4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom House With Lovely Sunny Terrace. Three star rating
Felicity and Peter Collier
- English, French, Spanish
About Felicity and Peter Collier
Back in 2006 we were walking through the old town of Carcassonne towards Le Cite and the castle when we caught sight of L’Ancienne Pharmacie, the house we live in now, in an estate agent’s window - it looked stunning and we loved the blue shutters an the old stone walls . Despite being on holiday with no house buying plans, Peter suggested we ask for details and before we knew it we were being whisked off in a ramshackle car by the entrepreneurial young agent. It was a lovely sunny day with the high blue sky so characteristic of Southern France - and as we approached Montlaur through the rolling hills of the Corbières, we were enchanted. The house was wonderful and we could immediately see that the space and capacity (after renovation) would be ideal for our big family, but also potentially for holiday accommodation as well. We drank wine in the garden with the owners, talked together half the night and went back the next day to explore the village. And that was it! Others, whom we know and respect, research their French house purchase meticulously – but for us it was just one magic moment. We went with our hearts and have never looked back. When we had renovated the house we let it as a gîte for a few years while we worked in the UK but spent increasing periods of time here and fell in love with the village, the lifestyle and the slower pace of life - and of course the wine and the sunshine. Montlaur, despite its size (around 600 permanent residents) is a thriving rural village and a little hub for other villages in the Val Dagne with its small shops, school, weekly organic market and rich community life. Our family are all regular visitors and participate in the village festivals, in Montlaur and the surrounding areas. The children love swimming in the river at Lagrasse and Ribaute and the lake in Carcassonne, with water sports and an adventure climbing circuit.
Felicity and Peter Collier purchased this House in 2015
Why Felicity and Peter Collier chose Montlaur
In 2015 we bought L’Ancienne Sellerie, our second gite, (L'Ancienne Ecurie is also on Homeaway) - as soon as we saw it we were impressed by its potential to provided comfortable and spacious accommodation, in the heart of the village, and we love the views from the bedrooms across the terracotta tiled roofs to the hills and valleys beyond . We worked hard with our family and a local builder to renovate the house so that it provides the perfect holiday home while retaining its own unique character.
What makes this House unique
There is something very special about experiencing French village life - so many holiday makers stay in country properties with swimming pools but they have little opportunity to experience the real French life. Here in Montlaur you can walk to the shop for your freshly baked bread and croissants, stopping several times (and it is very close!) to exchange greetings with local residents who are so welcoming. If you can manage a little French they will tell you about their memories of your house – and some of them are amazing! None of the local shopkeepers speak English but they will all try out their few words on you and they are so helpful . The frequent village events and wine tasting, both in the five caves (wine domain outlet) and at the weekly village market, are literally on your doorstep so no need to worry about driving! Yet within a two minute walk you are in open rolling country with acres of vines, wild flowers throughout the year and so many places to walk, cycle and explore . Having your own spacious roof terrace to enjoy the sun and sip your local wine is icing on the cake. Try it – you will love it! We also know what we are doing – see our reviews for our first gite, L’Ancienne Ecuruie, in Montlaur on Trip Advisor and for our chambres d’hotes in Montlaur on bedandbreakfast.com . We know what facilities our holidaymakers want and we are determined that L'Ancienne Sellerie will tick all your boxes!
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
We had a wonderful week
The house is a really good size and extremely well equipped - even down to ice packs and a cool box! There is a really nice friendly atmosphere in the village itself and Carcassonne is amazing. There is also alot to do in the area - details on all of which can be found in very helpful folders provided in the house. I would definitely recommend a stay here.
We are delighted you enjoyed your stay in our house and hope you will come again! We think our village is a very special place with so many wonderful places nearby to explore . Thank you for your review
Perfect place to live like a small-town French person
Nicely equipped, comfortable home in a tiny town in the middle the Languedoc wine country. Peter and Felicity are wonderful landlords, quick with advice as to where to go and things to see. Four bedrooms and three baths make it a great escape for a family or a group of friends. A short drive to restaurants and events in Carcassonne and Lagrasse, wineries within walking distance of the house, Tuesday afternoon farmers' market ... a little slice of heaven away from the tourists, crowds and shops. A real getaway location, not for people looking for excitement or nightlife.
We are so glad you enjoyed your visit here and hope to see you here in the winter . It is true that nightlife in the village is limited although village meals, dancing and entertainment occur regularly during the summer and all are welcome. On the day we received your review we smiled as we had just returned from seeing an amazing open air performance by The Royal Ballet from London at Lagrasse (15 minutes away) and also that week we went to a concert at Le Cite to see Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin at Le Cite (part of the annual month long Carcassonne Festival) . It is true it is necessary to have a car but then there is so much choice and our roads are so clear and the countryside so beautiful
Charming and typical French village town house
Peter and Felicity provided a wealth of information prior and during our stay for places to visit and eat, along with excellent directions on how to get to the property from Toulouse. The bottle of wine on arrival was very welcome. Peter also arranged a very entertains wine tasting evening with Freddo one of the village’s wine producer. Definitely worth it! The village itself is a good base for exploring the area. We would recommend Legrasse, Minerva, Narbonne, Le Somail (for a boat trip on Canal Du Midi, Guissan and of course Carcasonne. We found lovely places to eat at Ginestas, Olonzac and the nearby restaurant Bourdasso. The property itself was very well equipped and comfortable. Peter and Felicity were always on hand if needed and couldn’t have been any more helpful, friendly and welcoming if they’d tried.
