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Spacious Village House in Corbières with Garden

Region: Occitanie
Department: Aude
Dept No: 11
Location: Montlaur near Carcassonne
Situation: Village
Property Type: House - Semi Detached (136 m²)
Ref. No: 1243
Rent per month: From 900€ pcm Inclusive of some extras
Long letting period: Available year round for long lets
Min. rental period: one month
Bedrooms: 2 Double bedrooms. 2 Twin bedrooms.
Sleeps: 1 to 6  (Four bedrooms - two are linked)

L'Ancienne Ecurie with double gates to private parking and small garden with terrace

L'Ancienne Ecurie with double gates to private parking and small garden with terrace

Sunny terrace

Sunny terrace

Description of Property:   L’Ancienne Ecurie is a spacious renovated village house for 2- 8 people with new luxury first floor fully tiled shower room (2021) , new woodburning stove and reversible air conditioning downstairs
Gîtes de France classification - three stars
Floor space 136 m²
Excellent wifi (fibre optic) included
On the ground floor there is entrance hall and doors to kitchen and dining-room. Réversible air conditioning in large lounge / diner (fitted 2019) providing warmth in winter as well as air cooling in summer
• large lounge / diner with reclaimed pine refectory table, chairs and dresser, new wood burning stove, bookcase, and lounge area with 40 inch flat screen TV, DVD and comfortable seating. Arch in exposed stone to staircase to first floor.
Door through to ...
• the Stables lounge (after which the house is named!) which is ideal for relaxing and opens with sliding doors on one side onto a small inner courtyard (with log store and small table and chairs ) and on the other onto the large split level terrace with garden furniture and a view of the hills behind
• very well equipped fitted kitchen (including oven, hob, dishwasher, integrated fridge and also freestanding fridge/freezer, microwave and walk-in pantry);
• small laundry room with washing machine, stone sink, iron and ironing board. Tumble dryer for long term renters' use in garage (which is not accessible for your car which can be parked in the drive inside the gates)
• separate newly refurbished WC cloakroom.

On the first floor :-
• Four double bedrooms two of which have double beds (one is king size) , and two each have two single beds (beds can be stacked in the smaller twin to give single bed and more floor space).
• The fully tiled main bathroom has a new (2021) walk-in Italian shower, washbasin, WC and heated towel rail.
• Two of the bedrooms, one double and the smaller of the twin bedrooms, are interconnecting (ideal as a family suite) with a window door between them , an ensuite shower room with washbasin, heated towel rail and WC, and a balcony overlooking the inner courtyard with table and chairs. (New double glazed windows and door to balcony in ensuite double)
• Each room has a wardrobe, chair, chest of drawers, bedside tables and hairdryers.
Children’s toys, cot and highchair available. Three bicycles and helmets available free if available and pre booked.
Cooling fans for summer use. Electric radiators or convector heaters with thermostatic controls in all rooms - these are individually controlled (it is not central heating) but the reversible air conditioning keeps the large lounge/diner at a constant temperature . Wood burning stove is also very effective.

Last year we had long let renters who survived three months lof COVID lockdown here in Montlaur and are returning this summer as soon as permitted to do so as they plan to search for a house in our village . We also live in the village and if you have to be "confined" you could not be in a more peaceful rural village setting with lovely walks on your doorstep, supportive neighbours and great small local shops with a small organic market. Well behaved dog welcome.
Comment written in our visitors' book 28 June 2020
" We lived in Montlaur for 7 months. On arrival we were given a very warm welcome by Felicity and Peter to their extremely comfortable house . My family of three boys and son in law came for Christmas and all had a wonderful time. Hill walking, cycling and enjoying the warm weather. We then spent nine weeks in lockdown with the corona virus. The hills at the back of the house were wonderful to hike in during this very strange time. What can I say? We love Montlaur and its wonderful position in this huge and beautiful country. its not far from the sea, the canal du midi, Spain , and surrounded by many pretty villages not to mention the most visited city in France, Carcassonne. Thank you for making us feel so welcome and including us with kind invitations to all the events in the village. We will be back! From Ireland. Ronnie and Grainne "

