We have just returned from a fantastic week at this wonderful villa, staying in comfort with four couples and five children under two. The house is in a village location, giving the peaceful ambience of rural France, yet within easy travelling distance of local towns, the beach and the mountains. We flew into Beziers which is a small landing strip and tiny terminal building, giving the sense of 1950s flying! The house is like a tardis and is bigger on the inside than it appears from the street. Despite the fact the we were a mixed group of parents and noisy young children, the house was able to absorb us, and with so many bathrooms we all had our own facilities. We were lucky to have the top floor which is like an apartment in itself! When we arrived the house was spotless, and is in excellent condition throughout - maintaining period features with modern home comforts. We found an excellent children's play area a short stroll away which was very popular with the toddlers, especially as they were too young to take advantage of the amazing swimming pool. We enjoyed pottering up to the small boulangerie each morning for croissants and baguettes, and the cafe and restaurant were also sampled by our group. The beach at Narbonne was about 45mins away with miles of empty sandy beach at this time of year; Carcassone about the same distance a must-see medieval walled citadel; Minerve a enchanting cliff-top village; Le Somail for the canal and restaurants; the National Park for mountains - all within an easy drive so the location suits all sorts of interests. We would very much recommend the property, we hope you also enjoy your stay!
A really delightful and historic property three minutes walk from the boulangerie / bread shop in a charming, sleepy village.
Number 5 is a bright, airy, spacious town house in the middle of Ginestas. The village has a genuine countryside feel to it, as well as the bread shop ( fantastic fresh baguettes, croissants and pains au chocolat) there is a village shop, a town hall and several different restaurants including a bistrot and a pizzeria crossed with a finer dining option which was very good indeed.
The house has a noble feel to it. The front door is a wonderful, wooden, double affair with a complicated 19th century lock. We loved the huge stone staircase - a period centrepiece - and the sizeable rooms, some of which are en-suite. All had great, shuttered and insect screened, sash windows. The gigantic roof conversion room was incredible - has to be seen to be believed. The kids appropriated it as 'their' living, sleeping and playing space, but the room would be a great space for the whole group together for a winter treat. Good Wifi connection in the whole house - strongest signal is in the top room.
We were 9 people, from the age of 7 to 70, and there would easily have been room for more as we only used 4 of the 6 spacious bedrooms - mixture of twins and doubles (the property has 7 bathrooms and toilets!).
The kitchen was well appointed ( spacious fridge / freezer, dishwasher, hob, coffee machine and lots of storage) and the dining room/ sitting room ( two big sofas and TV ) just fitted our party.
The wonderfully proportioned pool was a complete pleasure and the whole 'yard' / garden area became a perfect day-time activity/ chill out area. In the evenings we dined by candlelight outside at the large all weather table by the pool.
There are two supermarkets and plenty of wineries within a 10 minute drive where you can stock up on fine local wines.
The region is rich in medieval history, Narbonne and Carcassonne are only a short trip away and the Canal du Midi offers lovely views and peaceful lunch places; especially Le Somail was a memorable place for ice creams and a beautiful surprise bookshop which has been there for decades.
The house was the core of our holliday and we loved to relax and spend time "at home" there.
The only thing we would suggest is that the owners add a colander to the well-equipped kitchen but we are already saving up for our return trip and will happily bring our own next time if necessary.
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