About the home
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 swaps|
Nearest amenities: 6km
|Family friendly?||Suitable for children of all ages|
Unsuitable for people with restricted mobility
|Notes:||May take pets - please enquire|
No smoking at this property
|Luxuries:||Log fire, Internet access|
|Standard:||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities:||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms:||2 Bedrooms, 1 family bathroom|
|Furniture:||Sofabeds (2), Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Dining seating for 7, Lounge seating for 7|
|Other:||Please check with the advertiser regarding linen and towels|
|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, slow-cooker, 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.
Clean and well behaved pets (no climbing on the furniture etc) may be accepted by prior arrangement. It is the pet-owners' responsibility to ensure that the house and garden are as clean, odour-free, and tidy on departure as they were on arrival.
The Midi-Pyrenees / Ariege region
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".
The Oust area
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.
How to get there
Click map icons for more information
Le Pichet is situated about 1h 30 from Toulouse Blagnac(Easyjet, BA from Gatwick, bmi baby from Manchester),2h from both Carcassonne and Lourdes (Ryanair from Stanstead, Liverpool and E. Midlands.). It is about 1h from the A64 Bayonne Toulouse autoroute (Jn 21); a car is recommended. The nearest town with bus connections is St Girons (15k away)
Bilbao (From Portsmouth-p/o ferries) is about 350k away, for those driving through France the direct distance from Calais is 800k.
Detailed directions are sent on reservation.
Activities near Oust
Tennis in town
Rural / countryside retreats
14 Oct 2012
Thank you to Eleri and Rodney for a wonderful start to our honeymoon, we only wish we could have stayed longer! Tucked away on the side of a mountain, Miramont is a sleepy little paradise surrounded... more
Thank you very much for your kind comments. We are delighted that you chose “Le Pichet” for your honeymoon, and especially that you enjoyed the layout and different levels of the house and the... more
26 Sep 2012
Thank you for a fantastic week. From the moment we arrived it felt like home ( but with more hills though!) Le Pichet is a wonderful base from which to explore this fabulous part of France. Rodney and Eleri are great hosts and extremely knowledgeable about the area
Thank you again for all the advice on where to walk - it was invaluable.
All the best, Malcolm and Rachel.
Thank you. It was such a pleasure to welcome you to this region and we are glad that you were able to make the most of your time here. We would also like to thank you for the wonderful meal you cooked for us!
26 Jun 2012
Thank you very much for a lovely stay.We have really enjoyed being here, your help and valuable advice about walks, local points of interest, driving directions and so much more. We loved the place and the mountains, and our dog will probably miss Fern even more than the Pyrenees.
The mountains, the views and the countryside is spectacular
Many thanks. We are so glad that you liked “Le Pichet” and that any local information we were able to give was of help; it is always a real joy to share the place with people who like ourselves love mountains.
|Rental prices originally quoted in: British £||Convert to:|
|Prices for group size 2|
|Period||From||To||Weekly||Nightly rate|| Minimum |
|Mid Season||11 May 13||5 Jul 13||£ 447||£ 84||£ 84||1 Night|
|Mid Season||31 Aug 13||9 Nov 13||£ 447||£ 84||£ 84||1 Night|
|Low Season||9 Nov 13||20 Dec 13||£ 420||£ 74||£ 74||1 Night|
|Low Season||4 Jan 14||15 Feb 14||£ 420||£ 74||£ 74||1 Night|
|Prices for group size 4|
|Period||From||To||Weekly||Nightly rate|| Minimum |
|high season||23 Feb 13||16 Mar 13||£ 552||-||-||1 Week|
|Low season||16 Mar 13||30 Mar 13||£ 447||£ 74||£ 74||1 Night|
|High season||30 Mar 13||11 May 13||£ 552||-||-||1 Week|
|Mid season||11 May 13||6 Jul 13||£ 499||£ 84||£ 84||1 Night|
|Very high season||6 Jul 13||31 Aug 13||£ 604||-||-||1 Week|
|Mid season||31 Aug 13||9 Nov 13||£ 499||£ 84||£ 84||1 Night|
|Low season||9 Nov 13||21 Dec 13||£ 447||£ 74||£ 74||1 Night|
|High season||21 Dec 13||4 Jan 14||£ 552||-||-||1 Week|
|Low season||4 Jan 14||15 Feb 14||£ 447||£ 74||£ 74||1 Night|
|High season||15 Feb 14||15 Mar 14||£ 552||-||-||1 Week|
|Prices for group size 7|
|Period||From||To||Weekly||Nightly rate|| Minimum |
|High season||16 Feb 13||16 Mar 13||£ 735||-||-||1 Week|
|Low season||16 Mar 13||30 Mar 13||£ 604||£ 95||£ 95||1 Night|
|High season||30 Mar 13||11 May 13||£ 735||-||-||1 Week|
|Mid season||11 May 13||6 Jul 13||£ 683||£ 105||£ 105||1 Night|
|very high season||6 Jul 13||31 Aug 13||£ 840||-||-||1 Week|
|Mid season||31 Aug 13||9 Nov 13||£ 683||£ 105||£ 105||1 Night|
|Low season||9 Nov 13||21 Dec 13||£ 604||£ 95||£ 95||1 Night|
|High season||21 Dec 13||4 Jan 14||£ 735||-||-||1 Week|
|Low season||4 Jan 14||15 Feb 14||£ 604||£ 95||£ 95||1 Night|
|High season||15 Feb 14||15 Mar 14||£ 735||-||-||1 Week|
The property does not have weekend tariffs.
NB: Prices may be subject to change at the advertiser's discretion.
The rate for 7 persons is the rate for renting 2 bedrooms and the lounge/living room.(See interior description details).
The rate for 2-4 persons is the rate for renting one bedroom ( the "chalet") and the lounge/living room. 2-4 people may of course choose the greater comfort of choosing the option for 7, leaving the lounge free to be used only as such. This high-ceilinged, light room is a delight particularly in summer. (If this is your preference, you would need to type 5,6,or 7 in the no of persons box to obtain the correct price, or please do email for details)
The rate for 2 persons applies only in low/mid-season, and applies to the chalet bedroom and the lounge. It is particularly good value for those able to take their break outside the main holiday periods, such as March-June, Sept-Nov; or for off-peak winter ski-ing at nearby Guzet.
Payment is through the holday lettings automatic booking system.
A deposit of 25%is requested on booking to secure the reservation; the balance to be paid 4 weeks before arrival.
You will be requested to pay a separate caution of £200. This will be refunded after your stay and is simply a precaution for us against any damages or after-stay cleaning which is insufficiently well done. Details will be sent with your reservation.
Sheets and towels can be provided at £12 per week per person; we will do the final cleaning if you like at £50 for the 2 bedroom/lounge choice, £40 for the1 bedroom/lounge choice. All other costs- heating, local holiday taxes, etc are included.Book
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