|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
Our Chambre d'hôte is a recently converted grenier, or barn, designed to create a beautiful, luxurious self contained retreat for guests.
The chambre d'hôte is accessed from a quiet laneway (Rue de la Boucarie). The spacious, comfortable room, with en-suite leads out to the atmospheric walled garden to the rear. Glazed double doors at the front open out to spectacular views across the Cerou Valley, and timber shutters and curtains allow guests to control the level of privacy they prefer. In addition, guests may have access to the magnificent library (bibliothèque ) adjacent to the chambre, and also the well-appointed laundry.
The original 14th century stone feature wall, fully re-pointed, provides an historic reminder of the medieval origins of the Maison. The quality furnishings and decor create a welcome retreat after a day exploring the cité and the region, a chance to relax in the comfort of this quality chambre d'hôte.
Guests have full use of the atmospheric walled garden to its rear. The double doors to the front open out to spectacular views across the Cerou Valley, and the shutters and curtains allow privacy.
The vistas extend across the peaceful Cerou Valley, stretching to the distant village of Mouzieys-Panens. The scenery changes hue from season to season, from the green grains of May to the golden hay of summer, through to a riot of yellow sunflowers in July, and straw coloured heads of maize: a mesmerising patchwork of fields and homes. And if you are fortunate, you will experience the 'sur-ciel', and sit above the clouds as the mist swirls in the valley below.
When you arrive in Cordes, you will be met in the lower village and be shown to the chambre d'hôte, and made welcome.
Large airy bedroom with queen sized sleigh bed
Views to the distant valley from one window, and the magical walled garden on the other
En-suite facilities with shower
Hanging robe ; all linen provided
Mini kitchen with microwave oven, sink, refrigerator and coffee making facilities
Table and chairs on the terrace for comfortable outdoor dining
Internet access, MP3 player
Laundry facilities are available
(Dinner may be available by prior arrangement)
We are Australians who have been based in Oxford for the past decade. We fell in love with Cordes sur Ciel when we first saw it on one of our annual trips to follow the Tour de France. When we bought our home it was near completion, and we were able to finish the renovations to our taste. We later converted the two old barns on the ground floor into a spacious Chambre and library, using local artisans and craftsmen who created bespoke fittings of wonderful quality.
Ruth & Ian Bird purchased this apartment in 2008
We have enjoyed creating this luxurious interior within the 14th century walls outside, and we enjoy being able to share it with guests who are able to discover the magic of Cordes sur Ciel from our home at the top of the cite. To be in the centre of this ancient village, and wander the cobbled streets that have seen 800 years of all sorts of marvellous and ordinary events, evokes images of the distant past. Yet this can be enjoyed surrounded by every modern comfort in this beautifully decorated, 50 sq metre self contained space. The weekly market is a joy of fresh produce and tempting specialties, and it is a 15 minute walk from the Chambre
The house is within the second of five sets of walls erected in the 13th and 14th centuries, a short walk to the gothic medieval heart of Cordes, and it provides a beautiful self contained walled garden to the rear, and spectacular views across the Cerou Valley to the front. Being in a restricted part of the Cite means few cars pass by the laneways, but our guests can park close to the house. There is magic in the mists that cover the valley below and you feel as though you are floating in the clouds. In summer there are many different festivals and events, and whilst there are visitors and tourists, it is not yet too busy to relax and amble at your own pace.
After walking up and down and around the old city if Cordes, checking out all the little stores and exploring the many nearby sights in the heat of August, opening the gate and stepping through the thick wall felt like entering a fresh haven. It is a charming place that has recently been entirely renovated in a lovely style. A photo album provides details on the work that was done and it is impressive. Despite being in an old building ( it looks like it was built in a part of one Cordes fortified walls) all the modern amenities you’d expect to find in a room are available. The bathroom is comfortable and boasts and great shower. We did not use it but laundry is available as well as a second fridge, sink and water closet in the entrance area that is shared with the upper unit of the house.
The garden terrace provides a very private outdoor retreat and is perfect for croissant and coffee in the morning or an “apéritif" before you head out for diner. The kitchenette smartly built into a closet supports simple breakfasts, picnics or snack but for a hot meal you will need to explore the surrounding restaurants. All the options found in the old city are only a short walk away.
There is a large library and being bookworms we had a hard time leaving it without checking out all the titles available. Wifi is available in the house, but due to the thick walls connection can be spotty. After establishing connection when close to the upstairs landing we had no connectivity problem.
