A winner of ITV's "May the Best House Win" . Beautifully renovated, tastefully furnished house in tranquil mountain hamlet for 7 persons or 2 or4 at lower rate. Garden, stunning views- paradise on earth. Superb for walking and outdoor activities. 100th TOUR DE FRANCE within 20k.
“Le Pichet”- lovingly restored and tastefully furnished, largely in oak, this lovely stone house and its beautiful garden offer wonderful views west with fabulous sunsets over the mountains. Situated in a tranquil hamlet at 800m above sea level, it comfortably accommodates 7 people with a reduced price options for 4 and 2 - it is a superb setting for romantic breaks. We also offer painting/sculpture tuition and exclusive full board painting/sculpting and walking holidays.
Leaving the Garbet (Valley of the Montreurs d'Ours) between Oust and Ercé, you follow a lane which twists and turns, always climbing, to its end – and there is Miramont, a little paradise on earth overlooking the Bassin d'Oust. Formerly devoted to agriculture, the hamlet consists today of eleven pretty, well-renovated barns and houses, where you will be sure of peace and quiet. As Miramont is situated at the end of the lane, there is no through traffic except for the occasional car going to a couple of houses further up the hamlet. Almost all of the houses are French-owned “maisons secondaires”; Miramont is an incredibly friendly community but this in no way impinges on the privacy of individual properties.
|Size||Sleeps up to 7, 2 bedrooms|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||6 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Toulouse Blagnac 100 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|General||TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 7, Lounge seats for 7|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
"Le Pichet" is a traditional mountain house built, as are many in the region, partly into the hillside. It adjoins "La Carrette", the former farmhouse which we now also have the privelege to own. Over the past 18 years we have lovingly restored it to retain as many of the original features as possible - the "pas de oiseaux" originally built for thatching purposes, and the beams of the old roof structure. Tastefully and comfortably furnished, and now hung with paintings by Rodney and embroideries by Eleri, we are proud to welcome you into this part of our home. Rodney's sculptures provide a final personal touch.
The house benefits from superb light, particularly in the afternoons and evenings in the downstairs dining room and upstairs rooms. The ground floor consists of a spacious dining room, bathroom and well equipped kitchen; a lovely oak staircase leads to the first floor consisting of two charming bedrooms and a light, high-ceilinged and spacious living room which can also serve as a bedroom if you wish.
Downstairs, a sofa, bibliotheque and log burner combine with the dining furniture to give a homely ambience to the dining room; the kitchen, in addition to its oven, microwave and fridge-freezer, has a food-mixer, juicer, raclette and fondue ( the region boasts an incredible number of wonderful cheeses!) The bathroom is a pleasant room for a relaxing bath -its attractive blue tiling is light and clear in summer, warm in winter. Upstairs, the lounge/extra bedroom contains sofa, armchair, canapé gigogne (which converts to 2 comfortable single beds-please note this is not a clic-clac but a traditional piece of French furniture) and a well stocked bookcase, both English and French. A large number of maps, walking guides and local information is also at your disposal. To one side of this, a delightful chalet style bedroom contains one double bed, cupboards and shelving; to the other a larger, beamed bedroom contains one double and one single bed, wardrobe and shelving. (Up to 4 people can be accomodated at a reduced rate in the chalet bedroom and living/bedroom-see prices). These rooms all look beyond the garden to the valley between Miramont and the pretty hamlet of Arrous, the wooded ridge of the Mirabat (where there is a chateau built by Charlegmagne) and beyond to the Col de la Core and the slopes of Mt.Valier - at dawn bathed pink in the early light of sunrise, with the smoke curling up from the chimneys of Arrous, and only the sound of birdsong, the stream gurgling below and cowbells. At night, the sky scattered with a million sparkling stars is pure enchantment.
(Whilst being on several levels adds to the inherent charm of "le Pichet", it does mean that the house is not really suitable for wheelchairs- in addition to the main staircase, there are gentle steps leading from the dining room to the kitchen on the ground floor, and upstairs between the lounge and the chalet bedroom.)
For further information about the property, the area, our painting/ sculpting courses, walking possibilities, please do contact us- we will be delighted to help.
|Further details outdoors|
The lovely west-facing garden is an idyllic place to relax and enjoy the view, with stunning sunsets over the mountains. Planted with roses, honeysuckle and clematis, it is a magical spot in all seasons; you are most welcome to use its abundant herbs in your cooking, and help yourselves to raspberries, rhubarb and salad when available. There is a shaded paved area ideal for preparing and enjoying your barbecue. Miramont has communal parking.
