BURNSIDE, MARGARET RIVER
5903 Caves Road
Agency: Stocker Preston
Contact: Louis De Chiera on 0418 909 899 or Ken Preston on 0418 932 747
LA Foret Enchantee is not just a South-West getaway, it is an escape to another world, a beautiful, tranquil location rich with European influences.
As you drive through the French iron gates you enter an idyllic forest setting with 200m of Margaret River frontage.
There is a touch of France and Italy with a striking Arc de Triomphe and an Italianate staircase leading to a gorgeous garden and custom-made outdoor kitchen by the river.
Classical statuary, fountains, urns and sweeping terraces abound – you feel like you are in the midst of a magnificent European estate.
The 3.53ha property includes two character cabins, La Cabine and Il Palazzo, and a manager’s residence, Mezziere, and offers a range of opportunities, from a stunning permanent lifestyle residence to a thriving tourism business.
Selling agent Louis De Chiera said it had an enviable reputation as a private getaway for weddings and luxurious weekends and was popular with international celebrities wanting time to themselves.
The zoning allows for additional tourist development such as a licensed restaurant, cellar door sales, shop, cinema and winery and there is provision to design and build a substantial main residence.
The owners have lived there for 27 years, finding the property by chance.
“We had sold up in Perth and bought one-way tickets to relocate to France in 1989, and just before we were due to fly out a chance meeting brought the property to our attention,” they said.
“After a year of living in France, we returned to Australia, made the purchase and relocated to Margaret River.”
They have celebrated their love of France and Italy while being mindful of maintaining the essence of Margaret River in the development of the property and the residences.
“Our love of France and Italy is always our inspiration and this is reflected in the furnishings and architectural style,” they said.
“Our influences include Romanesque and Gothic, incorporating design symmetry and building materials which are environmentally sustainable.
“The octagonal turreted ceiling and parquet floored bedroom in Il Palazzo was inspired by our time spent minding a magnificent 100-room Chateau in the Loire Valley.”
The residences combine rustic charm with modern comforts including marble-tiled Villeroy and Boch bathrooms and kitchens with Miele appliances and granite benchtops.
La Cabine was built in the 1970s and the owners said it was a fairy-tale log cabin overlooking the Margaret River, complete with open log fire, loft bedroom, crystal chandelier in the bathroom and a stone bath on an extended deck overlooking the river.
Glamorous Il Palazzo is set among peppermint trees and overlooks a winter creek and has forest views from a range of vantage points.
A bespoke chandelier is the centrepiece of the bedroom’s timber-lined, turreted ceiling.
Two-storey Mezziere takes its name from a village in the Loire Valley.
It has open and closed turrets, cathedral ceilings, a stained glass gothic door imported from France and elaborate chandeliers.
The kitchen is positioned in front of a six-metre glass wall that captures the afternoon sun and the forest view.
The owners said their favourite place on the property was in the river garden where they love to entertain and relax.
It includes a Statue of Abundance (4m replica from the Trevi Fountain in Italy), circular tiered fountain, 12-seater stone table, urns, statuary, and gourmet garden kitchen barbecue.
“In this romantic setting, a chef will often be seen at the barbecue shucking oysters and grilling fish whilst guests enjoy the angelic tones of a harpist or a seductive string ensemble,” they said
“When everyone has left, we are again immersed in the sublime beauty of nature; the forest scents which envelop, the therapeutic sounds of the river and fountains, the birdsong, dragonflies and monarch butterflies which will curiously land on your arm.
“Over the years the kangaroos have come to know us and will sleep around the villas by day. “ At night the forest awakens with marsupials and rare species and frogs announce that evening has arrived and the owls hoot, scream and bark their thoughts.”
The Foret Enchantee is truly a magical place.