Buying furniture for the B&B and holiday cottage has proved a challenge. We have a steadfast, left hand drive Volvo which has spent many lonely winters abandoned at Carcassonne airport and has never let us down but draws the line at transporting double beds, sofas and wardrobes. Delivery charges are extortionate; we are in a rural area but not far from major towns and cities such as Carcassonne and Mirepoix. I have been keen to avoid creating an English country interior in my French house and without being immodest I believe I have succeeded.
We have bought mainly old, often antique, French furniture, taking care to treat the ubiquitous woodworm before placing it on my lovingly restored parquet floors. The brocante (second hand, warehouse kind of setup) in Mirepoix and the Troc (same) in Carcassonne have been the main sources of often unbelievably cheap, solid wood furniture that the French no longer desire for their modern, boxy villas. However, my beautiful, intricately carved rosewood bed turned out to be completely useless as the mattress isn’t a standard size. Even so, Nick is most certainly not having it for firewood.
On a lower note, before our major purchase of a sofa in year 2 (delivery an eye watering 80 euros) we bought 2 sun loungers from Lidl that we used all summer on the terrace and all winter beside the fire – the plastic arm on one of them melted.