sun shines all day.
We have also turned one of the old tobacco drying barns into a gîte.
Here are some before and after photos: