L'Ecritoire is a three-storey village house built in the early 16th century, with metre-thick stone walls and a sunny terrace overlooking a patchwork of ancient tiled rooftops. It faces south on a quiet cul-de-sac in the medieval heart of the village
An arched stone doorway opens from the street into the hallway and dining area. A cloakroom with a toilet and basin opens off the hallway. To the left, the kitchen is fully equipped to make the best of the fresh vegetables, fruit, cheeses and meat found in the local markets.
A stone staircase curves upwards to the bedroom, which has a double bed and a generous walk-in cupboard. On the same floor is a study with a wall full of books providing enough good reading for a few months. On the writing desk are a phone and free WiFi internet connection.
Another flight of stone steps leads up to the top floor which has a bright living room with a view over the roof tops. It is furnished with a sofa, a couple of comfortable armchairs, a coffee table and lots of pictures discovered locally. A television, DVD and music system provide entertainment.
Double French doors open onto the sunny terrace which has a table and chairs, a barbecue and two deck chairs - perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and a book from the study.
Four bicycles are available for guests who would like to explore the countryside.
The guest have the use of the whole house and roof-top terrace.
Interaction with Guests
Guest will be met, shown around the village and we will be available to answer any questions and to give advice and suggestions during their stay.
Two minutes’ walk up the cobbled streets from L'Ecritoire is a small square with a bakery, Marlene's shop, a variety of restaurants all within easy walking distance. A café serves light meals under the plane trees. Other services in the village include a pharmacy, bank with ATM, hairdresser, two bakeries, a pizzeria, a small supermarket, a butcher, a newsagent and four wineries. The owners have compiled a book of useful information about market days and and things to see and do.
The village has an 11th century abbey which houses an information office for visitors. The twisty ruelles through medieval Caunes are a delight to explore. There is a small twice-weekly market on the square while nearby villages have markets full of richness and variety. The next village has a swimming pool, and one can also swim in a lake twenty minutes away. Walking and cycling in the mountains and vineyards is a wonderful way to explore the countryside.
The richness of this region lies in its diversity, with castles and mountains, lakes and coastlines. In every direction, there are things to discover.
Two of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites are nearby: the medieval citadel of Carcassonne, and the 17th century Canal du Midi, which runs from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean between avenues of trees.
The Black Mountains which rise behind Caunes are ideal for walking, picking mushrooms and trout fishing. The many small country roads or trails through the vineyards are perfect to travel by bicycle - and guests have the free use of bikes. There are hundreds of different vineyards to visit and wines to taste.
It takes about an hour to get down to the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne, and about an hour and a half to get to the Spanish border. A trip to Gerona and Figueres is a great treat. Lively cities to visit nearby are Toulouse, Narbonne, Albi with its Toulouse Lautrec museum, and Perpignan near the coast.
The nearest airport is twenty minutes away in Carcassonne. The biggest airport is in Toulouse, an hour and a half away. There is a train station in Carcassonne and a bus service to Caunes.
Our hosts were very welcoming and took the time to show us around the village.
The villa was very traditional and had an amazing sun terrace that caught most of the days sun. The living area on the top floor was also homely and bright.
The only downside was that the kitchen (on the ground floor) was small and the apartment needed a little airing. Nothing major and overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The apartment has clearly been well thought out and Caunnes Minervois is a lovely sleepy French village to stay in.
We had a lovely stay at l'Écritoire. The house is really cute, looks just like in the pictures, and is furbished in a very charming and personal style.
Ingrid and Christopher were very accomodating, aswering all our questions and gave us advice on things to see and where to buy food etc. That they have their office something like 10 meters from l'Écritoire adds to the feeling of great service.
We thought that the best bakery in town was the one at Avenue de l'Argent Double. They know their baguettes: crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside! There are two other bakeries as well, though, so there's always a bakery open to buy your breakfast baguette (and croissant....).
Besides being located in a lovely town with beautiful surroundings in itself, the house is ideally located as a base for trips to other cities (by car), such as Carcassonne (23 kilometers away), Narbonne, with Narbonne Plage (50 kilometers away), Minerve (25 kilometers away) etc.
The only cons are that the bed is on the small side, if you, like us, are used to a 180x200 and the wi-fi, which often looses connection on the top floor.
All in all we were very happy with our stay indeed! We warmly recommend it to anyone wanting to explore the country side of southern France!
A charming idyll in a beautiful but unpretentious village. The house is very comfortable and large for a one bedroom place, split over 3 storeys with a delightful terrace at the top. The metre-thick walls mean the house is always cool, which was very welcome. It was a great base for exploring the local area but also delightful spending time there. The many positive reviews in the guest book testify to happy holidays there over the years although I think we were among the first to stay from airbnb. We would love to come back!
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