Not to give too much away but here is a glimpse of Christian's ancestral home aptly called Vallee D'Arbes ~ Valley of trees for it sat in a forest. Michel describes his best friends home for all of us readers.
Vallée D’Arbes was a typical country manor house built in the seventeen hundreds in the Meudon valley. Two short wings flanked the main house which created a court yard. One wing was the stables and the other the barn. Well water served us, our livestock and our fields. A dirt path lead from the front door to another dirt road. The spring rains made it unbearable and the winter snow trapped us all inside.
The main house was one story. Most people could only afford to heat only one floor which consisted of several bed rooms, each with a sal de bain and a chamber pot, a kitchen, a larder or pantry as you call it today. Needless to say, we kept our windows open as much as possible. The Du Maurés had a small library, a sign of wealth in our times. The stone floors were cold in the summer and even colder in the winter months too. Each end of the house had a fireplace which required constant cleaning and hauling of wood from the barn.
Don’t ever romanticize the eighteenth century. We worked constantly, were either always hot or cold and died very young… well, most of us.