Our three month adventure
Fantastic. A beautiful property set in a lovely French village. Peter and Felicity could not have been more friendly and helpful in settling us in for our 3 month stay. They introduced us to the community, village events and the local wine cave. Excellent wine. The Ancienne Sellerie is the perfect venue for exploring the area, within easy reach of the coast, Andorra and even Spain.
The property description was accurate, and house was clean, well maintained and beautifully apportioned.
We cannot wait to return and have recommended the Ancienne Sellerie to all our friends.
Fantastic location and wonderful hosts
The community of Montlaur was just what we were looking for and Felicity and Peter could not have been better hosts. It was the trip of a lifetime for us and we would stay here again if we have the opportunity. The property is convenient to everything to see and do in southern France and we were able to take advantage of visiting and doing everything.
Fantastic location with fantastic hosts!
Best vacation ever! Property is located in a lovely small town with friendly citizens who are happy to see you. The local store has fresh, warm bread and croissants every morning and stocks everything that you could need including an excellent wine selection. There is a wonderful market once a week where you can get a pizza or grilled meat or poultry along with fresh vegetables, cheese, wine and other items.The property was convenient to everything there is to do and see in the south of France and we took full advantage of it during our 3 week stay.
Felicity and Peter are the best of hosts. Always there when you need them but never hovering. They provided us with extensive information before our arrival to assist us in our trip planning and provided a comprehensive overview of the property upon arrival so that we were set to enjoy our time. When my French was not adequate to the task, they assisted in communicating for me. We would stay again in a heart beat and would strongly recommend them as hosts to anyone heading to this part of France.
Montlaur is in the heart of the Corbières wine growing region of Languedoc Rousiilon - one of the sunniest places in France with over 300 days of sunshine a year. It is the perfect location for immersing yourself in rural village life as well as exploring the Cathar castles and enjoying this beautiful region rich in history.
Bikes can be hired and delivered to the house and horse riding and trekking are available in the village. Some of the major walking routes in the region pass through the village. There are many lovely places to swim in local rivers and lakes – our favourites are the lake at Taurize at 6kms and the River Orbieu at Lagrasse (with a lifeguard) and Ribaute , the latter with natural deep rock pools .
Montlaur, a small village of less than 600 residents, is a thriving little centre for the six villages in the Val de Dagne and in additional to local shops (minisupermarket, butchers, daily bakers van, pharmacy) there are five different wine producers providing wine tasting in the village. Market stalls with organic bread, local produce including fruit, vegetables, honey and cheeses, take place weekly in the summer in the park. The annual grape harvest in late September is major event in the calendar.
Numerous fetes, concerts and village festivals take place in Montlaur and surrounding villages during the summer – here you can participate in village meals, enjoy the entertainment and dance to live music. Petanque is the favourite sport. There is small children’s well equipped play area and pleasant park with table tennis and boules area. Tennis courts are available in the next village .
Lagrasse (12km) is part of the Les plus Beaux Villages de France association (The most beautiful villages of France). The village is famed for its 13th century abbey, medieval houses and streets, book and pottery fairs and concerts over the summer months, and a lovely 12th century hump backed bridge. It is good place to explore at any time of the year and has a number of good restaurants.
There is a country park with an attractive sandy beach and (supervised) lake swimming 20 mins away at Lac Cavayère . It has an O2 Adventure rope and zip wire course in the forest which is challenging for all ages.
Carcassonne (24km) is the second most visited French city, following Paris. It has an amazing walled and fortified city dating from the Middle Ages and is central to the Cathar history as told in the Kate Mosse books “Sepulchre” and “Labyrinth”. The castle has a complete medieval defensive architectural ensemble and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Carcassonne hosts a huge music festival for the month of July with events to suit every taste.
The Canal du Midi, also a World Heritage site, meanders through the region. The nearest section is at Trebes, fifteen minutes away, with the opportunity to take boat rides to Carcassonne and beyond. Alternatively you can relax in waterfront cafes and bars and watch the world go by.
The Cathar Chateaux of Lastours, Villerouge-Termenè, Termes, Quéribus, Peyrepertuse and many others are all within easy reach (between 30 and 60 minutes) as is Monsegur, the last standing point of the Cathars situated in the Pyrenees. Mirepoix is a lovely medieval town to visit en route to Montsegur . Rennes-le-Château receives tens of thousands of visitors per year being the location of an alleged buried treasure discovered by its 19th-century priest.
Minerve (45km) is a fortified village where the Cathars refused to abjure their faith and died singing at the stake. It is situated on a stunning gorge and is another of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. The village has many artisan craft shop and gives its name to the region’s famous Minervois red wine.
The longest and oldest carnival in the world takes place in Limoux (49km )from January to March over a series of Saturdays and Sundays with mystical masked “actors” parading through the town three times a day playing music, singing songs and playing pranks (all conducted in the ancient Occitan language).
The Mediterranean is less than an hour away with long sandy beaches and azure sea . Not to be missed is the beautiful town of Narbonne (50mins) with its beautiful cathedral, famous 1901 wrought-iron and glass market, Les Halles, and wide promenades alongside the Canale de la Robine .
The nearest Ski Station is in the Pyrenees at Mont D’Olmes , One of our favourite things to do with visitors is a ride on the Yellow Train across the Pyrenees to Spain. It is just 75 minutes to the Spanish border, an easy day trip to Girona and to the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres .
There is much more to see and do than can be written here and activities for all the family within easy reach including grottos and caves to explore, white water rafting, golf, aqua parks , Mediterranean beaches and a stunning African Safari reserve on the coast.
We can supply links for potential guests to useful websites.