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Medieval Cottages within the Chateau-de-Brissac ramparts share Spectacular Pool - 5 Rue Caterine (sleeps 4/5)

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights



5 Rue Caterine (sleeps 4/5)

Master bedroom with super king-size bed (190 x 200 cm), east-facing balcony with 'timeless" view, walk-in closet. Twin bedroom with 2 single beds, wardrobe; house bathroom with sink, bidet, shower, bath and WC. Fully furnished kitchen with hob, oven, fridge freezer, kettle, microwave and dishwasher. Living room with large sofa plus single sofa-bed, bookshelf with small library, sideboard, wood-burning stove. Dining room with refectory table, 9 chairs, sideboard, comfy "Kibitzer's chair" next the kitchen. Walled "Secret" garden across the lane from the kitchen door (no cars, just the odd tourist on foot goes past), with stone table and seating under tiled roof for particularly agreeable outdoor dining, plus deck chairs and BBQ; suitable for petanque; digging area for small boys. Weekly change of all linen and towels, inc pool towels. "...we've not found a better view to wake up to, or to gaze at through the day/night." "Lovely accommodation with loads of room." "..very comfortable..

About the property


"Sensitively restored" medieval cottages in the ramparts of the Château de Brissac-le-Haut provide a smooth-running background for your perfect holiday. Master bedrooms each have their own balcony with "timeless" and "spellbinding" view; both cottages also have their own private garden with a particularly agreeable outdoor dining area. "The garden was fantastic in the evenings, when we sat and watched the sky change colour, content to listen to the birdsong give way to the sound of crickets and frogs and watch the stars come out." The silence is tangible, broken only by the village clock, whose bell rings the hours and the half hours, accurate to within 25 minutes of world time, which suits Brissac just fine. "The most dramatic of swimming pools (sculpted into the rock on which the castle sits), with amazing views", is shared between the guests in the two cottages; if our family and friends are staying in the castle they 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. 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 small refrigerator/freezer and hob, perfect for lunch beside the pool. Next to the pool is a large rock garden full of local aromatic plants which perfume the area and attract bees and butterflies. As the sun moves round during the day it is always possible to fine either sun or shade someplace around the pool. There is also a large terrace nearby with a marble table, six chairs and another BBQ for dinners under the stars. The cottages are originally of medieval construction, rebuilt as necessary, most recently some 40 years ago when they were restored from roofless ruins to provide holiday accommodation of the highest standard. They are the last houses in the village, with only the ruins of a medieval inn beyond. Your neighbours there will be the birds, the cicadas, the frogs, and the occasional tourist passing and returning on the Rue Caterine. The most important decision of 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. Brissac is a small rural village surrounded by extensive oak forests interspersed with small vineyards. Located between the Cévennes National Park and the Mediterranean Sea, Brissac is well placed for canoeing, walking, climbing and mountain biking. Nimes, Montpellier, Avignon, Arles, the modern bridge at Millau, Beziers, Sete, Carcassone, and the Mediterranean beaches are all within easy reach. Good restaurants are everywhere. "There is a huge amount to see and do and savour, but the most important is to fill yourselves full of the peace and serenity."

Vera Sampson
Member since: 2003
Speaks English, French
Calendar last updated:
25 April, 2017

About Vera Sampson

The castle which provides welcome shade to parts of the swimming pool in summer was purchased by my parents as a restoration project for their retirement. They had a lot of fun turning a roofless ruin into a family home of timeless beauty, but abandoned both project and castle when they became too old to manage the stairs.

They chose Brissac because it is moderately close to Montpellier, where my grandmother lived. There were other advantages too: Brissac is a charming and friendly village in an unspoiled rural setting. There is so much to see and do in this region that after nearly 50 years we have yet to visit everything it has to offer. And it offered a wonderful castle to restore.

