where the Bresse bocage countryside meets the first of the Revermont hills
Bourg-en-Bresse is the nearest town. It has sixth form colleges, a conservatoire, all shops and amenities. On its outskirts is Brou Royal Monastery, originally built as a burial place for members of the House of Savoy, one of Europe’s most prestigious families. The mill is also 90 km to the north of Lyon by road or 2⅓ hours from Paris by TGV.
It is in the Bresse region but at the bottom of the Revermont foothills of the Jura mountains, along the river Solnan and a country lane, on the outskirts of a hamlet with a few inhabitants, near to the village. The surroundings are rural and pastoral and the country lane is used but by residents of the hamlet. Local Bresse produce, such as chickens, capons and pike, play an essential part in French gastronomy: one of the great French restaurants, belonging to Georges-Blanc, is to be found in Vonnas.
Set alongside the river, the old mill was probably constructed in the 16th century. It houses the main residence and a few bedrooms for a bed & breakfast activity. Typical of the farms in the region, the deep overhanging roof, resting on a horizon beam and a series of wooden piers, forms an immense canopy.
The other building, comprising two adjoining sections under a single hip roof covered with Roman tiles, was originally the miller’s house. Its stone, cob-rendered walls and its openings, with wooden lintels topped with a brick arch, exude character. This outbuilding is now divided into a fully renovated house, a summer kitchen laid out in the room where a large bread oven is still in good working order, several stables and a garage.
These buildings stand surrounded by meadows, bordered by mature oak trees and spanning approx. 2 ha.
Courtesy of its meticulous renovation works, this mill has not been greatly altered. Although an irreproachable level of home comforts has been installed, its original features have been cleverly enhanced.
Between its stone, its wood and its machinery, the mill’s atmosphere is somewhat timeless. Both the private and the commercial sections have their own entrances. The old mill’s machinery, in the section devoted to guests, has been cleverly enhanced.
The private section comprises a vast, professional kitchen which is also used as a private dining room. A superb reception room, between the two sections of the building, is laid out under a French ceiling. It would be an ideal place for setting out restaurant tables.
The other rooms include a toilet, a shower room as well as the utility rooms (laundry room, linen room, storeroom and boiler room).
The two pairs of grindstones are on this level in a room overlooking the river and the weir. Five bedrooms, a bathroom and a toilet are currently used by the property’s owners. Three other bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, are used for guests. A section of the mill’s machinery is exhibited behind a showcase.
The living space comprises a kitchen, a living room, two bedrooms, with their bathrooms, as well as a ground floor toilet and shower room meeting current day standards for disabled persons. It is used as a holiday rental accommodation unit or for bed & breakfast purposes. A back garden and a terrace are independent.
The rest of the building includes an old bread oven, which is still used for cooking savoury pancakes as well as pizzas, and the stables, further on, house sheep and hens.
The meadows nestle between the river and the lane, bordered by tall, old oak trees that do not conceal the view of the Revermont hills. They are currently used for grazing sheep and for accommodating horses whose riders are stopping at the mill.
The mill’s old mechanisms and cogwheels with its hopper, grindstones and toothed wheel have been beautifully enhanced, even in the bedrooms. The in-depth renovation works have, therefore, made the most of the site’s long history. Yet another reason for a hotel and catering activity in an old French province, with a fascinating history and the best products of French gastronomy such that its very name is enough to make the mouth water. Obviously favoured, the region is also central to Europe and features extremely practical communication routes.
|Land registry surface area||2 ha 39 ca|
|Main building surface area||375 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||100 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||12|
Fanny Proffit +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.