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Stylish home with private pool in centre of medieval Bize next to river swimming



Updated: 29-Nov-2016
Village House in Bize Minervois, Nr. Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc Rousillon, France - Stylishly Renovated Large House With Pool In Medieval Village Near River And Restaurants.

Tom Foolerie is located in a quite cul de sac in the centre of medieval Bize Minervois, situated on the river Cesse. The village has everything you need for the perfect holiday, just a stone's throw away... boulangerie, local wines and restaurants and even a beach set up on the river, complete with lifeguard in July and August. It's a typical French townhouse, with high ceilings and light and airy rooms which has been sensitively modernised, whilst retaining all it's original charming features. It also has a new private swimming pool, gas BBQ, seating for 10 and plenty of room for sunbathing. There's lots to do in the village, from swimming, horse riding, tennis and boules and relaxing by the river to attending one of the many local Fetes or music/wine tasting events. Or cycle along the canal du midi, go kayaking or cannoning, explore Cathar castles, historic Narbonne with its great markets. For a day out Carcassonne Cite or sandy Mediterranean beaches are just 45 minutes away.

  • Sleeps 8
  • 6 Bedrooms
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Swimming pool
  • Barbecue
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

We are a professional couple who work in marketing, who both love this region of France as it is unspoilt and easily accessible from the UK. We bought Tom Foolerie as a wreck and have completely renovated the property, adding a heated swimming pool last year.

Speaks English, French

Guestbook comments from the owner

Tom Foolerie in Bize is a lovely spacious and bright town house, beautifully furnished with everything we needed. The heated swimming pool was a real bonus. We were given lots of advice about where to eat and visit, which really helped us to make the most of our time there and the recommendations were spot on! We loved is so much that we can't wait to go back!

Peter and Wendy Aldiss (Photographer)

We were a two-part family party, but the Spratley's beautifully restored and elegant house was so spacious and comfortable that we were perfectly at ease in it. We were enchanted by the cool clear river two minutes walk away, where we could swim or watch shoals of trout and the kingfishers darting up and down. The Spratley's comprehensive guide to the area - its markets, restaurants, museums and outdoor activities - meant that we always had plenty to do and felt that we had really explored the region. A fantastic holiday! Kathryn Hone (Journalist)
Jan 2014
  • 1 of 1

10 Reviews

based on 10 holidaymaker reviews


Stunning town house

  • 5 of 5

This is a lovely equipped town house with its very own pool. The attention to detail in the property is lovely and the owners have kindly allowed use of sport equipment sun loungers bbq etc if you wanted to use them. It is nestled within the village and swimming in the near by river a real treat. There is enough of a village life that something was going on most days. We used it as a base and visited many of the places the owners recommended and all were as described. Libby the owner wonderfully couldn't help enough from the booking to helping us out just before the visit whilst we were in France. The little extra touch of the hamper was a nice addition to to arrive to. I have no problem in recommending this property.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 23, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Jules So happy that you had a great time in Bize with your family, and happy to help out. As many people fly here and therefore have limited packing space, I do try and provide as many extras as possible. Glad that the 'Hamper' was a success - this was a new idea for 2016 - I will pass on your thanks to Victorine who does our Meet and Greet . Kind Regards Libby
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Delightful house in a wonderful location

  • 5 of 5

This is a beautiful, well equipped house with thoughtful attention to detail. It has everything a family needs for a great vacation - from the practical (pool towels and beach chairs) to the little extras (scented candles by the bed!). The owner plays an active part in ensuring the visitors have a great stay by providing detailed and up-to-date information on what to do in the area. Our holiday was greatly enhanced by this and we enjoyed many and varied activities as a result (horse riding, canoeing, swimming...). We would happily recommend this house to our friends.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 21, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Mary, I really appreciate your great review and it's so good to hear that the little details in the property haven't been missed! Glad that you had a full and varied time in Bize. Kind Regards Libby
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Our favourite holiday!

  • 5 of 5

This was our second stay in this stunning villa. We were here in 2014 and when we came to booking our France holiday this year we had no doubt where we were going to go.

Tom Foolerie is fantastically well located in the beautiful village of Bize. Literally few minutes walk to a river, restaurants and a convenience mini supermarket. Plus the fabulous bolangerie just 3 minutes walk which was great we sent the children in the morning to get our baguette and croissants!

