Outwardly Moulin de la Roche appears like any other newly converted historic building. Honey coloured stone newly pointed and roof tiles not yet covered in moss or lichen give the game away. As you approach down the side of the Sevre river valley you are met with a bucolic scene; a watermill beside a weir and a stone Roman bridge, reeds and meadows. A large water wheel lazily turns outside surrounded by a terrace.
Inside is quite another matter. The wooden beams are there and so are the internal workings of the old mill. However, the full height of the three floors is a photograph of Times Square at night on curved walls. These enclose the kitchen on the ground floor and ensuite bathrooms and a small kitchen on the first and second floors. Between these two is a large spiral staircase that can only be described as Industrial Chic lit a little garishly with floor lights.
The reception room on the ground floor mixes chrome and clear glass and plastic juxtaposed with the old wood of the beams and the rusting workings of an old mill. Outside through a glass panel you can see the restored waterwheel turning. TV, music system and plenty of coffee table books and glossy magazines are provided.
The glass theme continues on the first floor. The first thing you notice is the picture window looking out across the Sevre and the Roman bridge. Two tall arty chairs with ivy growing out the top stand like sentinels beside a large glass floor panel looking down on the gears and cogs below. Either side of this lounge area are the bedrooms. Floor to ceiling glass separate these from common area in between – privacy is ensured by heavy drape curtains that can be drawn across. The decor is slightly eclectic with plenty of pink sworls on black. You wouldn’t want to live with it long-term but it works making the place quite unique. The head board reaches to the ceiling and you walk behind it for the wardrobe space. Walk through the Times Square wall and you are in a the large ensuite bathroom. Glass once again dominates. Everything is pink. The shower is a large walk-in affair with a tropical rain head and a standard handheld head.
The second floor continues the rather eclectic chic decor. The whole floor is given over to the suite. Two large chairs in the form of face masks look out the glass picture window across the river. A table and chairs are to one side but the piece de resistance is the mammoth circular double bed. The decor is less eclectic until you open the toilet door. Seperate from the bathroom it is decorated with crumpled silver foil. The other side of the room in the other Times Square covered ante-room is a well equipped kitchen.
Outside is a terrace that over looks the River Sevre and flood meadows. The terrace surrounds the waterwheel and catches the morning and evening sun making it ideal for eating outside also outside is a private jacuzzi. Enclosed on two sides and under cover it makes for an ideal place to relax while looking over the river.
We had a Marie come to prepare breakfast which was truly first class. You have the option of self-catering or maid prepared breakfast. Moulin de la Roche took three years to renovate and attention has been paid to detail. The slightly eclectic mix of styles and decor might not be to your taste but the comfort, the service and the stunning location more than compensate; beside which, it is rather fun sleeping in the middle of Times Square.
The Moulin de la Roche is part of La Vallee de la Roche that includes La Clos du Meunier, another luxury gite accommodating 10 people. The web page for Moulin de la Roche is www.lavalleedelaroche.fr/decouvrir-le-moulin-de-la-roche
For more in formation contact Marie Pineau by email: email@example.com or by telephone: +33 2 51 61 16 10
I stayed as a guest of La Vallee de la Roche but as always I retain full editorial control over what is published
More photographs of Moulin de la Roche