Fortunately they had purchased some house ruins to protect the pool area from unsympathetic development, which they rebuilt to form the two cottages now known as No 5 and No 7 Rue Caterine. We have maintained the cottages to retain their original charm while ensuring that they provide a smooth running background for your perfect holiday, furnished to the standard that we ourselves would like to find in a holiday cottage. The French describe the lifestyle of those who live in castles as "La Vie de Chateau," which consists of lazy days surrounded by beautiful architecture, swimming in a unique private pool, interesting visits out, good companionship and good food. We gladly share these pleasures with our guests on the Rue Caterine, while sparing them the disadvantages of life in a real medieval castle: dicey plumbing, ghosts, and icy blasts howling round corners. Life on the Rue Caterine is luxurious, sybaritic, relaxing, a nice change from the modern world.

Vera Sampson purchased this cottage in 1960

Guestbook comments from the owner

WE DO NOT INTRUDE ON GUESTS' PRIVACY BY ASKING FOR REVIEWS. 'We were charmed by the spectacular setting - the amazing architecture, space, views and spectacular design of the swimming pool. Most of all we soaked up the atmosphere, French food, markets and countryside - a very special place!'

'A great way to return to a simpler kind of living - I won't forget looking out of the window the first morning and seeing a timeless landscape before me. A real privilege to have stayed here.'

'Brissac is so quiet and peaceful it was a truly relaxing holiday and a perfect place to read! The surrounding countryside is beautiful and empty - such a pleasure!'

"I don't know why I brought all this [kitchen] stuff. Yours is the best equipped gite I've ever stayed in." "Everyone locally is quite friendly and welcoming."

'The house is beautiful and the views from The Balcony are fantastic-especially in a thunderstorm.'

"I've no idea what day it is. Had a fantastic week. Lazed by the pool for days on end." "Amazing place to be!"

"This little piece of heaven."
Oct 2003
  • 1 of 1

Available Rentals

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Booking Notes:
Book directly by email with the owners.

Changeover Day:
Changeover Saturday. Please plan to arrive not earlier than 5pm, and to depart by 9.30 am to give us time to clean the cottaes to meet our very high standards.

Notes on prices:
Prices are for each property per week in Euros. Security deposit of €300 payable with final balance. From May through September cottages are let for whole weeks only, from Saturday to Saturday. Price includes ironed, white, hi-quality cotton bedlinen; duvets and feather or hypoallergenic pillows; bathroom and pool towels; tablecloths and tea towels; electricity, gas and water; selected kitchen & bathroom consumables, & final cleaning - just Pack & Walk Away. No electricity or consumables for long winter lets.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Brissac in Herault

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed ...
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • rural
  • village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 9 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bidet , Small marble bathroom
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed
  • Master bedroom has excellent firm 2-meter-long king-size bed, walk-in closet, secretaire with 3 drawers under, fan, balcony with exceptional view. Twin bedroom below has 2 single beds (or king-size), French armoire for clothes storage, fan, mirror, view over roofscape of Brissac-le-Haut.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Toys ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • paragliding
  • rafting
  • caving
  • swimming
Notes on accommodation: "The most comfortable and best equipped house we have stayed at." "Exceeded expectations." Electric fan in each bedroom. Electric heating throughout each house for cold weather. Guests' laundry washed and tumble dried by resident laundry fairy. No pets. Reserved parking at entrance to chateau. Children very welcome: age-appropriate furniture and furnishings, and interesting, creative toys are all free. "Arrived to find, unlike many gîtes, absolutely everything we should need." "You are so thoughtful with all the little touches like the toys and the extra sheets." From a boy aged 10: "Scorpions, Beetles, Owl Pellets and Bugs - fantastic. The pool is great - fantastic place to learn to dive." And from his brother, age 7: "The pool was the best, great for bombing." "...it's so hard to drag yourself away from the scenery and the stars. Secret Garden is great to eat out, especially with lots of candles." Outside: The spectacular natural-shaped pool, (16m x 6.75m max - 0 to 3.5m deep), has steps at the shallow end and middle. "The most beautiful swimming pool ever" "A work of art in itself" "The amazing architecture" "The setting is unbelievable and the pool incredible." The pool house has a kitchenette and changing room with toilet and hot shower; "exceeded expectations". Pool is shared between the cottages; family and guests in the adjacent chateau also come down to swim. There is decking for sunbathing, and several separate seating areas including under the pine trees, on the decking, beside the pool house, and beside the pool. Seating includes deck chairs, comfortable arm chairs, and a marble dining table with 6 chairs on the terrace below the pool. Child-size furniture as appropriate appears when needed. The entire pool area is surrounded by high stone walls for privacy and child security. The cottages are part of a living chateau which includes you during your stay.

