Lovingly Restored Renaissance Village House with Secret Garden
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- Minimum stay:Contact owner
- Pets considered:Yes
- Wheel chair accessible:No
Caunes Minervois house description
La Gaillarde is a beautifully restored French village house located on a narrow cobblestone lane in the heart of the Medieval village of Caunes Minervois. Its walls are stone and pastel-colored plaster, its floors are wood and tile, and the furnishings are antiques purchased at local village markets.
When you enter La Gaillarde from the tranquil, pedestrian-only lane, you'll step into a comfortable sitting room, off of which is the downstairs bathroom. Beyond the sitting room is a large bedroom with exposed stone walls and twin beds that can be put together to form a king-sized bed. The bedroom opens out into a private courtyard, perfect for sipping your morning espresso and savoring the croissants you purchased at the boulangerie just around the corner.
On the second floor is the country kitchen with an enormous fireplace and round oak table that seats six. Beyond the kitchen is the living room with pale yellow plaster walls, comfortable antiques and french doors opening into a lush garden. In the corner of the garden is an outdoor table where you can enjoy a lazy luncheon under the cherry tree, sip a sunset aperitif or dine romantically under the stars.
Upstairs, is a sun-drenched bedroom with plaster walls, a queen-sized bed and a deep window overlooking the garden. And then there's the upstairs bath - an elegant room centered by an antique claw foot tub perfect for relaxing after a strenuous day hiking in the hills outside the
village or exploring some of the many local wine chateaux.
Caunes-Minervois is a town of meandering cobble-stone streets and squares with fountains channeling pure spring water from the mountains above. Our ancient Abbey is the site of romantic dinners served in the garden in the summer. Classical music, jazz and opera are performed there throughout the year. Caunes is also famous for its Christmas fair and 'vide grenier' (antiques street market)in December. We have a village cafe, several good restaurants, and d'Alibert - a fantastic restaurant with a beautiful Renaissance garden you can eat in during nice weather. There's an outdoor market three times a week, two epiceries, two boulangeries, a butcher, the 'presse', a bank, post office, doctors . . . everything you could possibly need in a village.
If you need more room, ask us about also renting our guesthouse next door.
Please contact us by email and give us 24 hours to respond as we're travel writers and we sometimes have limited email access.
Keywords: Authentic Stone Village House in Languedoc
- Vacation Rental
- Children Welcome:
- Non Smoking Only
Bedrooms: 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4, Beds for 4
Bathrooms: 2 Bathrooms
Kitchen & Dining
- Catering Available
- Cooking Utensils
- Wood Fireplace:
- 'La Gaillarde' is located in the center of the village, but on a pedestrian-only street so it is very quiet. It has a garden with a magnificent cherry tree off the living-room, and a small private garden off the master bedroom. There are two free, public parking lots within a two minute walk from the house. All village shops, markets, restaurants and cafes are within a few minutes walk from the house....moreless
- CD Player
- Music Library
- DVD Player
- Wireless Internet
- Free Long Distance
- Deck / Patio:
- Outdoor Grill
- Mountain Biking
- Medical Services
- Rock Climbing
- Winery Tours
- Live Theater
- Sight Seeing
- Fitness Center
- Horseback Riding
- Scenic Drives
- Bird Watching
ReviewsWrite a review
Charming, comfortable, great location
Charming, comfortable, great location
La Gaillarde, as the owner calls it, would serve us for a short stay or a long stay. It is well equipped, convenient to the entire region, close to all amenities, as clean as can be and priced right. Who could ask for more than wine, food, history, great neighbors, short hikes, long hikes, reading for hours, excellent place to write for hours, undisturbed sleep, -- oh, and did I mention, wine? Easy access from/to train/airports. Easy/inexpensive car rentals. The only thing better would be going back again.
- Guest Paul Robert (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
- Date of stay 07/25/12
- Review Submitted 08/30/12
Recommended for: Sightseeing, girls getaway, adventure seekers, romantic getaway, age 55+.
charming and authentic! Great location ........ right by a 13th century Abbey in the middle of a lovely village which is perfectly located as home base for day trips to ancient Roman and Cathar sites, Pyranees caves, Languedoc vineyards, medieval villages and more.
- Guest V. (Santa Fe, NM)
- Date of stay 07/25/12
- Review Submitted 08/06/12
Recommended for: Sightseeing, girls getaway, adventure seekers, romantic getaway.
