Lovely, Quiet 17th Century Village House, South of France
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- Minimum stay:N/A
- Pets allowed:Yes
- Wheel chair accessible:No
L'Ecritoire is a three-storey village house built in the early 16th century, with metre-thick stone walls and a sunny terrace overlooking a patchwork of ancient tiled rooftops. It faces south on a quiet cul-de-sac in the medieval heart of the village of Caunes-Minervois, one of the prettiest villages in the Languedoc.
Transformed into a writer's retreat, with book-filled study, desk and wi-fi, pictures, music and peace. Perfect for one or two people, with a double bedroom, entrance hall, delightful working kitchen, sitting-room and sunny , private rooftop terrace. In the historic heart of the village on a tiny, secluded lane. Perfect for writing, reading, or simply exploring the village, and the Cathar country around about..
The house was sensitively restored to retain its original character and is furnished with antiques, fabrics and photographs found in village houses and markets.
An arched stone doorway opens from the street into the hallway and dining area. A cloakroom with a toilet and basin opens off the hallway. To the left, the kitchen is fully equipped to make the best of the fresh vegetables, fruit, cheeses and meat found in the local markets.
A stone staircase curves upwards to the bedroom, which has a double bed and a generous walk-in cupboard. On the same floor is a study with a wall full of books providing enough good reading for a few months. On the writing desk are a phone and wifi internet connection. Double doors lead from the study into the shower room with a hand basin and toilet.
Another flight of stone steps leads up to the top floor which has a bright living room with a view over the roof tops. It is furnished with a sofa, a couple of comfortable armchairs, a coffee table and lots of pictures and mirrors discovered locally. A television, DVD and music system provide entertainment.
Double French doors open onto the sunny terrace which has a table and chairs, a barbecue and two deck chairs - perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and a book from the study.
Bicycles are available for guests who would like to explore the countryside.
Two minutes’ walk up the cobbled streets from L'Ecritoire is a small square with a bakery, Marlene's shop, an outstanding restaurant, and the mairie. A café serves light meals under the plane trees. Other services in the village include a pharmacy, bank, hairdresser, two bakeries, a pizzeria, a small supermarket, a butcher, a newsagent and four wineries. The owners have compiled a book of useful information about things to do, and lists of nearby restaurants.
The village has an 11th century abbey which houses an information office for visitors. The twisty ruelles through medieval Caunes are a delight to explore. There is a small twice-weekly market on the square while nearby villages have markets full of richness and variety. The next village has a swimming pool, and one can also swim in a lake twenty minutes away. Walking and cycling in the mountains and vineyards is a wonderful way to explore the countryside.
The richness of this region lies in its diversity, with castles and mountains, lakes and coastlines. In every direction, there are things to discover.
Two of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites are nearby: the medieval citadel of Carcassonne, and the 17th century Canal du Midi, which runs from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, between avenues of trees.
The Black Mountains which rise behind Caunes are ideal for walking, picking mushrooms and trout fishing. The many small country roads or trails through the vineyards are perfect to travel by bicycle - and guests have the free use of bikes. The region’s wine tasting opportunities are excellent, with hundreds of different vineyards to visit and wines to taste.
It takes about an hour to get down to the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne, and about an hour and a half to get to the Spanish border. A trip to Gerona and Figueres is a great treat. Lively cities to visit nearby are Toulouse, Narbonne, Albi with its Toulouse Lautrec museum, and Perpignan on the coast.
Keywords: Stone-built village house, sunny roof terrace, quiet cul de sac, heart of medieval village.
