7 Rue Caterine, Medieval Cottage With Pool In Ramparts Of Chateau De Brissac, Sleeps 2 - 5
- Type: Cottage
- Sleeps: 5 (2 Bedrooms)
- Nearest Beach: Mediterranean (65 km)
- Change Over Day: Saturday
- Access: Car Essential
- Long term lets considered
- Non smoking only
- Wheelchair inaccessible
- suitable for children
- Winter lets available
- Pets not allowed
No 7 is a charming little cottage. A large Jasmine vine grows over the outdoor dining table to perfume your meals there and to provide welcome shade after midmorning - and also sometimes to shed a flower into the butter or your soup. Little green tree frogs like to shelter in the Jasmine, and you occasionally hear them discussing your meal, course by course as the food comes out from the adjacent kitchen, though you never see them.
There is also a special Balcony off the Master Bedroom, with a view usually described as "timeless" and "spellbinding." Guests often spend a great deal of time up there, and take many enjoyable meals there. It is the perfect spot to watch one of our spectacular thunderstorms, should you be lucky enough to catch one. The Master Bedroom faces East - good for watching the sun rise from the comfort of your bed before catching another 40 winks.
The rest of the house consists of a large Landing upstairs with a good single bed and a large wardrobe for the house, and a big marble Bathroom with a meurtrier window. Downstairs there is the cozy Living Room with a wood burning stove for winters and another excellent day bed, and the fully equipped Kitchen with refrigerator and freezer, full-size gas cooker with gas oven and grill, microwave, silent dishwasher, and a large selection of quality cooking utensils. If you require anything for a special dish you have only to send an SOS up to the adjacent castle, and we will try to provide it. Under the Living Room and reached in good medieval fashion only by going out through the garden there is the second, Twin Bedroom. While this room has no internal access to the rest of the cottage it is pleasing for older teens and adults to be somewhat separated from the other family members, and the refrigerator is well placed in the kitchen right next to the entrance to the cottage. When not in use as a bedroom it can be furnished instead with a private ping pong table, or as a study or studio.
You can go to a different market nearby every day of the week for excellent fresh local food, while the local market town, Ganges, 6 miles away, has four good supermarkets along with the usual range of smaller shops and an excellent coffee roaster and tea merchant and a patisserie who also make divine ice creams. There is an Haute Cuisine restaurant in Brissac-le-Bas (reservations only) and more restaurants than we can count in all the nearby villages and towns, ranging from small country snack bars to Michelin starred destinations.
The swimming pool is shared with guests in our other rental cottage; if our family and friends are staying in the adjacent chateau they may also come down for a swim. The pool lies above and behind the cottages, safe and private behind high stone walls, accessed by your front door key. It is a natural shape, some 16 meters long and up to 3.5 meters deep - excellent for diving, or a plunge to cool off, or even bombing as long as the unwilling are not splashed. There are numerous sitting areas around the pool, on the decking, under the pine trees, or beside the pool house, which is furnished with a hot shower and a toilet and a well equipped kitchenette with refrigerator and hob, perfect for lunch beside the pool. Next to the pool there is a large rock garden full of local aromatic plants which perfume the area and attracts bees and butterflies. As the sun moves round during the day it is always possible to find either sun or shade someplace around the pool.
The house itself is originally of medieval construction, probably dating back to the eleventh century, then rebuilt as necessary, most recently some 40 years ago when it was restored by my parents from a roofless ruin to serve as a purpose-built holiday cottage of the highest standard. It is the last house in the village, with only the ruins of a medieval inn beyond. Your neighbors there will be the birds, the cicadas, the frogs, and the occasional tourist passing the gate at the bottom of the garden. The silence is tangible, broken only by the village clock, whose bell rings the hours and the half hours, accurate to within about 25 minutes of world time, which suits Brissac just fine.
The most important decision in the day becomes when to go up to the pool, or perhaps to have a day out and go down to St Guilhelm le Desert for a stroll round the church before an excellent meal of fresh trout, followed by a swim in the Herault on the way home. Roman Nimes, medieval and modern Montpellier, the horrible bridge at Millau, and Caracasson are all reasonably close. There are also hundreds of other things to visit or do in the area, including walks (we provide guidebooks and maps for both the foothills and the Causses), historical visits, starting with our own (private) castle, and cultural events, including the excellent classical music concerts in Le Vigan and elsewhere. Just about everyone goes canoeing, for a very pleasant paddle of from 6 to 30 or more km. The Mediterranean beaches are just over an hour away, which can be combined with horse riding in the Camargue to see the wildlife close and unafraid of "centaurs" on horseback. In one relaxing week you can only begin to scratch the surface of all that there is to do.
