Les Picardies is a handsome 15th century manor house, built around 1475. Having recently acquired the original farmto the west of the house, the estate extends to nearly 70 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 than 4000 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 incorporating an old calving barn at the eastern end, 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. The old calving barn is now a quite pool side sitting room.
Our latest project is to convert the east end of the barn in to a gite has four double bedrooms, two en-suite, a large open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area and a family bathroom. This additional accommodation will be available from the start of the 2022.
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.
Em enjoys her garden 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, two daughters-in-law and one wonderful grandson. Our three sons live and work in the South East of England and our daughter lives and works in Los Angeles.