Monday, 15 May 2017

French Holiday - Part 8 - Bram to Bize Minervois

Saturday 9th July 2016
Bram to Bize Minervois

The handover of the boat went smoothly – our cleaning was (we think) more than acceptable and we were away by 09:30 heading for Argens Minervois to the Locaboat hire base to ask if we could look at a couple of boats for future reference.  They were very welcoming despite it being a busy changeover day for them.  They left us to look around three different types and fully understood why we wanted to see the real McCoy rather than just look at a brochure or a web site.  They are not boats we would want to be on permanently, but for a holiday they would be perfect.  Certainly easier to handle and get off than Winnie was.  Also they have bases in Negre and Lattes where we want to start and finish, so I guess we will be going with them.

The next stop was Le Somail as we had decided to risk getting the dachshunds mentioned previously and Le Somail was on our way, so it seemed a good time to call in and get them.  I left Chris ordering lunch (Crocque Monsieur – done correctly and very tasty) 

whilst I went back to the gallery in the hope that they were still there.  Success – they were.   However the shop did not take credit cards and most of our cash was buried in safe places amongst all our luggage in the car.  With my limited French and the sales lady’s little bit of English we did manage to establish that I would go back in the week and she put them aside for me.  

So here they are 'Frank' and 'Furter'.
I am delighted to say that Jo was not joking and she was thrilled with her Christmas present.

Then it was to the hypermarket to stock up. We were running a little ahead of ourselves, so I phoned the owner of the property to ask is we could arrive at 14:30 instead of 15:00. No problem was the reply and she was there to meet us when we arrived. 

 And so to the house – was it good – indeed it was fabulous. 

The Bolt Hole at 6 Place aux Herbes, Bize Minervois is a typical stone three story French house

This is the view from the front door looking left

And to the right

And straight ahead – not far to go to the local restaurant!

In the front door and into the kitchen which is very well equipped with two fridges 

 A great wine rack (actually there are two!!)

A washing machine (in use as soon as we arrived!) and a dishwasher

From there you look through into the dining area which does have a wood burning stove if anyone wants a winter break and beyond that behind Chris

is the terrace with sailcloth awning and most definitely the best bit of the entire house for a summer visit.  The only down side was that we found the chairs were not the most comfortable in the world.

It has a superb view over the dammed River Cesse that is used as a swimming area (there are even private steps down to the river) complete with lifeguard in July and August.   

This is the view to the right

And a bit further right looking along the river towards the bridge which is the main entrance to this side of the river.

As lovely as this house is, it is not for anyone who is not relatively fit as there are 27 stone spiral steps to get from bottom to the top of the house.  Thankfully not a problem for us, but they do need to be used with care.

The first floor has a sitting room with a ‘conservatory’ area behind with two small terraces overlooking the river.

There is also a double bedroom on that floor

And a bathroom 

Up again to the master bedroom

Complete with terrace

And an en-suite shower room

Then along the corridor

is another shower room

and twin bedded room

A very large house for just the two of us, but when we booked we were supposed to be three, but one dropped out due to ill health at the last minute.  Still we loved it and would love to come back again one day with more people to share this delightful property in a village we love (this is our third visit).  Sadly we found out towards the end of our stay that this house is very unlikely to come up for rent again as it has been sold.  The previous owners were just acting as agents to honour the 2016 bookings.  Mind you I have just looked at the web site and it says ‘under construction’, so maybe – who knows!

Who needs television when you have so much to watch – our entertainment on the first night was provided by a young man and his young dog.  They arrived and a stick was thrown

The dog declined to go and fetch it

So the young man stripped off to his underpants and showed him how to do it!

Would it work – well he thought about it

And then he went in

And did eventually retrieve the stick!

It was to be the first of many happy hours spent people watching from that wonderful terrace.

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