There was a band in the Cafe de la Promenade on two nights we were there and what a fabulous atmosphere that was.

Moreover there is so much to see and do further a field

The best part of this holiday was actually the owners organizational skills and the welcome pack which contained absolutely everything we needed to know about both the practical bits of the villa and everything else around. It was so helpful to be able to go by recommendations mentioned in the pack in terms of booking things like restaurants, wine tasting (very nearby), villages that are worth visiting and activities like canoeing. We actually took the welcome pack booklet out with us in case we needed to refer to it.

Not to forget that Tom Foolerie is fully equipped as if your own home and so very tastefully decorated with an amazing pool and pool lights (+BBQ) that we hardly felt like going out but had to push ourselves! Having said that we had a full programme during the week between canoeing at Roqebrun, sight seeing in Carcassone, olive tasting at Oulibo, two days at the beech & water sports and of course wine tasting (and drinking / buying!)

We drove all the way down but equally Carcassone and Bezier airports are under an hour away

Thank you once again to the Spratleys and well done on putting together such an amazing thing.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 15, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Sara Thanks for giving us such a great review - it's such a pleasure to hear that your second experience of Tom Foolerie, Bize was as good as the first! Really happy that you managed to work your way through some of our recommendations too and that the Welcome Pack was useful. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future. The Spratleys
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A lovely place in a lovely village

  • 4 of 5

Great well equipped family house, very approachable owners. A quiet but really friendly village. We ate good quality and very reasonably priced french food locally. Beautiful surrounding area with plenty to do. The garden is small but petty however the sun does disappear quite early, so if you want an early evening beer in the sun you have to wander off to the river.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 29, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed Tom Foolerie, Bize and all that the surrounding area has to offer. Our garden is sunny until around 5.30pm, which is the perfect excuse to go and socialise by the river - or have a glass of wine in the local bar, just minutes away on foot. Looking forward to welcoming you again in the future. The Spratleys
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Superb holiday home in a fabulous part of france

  • 5 of 5

We were delighted to find the house, spacious, comfortable and so tastefully restored with all the mod cons needed for a home and holiday. The description on the website was accurate and the property was cleaned and maintained to a high standard. We were pleasantly surprised at the abundance and variety of places to visit within the local area. Our favourite trips were to the Olive factory, Minerve, Le Somail and then a little further afield, Narbonne, Gruissan and Carcassone. We would love to have another holiday at this beautiful property in Bize and would highly recommend it to family and friends

  • Review Submitted: Aug 15, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Home away from Home

  • 5 of 5

Three generations of our family spent 9 wonderfully days in this beautiful traditional French home. The house was perfect for all generations ranging from 14-75. We had set out to have a very relaxing holiday and this hit the spot perfectly. There was plenty of room for everybody with lovely rooms and bathrooms on each floor. The kitchen was very spacious and well equipped which was great as it allowed the whole family to enjoy evenings together and barbecue when we wanted. The pool was a great addition to the house and was enjoyed by all. We were also within walking distance of everything in the village. Fresh bread every morning from the local baker to start our day. While there we visited the local Cabezac Winery for the wine tasting and had a tour of the Olive factory. Lovely local cuisine in Jean Marc's across the river and if you want some night time entertainment head to Le Grange for the party night. The owners of this home were a pleasure to deal with and sent a lovely welcome pack prior to our departure to their home and great directions to get us there from Carcassonne Airport. We would recommend a car for this region as many things are outside of the village. We can highly recommend this property for anyone looking for a nice relaxing break in very comfortable surroundings.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so pleased that all three generations of your family enjoyed staying in our home, and that you took advantage of everything going on in the village. Although it's tempting to just stay in the village, It's great to have a car as the region is so varied and you can visit the coast, historical sites as well as the mountains. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future. Kind Regards The Spratleys
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From the Owner

We used to holiday in the area before we got married, as my parents had an apartment in Gruissan, so when we decided to buy our own property it was natural to look close by. We fell in love with Bize because of the swimming in the river - and its proximity to the Mediterranean coast and the mountains for skiing. We have made lots of friends in the village, so that it really is our second home.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : Carcassonne or Bezier at 58 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : Cafe du Midi at 500 Metres Nearest Golf : Beziers at 58 Kilometres Nearest Train : Narbonne station at 21 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Chez Marc (formerly Apaloosa) at 500 Metres Nearest Beach : Gruissan/Narbonne Plage/Valras Plage at 40 Kilometres Car: recommended

