LE GITE DE La Villate
This web site has been designed to show a bit more of "La Villate" domain whose most recent restoration work is the cottage ("Gîte" in French) in 2005 . It is even more for us a way to emphasize with the use of modern means the work achieved by our parents Colette & Guy Houdayer over the past 25 years.

Even for us, their three children, what they have achieved here mingle craziness - more: courage -  led by a passion our father discovered very young, antic furniture restoration.

In "La Villate", our father has restored 18th century furniturebut also learned himself to cut and sculpt stones & tuffes (white stones from the Loire Valley" (c'est lui les lucarnes et les meneaux). Congratulations to our mother who encouraged him, counselled him, tempered him.. Two parents andthese beautiful achievements of their lifetime, not to mention of course their three children:) ...

Step by step, new encounters and knowledge, this passion for old stones and buildings with character like never built up again, probably revealed itself so strongly it led them to restorate our maternal grandparents's house. Colette & Guy discovered a few years later "La Villate" in Chaumussay hidden within the warm "Touraine du Sud" (South-Touraine, part of the Loire Valley). 

They installed a wider workshop (19th century part). They are still offering their life today (I lived with them until I was 18 years old, I can tell!!) to this priceless relasation that is restorate the "patrimoine français" (French Traditional Building Heritage), getting help from brothers and family. Their only goal being to render its original pride which, due to the years of time, had lost some of its character, like meneaux, chimneys and some ceilings here and there...)

I uploaded some pictures on "La Villate"'s restoration since 1986, manor whose characteristic is a circular tower tufa staircase (white stones used in France to build castles) as well as a cellar vault. These images show little of what has been accomplished throughout these years nor how much it impacted our father's health to be working restlessly on his own on restoring La villate.


It took our father a year every week-end to restore the main room's tufa floor, still working in his workshop at the same time. He took off all the heavy tufa tiles that he had discovered by chance below the ceramic tiles, numbered them, gave their former spark back one by one and replaced them at their exact original place.

We can still see the place where, at the beginning of the 20st century, a bed was set near the fireplace and had "dug a hole" in the tiles. A very nice lady visited us in 1999 as she was in search of her birthplace La Villate, where her birthbed used to be heated up by the embers and flames of this chimney taller and larger than a man.

Laure, Florent & Gwennaël

A Beautiful 5 Star cottage  in the Loire Valley