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Love at first sight: how I succumbed to the charms of Pyla-sur-Mer...

Pyla-sur-Mer is a cliché’s best friend: a paradise on earth, a little slice of heaven, France’s best-kept secret, a feast for the eyes, balm for the soul.

But it is also so much more.

I experienced the allure of Pyla 3 years ago, when a friend of mine who bought a summer house here.

However, it wasn’t until I bought my own place, one year later, that I fully understood just how special this small, secret corner of France actually is.

The myriad blues of the Atlantic ocean, the blond, unending sands of the “plages océanes”, the grey-greens of the dune grasses and the textured trunks of the uncountable pine trees, all mingle to create a backdrop on which your mind can truly rest and linger in peace.

However, it is the combination of this insanely beautiful setting, with a way of life that is essentially, authentically French, that really makes the magic.

Lovers of France will know that it is difficult, nigh impossible, to find a spot, that has everything we consider as “must haves”: sea, unspoiled nature, tranquility, authenticity, an absence of “bling”, an abundance of French produce, real boulangeries, boucheries, poissonniers, fromageries, and all the other fantasy “petits commerces” where we can dawdle and ponder over the merits of a sourdough versus a traditional baguette…

Pyla-sur-Mer has it all.

For those afternoons and evenings when you just want to see a bit of life going on around you, the Boulevard de L’Océan and the little hub of Le Moulleau have just the right number of bars and restaurants to maintain a civilised, sociable vibe, without being brash or noisy. It is perfect here. Honestly. It is.

This area attracts the beautiful people, yes, but it also opens its heart wide to the visitor who wants to get involved and share in the beauty and generosity of everything on offer here.

I had a “coup de foudre” (I fell in love) with Pyla and bought a house here two years ago, helped every step of the way, by Christophe and Sophy Vaissié, who run the luxury estate agency Barnes.

The buying process was slick, uncomplicated and efficient. And the support I received from Christophe and Sophy was phenomenal, especially that I was an overseas buyer and wasn’t familiar with all the French property legislation.

Their patience and good humour removed any fears I may have had about buying a place abroad.

I now run a small business from Pyla, offering interpreting, translation and language coaching services between French and English with clients in Bordeaux and the surrounding area.

I can’t imagine having a more idyllic location from which to work. If you can call it work, that is… Come and see for yourself.

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