Special interest holidays:

Cookery - 1/2 day or days workshop on regional cooking at local restaurant (price tbc)

Art Class - 1/2 day or days art class with a local artist (price tbc)

Birdwatching at Gruissan - Wild flamingoes/egrets etc (tbc)

There are also several pilates mats available for use in the property

Bike hire can be organised in advance and will be delivered to our home for you.


Bize River Cesse beach a minutes walk. The water is tested daily for cleanliness and there is a lifeguard July - August. Also other lovely swimming areas nearby.

The Chalet Beach, Gruissan 40km/45 mins - Large sandy beach with houses on stilts, great restaurant on beach. Watersports close by.

Leucate Plage - 60km/50 mins Charming sandy beaches with restaurants

Narbonne Plage/Valras Plage - 40km Large sandy beaches with cafes/restaurants opposite

Lac Jouarres 15km/10mins - Sailing etc



Carcassonne 58km/49 mins

Beziers 58km/49 mins

Perpignan 83km/60 mins

Montpellier 106km/1hr

Toulouse 154km/1hr 54 mins

Girona 186km/1hr 54


Narbonne - 21km/25minutes (TGV to Paris 4 hours)

Car hire is recommended so you can explore the beautiful countryside, coast and historical sites close by and make the most of activities. Otherwise there is a taxi company in the village.

Or there's a shuttle bus from Carcassonne airport to Narbonne then take a taxi to Bize.


Oulibou (3km/3 mins) Olive oil tours/shop

Amphoralis (12km/15mins) Roman pottery museum

Le Somail (8km/10 mins) On Canal du midi, restaurants, antique bookshop

Minerve (16km/25) Cathar village with cave, Mediterranean garden, restaurants

Narbonne (20k/20min) Cathedral town on canal du Midi culture shops market

Carcassonne (58km/49mins) Events in the castle or Aquabranch in the trees

Roquebrun (34/43mins) Kayaking/Canyoning

Gruissan (42km/46mins) Picturesque village, beach, watersports

Further Details:

The main draw of Bize is the river, where you can bathe in the cool clear water - we even have a lifeguard in July and August, and that's just a minutes walk away from our home. It's a lively village, where there is something always happening such as Festivals in the square, wine tasting, exhibitions and jazz evenings at St Michel Archange around the corner. Bize has a choice of 4 restaurants, the best being stylish La Grange, where you can eat excellent local food in a great ambiance. There is a small supermarket, 2 boulangeries, pharmacy, dentist, beautician, hairdresser, post office and large medical centre, 2 garages, local internet access and a local bar. We also have a small weekly market. In the village there is a horse riding stable, tennis courts and bouloudrome. And for the more adventurous there is Aquabranche, Kayaking, Canyoning and Sailing a short drive away and all the usual watersports can be booked in advance at Gruissan Plage.

The closest large supermarket is 10 mins drive away at Saint Marcel, otherwise there are some excellent markets including Les Halles indoor market in Narbonne every morning, or traditional French markets at Olonzac or St Chinion.

Bize is surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, and it is famous for it's Luc olives, which can be bought locally.

It's a great area for cycling and there are many lovely local restaurants and attractions you can stop at, either on the Canal or up in the countryside. We can organise bikes for you.

The area is steeped in history, and in addition to Carcassonne Cite, don't miss the Benedictine Abbey at Lagrasse, the impressive Peyrepertuse and Queribus castles or Minerve, with its amazing cave.

Or if you prefer to just to relax, why not choose a book and lounge by the pool with a glass of the local rose...