Review received by email July 2019 : "My husband and I (and our Border Terrier) have just returned from a marvellous three month sejour in L’Ecurie. Montlaur is a delightful little village, and proved an ideal base for the various trips we wanted to make to Spain, the Pyrenees, Pau, and up to Sete. We really enjoyed village life, and were able to join in with many local events, thanks to the kindness of Peter and Felicity."
Review on Trip Advisor left on 10/12/18 following a month’s stay in L’Ancienne Ecurie in November
"Felicity and Peter are a really genuine and welcoming couple. The house was as described, and has absolutely everything needed to be that perfect home from home. We spent a month in L’Ecurie in Nov 18. Montlaur is a quiet rural French village , and perfect for a peaceful away from it all type break. There are restaurants and cafe/ bars in neighbouring villages and towns though you need to drive to these. We did enjoy social events in the village with Felicity and Peter. Being included in the Remembrance Service was touching and poignant . The village folk are extremely friendly and welcoming - the local shop is a hub for all, fresh bread and pastries every morning added to the experience . Montlaur is great as a base for visiting surrounding area - Carcassonne, Beziers, Lagrasse, and even further such as Toulouse , Perpignan etc We also drove to and spent the night in Andorra (recommended) . We had a wonderful time and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend L’Ecurie to everyone . "

Another longer review ( like a blog!) was posted on Trip Advisor in July 2018. Most of it is quoted below “L’Ancienne Ecurie is a comfortable, well-appointed, spacious house, without being pretentious. It is just as described by the owners, although I feel they are modest as, in my opinion, the property exceeds expectations.
On arrival, we were met by the owners, Peter and Felicity, who live very close by, and were shown around the delightful property. We were quite surprised at how large the house is. As there were only my wife and I, in a home that can accommodate up to 7 people, we had plenty of space.
Peter and Felicity are charming, lovely people; exceptional hosts who were usually about if we needed any help or advice.....and they contributed a great deal to the enjoyment of our stay. They eased us gently into village life by introducing us to some of the local people and their circle of friends, and invited us to a couple of festivals, so at no point did we feel like strangers.
The reason for choosing Montlaur was that we wanted to experience a little of what it is like to live in a rural French village. We weren’t disappointed. The local people, unlike in England where few people ever greet strangers; here it was entirely different. Although few of the local people speak any English, despite our French being limited, this did not prevent us from feeling readily accepted within the small community.....
The surrounding countryside, though rugged, is also picturesque. With the weekly market and various activities, it is the local folk that add to its appeal. There are local festivals where the villagers come together. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the nearby villages and towns. Montlaur has a small, but adequate supermarket, run by Sylvie. There is also a pharmacy, and next door to the house, there is an excellent, inexpensive, butcher. A small produce market also visits the village once a week and most days you can buy good, cheap bread, croissants, pastries from the lady baker that stops her van outside the house.  
The accommodation at the house is provided on two floors, and the furniture and soft furnishing have been thoughtfully selected with an obvious level of care. For example, the Stable Room that leads to the courtyard garden is tastefully furnished with comfortable chairs and a leather sofa. Another thoughtful touch is that the kitchen contains both a split fridge/freezer and a second fridge, which is necessary for anyone with a family.
I have a VW Passat which is quite long, so it did require a little bit of manoeuvring to reverse into private parking space, but its something I soon got used to. The courtyard is a delight, and it became too easy to spend more days relaxing within in than we had initially planned – hence many of the charming towns and villages within easy driving distances – will have to wait until a return visit!  A few small lizards reside in the garden, but these are timid and are fun to observe.
It must be remembered that this is a working village with plenty of surrounding vineyards. So, be prepared for a certain level of noise from tractors passing up and down the street outside. This should not put you off, as it is unlikely to cause you any disturbances. The house has traditional French shutters on the windows.....
The house is equipped with almost everything you are likely to need in respect of kitchen equipment, crockery, cleaning equipment etc. There are also two freestanding bookcases crammed with a good selection of reading matters and some toys for anyone who has young children. ....
Downsides? There are very few, in all honesty. A couple of the doors are a bit low, so care must be taken not to bang your head.
When we departed, after staying for a month, we left feeling that, with Peter and Felicity, we had inherited a couple of new friends. And, if you like dogs, you probably, will become enamoured by their two dogs, Bryn and Gigi.  
REVIEW posted on Homeaway September 2017
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A charming, well equipped , and spacious house, located within a friendly french village. All of the locals are very welcoming, giving you an authentic taste of french country living, there is also a small village supermarket, stocking all the necessary amenities. The house is well decorated, perfectly laid out to be a home away from home, with all a family would need. The owners are friendly, and helpful, going to great lengths to ensure any guests love their visit as much as they clearly love living here.

