The Design Team Behind Soho House Just Debuted These Magnificent Country Homes in France

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les bordes estate lake and beach

Soho House Design Team Debuts French Country HomesKate Devine

The first time I visited the Loire Valley three years ago, I fully immersed myself in the vineyards that the region in Central France is well known for. I filled my afternoons with sips of Sancerre and Chinon from vines first planted 2,000 years ago.

Nearby, châteaus towered above verdant rolling hills and gargoyle-adorned Gothic churches sat across from humble cottages and boulangeries. Recently, I returned to this charming valley traversed by a river and small towns for a different experience: to visit Les Bordes Estate, a private community situated on a world-class golf course originally built in the 19th century.

A golfer I am not, but my love for design transcends all. That’s why I was excited to learn that Michaelis Boyd, a team of architects and interior designers behind projects like the membership-based social club Soho House, helmed the vision for this new French retreat.

les bordes golf courseles bordes golf course

Kevin Diss

Les Bordes is set on approximately 1,400 acres of land in the Sologne Forest—a UNESCO World Heritage site—but is conveniently located just 90 minutes by car from Paris. The estate consists of a main château, several luxury residences, and a collection of cottages with modern amenities like Le Labo-filled bathrooms and televisions. Members also have access to two championship golf courses and a par three course (the Gil Hanse-designed New Course was recently named a top-100 course in the world). Les Bordes’ residents can also enjoy other activities such as a petting farm for children, horseback riding, pickleball, fishing, cycling, and archery.

les bordes estate lake and beachles bordes estate lake and beach

Kate Devine

Stage one of the estate’s design first began in 2018, when Michaelis Boyd renovated existing cottages and a 7,800-square-foot clubhouse. The latter now features a restaurant, bar and lounge area adorned with velvet-upholstered sofas centered around a stone fireplace. Brass chandeliers, antiques and marble accents create a warm, welcoming atmosphere, which is meant to be a communal space for members to enjoy any time of the day.

I spent an afternoon by the fireplace, accompanied by the most perfect charcuterie plate while deer and birds roamed freely outside. At the restaurant, helmed by Chef Jérôme Voltat, dishes like roasted aubergine paired with grilled cherry tomatoes, basil pesto and marinated feta cheese highlight fresh produce from the valley’s rich soil.

les bordes estate clubhouseles bordes estate clubhouse

Kathryn Devine@DearEverest

The most recent addition from Michaelis Boyd to the estate is Cour du Baron: a chic collection of private residences that exude the idyllic French countryside home—with all the creature comforts of home. The properties were designed to have a village-like effect without homogeneity; residents are encouraged to choose flooring plan styles like stone tile or farmhouse-style timber boards to ensure each home has a personalized feel.

cour du baron living roomcour du baron living room

VMI Studio

Exposed pitched ceilings create light-filled rooms that accentuate a seamlessness between nature and help each structure blend easily into the forested environment. Incorporating the existing swath of trees, lakes and historic buildings was central to the team’s planning process. The team also embraced architectural layouts that are typical to the region, such as pitched roofs, weathered stonework, and dramatic high ceilings.

The three-, four-, five-, six- and seven-bedroom homes range in size from approximately 1,800 to 6,000 square feet, and some sit on more than two acres of private land. Residences are now available for purchase and range from approximately €1.5 million to €6.5 million ($1.7 million to $7.2 million in USD), with move-in dates scheduled for early 2024.

cour du baron exteriorcour du baron exterior

VMI Studio

Beyond the private residential homes, Les Bordes Estate will also debut a Six Senses hotel by 2025. The luxury property will span over approximately 92 acres of the greater Les Bordes Estate and feature 88 guest suites and villas spread about the woodland landscape. There will also be 70 branded residential villas offered for private ownership and a spa that will utilize herbs and plants from the on-site medicinal garden.

And just outside of Les Bordes are those world-class vines that make for a memorable day of wine tasting, as well as 15 Michelin-starred restaurants and castles magnificent enough to make anyone feel like royalty for a day.

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