17 Cour du Château, 11120 Ventenac en Minervois,
Languedoc - Roussillon, France
Watch the barges drift by, and perhaps moor for the night: château and gardens are delightfully perched above the Canal du Midi. Rebuilt in 1890, the château – aglow with marble fireplaces, tall windows, oak parquet – has been beautifully restored. It's a place of relaxed comfort and sunny rooms, a spacious-but-intimate retreat for a gathering large or small. The kitchen is the hub of the house, tall ceilinged and in French farmhouse style, marvellously equipped and with a starter pack for arrival; you can eat in here or spill out onto a terrace, or fill the dining room on grand occasions. The first-floor bedrooms and bathrooms are huge, with superb views across the vineyards and beds made for deep sleep. There's heaps of space inside and out: for winter, two sitting rooms, one with a big open fire; for summer, your own outdoor pool, hammocks, and shady places to sit and relax. Julia can book everything in advance: bikes, barges, wine tours for full or half days – and an English-speaking chef. Beaches and Carcassonne are close; the Pyrénées just over an hour away.
- Children welcome
- Kids of all ages can stay.
- No smoking
- Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
- Credit cards
- Credit or debit card payment accepted.
- English spoken
- Host speaks English, whether perfectly or not.
- Wireless internet access available.
- Pets welcome
- Pets allowed in bedrooms (not on the bed).
- Swimming pool
- On the premises.
- Bikes available
- On the premises to hire or borrow.
Open fire / woodburner
Cooked meals available
Shop within 3 miles
Little gems of local knowledge from Julia Bristow:
- The Pont du Gard is a magnificent 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct which is the highest bridge the Romans ever made. Swim under the bridge for the best views! Just over 20 minutes from the Château.
- Carcassonne, a turreted fortress that was at the centre of numerous religious conflicts is under an hour away. A good introduction to the history of the Cathars who made the city their stronghold.
- Take a trip up the coast to the Grotte de Clamouse, one of the most impressive caves in the area, then onto St-Guilhem-le-Désert, often voted the prettiest village in France with its abbey and pottery shops.
- The region is made up of Kilometres of gentle coastline with clean sandy beaches & a rugged hinterland. Inland is quieter, with acres of vineyards in the Corbieres & Minervois & mountain walks in the Haut Languedoc.
- Try a bottle of wine from the Caveau of Chateau de Ventenac Minervoiswhich is just 50 metres away and produces wine from local grapes.
- We are just an hour from the Spanish border. Travel 30 minutes further on, to the characterful town of Figueres and visit the spectacular Dali Museum.
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- 1 Château for 16
Weekends from £1,400.
17 Cour du Château, 11120 Ventenac en Minervois, Aude