REVIEW posted on HomeAway.co.uk by RentaplaceinFrance renters who stayed in the house September 2016 until April 2017 and ended up buying a house in the next village!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We came to Montlaur last September, with our border collie, to stay at L' Ecurie for 8 months. We wanted to 'immerse' in the French culture, village life and hopefully improve our very basic French !
We found the gite extremely comfortable, spacious and homely with the added bonus of a lovely garden area. With the help of a Peter and Felicity we have joined the Montlaurian society for their many ' repas and dancing ' events and Abribus society for the rambling group and also Occitan singing ! We have found the locals to be very friendly and helpful with our struggling french and we were even invited to join in ' hand picking ' the grapes at harvest time which was brilliant fun and included a very french picnic along with lashings of red wine !
The garrigue, which is the surrounding countryside, is amazing and full of tracks between the vines which make it perfect for walking and cycling. The flowers in the spring will be stunning.
We would wholeheartedly recommend L'Ecurie for a perfect French holiday and Peter and Felicity are the perfect hosts.
And from a two week renter last summer:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Considerate, helpful and fun English owners who also live in Montlaur and love it so much they wanted to share their experience of living in a non-touristy French village with lots of character, seemingly surrounded by vineyards. We would have loved another week! I would have called it a hidden gem had it n ot been so popular (and not just with the English). The renovated house and comprehensive facilities were as described and very comfortable, with private parking for one car and courtyard garden through the adjacent arch. An excellent butcher within yards, a well stocked little supermarket with daily deliveries and a weekly market kept us well provisioned. A convenient base for the very many local possibilities within relatively short distances (including Lagrasse, Trebes and Carcassonne) in lovely countryside, and some super restaurants too. An interesting Cathar historic area worthy of much more exploring, another year.



Lounge with wood burning stove and  TV

Lounge with wood burning stove and TV

Outside Amenities:  Double gates at the side of the property lead to a private walled garden/ courtyard with parking for one car, a large sunny terrace surrounded by flowers and a paved roofed area. Garden furniture on terrace. Ideal for meals outside. Barbecue and sun loungers. There is a comfortable cane sofa in the Abri ( roofed outside area ) and outside lighting. Views of hills and village .

Main lounge / diner

Main lounge / diner

Stables sun lounge

Stables sun lounge

Surrounding Area:  Montlaur
Montlaur is in the heart of the Corbières wine growing region of Languedoc Rousillon - one of the sunniest parts of France with over 300 days of sunshine a year. It is the perfect location for immersing yourself in rural village life as well as exploring the Cathar castles and enjoying this beautiful region rich in history. Horse riding and trekking are available in the village. Some of the major walking routes in the region pass through Montlaur. There are many lovely places to swim in local rivers and lakes – our favourites are the lake at Taurize at 6kms and the River Orbieu at Lagrasse and Ribaute, the latter with natural deep rock pools.
Montlaur, a small village of less than 600 residents, is a thriving little centre for the six villages in the Val de Dagne and in additional to a few small local shops there five different wine producers providing wine tasting in the village. New restaurant is ready to open in June 2021 which will be a welcome addition to village life and is eagerly anticipated. There its also a breasserie serving tapas, wine and beer . Market stalls with organic bread, local produce including fruit, vegetables, honey and cheeses, take place weekly in the summer in the public park. The annual grape harvest in late September is major event in the calendar.
Numerous fetes, concerts and village festivals take place in Montlaur and surrounding villages during the summer and there are also a number of events run by the local community associations in the winter - these include weekly rambles from Montlaur, weekly pilates class (open to all), occitan singing, monthly film club plus creative arts classes five minutes away in the next village. Petanque is the favourite sport. There is small children’s well equipped play area and pleasant park. There is a school in Montlaur which our own small grandchildren attended for a term. French experience and we have had a family from Australia who enrolled their children into local schools with great success. It is amazing how quickly young children can pick up French if totally immersed in a French school! Villagers are very welcoming - indeed three of our winter renter couples have bought houses here in the last 18 mths - one in Montlaur and two in nearby villages .

The Area
Lagrasse (12km) is part of the Les plus Beaux Villages de France association (The most beautiful villages of France). The village is famed for its 13th century abbey, medieval houses and streets, book and pottery fairs and concerts over the summer months, and a lovely 12th century hump backed bridge. It is good place to explore at any time of the year and has a number of good restaurants.
There is a country park with an attractive sandy beach and (supervised) lake swimming 20 mins away at Lac Cavayère. It has an O2 Adventure rope and zip wire course in the forest which is challenging for all ages.

