Still an active farm, La Ferme Rose in Boisemont has gone through six centuries of history. Saved from ruin by Claire and Yvon, enthusiasts who restored it and transformed into cottages and rural lodgings in the late 80s, it reflects the agricultural past of the region and continues its primary agricultural vocation with the breeding of French saddle horses.
But why this name La Ferme Rose? Because its traditional lime renders incorporated local orange-pink sand and crushed roof tiles.
When La Ferme Rose was first built in 1430, the Hundred Years War was rife in the Vexin, and peace was not found until until 1449 with the final recapture of the nearby fortress of Gisors. These troubled times explain that the main three farm buildings form a triangle protecting the central courtyard. The presence of stone arrow-slits testifies to the necessity of defence from belligerent troops and highwaymen. These fortified farms are characteristic of the Vexin area.
The new city changes the game
Ideally located amidst green pastures and at the foot of the Hautil forest and hills, in the historic heart of the village of Boisemont – which has retained its rural character – La Ferme Rose first belonged to Olivier de la Saussaye, lord of Boisemont. Twelve years later, his widow sold “lands and seigniory”, which include the farm, stables and dovecote, to the convent of Poissy.
Since then, the farm has lived a peaceful life, until … the arrival of a new city. At first, the farm is not affected by the buy-backs, and the agricultural activity continues until 1983. The lands are then expropriated for building purposes, the operator however obtaining to preserve the buildings of the farm. But the farm had lost its lands, the lack of income threatened ruin.
Love at first sight…
Enter Claire and Yvon Chapon. After having restored a village house in nearby Ecquevilly, the couple wants to move on and looks for another house to restore. La Ferme Rose does not at all correspond with what Claire and Yvon have in mind (far too big), but the real estate agent offers them “a little visit, just to see”. And what was to happen happens: love at first sight! Then begin decades of work. The first “gîte” opened in 1990, then the second four years later, helping to auto-finance the rest of the restauration project. Then comes the bed and breakfast in 2006 and the table d’hôte activity in 2012. This bucolic setting and quality of service has made a name for itself, the proof: rating on the site Booking.com (500 000 hotels listed worldwide) the visitors have given the Ferme Rose an average score of 9.3 out of 10, which puts it in the category of “fabulous” establishments and it has been number one in the region for many years.
Claire Chapon, owner of La Ferme Rose:
“I’m from England – the land of Bed and Breakfast – and I come from a family of hoteliers. With my husband, we immediately saw the potential of this magical place. But the restoration – which we conducted entirely ourselves and is completely respectful of the original building – was a real adventure. When we moved in, it was not possible to live in the main house given its advanced state of degradation, forcing us to live for five years, with our children, in a small adjoining flat with very basic comfort. Today, thanks to the Internet, we welcome customers from all over the world. We have received customers from China, Japan, Australia, Russia and many others. But we also welcome hikers, cyclists and French tourists or people traveling for business purposes, attracted by our reasonable prices, family atmosphere and calm environment. La Ferme Rose turned our lives upside down in more ways than one. My husband, who was a computer scientist before, learned so much during these years of restoration, that he created a building company, which works mainly on… restorations ! “.