Rosmadec watermill is nestled in a small, wooded valley about a three-minute drive from Telgruc-sûr-Mer, between the two hamlets of Rosmadec and Rostegoff. A path leads off a narrow, quiet road to the mill.
It served as a flour mill until the 1950s. The son of the last miller, who lived in the mill as a child, now lives in the neighbouring hamlet of Rosmadec and has lots of stories to tell about living in this old building. The structure subsequently fell into disrepair before being restored in the 1960s. Following the addition of a large extension in the 70s, the mill was used as a nightclub, attracting people from throughout the peninsula and beyond. During the course of the building work, I met lots of people as far away as Brest who often went to 'Baccara'. It seems this place was always full of life.
Just a short time later, I was lucky enough to meet the right people in Brittany to realise the project with me. They are still supporting me now. I was able to follow the work done my by interior designer and the whole team closely, and make every decision and every choice in conjunction with them. In this way, a multifunctional complex was born during the eighteen months or so of construction, which harmoniously combines the old and the new.
We had all of the mill's workings and the wheel reconstructed or restored by a specialist from Ardèche. During many stages of the project, he made everything by hand.
The former nightclub was opened up in several places to create a large, bright function room with a professional kitchen on the ground floor and a light-filled lounge on the first floor. The first floor also has a bathroom, a toilet and a bedroom for two to three people. A staircase leads up to a separate wooden extension housing two more double rooms. They open out onto a large wooden terrace overlooking one of the two millponds. From here, you have a wonderful view of the park-like surroundings and the water which forms the beating heart of the whole site.
Thank you to all the many tradesmen, too. They did not only do an outstanding job – I also became good friends with many of them. Although they often had to do a lot of overtime, this remained a feel-good building site where everyone was friendly and polite to one another.
Special thanks also go to my interior designer, Patrice Billant, who managed the project in conjunction with the architectural practice Trace. He went far beyond the call of duty and channelled boundless enthusiasm and tireless energy into working for the mill. The Breton–German collaboration was inspiring, creative, good fun and hallmarked by trust on both sides. In short, it was perfect.
The wonderful thing about the Presqu'île is that you will be welcomed with open arms and find new friends as long as you abide by a few rules. If you make an effort to speak French – however badly – you will already be halfway there. The locals will respond with patience and warmth – and by speaking slowly. However, as soon as the person you are speaking to decides that your language skills have improved sufficiently, they will up the tempo dramatically. From this point on, you will be considered someone worth talking to. This may be hard work to start with, but it's a great way to learn the language. If you hope the locals will talk to you in German, forget it. English speakers are in with a slightly better chance – but not much!
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