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The estate is home to the Haras (stud farm) de Gonet which extends over 150 hectares. The facilities consist of: 20 stables, 10 paddocks, 12 paddocks (watered) with shelter, 7 grooming areas with showers, one 80x50 arena, one 70x30 arena, one 35x12 arena and one 7-seater oval horse walker. The stud farm also offers boarding with a stable and sheltered paddock, boarding with working stables and boarding with working shelters.
Saved from abandonment, this former hunting lodge has now become a Provençal farmhouse dedicated to horse breeding and riding. The buildings are characteristic of the region with their Roman tiled roofs surrounded by an overhanging cornice; they form an elegant single-storey U-shaped ensemble that frames the carefully designed garden. Like immutable sentries, the two century-old olive trees seem to watch over the harmony of the places cradled by the fountain. Whether riders or simply travellers, guests can enjoy either of the gîtes whose delicate décor allows original materials to take pride of place.
My wife was born in Arles, and I, in Lozère. We came to Nîmes as children. We grew up and got married here, and the city has become a part of our hearts and souls. We were enchanted by this farmhouse that we discovered during a walk, and are now keen to restore it to its former glory.
It is a Provençal-style farmhouse which was once the hunting lodge of the Duchy of Uzès. The property was built in an open-sided U-shape with a pretty red brick house in the centre. We feared the latter was doomed to be torn down during our renovations, but after scratching the plaster, we discovered a little gem that gives the building an authentic charm. Part of the building is used as housing, including our main house and the gîtes. In symmetry, the buildings mirror the stud farm which is managed by a rider and her team. The farmhouse is surrounded by fields of grains, olive groves, trees and Costières de Nîmes appellation vines.
Two centuries ago, the Duke of Uzès hunted big game here, particularly deer. The hundred hectare property served as a Spanish breeding property for several years, before being transformed into a vineyard, followed by orchards. Olive groves and grains are now grown here today. The estate was in ruins when we bought it, but under the heap of brambles and weeds, we immediately saw the buildings' potential. It took us more than five years to restore the farmhouse with the help of an architect and a landscaper. To maintain its authenticity, we have kept the paved paths, the leaf guard on the ground and other old tiles where possible. For the rest, we chose noble materials that would bring back the warmth of yesteryear.
Tranquillity! Large spaces allowing you to go mountain biking along the paths of the estate and take walks in the large natural areas surrounding the property. Within our farmhouse is a stud farm with two arenas that should certainly meet the expectations of those who love horses and the equestrian world. It is also possible to go fishing nearby. Very close to Nîmes, Arles and the sea, but with the Cévennes also just an hour's drive away, we offer an environment that is both surrounded by nature and close to the city.
La Halte Nautique, a restaurant on the edge of the Bellegarde canal. Our neighbour, Terres de Chardons, who talks about his wines and instant love for winegrowing despite it being an unexpected destiny for him. Vincent Gagnez, columnist for France Inter, chose the Bienveillant cuvée as a "2020 favourite". The desserts at Dinger, the village patisserie, are not to be missed. Visit the cheesemaker Vergne, awarded Best Worker in France in 2019, at Les Halles in Nîmes to discover our region and to try a comté that has been crafted by them in the Gard. For lunch, Théo Café on rue Régale serves cuisine made with fresh produce. At the Tessier bookstore, a few meters away, you will find good advice and the perfect book for you. Further away in the Camargue, visit La Tellure de la Chassagnette for dinner, the Tour de la Carbonnier to discover an abundance of regional flora and fauna, and the ornithological park of Pont-de-Gau to admire the parade of pink flamingos.