Web Ref: 4198

La Belle Demeure

Rieux-Minervois, Carcassonne, Languedoc

  • 12
  • 6
  • 6

Accommodation

At a glance

  1. Sleeps 12
  2. 4 Double Bedrooms
  3. 2 Twin Bedrooms
  4. 6 Bathrooms
  5. *Air Conditioning
  6. WiFi
  7. Town House
  8. Shops 400m
  9. Restaurant 400m
  • Ground Floor: Entrance hall. Front living room (WiFi). Dining room. Library. Kitchen (oven, microwave, induction hob, two dishwashers, fridge freezer). Cloakroom.
  • First Floor: Landing with balcony doors opening to small balcony over front courtyard garden. Laundry area with washing machine. Versailles suite (living area with Sat TV, super king-size double with en suite bathroom and separate shower. View over rear grounds). Austin bedroom (super king-size double, Sat TV and en suite shower room). Louis bedroom (twin beds that can be a king-size on request, Sat TV and en suite shower room). Both Austin and Louis rooms have views over the front courtyard garden.
  • Second Floor: Nautilus suite (living area with Sat TV, bedroom with super king-size double, en suite bathroom and separate shower. Views over rear grounds). Floral suite (living area with Sat TV, super king-size double, en suite bathroom and separate shower). Juniper bedroom (twin beds that can be a king-size on request, Sat TV and en suite shower room.) Both Floral and Juniper have views across rooftops towards the Montagne Noire.
  • Outside: Wrought iron gates open from road to courtyard garden leading to 4 steps and front entrance. 4 steps down via rear doors from hall leads to outside dining and living terraces. Access to large Mediterranean style gardens (discreet owners have access as well as Le Grenier holiday rental adjacent if rented outside of July and August.). Barbecue. Parking for 3 cars or on street.
  • Walled garden with private pool (11m x 4.5m) with sun loungers, W/C and fridge.

Le Belle Demeure was constructed in 1882 and its unique village setting comprises exclusive accommodation for up to 12 guests. La Belle Demeure is the central and larger part of the Domaine, a beautiful three-storey French Victorian townhouse comprising 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms (of which 3 are complete suites with additional private salons). The discreet and quiet owners live in the other flank of the Domaine with access to the gardens and are readily available if ever you need them. The frontage faces the road running through the wine village of Rieux-Minervois, and to the rear is a large and private Mediterranean parkland with delightful walled garden containing a private pool.

The house occupies all three storeys of the centrally located maison de maître and the rear of the property overlooks the Mediterranean gardens and walled pool area. A large central hallway runs from front to back, each with its own set of huge doors and vast central stone staircase. Many features - marble fireplaces and matching marble windowsills, cornicing, ceiling roses, doors and door furniture, the staircase, shuttered windows, tiled floors, panelled walls, corbels - have been beautifully preserved and provide the history and aesthetic of the house. The rear rooms have single south-facing windows which overlook the gardens whilst the front rooms are north-facing with two windows, some with views to the Montagnes Noires.

Décor has been very carefully considered by the owners and includes some fabulous furnishings and fixtures throughout from well known brands both European and British, that grace the pages of high-end interior magazine pages. Particular attention has been paid to bedroom comfort with quality bedding and unique beds in each room. The large entrance hall is 12m long with beautifully corniced ceilings and Italian porcelain tiled floor including an Indonesian console table in the central hallway and turquoise stained glass pieces. This leads to the rear double doors which step out to the al frseco dining area, park and walled garden with pool.
The ground floor consists of a front living room, decorated with striking pinks and greens, matching sofa and dramatic marble fireplace, and a dining room in subtle lilacs and sage with matching chairs and wood panelling. The library room overlooks the rear gardens and is adorned with bespoke objets, contemporary leather sofas and armchairs and designer coffee table. The kitchen, with large island, is opposite and similar in colour tones to the library that gives a sense of uniformity of schemes of these two lovely rooms. Upstairs, three suites and three en suite bedrooms over two further floors are each uniquely decorated and immaculately dressed to exacting standards. Particular highlights include the rolltop bath in the Versailles suite where bathers can place a glass of bubbly atop the bath whilst relaxing in the designer armchair, and a gold sleigh bed frame in the Nautilus suite with its vintage armoire.

From Le Belle Demeure it's just a short walk to the village square where the boulangerie, boucherie and grocers can all be found, along with the local bar. Even closer is the local restaurant. The nearby wineries are, unsurprisingly, surrounded by hectares of vineyards! Several are just a few minutes’ drive away. Unesco world heritage site Carcassonne (24km), famous for being one of the only fortified cities in Europe still with its walls intact, is a short drive. Narbonne (40km) and Perpignan (103km) are also easily reached by car for the day. South towards the Spanish border and with some Catalan influences, the coastline combines cliffs and coves with a network of villages as far south as Collioure (134km). Closer around Gruissan (55km), the coastline is flatter and renowned for its salt flats and pink flamingos. Further round the coastline the fishing villages of Marseillan (92km) and Sète (120km) can be found on the Etang de Thau, where oysters and mussels are farmed in the sea lakes. There are several airport options within a couple of hours' drive including Carcassonne (29km), Perpignan (98km), Montpellier (138km) and Toulouse (138km) to name a few.