The French doors in the chambre open to the pedestrian only street in front of the house. Being very private by nature we did not open the thick shutters. But the sliding doors opening on the garden provided enough light to make the chambre a welcome refuge from heat and bright light found in the streets of Cordes in August.
Cordes is a great site and deserves all the accolades it received. The chambre is a great base to explore it.
Cordes-sur-Ciel, located 75km north east of Toulouse, is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. As one of the gems of the region, its unique 13th and 14th century Gothic houses are reminiscent of Renaissance Tuscany, and the cobbled streets, large Halle (open air marketplace) and stone buildings are evocative of an earlier era.
In 2014 Cordes sur Ciel was awarded the accolade of Le Village Préféré des Français
Cordes, the first bastide town built by Count Raimon VII of Toulouse in 1222, was constructed to protect the scattered population from conflict during the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars.
Cordes grew quickly during the crusade, and as it grew, so did the number of rampart walls surrounding the village, with five lines of fortifications required over time. As hostilities reduced, prosperity came to Cordes with the growth of the cloth, wool and leathercraft industries, alongside trade and finance. Wealthy merchant and noble families built the magnificent Gothic residences in the 13th and 14th centuries, for which Cordes is famous.
There is another renewal underway as more people realise what a jewel this village is, undertaking the slow and arduous process of restoring many of the buildings, and ensuring the ongoing survival of this beautiful spot. The annual medieval festival of the Grand Fauconnier is held on 13 & 14 July and is followed by Music sur Ciel, held in the Eglise Saint-Michel. Other festivals include gastronomic and Christmas fetes. In summer there are several evening markets, the marché nocturne, featuring local produce and music.
Some highlights of the region include:
Albi At the heartland of the Albigeois with its magnificent brick cathedral and Museum of Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi is a now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ambialet on the Tarn "No other isthmus in France is as beautiful" according to Elisee Reclus in 1880.
Beaulieu-en-Rouergue Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery
Bruniquel with its interesting chateau, lovely village, reached via a beautiful drive through the gorge
Cahors for its 14th century fortified Valentré bridge and the spectacular Lot Gorges
Castres has a Spanish art museum including some Goya and Velasquez, in the Hotel de Ville
Carcassonne, restored walled city famed for its turrets and narrow windy streets
Laguiole is famous for its elegant knives with their distinctive bone, horn or wooden handles
Najac has an ancient fortified tower with wonderful views across the forested countryside.
Millau sits below the spectacular bridge, near to the Roquefort cheese caves.
St Antonin-Noble-Val is remarkable for its Tuscan style medieval buildings, and a lively weekly market
Toulouse, a great city on the Garonne, is an ancient university town, also centre of the French aerospace industry
The Tarn is a region of long views and deep river gorges,fertile farmland, vineyards and forests. It is situated in the Midi-Pyrénées, the largest region in France with 8 departments within its boundary. These stretch from the Pyrenees in the South to the Massif Central in the North, and westwards from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean Sea in the east. Within its natural boundaries it offers a diversity probably unmatched elsewhere in France.
The Tarn has escaped the worst of the tourist born scourges of appalling traffic, high prices and disappointing cuisine. Historical Albi is its major centre, providing the ancient name for the region – Albigeois. Many villages and towns stage summer festivals of music and medieval pageantry, celebrated for and by the local population, and a bonus for visitors.
Medieval villages and churches dot the landscape of this farming region, replete with pigeonniers. Villages are built in local honey coloured stone, set on rolling hills offering long views of the varied landscape.
The food of the region can be summed up in the title of the classic work from Paula Wolfert, ‘The Cooking of South West France: Recipes from France’s Magnificent Rustic Cuisine’.Confit, cassoulet, magret de canard, foie gras and local cheeses are still on offer along with the more modern interpretations of dishes using the excellent local fresh ingredients. Veal from the nearby Aveyron and Ségala areas enjoys a reputation that extends far beyond France. Well known charcuterie comes from the mountainous Monts de Lacaune, and the pink garlic of Lautrec is referred to as the prince of seasonings.
The local wine appellation is Gaillac. It is one of the oldest wine regions in the country, dating back to Roman times. Vineyards share the landscape with sunflowers, cornfields, hay and cereal crops.
The region offers a rich, diverse history, combined with its distinctive architectural gems, all waiting to be discovered. The wonderful Cathedral Sainte-Cecile in Albi, with its fortress like exterior, displays the power and authority of the Church in its medieval heyday.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$44|
|Stay tax||£1 per night, per person. This amount will be due to the manager upon arrival. Does not apply to children under 8 years.|
Driving instructions will be sent to our guests once full payment is made.