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Peak Season
6 May 2017 - 9 Sep 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate

Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £500

Changeover Day: Saturday

Notes on prices:
1 set of cotton sheets per person plus bath towel/hand towel and 1 pool towel are included in the price for up to 8 people plus 5 hours light cleaning on your departure.
If additional cleaning is necessary, this will be charged @ 15 euros per hour paid locally. Please bring your own beach towels and don't remove towels from the house.
Please clean the gas bbq before departure.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Enquire Now Enquire Now
Updated: 29-Nov-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

It's perfect having the river so close and all the amenities that Bize and the surrounding area has to offer. And having the pool is great. It's a really spacious house too, with plenty of room to relax after a day sightseeing or going to the beach. If we have nothing planned, there's nothing better than lounging around in the morning by the pool, going out for lunch or having a bbq at home, then meeting up with friends by the river later on in the day.. Our pricing has no hidden extras too!

Property Type

  • house


  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions


  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine


  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...


  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area


  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...

Pool / Spa

  • Heated Pool
  • Private Pool ...


  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Location Type

  • river
  • rural
  • village


  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • swimming
  • tennis

Floor Area

  • 2000 m²


  • Shower room 2 - Shower Enclosure, Master Bedroom en-suite with sink, loo, shower on 2nd floor
  • Bathroom 3 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, Wetroom Double walk in shower, loo and sink on ground floor
  • Shower room 1 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, Master Bedroom en-suite with loo, sink, shower on 1st floor
  • Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Huge family bathroom with loo, bath, 2 sinks on 2nd floor
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Huge family bathroom - loo, central bath, 2 sinks 1st floor
  • All bathrooms have quality fittings, mirrors, bathmats, towels and starter toiletries provided.


  • 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed, 1 Cot
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 Single Bed, 1 Child Bed
  • Bedroom 4 - 1 Double Bed
  • Bedroom 5 - 1 Double Bed, small antique bed
  • Bedroom 6 - 1 Double Bed, Small antique bed
  • Description of sleeping capacity: The house actually has 6 bedrooms, so is fantastically spacious. We have taken the decision to only rent it out to 8 people however as it's our second home. Notes on bedrooms: First Floor Bedroom 1 - Master Double bed with en-suite Bedroom 2 - Twin beds Bedroom 3 - Single bed /Living room with TV 2nd Floor Bedroom 1 - Master Double bed with en-suite Bedroom 2 - Small antique double bed Bedroom 3 - Small antique double bed +single with TV


  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...


  • Self-catering


  • Notes on accommodation: The house dates from 1800s and is made of stone, so cool inside during the summer months, hence no air conditioning/fans. It is light and spacious and very relaxing! The accommodation is set out over three floors, with a master bedroom plus 2 additional bedrooms and a family bathroom per floor. This means that it is suitable for letting to two families or one family with Grandparents on a different floor, as you have your own privacy. Bedroom 3 can be used a second Living room as it has a flat screen TV although it does contain a single bed. The pool is only accessed through the kitchen patio doors, so it does not have a fence around. Also, we had the original wooden windows copied, so they open inwards and are quite low. Please ensure that these are both kept closed if you have young children and don't permit them to play on the spiral staircase. Please advise us in advance if you have friends to stay. Please do not smoke in our home. Outside: We were lucky enough to recently purchase the old barn behind our house, and duly demolished it and put in a swimming pool! We decided to use brome, which is less harmful to your skin than chlorine, to keep it clean. It is fully heated and has a cover on a roller to keep the heat in overnight. It measures 6m x 3.5m and is 1.5m deep. The little pool house contains inflatables and has fairy lights which complement the pool lighting at nighttime. For al fresco dining, using the gas bbq if you prefer, we have a large Moroccan table and 8 chairs and a smaller table with two chairs. And for relaxing 4 full length sun loungers and 4 low chairs. We have the sun until c4.30pm, so have a large umbrella and sail for shade. For more evening sun, there's the riverbank. If you like knocking a tennis ball about, there is a public area where olive oil used to be pressed just outside the house and the grassy area by the river is not even two minutes away if you fancy a game of boules. Utility Room: Washing machine, drying rack, iron and ironing board, vacuum cleaner, floor steamer plus cleaning equipment. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Quality cotton bedding and towels (bath and pool) are provided and changed weekly. One set is included in the price of your stay. 5hrs cleaning is included on departure. If you require, a Welcome Hamper can be organised on your behalf - price tbc. Other: We also have a wide range of novels for you to borrow, plus a range of DVDs, children's video cassettes, games and toys. Side Room 4 tennis rackets Metal boules set Fishing nets Bucket/spade Beach mats/parasol Space to store buggy/suitcases etc

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