  • Owners also live on the domaine and share/maintain the grounds. In July and August the adjacent Le Grenier holiday rental will not be occupied. Outside of this period guests in Le Grenier have access to the shared grounds only. The enclosed pool area is private and always exclusively for La Belle Demeure guests' use.
  • *Air conditioning is available in La Belle Demeure only at extra cost of £450 per week payable in advance or locally on arrival in euros 500€.
  • Please note that there is a local tourist tax to pay: £2.50 per night for guests aged 18 and over.
  • Le Belle Demeure is a no smoking property.

Pricing & Availability

Additional Pricing Information

All Prices are per property, not per person.

Please note that all visitors to France aged 18 and over are required to pay a Tourist Tax. We collect this tax prior to your holiday and remit it on your behalf. The notes above specify the amount per person per night which will be added to your booking.

Location of La Belle Demeure

Locality

Great Things to Do Near La Belle Demeure

Go rock climbing

The more adventurous can go rock climbing nearby in the marble quarries or the limestone cliffs at Caunes-Minervois (12km) or in the dramatic Gorges de la Cesse (20km) near Minerve.

Visit Caunes-Minervois

The pretty village of Caunes-Minervois is well worth a visit along with its Benedictine abbey. The church within the abbey is adorned with a beautiful reddish marble quarried nearby, and also used in many prestigious buildings around Europe including Versailles and the Louvre. The abbey also has other interesting features including 17th century monastic buildings, a crypt and a 12th century cloister.

Walk into the village

Wander to the village to mix with the locals at the bar, or to enjoy a leisurely meal at the local restaurant. You can sample some of the delicious local wines without having to worry about driving home.

Taste the local wines

In such a key wine-growing area, it would be almost a crime not to sample some Languedoc wines during your visit! You can even take a vineyard tour to see a little behind the scenes and meet the vintners.

Market days

Rieux-Minervois hosts a market three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. The centre-ville comes alive with stalls offering fresh produce and regional fare, as well as a variety of goods and souvenirs. The best place to buy ingredients for an al fresco lunch or a barbecue back at the house.

A picture postcard walled city

As you approach Carcassonne, the sight of the medieval cité sitting atop its hill guarded by multi-tower ramparts won't fail to inspire. This superbly restored fortified town is a real delight to behold, with its fairytale turrets and cobbled streets full of boutique shops and inviting restaurants. It also has a dramatic history to discover, with stories of siege and tragedy as well as trade and prosperity. For all these reasons, it is deservedly popular, so we recommend getting there early in the day.

Cathar castles

Visit one or two of the area's castles which were associated with the Cathars, a religious group that were heavily persecuted in the medieval era. As you wander around a formidable fortress perched on a high hilltop, the tales of siege and battle, bravery and tragedy are not difficult to conjure up.

Take a boat trip

At Carcassonne, you can join a pleasantly unrushed canal boat trip on the Canal du Midi. Commentary is given in English and Spanish as well as French.

Day at the beach

The coast is about an hour's drive from Rieux-Minervois, either at Narbonne-Plage (60km) with its marina, or at the less developed Gruissan (55km) which is backed by lagoons and salt flats.

Walking and cycling

Bike hire is available in Carcassonne and there is plenty of opportunity for cycling as well as walking in the surrounding countryside, which is characterised by rows of vines. Families will find easy-going routes suitable for all ages alongside the Canal du Midi.

Visit Narbonne

Take a day trip to this attractive and interesting city which was once a seaport but now lies about 15km inland due to centuries of silt pushing the shoreline out. However, the Canal de la Robine offers a pleasant waterside setting for a stroll. After working up an appetite, the large covered marketplace, Les Halles, is a great place for soaking up the atmosphere whilst sampling some tasty morsels. In the afternoon, take in the sights which include a partially built cathedral, the medieval bishop’s palace with museum and art gallery, and the Horreum, a Roman underground warehouse.

Natural park Narbonne

On the coast just outside of Narbonne you can immerse yourself in nature with the chance to see plenty of wildlife at the 'Narbonnaise en Méditerranée Natural Regional Park'. This protected area comprises unspoilt beaches, marshland and lagoons, and vineyards. Plenty of paths for hiking and walking.

Teeing off

Keen golfers will find they are only 30km from the 18 hole course at Golf de Carcassonne. The course is 5758 metres, par 71 overall.

Nearby

Towns/Villages

Rieux-Minervois 5 mins 
Carcassonne 30 mins 
Narbonne 45 mins 
Pezenas 1 Hr 10 mins 
Perpignan 1 Hr 15 mins 
Montpellier 1 Hr 40 mins 
Nimes 2 Hrs  

Beaches

Narbonne Plage 55 mins 
Valras Plage 1 Hr 10 mins 
Marseillan Plage 1 Hr 25 mins 
Sète 1 Hr 30 mins 

ports

Bilbao 5 Hrs 40 mins 
Santander 6 Hrs 30 mins 
St Malo 9 Hrs  
Caen 9 Hrs 45 mins 
Le Havre 10 Hrs  
Roscoff 10 Hrs 30 mins 
Cherbourg 10 Hrs 45 mins 
Calais 11 Hrs  

Airports

Carcassonne 30 mins 
Béziers - Cap d'Agde 1 Hr 10 mins 
Perpignan 1 Hr 15 mins 
Montpellier 1 Hr 35 mins 
Toulouse 1 Hr 35 mins 
Times are approximate

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