Les Picardies is a handsome 15th century manor house, built around 1475, with nearly 4 acres of garden, a lake, some woodland and set in tranquil, rural surroundings. Les Picardies has been our home since 2011 and our business since 2012 and we have enabled more that 2800 people to unwind since we first opened our rooms to guests.
More about Les Picardies ....
The original estate, comprising around 150 hectares, was originally purchased, during the 100 Years War by a wealthy family in Picardy, in the then non-unified northern part of France. The land was almost certainly purchased to protect their wealth in the event of an English monarch seizing their possessions. The land was subsequently purchased by Bishop Tabari, whose family lived in Lesterps, and the present house was built around 1475. His story, and his connection with Les Picardies, is detailed in the Maison du Patrimoine situated in a medieval house in Lesterps' main street.
The splendid barn, on the east side of the house, is a more recent addition; probably built around 1840 but, sadly, with little respect for the original architecture. One of the huge supporting beams for the roof rests in the remains of a bricked up window which has all the appearance of a former chapel window which can still be seen in the "atelier", a section, of about a quarter of the house, which remains uninhabited, with original earthen floors and stone walls.
The gardens were heavily overgrown when we arrived and our quest to regain the land is never ending. We have created a large parking area, using locally sourced gravel, and we have built an impressive potager from which we attempt to provide all our fruit and vegetables during the season.
Our heated swimming pool was opened to guests in July 2016 and the surrounding area has been walled and landscaped to provide a haven of peace....and a sun trap. We have also converted an old calving barn in to a quite pool side sitting room.
Our latest project is to convert the east end of the barn in to a gite which will have four double bedrooms, two en-suite, a large open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area and a family bathroom. We hope that this accommodation will be available for the end of the 2020 season.
About Martin and Em de Rusett
Martin was a wine merchant in London for nearly 40 years, selling fine wines to Hotels, Restaurants, Corporate dining rooms and private clients. He continues to run Winelines, a business offering private and corporate wine tastings all over Europe.
Em enjoys her potager and painting and encourages everyone to bring paint and brushes with them and set up an easel in some secluded spot to paint in the fabulous light here.
Wine Tasting week-ends and Painting Breaks are, not surprisingly, available upon request at Les Picardies.
We have four children (and one wonderful grandson) two of whom live and work in London, one who lives and works in San Francisco and the fourth who lives and works in Los Angeles.