- 3 story
- 90 m²
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
- Housekeeper Optional
- Long-Term Renters Welcome
- Pets Considered
- 1 Bedrooms, Sleeps 2, Beds for 2
- Bedroom 1
- Double Beds (1), Baby Cribs (1)
- 1.0 Bathrooms, 1 Half Bathrooms
- Bathroom 1
Kitchen & Dining
- Catering Available
- Coffee Maker
- Cooking Utensils
- Living Room seats 4:
- Air Conditioning:
- Linens Provided
- Iron & Board
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine
- Clothes Dryer
- Hair Dryer
- Parking Off Street
- Music Library
- Satellite / Cable
- CD Player
- Mobile Phone
- Broadband Access
- Wireless Internet
- Free Long Distance
- Deck / Patio
- Away From It All
- Tourist Attractions
Location & View
- Mountain View
- Freshwater Fishing
- Golf Privileges Optional
- Whitewater Rafting
- Mountain Biking
- Rock Climbing
- Medical Services
- Massage Therapist
- Hunting Small Game
- Eco Tourism
- Scenic Drives
- Bird Watching
- Sight Seeing
- Winery Tours
- Fitness Center
- Mountain Climbing
Chock full of markets, villages and vineyards, castles, legends, and friendly locals. Two World Heritage Sites are in the near vicinity: La Cite which is a beautifully restored medieval castle in Carcassonne. And the Canal du Midi which is a plain-tree-lined waterway which stretches from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Hand dug in the 18th Century it is great for walking and cycle along or barging along under the shady trees.Caunes-Minervois is in the Languedoc region of Southern France, some 20 minutes from Carcassonne, at the foot of the Black Mountains, mid-way between Toulouse ( 90 minutes) and Montpellier. It is about one hour from the Mediterranean , and three hours from Barcelona. Caunes, our village, is in the centre of the historic Cathar region. There are are mountains and markets, ancient hill top villages, castles and small towns . There is wonderful cycling (we have 4 bikes you can use), walking from right outside your house and into the hills and vineyards. Two World Heritage sites are within twenty minutes of the village; La Cite, an amazing castle in Carcassonne, and the wonderful, winding Canal du Midi. There is a superb golf course twenty minutes away. There are dozens and dozens of winemakers in the area. There ar olive orchards and cheese makers. Fresh food from the markets is to die for. Fly into Toulouse and hire a car from there. Or fly into Carcassonne. Trains to either Narbonne or Carcassonne....morecollapse
ReviewsWrite a review
Wonderful stay in Caunes-Minervois
Wonderful stay in Caunes-Minervois
We spent some wonderful time in both L'Ecritoire and Le Saveteur. The houses were delightful and full of charm. Every corner had some delightful curiosities that were a source of conversation. The kitchens were amazingly well equipped, giving us the opportunity to try lots of local produce from the appetising markets in the area. The top level deck in L'Ecritoire was a relaxing place for a pre-dinner drink - even in November when the sun was shining! And the adjacent lounge area was a great place to chill with a book (of which many were available to read) with the sun streaming in. Ingrid and Christopher were fantastic hosts - Ingrid welcomed us and walked us around the village to show us the facilities available. All you really needed within walking distance. They showed concern at all times - and were very happy just to chat, or to provide information about the area - and the best places to visit. It was a superb place to be based. Within an hour or so there were many places of historic interest, great wineries, amazing local markets and fantastic scenery. To us, Languedoc was a new experience - and we loved this corner of it. If we didn't live so far away, it could be an annual visit. We would certainly recommend the houses to friends who may be visiting in the future.
- Guest Kate and Rob
- Date of stay 10/24/12
- Review Submitted 12/01/12
Recommended for: Sightseeing, romantic getaway, age 55+.
Owner response: Dear Kate, Thank you for a wonderful review. It was so kind of you to take the trouble to post it. Thank you and thank you again. Warm regards, Ingrid.
Home away from Home
Home away from Home
This was our 4th time in the Languedoc area and our 3rd time to stay in one of Ingrid's homes. Each of her properties are so charming they make you feel like you are stepping back in time and you just feel very comfortable and cozy. Both Ingrid and Christopher are so friendly and welcoming. They are there if you need them but leave independents ( like us) to our own devices! Caunes Minervois is a little medieval town with much to offer yet it is close to Carcassone and other wonderful places like the Chateau Queribus and Peyrepertuse, the fabulous carnival in Limoux (in winter) and Collioure (ANYTIME). We still have not seen all we want to see so will be back a 5th time for sure. We know we will stay in one of Ingrid's "Homes" as well.
- Guest Dick and Sandi
- Date of stay 10/27/12
- Review Submitted 11/24/12
Recommended for: Sightseeing, romantic getaway, age 55+, adventure seekers, girls getaway.
Owner response: Dear Dick and Sandi, Thanks for a really lovely review. I'm thrilled. Please come back, we'd love to see you. Lots of love and best wishes for a happy Christmas and a wonderful 2013. Ingrid.
A Fairy Tale Vacation!