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The Languedoc Roussillon Region
Brissac is a little hill village lost in nature; it is also well placed as a touring centre with good road connections to both the Cevennes and the Mediterranean littoral. There is so much to see and do in the region that in 50 years I still haven't done it all. The cottage has a big collection of brochures for local and regional attractions which guests often sift through on their first evening.
HIstory is everywhere around you in Languedoc, with Stone Age caves nearby, a neolithic ceremonial centre and a restored neolithic village not far away, Roman Nimes and Narbonne, Medieval Montpellier and Carcassonne, in addition to our own Romanesque-Medieval-Rennaissance castle and many other castles built nearby by the same family and their cousins, modern Montpellier and La Grande Motte: all periods right up to that bridge that Norman Foster made at Millau.
In addition to swimming nearly everywhere in the local rivers, and walking, and cycling on empty roads, there are plenty of more organized things to do, from visiting show caves, to aerial adventure parks in the treetops, go-karting, horse riding in the Camargue or on the Causses, the Aqua Park at Cap d'Agde to remind you what n is like, to guided visits of all sorts, to visiting art galleries and museums, to visiting markets, to... - there's not enough room to put it all down, but there's certainly more than you can do in one holiday.
The summer climate tends to be hot and sunny, though it can possibly rain even in summer, usually a spectacular thunderstorm at that season. Weather is one thing we have no control over. In Spring the weather is warming, with flowers everywhere as the almonds in February are followed by the peach trees and the Iris, then the other fruit trees, with roses in May. In autumn you have the grape harvest and usually more spectacular thunderstorms, followed in October by the start of winter when it rains and you want to sit at home in front of the wood stove, waiting for those days of glorious sunshine that alternate with the rain.
Markets: Ganges on Fridays, Le Vigan or Uzes on Saturday, St Martin de Londres on Sunday, or Sommiers on Wednesday, where you find glorious food and everything else you might need. Swim in the rivers, and canoe down them - there are half a dozen places to hire canoes on the Herault within 15 km of Brissac. Visit the aerial walkways among the trees, or go karting in Brissac. Go horse riding in the Camargue or on the Causses. Go walking, or climbing, or cycling or mountain biking in our beautiful countryside. Visit wineries to taste and to buy, either to take away, or en primeur to collect the next year when the wine is made. Visit proud producers of all the special local foods, like the cheese makers at Roquefort. Visit castles and chateaux that are open to the public, and our own very private castle that is only open for special guided tours for our guests. Attend the Fete Medieval in St Jean de Bueges, or later at LaRoque, or the festival of Transhumance to celebrate the sheep walking up to the mountains. Attend a raptor release from the Hopital de la Faune Sauvage. Eat well in restaurants, in settings from the simplicity of under the plane trees beside the river at St Jean de Bueges, to the Chateau de Ray for a much grander repast. "La Vie du Chateau" is the lazy, sybaritic lifestyle of those who live in chateaux, which in summer centers around swimming in a gorgeous pool, trips out to interesting places, and above all good conversation over long, delicious meals in beautiful settings. Welcome to the Rue Caterine.
Either fly to Rodez, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Nimes, Beziers or other nearby airport, hire a car, then drive to Brissac, where you will need a car, or take the TGV train to Montpellier (change at Lille) or Avignon, or drive using one of the many available ferry crossings.
Nearest Travel Links
- Airport: Montpellier, Nimes or Beziers are all (60 km)
- Railway: Montpellier (50 km)
The swimming pool is part of the private Chateau de Brissac in the Herault. As part of the chateau "family" you will share it with the guests in our adjacent holiday property. Family and friends who are staying in the chateau also come down for a swim. The pool is surrounded by high stone walls; the only access is through a locked door which opens with your front door key.