Guest comment entered by owner
La Gaillarde is located on a narrow, dead-end lane in an undiscovered, lightly touristed village. It’s tastefully decorated in country French style. We found it to be the perfect base for hiking in the Black Mountains, shopping in the Languedoc markets, seeing the small villages of the region, and even taking day-trips to northeastern Spain and the Pyrenees. It’s also a great location for exploring Carcassonne, which is only a half hour away but much too crowded and noisy to make for a comfortable long-term stay. The house has been lovingly restored to preserve its centuries-old authenticity, and as a result it’s full of character—ancient oak beams, plastered stone walls, quaint windows and lintels, etc. It’s also furnished with charming antiques, built-ins, and artwork. At the same time, it has all the modern conveniences. Because the owners have taken pains to create a consistently old world feel, the house might not suit those looking for a sleek modern rental. But anyone interested in a traditional French village experience will quite simply adore it. The upstairs rooms are airy and light, and there are secluded patios on two levels. Although the village has a lively program of events on summer evenings (from classical music to pop festivals of various kinds), the house’s situation is such that it’s perfectly quiet, especially in the master bedroom, which is downstairs. There’s a good boulangerie and a very good village store just down the street, as well as an excellent bar/restaurant in a lovely square close by. The village and the surrounding area have a surprising number of cultural and natural sights. We particularly liked hiking to the royal marble quarry (which supplied much of the marble at Versailles) and to the four mountaintop Cathar castles at Lastours. We loved having La Gaillarde as our home-away-from home, and we found the owners (who live in the village) to be incredibly generous, helpful, hospitable hosts. We’ll definitely be back!
- Guest John and Dianne
- Date of stay 07/16/11
- Review Submitted 07/29/11
We spent the week of June 18, 2011 at Alison & Chris's charming house and could not have been more pleased with our experience! The house itself is comfortable -- with oodles of unique & typically French quirks & personality. It has everything we could want or need - truly a 'home away from home.' We espically enjoyed the comfortable bedding & dining/relaxing in it's secret garden. The 'Marble Festival' was in full swing & we felt very lucky to have savored its excellence. Caunes is an exceptional village that offers lovely walks in town and in the surrounding countryside. Above all, we gratefully appreciated the kindness & patience extended by Alison & Chris. They went far & above helping us with car & gas issues and the reservation process was handled with friendly efficiency. We greatly enjoyed our chats & getting to know them. We think of them as dear friends now.
- Guest Patrice & Bill (St. Petersburg, Florida)
- Date of stay 06/18/11
- Review Submitted 07/07/11
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, romantic getaway, age 55+.
Myself and my husband stayed at this charming home for 10 days. I was very surprised to read the negative review. This was not our experience at all. We found the house very clean and comfortable. We cooked most our meals at the house and the kitchen was very well stocked. The location was wonderful as we like to walk and we could explore the small historic village and even had the opportunity to take in a concert at the old abbey. Not to mention the wine tours, the caves and all the wonderful hikes in the country side. We also had to time to relax in the small yet inviting secret garden. Chris and Alison were very prompt in responding to our emails and extremely helpful with information of what to see and do in the area. I would highly recommend this house for a vacation.
- Guest Leah (Costa Rica)
- Date of stay 06/25/09
- Review Submitted 06/29/11
Recommended for: Girls getaway, adventure seekers, romantic getaway.
Owner response: Thank you for your 5-star review, Leah. We, too, were surprised to receive such a negative review as everyone (except the person who wrote that review) has always had such positive things to say about our home and we have had many return visitors. We're delighted that you loved the charm of our house and appreciated it's authenticity as much as we do. Come back and see us sometime!
Poorer but Wiser
Poorer but Wiser
we rented for five months in 2007/08 and left after two weeks, losing 3000 euros. The house is a mess, kitchen stocked with unsanitary cracked dishes, ancient pots and pans, and does not even resemble the pictures. We arrived Nov. 1 and froze for two weeks before leaving. Mobile electric heaters were available but blew fuses if you had more than one on. This was in an information sheet provided by the owers upon arrival; wish we'd seen it before we paid. Cords running everywhere, some frayed, holes in lampshades, dark very dark house. No oven, except a small electric unit large enough to bake a pie or cake. Had to ask repeated questions before we rented, were reassured by owners over and over, only to find a mess. Impossible to heat, big cracks in door and around windows. We expected chilly but not freezing. We're from Canada so not as though we lived in a warm climate. The secret garden is a patch of about 250 sq. ft of level tiles with a rickety table and chairs. Although outdoor space in most homes in Caunes is rare. Over all, a big disappointment. We fortunately found another place and had a wonderful time in Caunes. The best holiday ever, though a very poor and costly start. I could spend days correcting all this ad's information. I will just say Beware!
- Guest poorer but wiser (Canada)
- Date of stay 11/01/07
- Review Submitted 04/09/11
Owner response: From the moment this tenant arrived we realized that she was unhappy and unhealthy and our home was probably not a good choice for her as it is, indeed, an authentic village home not an Americanized reproduction, and has three levels which were difficult for her to navigate. We did everything possible to make her stay pleasant (including inviting her to Thanksgiving dinner and introducing her to our friends) but she decided to leave after a couple of weeks. We told her we couldn't reimburse her for the full rental amount, but if we were able to rent the house for any part of the time she paid for we would give the money to her - which we did. At the time of her departure she said it had nothing to do with the house, that she and her husband were having guests and needed more than two bedrooms. Several months after her departure, she wrote a venomous review for another rental site - French Connections - which they refused to publish. It seems incredible that almost 4 years later this woman is still so angry and unhappy. Please read all the other reviews for our home. Most people (including a chef who stayed for 6 months) have loved our home, found our antiques charming, enjoyed cooking in our large and nicely equipped country kitchen and eating under the cherry tree in our small but lovely garden.
