We never wanted to leave this place. It is perfect, and I want to return again and again.
The house itself is wonderful. Very clean, decorated with good taste, comfortable, and well equipped. It has retained its 18th century charm, with thick granite walls, a massive stone fireplace mantle, a funky mix of floor tiles, and exposed ceiling beams. It loved sitting in front of the fireplace on cold nights. The garden out back is simple, spacious, and private, and has a lovely view of the church tower, which rings fairly softly every hour (and a single ring for the half hour) between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm.
I don't remember the last time I had such a good view of the Milky Way.
The location is superbe: Very much in the country, but on excellent roads and close to some of the world's best romanesque and gothic architecture. Do not miss Vezelay or Fontenay, and a bit farther afield Autun, Dijon, Bourg en Bresse... Burgundy is astounding. There's too much to see on one trip. The smaller towns like Avallon, and even the ones that don't make it into guidebooks, are so charming that they would be tourist destinations on their own if they were located elsewhere -- but since they are in Burgundy, they are still real places where people live their lives.
The countryside is lush with meadows, forests, brooks, and ponds. There are many more cows than there are people. The air is fresh.
Agnes and her husband (his name is escaping me at the moment) are very welcoming and helpful. They brought us extra wood for the fireplace, and were always available to answer any questions we might have, but they were not intrusive.
We want to return in the warmer months, when the countryside is in bloom and more sites and businesses are open, but we also want to return again in the winter. Being alone in the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine de Vezelay, sitting in front of the fire, listening in the garden for noise and hearing only the occasional bird (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN) -- these are experiences I will not forget.