Suitable types of Holiday Herault
- Mountain Biking
- Hill Walking
- Cultural holiday
- Wine tasting
- Local cuisine
The small rock garden in front of the cottage is separated from the street by a stone wall and a big Buddlia bush full of butterflies. . Around a corner at the top of the garden is an outdoor "room" with a large Jasmine vine for a roof which perfumes the whole area. Here is the outdoor dining table, quite close to the kitchen and out of sight of the street, with a view over ruined buildings to the hill across the valley. Your only neighbours at No 7 will be the birds, the cicadas, a few frogs, and all the other abundant local wildlife. The Rue Caterine is a pedestrian-only street unsuitable for motor vehicles. Parking is reserved for you at the entrance to the castle.
Exterior Facilities in 7 Rue Caterine, Medieval Cottage With Pool In Ramparts Of Chateau De Brissac, Sleeps 2 - 5
- Parking space
- Private garden
- Shared outdoor swimming pool
For winter lets there are electric radiators in every room. In summer bedrooms are equipped with fans; by judicious opening and closing of shutters and curtains it is possible to keep the cottage at a comfortable temperature throughout the day.
Facilities in 7 Rue Caterine, Medieval Cottage With Pool In Ramparts Of Chateau De Brissac, Sleeps 2 - 5
- CD player
- Central heating
- Dish washer
- Internet access
- Linen provided
- Log fire
- Towels provided
Bedrooms / Bathrooms
- Bedrooms (2)
- Bathrooms (1)
- Showers (1)
- WCs (1)
Sleeps a Maximum of 5 people:
- Single Beds (4)
- Double Beds (1)
- Cots (1)
- Dining Seats (5)
- Lounge Seats (6)
Tariffs Currency Conversion
Note: Additional days if available at 100 Euros per day.
Refundable Security Deposit of 300.00 Euros required for each rental.
Deposit of lesser of 10% of rental or 100 Euros on booking, balance of rental and security deposit payable 8 weeks before the start of your holiday.
Period1 January - 21 April 2018
Period21 April - 12 May 2018
Period12 May - 9 June 2018
Period9 June - 16 June 2018
Period16 June - 23 June 2018
Period23 June - 30 June 2018
Period30 June - 1 September 2018
Period1 September - 8 September 2018
Period8 September - 22 September 2018
Period22 September - 29 September 2018
Period29 September 2018 - April 2019
Prices may be subject to change at the owner's discretion.
1) Every now and again you find a special place that will be somewhere you hold in your minds special photo album, Rue Caterine is one of those places. It is a place to make memories. We went to the cottage with walking boots and good intentions however they never came out of the car!!! We ate, drank, read and swam and it was wonderful.
The cottage has everything you need and everything you didn't know you needed, and if by chance you need something else Vera the delightful owner will sort it out, what an amazing lady she is.
We did the tour of the castle which Vera did for us and it was magical, something we will always remember, what this lady and her parents have done to a ruin is incredible, its a must see.
If you are in doubt just imagine this, go to bed in your huge comfy kingsize bed with the beautiful curtains fully drawn, awake to the most amazing sunrise I have seen, then have breakfast under the Jasmine in no 7, pop to the market for goodies, lunch in the pool house, take the odd dip, read, watch the Parascenders, Eagles, Hummingbird moths etc, just breathe.
As mentioned previously there are some good places to eat nearby, our favourite right on your doorstep in Brissac is the Jardin aux Sources, fabulous, there is a little Epicerie for bits, a bar/cafe, and a bakery, you do not need much when living in the slow lane. Fabulous, loved it.
2) We booked 7 Rue Caterine for a much needed break, and it delivered in spades. The weather was pretty much perfect (for which read well over 30 degrees and wall-to-wall blue skies!) for our week; we ate breakfasts under a huge jasmine canopy, then lolled by the (glorious) pool for much of our time in Brissac. We only really strayed out to investigate the Cirque de Navacelles (well worth a trip!), swimming spots in the Herault, and a fantastic meal in the village restaurant, Le Jardin aux Sources.
Vera, our host, couldn’t do enough to accommodate us, whether with her encyclopaedic knowledge of the area, a fascinating tour of the Chateau de Brissac, or simply by ensuring that our cottage wanted for nothing.
The Rue Caterine cottage is the most well-equipped holiday cottage we’ve ever stayed in, with a particularly comprehensive array of kitchen equipment, a very comfortable bed, and fabulous views from the balcony across the local area.
The market in Ganges, the nearest town, is one of the best French markets we’ve been to – we were only disappointed that we were heading home the day after so couldn’t take advantage of all the food on offer.
We can’t recommend this place enough, and are already planning a return visit.
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