Le Prieuré is in the tiny rural village of Pressigny in the Deux-Sevres region of South West France. The bijoux chateau is 35 minutes from Poitiers airport, which has regular flights to Stansted, and 40 minutes from Poitiers station, which has high speed rail links to Paris and Lille, with connections to London, Bordeaux and other major European cities.
There are easy road connections to the north coast and ferries. Saint-Malo is just over 3 hours drive, with ferry connections to the UK, although La Rochelle, Cherbourg, Ouisterham and the tunnel are all easy drives making getting to the Priory an easy one day journey from much of England.
For eight hundred years the ancient stone Priory in Pressigny has overlooked a small hidden valley surrounded by woodland, vines and medieval villages in this bucolic department of Deux Sevres. In the heat of summer Charolais cows stand swishing their tails in the spring fed waterway meandering along the valley bottom whilst the tiny village perches on the high bank of this ancient watercourse.
Le Prieuré rests next to the beautiful 17th century church with its cool white interior and ancient rustic village barn, surrounded by a scattering of houses and farms.
The house stands in its own walled garden, where scented roses climb over honey coloured stone and the sound of water gently cascading can be heard from the lions head fountain. The pool beckons the moment you arrive and from March to November they are known for their beautiful weather. This is the second sunniest region in France and they are frequently to be found eating alfresco from early to late in the year.
Within the main house, the drawing room and dining room are elegantly furnished and are perfect for intimate, smaller gatherings. With the library, the large playroom and the drawing room, family and friends staying at Le Prieuré have a choice of rooms to mingle and socialise – though mostly the weather is so good, it’s the garden that takes centre stage. Weddings for up to 50 guests can be held in a choice of locations in the garden or in the ancient village barn facing the house, or in a marquee.
Within the main house are six bedrooms, furnished with French and English antiques. Two have an extra bed for a child. There is a wonderful playroom for children, which will keep them happily entranced with a dream dressing up chest, games, books and toys… if you can keep them away from the pool! There is a daybed that will convert to two single beds in the playroom.
In its own garden, La Tour is a later addition to the main house – probably 15th century! Attached to the Priory, but completely separate and in its own walled garden, La Tour is the perfect romantic hideaway for the bride and groom. The kitchen and sitting room are rustically elegant and outside, within the walled gardens is a sunken firepit – wonderful for star-gazing and watching the resident owls who often circle the house and garden in the gloaming. Sitting on sheepskin rugs in spring and autumn, warmed by the glowing embers of a gently crackling fire whilst surrounded by a hundred flickering candle flames, a glass of champagne in hand is a magical experience… and then, a spiral staircase leads to the lofty bedroom where the fairy-tale canopied bed sits beneath the ancient beams.
In the third garden, within a stone’s throw of the main house sits l’Atelier, once the studio of a Swedish artist. Now converted, the two bedrooms, one with a silk lined four poster bed, the bathroom, kitchen and sitting room are on a single floor and are ideal for anyone who would find the spiral staircases in the main house and the tower difficult to use. By 2021 there will be wheelchair access to l’Atelier.
Le Prieuré is perfect for anyone wishing to have an intimate wedding in a relaxed, bucolic location within the walled domain of a fortified ancient French country house. The wedding party has exclusive use of the three houses, pool and garden for a week. Additional accommodation for guests can be booked in the village in gites a stones throw from Le Prieuré.
And of course, organising a wedding overseas can be a little daunting, so the team are very happy to recommend English speaking florists, stylists, make-up specialists, hairdressers, caterers and musicians. And should you be looking for the unusual and unique they would adore to help you find anything you would love to make your wedding particularly individual to you.