When we first saw the domain we were immediately spellbound by its other world charms. It was completely unlike any other place we'd seen.
Surrounded by an ancient woodland it had a secret world feel and having been untouched for over 70 years it has a dreamlike quality of having been suspended in time.
It was the perfect culmination to our fairytale romance. It’s a long story spanning many decades we'll be happy to tell you over dinner and a glass of wine,
Sufice to say after 15 longs years we were finally re-united and set about travelling the world visiting various eco resorts. It was after an introduction to permaculture course that the true shape of La Belle Eco began to emerge.
The driving force behind La Belle Eco is not profit. While we have to participate in commercial ventures in order to make the project sustainable the association is a not for profit.
Money made by La Belle Eco is used for La Belle Eco. It is a cross financing project ensuring that the money that is brought into the region by tourism is used to help and support the region that you are visiting.
we consider the impact our project has on both our guests and the people that are involved in it.
It is essential that La Belle Eco provides not only for the people we employ but for the local community. As well as outreach days and local events we are establishing art studios which will be made available to local artists and our guests allowing for an even richer cultural exchange.
Every decision considers the impact on the planet. We did an eco refit to ensure energy efficiency including solar panels, a pomp a chaleur, compost toilets and lots of hemp insulation
All animals have a right to be in the garden so we never spray. To encourage bio-diversity we have planted lots of endeginous plants and a food forest, and converted the pool to a natural swimming pool,
Although we are no experts, we had an immediate connection to the permaculture approach as it pulls together all of the ideas we had been exploring. We can understand the principles and and try to apply them in everything here.
The comfort of our guests is always at the forefront of our minds, we are also always aware that we don’t want to loose the magic & charm of the place, which we originally fell in love with.
We believe we have managed to strike the perfect balance between installing all the modern luxuries one would expect and the wonderful relaxed feeling you get being in someone’s actual home.
With all the beautiful original features we knew preservation had to be the number one priority. Feeling the duty of being the guardians of this beautiful place and in particular the ancient woodland we were always aware of ensuring we completed a truly sympathetic refurbishment.
We prioritized the use of materials that were already here, followed by up-cycling of antiques. This approach produced many challenges often it is slower and more expensive than just buying a new “repro” version. In terms of resource usage it is more efficient, and the result, we believe far more beautiful.
There are some antiques in the house that were originally made with the building in the 1800’s, there are others we have bought.
Our guests struggle to say which is which. This is the greatest compliment and makes us feel like it was worth all the hard work.