|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
Smaller, more intimate, more luxurious than No 5. Master bedroom has California King-size bed, east-facing balcony with 'timeless" view. Second twin bedroom (or ping pong room) has outside access only. Single bed in living room, another on upstairs landing. Marble bathroom with sink, bidet, shower, bath, wc and meurtrier window.
Fully furnished kitchen with hob, oven, grill, fridge freezer, kettle, microwave, dishwasher and dining table, 4 chairs. Living room with suite and furniture, single day bed, small interesting library, wood burning stove.
Terraced entrance along front of cottage, bordered on other side by medieval ruins. Secluded private garden with Jasmine-covered dining table, with seating for 4, BBQ; herb garden.
Weekly change of all linen and towels, inc pool towels.
"We lost track of time immediately after arriving in Brissac. This place and its atmosphere is unique, dreamlike." "The setting is absolutely unique, views outstanding, & the gite very tastefully furnished."
"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."
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
Book directly by email with the owners.
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 bookings are from 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.
Arrived quite late in the dark the castle is very impressive even more so the next day. We received a very warm welcome and the cottage was beautiful, very comfortable and very well kept. Great base for touring the area and the coast but every evening was back to the balcony for a glass of wine and the spectacular views. Love that balconey!!! We had such a relaxing and peaceful holiday, and we're still feeling the benefit. Will definitely be going back.
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.
Every now and agian 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 no7, pop to the market for goodies, lunch in the poolhouse, 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, a bakery and Butchers, you do not need much when living in the slow lane. Fabulous, loved it.
We have stayed at many places in southern France, but Vera Sampson’s apartments on rue Caterine in Brissac le Haut leave us never wanting to go elsewhere. This is the most breathtakingly scenic, unique, tranquil, and well-appointed apartment – in the walls surrounding 11th and 12th century towers and a full chateau– that one could ever find.
The complex being privately owned at the top of the hill, there is no traffic or passing tourists. It's hard to convey the view, overlooking from every window stunning countryside of antique southern France on all sides. The master bedroom porch balcony is the piece de la resistance, like living on a panoramic postcard.
The apartments are exceedingly well and thoughtfully appointed throughout, and Vera takes care to supply high cotton weave ironed sheets and puff on the master king bed. The bathroom, kitchen, living room, and great wood-burning stove are complemented by effective electric radiators if needed. Amenities like a fan, iron, full kitchen wear, candles, full-sized fridge, microwave, oven w 4 burner stove, come standard in both units. Décor = wonderful + a stunning pool.
Though it's wonderfully remote, our GPS located rue Caterine Brissac no problem. Get there via an amazingly beautiful winding drive on D4 from St. Guilhem (itself remarkable) or the still pleasant and quicker D989. Ganges, just N on D4, has a wonderful market Tuesday and Friday plus a great SuperU for other needs: even as you look out like a 12th century lord, modern amenities are only 12 min away.
The larger area cusps l’Herault & Cevennes = perfectly placed for stunning mountain drives and vistas, quaint towns wonderfully French, and a scant 2 hours pleasant drive from the Marseille airport and 1 hr to Montpelier, if you like the southern coast.
Access to Brissac le Haut is up hairpin-turns to community parking + 200 m walk w one incline to the units. Or continue up yet steeper hairpins to the Chateau itself, with its own parking. Ring the big bell and the watchdogs plus Vera or the caretaker, Christian, will come running to greet you. Upon request, Vera may also be able to give you a personal tour of the towers and chateau, in which she also lives, and this is amazing.
Phone signal is fine for G3 connection. Though there's is no WIFI /TV in the units, the chateau has access and you can set up a time with Christian or Vera to access their cabled or WIFI internet.
In all, an unforgettably and quite wonderful place to be.
Everything was perfect. The cottage clean and cosy. Very good beds and a perfectly equipt kitchen. The garden so filled with atmosphere :-) The pool in perfect size, with a wonderful view over the village. We felt welcomed and cherished from the moment we arrived, even the guard dogs liked us !! Vera is the kindest "lady of the castle", and she gave us a grand tour in the castle, telling very interesting and funny stories !! We highly recommend this place.. And we will always return there.. The most beautiful and peaceful spot in France !!! Perfect for both recreation and adventure !!