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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
When Christine and Xavier Ferry bought Manoir de la Semoigne, 25 kilometers west of Reims, it looked absolutely hopeless: no water, no electricity, cows and pigs living in the house. However, with the help of family and friends, they transformed the derelict house back into a proper home. Christine and Xavier have boundless energy. He runs the farm and, when cows became unprofitable, he turned the grazing ground into an 18-hole golf course. (Energetic guests will also enjoy the tennis court on the grounds.) Christine is a busy woman, yet manages to offer four of her nicely decorated bedrooms to the public. Also at hand is the charming Sophie, who sees to guests’ needs. There are three guestrooms in the main house, all named for their color scheme: Bleue, Jaune, and Beige. The largest and most dramatic room, Bibliothèque, is housed in a separate wing. Evening meals can be prepared with advance reservation. From the front, the building looks like a farmhouse flanked by stone barns but from the rear garden with its own little stream, the house looks quite different: more like a small, turreted castle.