Part of a former barn alongside their large, handsome ‘maison de maitre’ in the village of Rieux-Minervois, is this smart, spacious. first floor ‘loft’, made seriously comfortable by enthusiastic, generous British owners. The sitting room has big tan leather furniture on parquet flooring, plenty of books and DVDs; the open-plan kitchen comes with the best equipment, elegant china, sparkling glasses and a long wooden dining table. Pale, pretty, carpeted bedrooms – doubles opening onto the terrace – have great beds, antique French wardrobes and top quality bathrooms with decent towels and toiletries. The partially shaded terrace with mosaic-topped table and chairs, looks onto the 2-acre garden with its fine collection of Mediterranean plants and trees – yours to wander and retreat to from the heat of the day. And there’s a super pool in a walled courtyard area, with fridge, microwave and a dining table. All this in the enchanting Minervois wine-producing area, half an hour from Carcassonne (and its airport), just 40 minutes to good beaches, close to Cathar hill-top villages and the Canal du Midi: masses to see and do in all seasons.