Through some twisted, long series of events which involve my friend Meredith having a bloodline back to the former Czar Nicolas II of Russia a long, long time ago, the opportunity presented itself to her and her husband Philippe, to buy this 15th century hunting manoir in the Perigord region of France for what can almost be called a pittance.
So they live here in the summer, in San Francisco in the winter, and we try to get a visit in every trip to France we make. There's kayaking down rivers, long walks in forests and most importantly long, yummy meals which include divine vegetables from the meticulously kept potager (that's garden) at the table outside.
Apparently La Dame Blanche, as the manor is called, is haunted and there are creaks and noises everywhere which attest to this fact. But when we're there, I choose to believe that they are friendly spirits and as long as we are too, everything goes well. Meredith has documented it all fantastically & thoroughly here. Read all parts, you won't be sorry.
This is the staircase to the second floor. You cannot tell from this picture, but is actually one of my favorite parts of the whole house. It is wider than it appears and it is SOLID wood, as in a tree cut in half, sanded, built into the stone walls on both sides and voilà. Steps. They are a podiatric sensation. Walk on them barefoot for best enjoyment.