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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Stylish house with heated pool in centre of medieval Bize next to river swimming

Bedrooms 6
Space 2,152 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 nights
Popular Features
  • Barbecue
  • Free Wifi
  • Washing Machine
  • Private Pool
  • Parking


About the property

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.

Libby Spratley
Member since: 2014
Speaks English, French
Calendar last updated:
3 May, 2018

About Libby Spratley

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.

Libby Spratley purchased this house in 2006

Why Libby Spratley chose Bize-Minervois

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.

What makes this house unique

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.. or playing tennis on the free courts nearby. Our pricing has no hidden extras too!

Guestbook comments from the owner

We had such an amazing time in Bize and loved the wonderful house which is beautifully furnished - not the norm. The pool was a great extra, though we did have several dips in the exhilarating river.
Jun 2017
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Bize-Minervois in Aude

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 2152 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 14:00 / Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • children welcome ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • river
  • rural
  • village
  • 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 ...
  • Free Wifi
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 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
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Heated Pool
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • Private Chef
  • 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
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


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(12 traveller reviews)

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Stylish house with heated pool in centre of medieval Bize next to river swimming
average rating of 4.9166665 based on 14 reviews

Glorious few days in a fabulous location

  • 5 of 5

We spent a few days in this amazing house - wonderfully situated in beautiful village with friendly bars and restaurants. There was a midsummer festival during our stay - such a dramatic spectacle. Local supermarkets had great variety of fresh produce and wine from the local cave was delightful! Worth visiting Narbonne and the lovely al markets in Olonzac - we will be back - thank you for a wonderful stay!

  • Review Submitted: 14-Nov-2017
  • Date of Stay: June 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Charlotte So delighted that you enjoyed your stay in Bize and joined in the local events, which are always such fun! We are so lucky to have a choice of restaurants in walking distance, plus the village bar of course - and it's great to see the wine that you are drinking is actually growing around the corner. Bize has lots to offer, the beautiful river (when you fancy a change from our pool), walks/runs as well as lots of historic sites and the Mediterranean Sea a short drive away. Hoping to welcome you again in the future. Kind Regards Libby
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Spacious and beautiful

  • 5 of 5

I had a wonderful summer holiday in Bize-Minervois. Attending a couple village festivals was fun and a great opportunity to immerse ourselves in french culture. Going boating in the sleepy town of le Somail, a short drive away, on the famous Canal du Midi was another highlight of our fortnight stay. Also we had an excellent meal at La Grange, a 15 minute walk from the house. The property is spacious and light and fully equip, plus the modern art on the walls is great and I recognised a few pieces to be a local artist's work that is exhibited at l'Oulibo the local olive grove and gift shop. Reading in the courtyard in the afternoon sun by the pool is bliss. I couldn't recommend this holiday home more.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Nov-2017
  • Date of Stay: June 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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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: 23-Aug-2016
  • Date of Stay: August 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: 21-Aug-2016
  • Date of Stay: July 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: 15-Aug-2016
  • Date of Stay: August 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: 29-Sep-2015
  • Date of Stay: August 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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Nearest Airport
58 Kilometres
Carcassonne or Bezier
Nearest Barpub
500 Metres
Cafe du Midi
Nearest Golf
58 Kilometres
Nearest Train
21 Kilometres
Narbonne station
Nearest Restaurant
500 Metres
Chez Marc (formerly Apaloosa)
Nearest Beach
40 Kilometres
Gruissan/Narbonne Plage/Valras Plage
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...


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house in Bize-Minervois, Aude

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Peak Season
1 Jun 2018 - 6 Oct 2018
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
Standard rate
6 Apr 2019 - 12 Oct 2019
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £500

Changeover Day: Saturday before 10am unless otherwise agreed in advance.

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 3 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

  • Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
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