This house was built originally by the owners of the Chateau that sits on the hill opposite the front of the house and was occupied by their ” Homme d’affaires ” – their land agent. The quality of the house reflects its pedigree; marble fireplaces, stone flagged cellars, elegant front door ( with a key that is, truly, too big and too heavy to take out shopping with you ) wonderfully solid construction …
Thank goodness, it has always been owned by people who have kept all the original features intact. The current owners have added modern comfort – plenty of bathrooms, a brilliant brace of kitchens, whilst keeping the spirit of the house, space, elegance, unaffected.
Gentle steps with wrought iron banisters to each side lead up to the double entrance door, inside a tiled Languedocian floor leads your eye to the glamorous staircase that sweeps up and, at the end of a wide corridor, also down.
The layout is brilliant, take the staircase down to garden level and find the sitting area overlooking the first garden, this leads to a generous dining room – complete with cast iron radiator / plate warmer, lovingly restored, – and leads to the first and largest of the two interlinked kitchens. This is a ”cooks” kitchen with large island unit, units to each wall, tiled floor and leading onto the smaller kitchen – perfect for the moments when all you want to do is brew a fresh coffee and wander out into the larger of the two courtyard gardens.
This is the garden for relaxing, entertaining and has been landscaped with low maintenance in mind;- elegant, mature trees and with a wealth of climbing roses in summer it complements the kitchen / dining room arrangement perfectly. To the shade side of the house is the smaller courtyard garden, cool even ion the hottest day and with a golden PseudoAcacia tree providing dappled shade above the fern beds…. perfect combination of spaces providing the luxury of choice depending on whether you want to laze in the sun or read a book in the shade.
Returning to the entry level, to the right the original doors lead through to the front drawing room, marble fireplace, two tall windows to the front of the house, and, best of all, the ability to throw together the front drawing room and the rear drawing room – again with marble fireplace and with double french windows overlooking the shade garden , into one vast room with bags of space when entertaining or very generous, yet intimate space when used as two rooms. There's beautiful balance in both rooms – tall ceilings, tall windows, true elegance… Leaving the rear drawing room there is a convenient convenience ( the ground floor toilet ) tucked neatly between the drawing room exit and the large room that is currently used as an office.
Additional bathrooms have been added to ensure that each of the five bedrooms has dedicated or “Jack and Jill ” bathroom access – the 1800’s not having been noted for their insistence on adequate bathroomage , this shortcoming has been addressed – and addressed using only top quality materials and with a recognition of modern comfort and practicality. The bedrooms range from very large to large – and each has its own colour theme and personal ambiance. The master bedrooms are at first floor level and additional charming bedrooms are at second floor level where a large loft area has been maintained within the insulated top floor.
The Area and Access
Like all property in our village it has good airport access either to Carcassonne or Toulouse, less than an hour to the ski slopes and about one and a half hours to the Mediterranean beaches. Spain is about 3 hours away and Andorra – for tax free shopping – about and hour and a half.
Known for its lakes, mountains, winding country roads and excellent weather, the frontier between the Aude and the Ariège departments has been a vacation heaven for years! Biking, hiking, skiing, boating, and beach access are all within easy striking distance -
This property offers truly incredible value for money and could provide an income stream were you to run Chambres d’Hotes…… if classic elegance appeals to you this could well be the house you have been searching for – and the village is fabulous too.
- 1 hour to airport in Carcassonne and 1 hour to skiing
- 1.5 hours to airport in Toulouse
- 1.5 hours to the beaches of the Mediterranean
- Lovely village setting just on the edge of the village and 5 minutes to Chalabre
- 10 minutes to Lac de Montbel