"It isn’t hard to see why they and daughter Lucy all refer to the house as their little slice of heaven."
- South China Morning Post
The beautiful château has stood undisturbed in a sleepy and tranquil landscape for decades and the elaborate and complex ecosystem of man and nature, developed over the centuries, wraps the old stones in a comforting blanket of serenity. Of course there were some tense moments as one looks back: two world wars, the siege of Paris, the French Revolution, the Wars of Religion..., but there were also some periods of astonishing wealth. Château de Missery is an expression of two such periods: an 18th-century residence built on the vestiges of an earlier medieval castle. There’s a generous dining room hung with portraits; a sitting room which opens onto a wide terrace overlooking the moat; kitchen with a quirky collection of coathangers; a breakfast room; a magnificent hallway with stone flagged floor and sundry other offices on the ground floor plus a collection of high-ceilinged and light-filled bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs.
Typical of the foreign buyers now beating a path to country France, are châteaux aficionados Patricia and Philip Hawkes, who bought the listed 18th century Château de Missery some 64 kilometres west of Dijon in Burgundy in August 1979. Philip had first spotted it as a young man during his frequent travels around France. “He was mad about country houses,” said his wife, Patricia. “And the châteaux in France are the very nicest country houses in the world,” adds Philip. As the great-great-granddaughter of British premier William Gladstone, Patricia had some experience living in a rambling and listed Georgian country home as a girl, and running a big house like Missery has come naturally to her. With its Louis XV architecture, generous moats, 14th century medieval towers and large walled kitchen garden, it isn’t hard to see why they and daughter Lucy all refer to the house as “their little slice of heaven.”
South China Morning Post
A pretty, winding 20-minute drive will bring you to this bustling town [Saulieu] with a regular Saturday market and an annual celebration of local food – the Salon des Journées Gourmandes (held over four days at the end of May). Here is a foodie paradise – 140 stallholders offering all manner of traditional local treats, from Pascal Lapree’s paté de foie gras through fromage to the most unusual, tasty jams and Charolais beef, famous in the area. Saulieu is the gourmet capital of the Morvan, a lesser known but no less splendid food-producing region – best known for its own superb dried ham – within an easy drive of the Wine Routes of Burgundy
Western Daily Press
I was lucky enough to stay with them [Philip and Patricia Hawkes at Château de Missery] for two days and experience their everyday living; although in the company of cookery author Laura Calder, actor-turned-journalist Paul Shearer (whom you must remember from the Fast Show) journalist Giovanna Dunmall and vigneron Betrand Devillard – plus yours scruffy truly – it must have been one of their more entertaining ‘everydays’. But then the Hawkes' have entertained the Giscard d’Estaing family and take it all in their stride. Needless to say I was overawed.
Châteaux currently on the market generally range from €1.5 million, or around $2 million, to more than €3.7 million, or roughly $5 million, according to Patricia Hawkes, a Paris-based real estate agent and co-owner of the Philip Hawkes Agency, which specializes in historical French high-end properties. Mrs. Hawkes and her husband have operated an agency for nearly 40 years and sold hundreds of châteaux along the way, she estimated. They even own one themselves, the 14th- and 18th-century Château de Missery in Burgundy. “In the last year, we’ve seen a definite increase in interest from American buyers,” Mrs. Hawkes said.
New York Times