A Fairy Tale Vacation!
L'Ecritoire was the perfect base for our adventure in Languedoc, France. The village of Caunes Minervois is hidden in an endless sea of vineyards. It's winding cobblestone streets lend themselves to being explored and the people of the village are friendly and inviting. The house itself is nearly indescribable. It transports you to another place and time, yet affords you any necessary modern convenience. The owners could not be more pleasant and accommodating, not to mention charming and interesting. The location of Caunes Minervois make it a perfect base for visiting the many destinations of interest within the area, from the Black Mountains to the Mediterranean. If cooking is your passion, you will find a well stocked kitchen with all the necessary tools for making the perfect meal. The beautifully planted roof terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of local wine... The availability of bicycles is a real plus, as biking is the best way to see the immediate area and for taking advantage of the bike paths along the nearby Canal du Midi. There are also some wonderful restaurants in the village that you will be delighted with, and the Abbey is among the most beautiful we've seen. There is no question that we will be back and we are certain to stay once again at L'Ecritoire.
- Guest Ann
- Date of stay 06/09/12
- Review Submitted 07/02/12
Recommended for: Sightseeing, pet owners, romantic getaway, age 55+, adventure seekers, girls getaway.
Owner response: Dear Annie and Fred, Thanks you so much for your lovely review. Please come back again; it was lovely to get to know you. Very best wishes, Ingrid.
Spring: April 1 to May 31, 2013 per week Euros 495.00 ($643 ) Summer: June 1 to September 30 2013 per week Euros: 650.00 ($844.00) Autumn: October 1 to October 31, 2013 per week Euros 495.00 ($643.00) Winter:November 1 2013 to March 31 2014 per week Euros: 375.00 ($487) Spring: April 1 to May 31, 2014 per week Euros 495.00 ($643.00) Summer: June 1 to September 30 2014 per week Euros: 650.00 ($844.00) Autumn: October 1 to October 31, 2014 per week Euros 495.00 ($643.00) Winter:November 1 2013 to March 31 2015 per week Euros: 375.00 ($487.00)
Note: Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
This owner accepts: Credit cards.
Call the owner directly to confirm reservation details and pay with an approved method (credit card, check, or bank transfer), to protect your payment up to $1,000.
- Nearest Airport: Carcasssonne at 15 Miles
- Nearest Train: Carcassonne Station at 15 Miles
- Nearest Motorway: Carcassonne at 15 Miles
- Nearest Beach: Narbonne Plage at 45 Miles
- Nearest Barpub: Croixe Blanche at 50 Metres
- Nearest Ski: Pyrennes at 100 Miles
- Nearest Golf: Carcassonne Golf Course at 15 Miles
- Nearest Restaurant: D'Alibert at 30 Metres
Year Purchased: 1992
About the owner: The house is owned by Ingrid Hudson, a photographer turned restorer, with a passion for finding old ruins and making them breathe again. Christopher Hope is a writer of novels and stories.
Why the Owner Chose Caunes Minervois:
We fell in love with this beautiful part of France with its Cathar castles, ancient villages, great wine, food markets and abundant sunshine. Both the World heritage sites of the Canal du Midi and La Cite in Carcassonne are less than twenty minutes away. Albi, too, has been declared a World heritage site and has the Toulouse Lautrec Museum.
The Unique Benefits at this Cottage:
An hour's drive to the Mediterranean coast and a bit more to Spain. Carcassonne is just twenty minutes away, Albi and Toulouse and Carcassonne are within easy reach.What is wonderful about this peaceful village is that it has four restaurants, bank, butcher, two bakers, chemist, 3 doctors, a tapas bar in summer, concerts in the abbey and an ever-helpful tourist bureau. Three private wine estates right in the village.
- Primary: +33 (0) 686 306 744 (France)
Medieval arched entrance to L'Ecritoire.
Kitchen table in well equipped kitchen.
Sunny roof terrace.
Bathroom with shower in L'Ecritoire. There is a second lavatory downstairs.
The nearby Canal Du Midi, a World heritage Site.
Sunny leading through French doors to terrace.
Bedroom with double bed and generous walk-in cupboard.
Library in the writer's study.
Surrounding vineyards and wine estates.
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This listing was first published here in 2011.
Date last modified - Thursday, May 09, 2013