Carcassonne (24km) is the second most visited French city, following Paris. It has an amazing walled and fortified city dating from the Middle Ages and is central to the Cathar history as told in the Kate Mosse books “Sepulchre” and “Labyrinth”. The castle has a complete medieval defensive architectural ensemble and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Carcassonne hosts a huge music festival for the month of July with events to suit every taste.
The Canal du Midi, also a World Heritage site, meanders through the region. The nearest section is at Trebes, twenty minutes away, with the opportunity to take boat rides to Carcassonne and beyond. Alternatively you can relax in waterfront cafes and bars and watch the world go by.
The Cathar Chateaux of Lastours, Villerouge-Termenè, Termes, Quéribus, Peyrepertuse and many others are all within easy reach (between 30 and 60 minutes) as is Monsegur, the last standing point of the Cathars situated in the Pyrenees. Mirepoix is a lovely medieval town to visit en route to Montsegur . Rennes-le-Château receives tens of thousands of visitors per year being the location of an alleged buried treasure discovered by its 19th-century priest.

Minerve (45km) is a fortified village where the Cathars refused to abjure their faith and died singing at the stake. It is situated on a stunning gorge and is another of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. The village has many artisan craft shops and gives its name to the region’s famous Minervois red wine.
The longest and oldest carnival in the world takes place in Limoux (49km )from January to March over a series of Saturdays and Sundays with mystical masked “actors” parading through the town three times a day playing music, singing songs and playing pranks (all conducted in the ancient Occitan language).
The Mediterranean is less than an hour away with long sandy beaches and azure sea. Not to be missed is the beautiful town of Narbonne with its beautiful cathedral, famous 1901 wrought-iron and glass market, Les Halles, and wide promenades alongside the Canale de la Robine.
The nearest Ski Station is in the Pyrenees at Mont D’Olmes. One of our favourite things to do with visitors is a ride on the Yellow Train across the Pyrenees to Spain. It is just 75 minutes to the Spanish border, an easy day trip to Girona and to the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres .
There is much more to see and do than can be written here and activities for all the family within easy reach including grottos and caves to explore, white water rafting, golf, aqua parks, Mediterranean gardens and a stunning African Safari reserve on the coast.
We can supply links for potential renters to useful websites.

View the property position on a map - View the property on a map

Heating system: Reversible airconditioning downstairs. Electric thermostatically controlled individual radiators or heaters in all rooms . Wood burning stove.NB this is not central heating
Services / Facilities: Mains water. Mains drainage. Electricity. Telephone. WiFi Broadband Internet Access. Television. Satellite TV. DVD. Hi-fi.
Lots of books. Board games. Children's toys
Kitchen Facilities: Conventional oven. Hob. Microwave. Fridge. Combined Fridge/Freezer. Dishwasher. Washing Machine. Tumble Dryer.
Rotary washing line outside.
Additional Info: Children welcome. No stair gate possible and stairs to first floor are accessible through an arch from the lounge.
Smokers accepted. No smoking in house.
Pets may be allowed by prior agreement.  As dog owners ourselves we understand how important it can be to bring your dog with you. Our pet code of conduct is available on request. The garden is fully enclosed and there are lovely walks within two minutes of the house.
Cot is available.
PLEASE NOTE: Special hygiene measures as recommended by Gites de France in place due to COVID-19 situation. Off-road parking.

Distance to Nearest (in kms):

Village/Town: House is in village. 16 kms to Trebes
Supermarket: Large supermarket 16 kms
Shops: Small shops in village 50m
Market: In village and in Lagrasse (13kms). Major market in Carcass
Airport: Carcassonne 24kms, Toulouse, Perpignan, Béziers all within 1.5 hrs
Train Station: Carcassonne
Bus Station: Carcassonne
Port: N/A

Pricing Info:  October to April from 900 euros per month (minimum 3 months) or from 975€ for one month.
April, May , June and September from 950 pm if part of a minimum three month stay or 1100€ for one month, 1000€ pcm for two months. July and August €2500 pcm or €1500 for two weeks, Other prices on demand

French fonciere tax and excellent wifi included. Long let renters pay for electricity, water and logs for wood burning stove . Bedding and towels provided for number in contract with a spare set provided but renters responsible for laundry, cleaning and minor maintenance. Draft contract and rental conditions on request.
Tourist tax
End of stay cleaning charge applies.

Availability: This property is available year round for longer lets.

Longer lets only available to renters with principle residence elsewhere.

This property is available for weekly summer holiday rentals.

Please check availability first before contacting the owner - Click for Availability -  Avilability calendar

For further information and to book please contact:
N.B. Use your international dialling code in place of the + sign when dialling abroad.
Please take into account any international time differences before calling.
Please quote ‘Rent a place in France.com’ when contacting the owner.
Name: Felicity and Peter Collier
Telephone No 1: +33(0)4 68 24 72 13
Telephone No 2: +33(0)6 80 70 62 71
Website: https://www.montlaurgites.com
Languages spoken: English, French and some Spanish
Time to contact: Any reasonable time
Time to contact: Leave message if no answer
Comments:Initial enquiries best by email. Can be followed up with phone call of course

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