Relaxing in the south of France in seclusion
Relaxing in the south of France in seclusion
Exuding charm, each of the many levels and parts of this homely medieval village house are full of character. The description fulfilled our expectations, the house clean and thoughtfully stocked with coffee, oil and toilet paper (important necessities), and the terraced garden a plus point for sunny breakfast and shady suppers, where we were not overlooked. The beds are comfortable and linens plentiful. The situation is perfect for discovering the mountains, gorges, vineyards, and history of the area. For walkers it is a gem. The owners could not be more helpful in every respect. We hope to return soon.
- Guest Wine explorers (London, UK)
- Date of stay 08/14/10
- Review Submitted 09/28/10
Recommended for: Sightseeing, adventure seekers, romantic getaway.
La Gaillarde is as Described
La Gaillarde is as Described
My wife and I spent a wonderful 3 weeks at LaGaillarde in May/June 2010, and it is a charming place to stay and explore the surrounding area. The write-up by Chris and Alison is accurate in describing the property,and full of good information on how to explore and enjoy the towns and villages in this part of France. A short drive to the coast to the Town of Colliure is also a worthwhile venture. If the owners are in residence at the time of your stay, you will very much enjoy meeting them. Explore the Cathar Castles, a little known part of history in that area. The restaurants and wine Chateau's in the area are a special delight. I can certainly recommend a stay in La Gaillarde for an authentic renaissance house and a charming French village.
- Guest Marin Travelers (Fairfax, Ca)
- Date of stay 05/18/10
- Review Submitted 08/18/10
Recommended for: Sightseeing, girls getaway, romantic getaway, age 55+.
A week in Caunes
A week in Caunes
This home was everything that it advertised. We lived here for a week and could not have chosen a better venue. The home contained everything we needed and the garden areas were brilliant. The owners were helpful and concerned and were conveniently close. There were great opportunities for day visits, walks and dining out. We would have no hesitation in recommending the home to others.
- Guest Bill (Nelson New Zealand)
- Date of stay 07/10/10
- Review Submitted 08/06/10
Recommended for: Sightseeing, adventure seekers, age 55+.
May-Dec .. €650/week .. €2000/month Jan-Apr .. €500/week .. €1500/month Contact us for discounted rates for rentals of two or more months.
Note: Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
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Sorry this information is not available. Please contact the owner for more information.
Year Purchased: 2006
About the owner: We're Chris and Alison, travel writers (we wrote the book 'Sleeping With the Toucans: 100 Great Places to Stay in Costa Rica')who split our time between France and Costa Rica. In previous lives we were (Chris) a physicist, molecular biologist and philosopher and (Alison) a University writing teacher and real estate broker. Chris continues to pursue his research interests while Alison teaches yoga and plans their future trips.
Why the Owner Chose Caunes Minervois:
Caunes Minervois is the perfect location for a vacation - or for a permanent home. It's located in the foothills of the Black Mountains and you can hike for days from right outside the back door. Below the village, vineyards spreading out as far as the Mediterranean Sea produce some of the finest (and least expensive) wines in France. The Canal du Midi and the walled city of Carcassonne (both world heritage sites) are less than 20 minutes from our house. The Coast is only an hour away, Spain is a little over two hours, Provence (much more touristy and expensive) is a little over two hours from us and you can ski in the Pyrenees in less than two hours. What's not to love?
The Unique Benefits at this House:
Our home is located in the center of the village, a minute's walk from everything you could possibly need, yet it's so quiet you'll think you're in the country. You can hang out in the garden, stroll around the village, hike in the mountains or bike through the vineyards and never have to get in your car. On the other hand, there are an almost infinite number of day-trips you can take. Within a two-hour drive you can be in any number of fascinating places. The food and wine in the area is exquisite and the climate is generally sunny - with enough rainfall to keep the countryside green and flower-filled.
Links to more information:
- CLICK HERE - more information about Caunes-Minervois
- Click Here to see All My Rental Listings
Cook in the Well-Equipped Country Kitchen with Huge Fireplace
After a Long Hike Take a Lazy Bath and Enjoy a Glass of Wine
Have a Picnic in the Garden on a Sunny Afternoon
Relax Under the Cherry Tree in the Garden
Linger in the Charming Living Room with the Garden Beyond
Sleep Comfortably in the King-Sized Bed in Our Cool Downstairs Bedroom
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This listing was first published here in 2010.
Date last modified - Tuesday, August 27, 2013
2 Bedroom / 2 Bathroom
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