Ashley Morrison's Blog

July 16, 2014

A former goat shelter.

After crossing the Irish Sea – on route to meet Rachel from the BBC, to shoot Duncan’s French Riviera villa in the hills overlooking Cannes, which I talked here: In the Dragons’ Den – we stopped to meet landscape designer Bradley Viljoen, and shoot his four-bedroom hillside villa…
Marie McMillen sitting outside Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. formerly an agricultural goat shelter building, built in the mid 19th-century, near the French village of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn region of France.

As a garden and landscape designer based in London England, Bradley Viljoen spends his time creating other people’s dreams. A few years ago, along with partner Mark Smith, they decided it was time to do something for them – they decided to live the dream across The Channel in France.

“The idea was to create a beautiful home and garden to enjoy whenever we could, with the hope of living there permanently one day,” says Bradley. “We would rent it out for a few weeks a year to generate a bit of income so we could continue to improve the property and to create a garden.”

No work in her…
Marie McMillen in the sitting of Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. but nevertheless, when a home looks this good…
The sitting of Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. who could blame Marie for just wanting to sit down and enjoy it – as Bradley & Mark had done a fabulous job here.

“We’d spent quite some time checking out various regions, firstly via the on-line agencies and then by visiting various regions. We didn’t really know much about the Tarn until we actually visited it back in the summer of 2001. But once we came here we just fell in love with it,” says Bradley. “South central France has a wonderfully diverse landscape of rolling plains to gentle mountains, it’s crisscrossed by rivers and lakes and enjoys a rich heritage of ancient villages, castles, churches and gastronomy. We just felt it was the ideal spot for us among the rolling vineyards and unspoiled natural environment.”

Still, a bit of work was needed to light the place and get everything tickety-boo for the camera – but Bradley here…
Bradley Viljoen in the kitchen of his hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. was more than ready and as you can see, had the whole place, including the bedrooms…
Master bedroom in Bradley Viljoen's hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. sitting up looking pretty much picture perfect.

“We wanted to achieve something that would embrace the best of living at home with the best of living out here and I’m pleased with how it’s all come together – our little bit of entente cordiale.”

So we actually managed to rattle through this one quite quickly, but the wonderful memories have lived on much longer – as we managed to get this featured in Britain’s No.1 Home Magazine, Ideal Home
Pages 84 to 88 in the July 2006 issue of Ideal Home magazine featuring Bradley Viljoen and Mark Smith's mid 19th-century hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. which appeared the following summer in their July issue – and also in Templeton Robinson‘s Property Life magazine too, the year after that…
Pages 38 to 46 in issue 10 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine featuring Bradley Viljoen and Mark Smith's mid 19th-century hillside villa located in the Tarn region of France.
.. which I’ve got to say looked absolutely stunning.

A former goat shelter it may have been, but definitely not any longer – and so we’d just like to say a big thank you to both Bradley & Mark, for this very special day which we will always remember.

From Marie & me in the Tarn region, having fun on route to the French Riviera, to meet Rachel from the BBC for the very first time & the famous Duncan Bannatyne too smile

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