House | 1 bedrooms | sleeps 2
Welcome to The Little House at La Braille a beautiful stone cottage in the Tarn. Situated 20 kilometres from Albi, it is 5 minutes from the charming bastide of Realmont. Set in a wooded valley within acres of gardens and fields, The Little House is the perfect retreat.
The Little House sits at the edge of a small, quiet hamlet. It has been lovingly restored by the British owners, Sonia & John, who live in the farmhouse next door and are available if need be. John is an artist and Sonia is a homoeopath and masseuse. They moved from rural Devon to rural France in 2000 and manage a large organic vegetable garden which provides an abundance of vegetables.
The house is on two levels. The living space upstairs includes lounge area, well-equipped kitchen and dining area. This light and airy space opens onto a wooden decked terrace - a private, enclosed area looking on to a grassy slope with mixed woodland beyond. Surrounded by climbing shrubs, the terrace is furnished with table, chairs and sun umbrella. There is a barbecue area close by. The bedroom and bathroom are downstairs. Partly underground, the bedroom stays cool even on the hottest days. There are electric radiators, a woodburning stove and electricity is metered.
From the house there are beautiful views of the valley with La Montagne Noire in the distance and pleasant walks in all directions. May - June the valley hosts its annual nightingale song contest. This region is a birder's paradise.
|Size||Sleeps up to 2, 1 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Toulouse (Easyjet), Carcassonne & Rodez (Ryana, Nearest railway: Toulouse (Matabiau) - Albi (ville)|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, Video player, CD player, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (1), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 2, Lounge seats for 2|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Shared garden, BBQ|
The Midi-Pyrenees region
The Tarn is a varied region which supports a wide range of plants and bird-life. From where we are: to the west lie the Gaillac vineyards, to the east the Sidobre national park with its granite resources and La Montagne Noire, to the north the Tarn Gorge (and the spectacular road-bridge at Millau), and to the south the foothills of the Pyrenees and many of the Cathar castles.
There are many sites in the Tarn which figure prominently in Cathar history (Albi, Castres, Lombers, Ste Juliane near Roquecourbe to name but a few) and there are many royal bastides, such as Realmont, which were established to revive the area after the devastating suppression of the Cathars and their supporters.
Other bastides are hill-top villages of interest and beauty such as Cordes-sur-Ciel, Penne and Puycelsi.
The latin-based Occitan language developed in the South of France and is spoken by some people in the Tarn in a variety of dialects.
The land around Albi and Lautrec suited the cultivation of pastel - a plant from which the blue dye known as woad was derived - and this temporarily brought great wealth to the area in the C15th and C16th.
There are plenty of amenities nearby. The Lac de la Bancalie, a particularly rich resource on hot summer days, is only 10 minutes by car. Here you can enjoy swimming, pedaloes, fishing, picnics and long walks by the water's edge. Delightfully spacious even on busy days.
Lautrec, a few minutes drive from Realmont, is a beautiful medieval village. Each year it has a pink garlic festival and bread festival. The cafe Plum has local organic beer and regular music and poetry evenings. Enjoy it's walled courtyard with a salade composé or a coffee in the cafe/ bookshop.
Castres has an extensive Saturday morning market
Goya museum: 3 of his paintings including his biggest, prints from 4 great series
Jean Jaures museum
Albi has a market on Saturday, the indoor market is extensive.
Albi Cathedral has highest brick-built tower in N. Europe
Toulouse-Lautrec museum, recently renovated.