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Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Northern France Stopover
Northern France Stopover

LES MAZURES

If you are nipping backwards and forwards to Franceregularly, you will have met the ticklish problem of where to break yourjourney. Autoroute service stations lose their culinary appeal after a while,and the bedtime conveniences and the anonymity of Campanile and Formule 1 hotelssoon fades.

Civilised travel has always offered an exchange. For theweary voyager, a safe and peaceful haven with not only a bed for the night butalso a place of quiet calm away from the vicissitudes of a hard day on theroad. For the host, perhaps, through gossip, a connection to far off lands andtales from the bright lights of the big cities. I felt such a trade at thecharming chambre d’hotes Les Mazures in Picardy in Northern France.

The two hosts, Peter (English) and Vincent (French), leftbehind the corporate world, where they worked as a web designer and an engineerand branched out into a new life running a bed and breakfast. Thinking firstthey would renovate an old building the idea changed into building from new andjust to make things more challenging they decided to build ecologically and ona tight budget. Finding a plot of land not far from the village where xxxparents live, they sat down and drew out their ideas which had been fermentinginside their imaginations. With a clear vison for what they wanted they setabout finding an architect who agreed with them.

The resulting building, they say, is very close to theiroriginal concept. A long singe storey accommodation akin to a longhouse. The centralcommunal dining and living space includes a screened off kitchen area. On oneside is the host’s private space and on the other are three simple andelegantly furnished en-suite bedrooms for guests. The atmosphere is restful and Zen. Over adelicious home cooled three course meal we discussed the detailing in thebuilding. Sizes was determined and costs were cut by using whole sheets ofplasterboard for the walls thus minimising waste. The long front exterior wasgiven an architectural rhythm by breaking the façade into sections by usingdifferent facing materials. Heating bills are kept low with copious insulation.The thoughtful attentions that went into construction are

Surrounding the building is a well-tended garden forstrolling and relaxing and useful for those on a longer stay to explore thesurrounding countryside, the market at Amiens or the Baie de la Somme.

Breakfast included, amongst other things, a truly delicioushoney and thoroughly revivified we headed back to the autoroute and continuedSouth.

Highly recommended.

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