Please note, if you are coming with children, that the garden is not enclosed, however the hamlet is remarkably untroubled by traffic and children can also play in security in the meadows, woods and lane nearby. Neither can we boast a manicured lawn- this is a mountain hamlet and the surface is, inevitably, a little uneven.
Wood, electicity, taxe de sejour are included; sheets & towels, (£12 per person per week) and final cleaning (£50 for the 2 bedrooms option, £40 for 1 bedroom ) are an extra.
Payment is made via the holiday-lettings booking system. A deposit of 25% will be charged on reservation, the balance to be paid 4 weeks before arrival.
Very high and high season.
Changeover day is Saturday, mimimum stay 1week
Weekend, and short stays, durations other than a week.
During medium, low (and occasionally high) season, lehgth of stay and changeover day are flexible, so please let us know if you have special requirements. Please do contact us for further information and rates for shorter stays.
Arrival is 16.00h -19.00h; if later please contact us so that we can make arrangements to welcome you accordingly.
Departure time is 10.00h.
The Ariege-Couserans (18 valleys converging on St Girons) has a rich and varied heritage of which the locals are fiercely and justly proud. It has the wildest, most remote and unspoilt scenery of the Pyrenees as well as the gentler beauty of its lower valleys and slopes, and Miramont is ideally placed for you to explore wherever the fancy takes you. Walking is superb whatever your level, (we are close to the GR10, GR pays, Chemin de la Liberté and numerous walks to the Spanish border)and for those interested in the abundant and beautiful flowers and wildlife of the Ariege or its history, we can put you in touch with local specialists (we have several books on the subjects and there is a wonderful museum in St. Girons devoted to "Le Chemin de la Lberté) There is an excellent Centre Equestre nearby, catering for beginners to dressage level, as well as wonderful hacking; canoeing in the Salat, lake and river angling, and skiing at the family-oriented resort of Guzet-Neige. "Golf de l'Ariege" is about 1h away, as is the Riviere Souterraine de Labouiche where you can take a boat trip through some phenomenal underground caverns. Beautiful Gallo-Roman St Lizier adjoining St Girons is one of “les plus beaux villages de France”, and a UNESCO site, while medieval Foix and its chateau is 1hr away. Numerous Cathar castles, the world-famous Grottes de Lombrives/Niaux and Tarascon's park of prehistoric art are all within a 2h radius, as are the Observatory of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (now accessible by cable car), Lourdes, Carcassonne and of course Toulouse, "La ville rose".
Locally, the villages of Oust and Seix supply all needs, (including doctor and pharmacy). Both have small but well-stocked supermarkets, and we can particularly recommend the butchers in Oust and the bakers in both places. For those wishing to eat out, there is an excellent selection of restaurants specialising in regional cuisine - among which the "Bar du Garbet" in Oust is outstanding. The town of St.Girons, with a large selection of shops, supermarkets and restaurants, not to mention a gloriously colourful Saturday market, is 20k away.
The region excels in local cheeses and meats- in summer you can visit cheese-making demonstrations in the beautiful Bethmale valley, and in the Salat Valley children can enjoy watching donkeys being milked to produce the soap "lait d'anesse". Donkey hire is also available above Seix, and several local centres offer days on horseback in the mountains.
Most attractions for children open at Easter, and summer is obviously the season for festivities.
The transhumance (movement of animals to the high pastures) takes place on 3 consecutive weekends during late May/early June in 3 separate valleys. You can follow on foot, by car, bike or on horseback, and will be warmly welcomed - but please note that this is part of the agricultural life of the area, not a spectacle put on specifically for tourists!!
The Tour de France passes close by every year during early July and we are placed right in the middle of some of its most notable Cols. This year -2013- it takes place from 29thJune-21st July; round here it arrives at Ax- les-Thermes on Sat July 6th and leaves St Girons on Sun 7th - the atmosphere for its 100th anniversary will be simply incredible.
August is a wonderfully colourful month- "Autrefois le Couserans" - a display of traditional agricultural customs- is a particularly joyous weekend festival in St Girons; The town also hosts "Le Festival de la Musique et des Danses"; St Lizier its " Nuits Gallo-Romains" and Foix the week-long festival "Il y etait une fois...."
Everywhere villages are "en fete" and "Marchés Nocturnes abound; even small communities such as Oust and Seix put on wonderful displays of fireworks. There is a superb series of concerts in the beautiful Cathedral of St Lizier; and for those willing to travel further, the Cathedral of St Bertrand de Comminges. More energetically,you can take part in the Punjada- an annual shared French/Spanish picnic at the Port de Salau on on the Spanish border - the views are worth the 4hour walk!
Please do contact us if you would like information on these or other activities, we will be delighted to help.