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website:


5/5 -
(3 traveller reviews)


Eventyrlig oplevelse

  • 5 of 5

Vi boede en uge i disse pragtfulde rammer, og det står som en af de mest fantastiske ferieboliger vi som familie har boet i. Helt fredfyldt i på toppen af denne lille middelalderby med udsigt over hele dalen og som nabo til højt knejsende borg. Huset er smagfuldt indretttet - personligt med respekt for husets særlige karakter. Køkkenet er stort og veludstyret, og skulle der mangle noget sørger slottets søde ejer, Vera, at imødekomme gæsternes ønsker. Vores tre børn elskede stedet, ikke mindst det smukke poolområde og poolhus, som man uden problemer deler med nabohuset.

Et helt igennem eventyrligt sted med både mystik og skønhed, der går i blodet på én.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 19, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you dear Danish guests. We are happy that you enjoyed your holiday and hope to see you again sometime.
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Wonderful cottage in a spectacular setting

  • 5 of 5

5 Rue Caterine is a spacious and comfortable home from home with large bedrooms and a very well-equipped kitchen. But that is only part of the story. The "added extras" are what make it extra special.

Opposite the front door is a door to a wonderful 'secret garden" to which you have the key. There is a massive stone table on which to eat your meals under cover from the sun; or watch the moon rise and the stars come out by candlelight. Then there is the swimming pool. Where else can you swim within a castle's ramparts? If the weather takes a stormy turn, the top-floor balcony will provide cover from the rain and a panoramic view of a natural spectacle.

If you are keen walkers (as we are) there are fine and well-signposted walks from the front door; or spectacular and more challenging hikes a short drive away - Pic san Loup, Le Cirque de Navacelles and a circular route up and around St Guilhem le Desert I can recommend from experience. The variety of flora and fauna will keep any budding naturalist happy.

The nearby town of Ganges has market days twice a week, and even the smaller one (Tuesdays) will provide you with bags of fresh produce with which to make a fine meal. The butchers in the covered market are well worth a visit. Minced steak never tastes this good at home. Le Jardin des Sources in the village will provide you with five-star cuisine, or I would recommend O Dix Vins and the Bar de la Poste in Ganges for simpler, really good meals and friendly service.

Vera, the chateau's owner, is rightly proud of her family home and takes obvious pleasure in making sure visitors are having the best possible time. Do ask for a tour of the castle - it's fascinating stuff.

I have now stayed at Rue Caterine four times and look forward to returning again soon. It is a perfect base for walking, eating, or just perfecting the fine art of doing nothing.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 14, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Lovely spacious cottage with great facilities

  • 5 of 5

Our rooms had beautiful views over the valley the below, and the cottage in general has a very spacious feel. Particular benefits include a well appointed kitchen with all the implements you could possible need, a permanent supply of hot water and a large garden area with barbecue and tea lights to allow eating by candle light (which we did on almost every night of our two week stay). The pool has magnificent views and we made full use of it to cool down, as temperatures crept up to 90 degrees during our residence! Our host, Vera, provided invaluable tips on where to go and what to see, as well as making sure that we had everything we needed for a comfortable and relaxing stay.

The area itself offers a range of activities - we were particularly keen to explore the local landscape, and for the casual or serious walker there are an array of options from the spectacular Cirque de Navacelles and St Guilhem le Desert to the ascent of Pic St Loup. Food is plentiful and good value, particularly from Ganges market on a Friday morning, and for those that would prefer to dine out the local restaurant in Brissac is very fine. Ganges also offers Bar de la Poste and O Dix Vins, the former offering a good selection of traditional French brasserie food whilst the latter serves simply outrageous burgers with great service. Another local highlight is the quite stunning Grotte de Desmoiselles.

I would absolutely recommend this cottage, and the area more generally, to anyone looking for a retreat from their working lives. I stayed for two weeks but could happily have stayed for a month, although my waistline would not have thanked me!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 14, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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