We bought our town house in old Céret because we wanted French café culture and access to mountains, sea and Spain. The street outside the house is pedestrianised and there’s a wine bar, a beautiful square with a fountain and a belting wood fire pizzeria and two other restaurants close by. Within a 5 min walk there are 8 other cafes and restaurants, a night bar, bakeries, an old church, chic little shops, a newsagent and a Netto. Barcelona is a 2hr drive; medieval Girona a 1hr drive. The nearest beach is only 30mins by car. Old Céret has narrow cobbled streets and wide boulevards lined with towering plane trees. It is an utterly charming place. The market on Saturday morning buzzes!
Ground floor – dining area and fully equipped kitchen. A spiral staircase leads to the top of the house. 1st floor double bedroom and bathroom. 2nd floor double bedroom and a 3rd bedroom with single beds. Shower and toilet. 3rd floor is a large airy living room with French and velux windows.
More about Ceret: Céret has a warm and sunny climate, but in summer it can be extremely hot. The town, however, is the perfect place to shelter from the midday heat, as it is lined with plane trees which create a cool and pleasant atmosphere. The shops, cafes and bars along with the weekly Saturday market make up the life of Céret. There are communal dances, where people dance in a ring known as the Sardane. The dance looks deceptively slow and easy but the intricate footwork belies this. The Sardane festival is normally held in mid July. Céret also holds an annual bullfight weekend known as Ceret de Toros or Feria. There are bands and street bars (bodegas) and a party atmosphere. Young bulls are also run through the streets. The Feria will probably be held from 9-11 July in 2010. The region around Céret is a major fruit producer, and in particular is famed for its cherries. Céret hosts a cherry festival each year (early May) with such oddities as cherry beer and a cherry stone spitting competition
More about local activities: In the early 20th century a cluster of painters, sculptors and ceramicists came to live and work in the area. Matisse and Modigliani visited. Pablo Picasso lived in Céret for a time and Café Pablo in the town is dedicated to him. Chaim Soutine, the Russian emigre painter, also lived in Céret and painted many landscapes of the village and its surrounds. Eventually this resulted in the establishment of a small but delightful Museum of Modern Art. Many donated some of their works to the Museum giving it a kick-start into the realm of great little art museums of Europe.
Piste skiing can found after a 2 hour car drive up the Tet valley and into the Cerdagne. There is a famous golf course at an altitude of 3500ft, near St Laurent de Cerdans and about 45mins away by car. There are spas at Amelie-les-Bains and Le Boulou (15 mins). Céret Sportive play rugby union on Sundays at an impressive local stadium (10 mins walk). And the walking opportunities are endless!
Our free starter pack: I’ll tell you what annoys me when I rent a holiday home. It’s finding 1 roll of paper per toilet, 2 dish washer tablets and 1 bin liner etc “to get the renter started”. Don’t know about you, but I don’t go on holiday to waste time shopping for such trivia. At our house you’ll find enough of the basics eg bin liners, detergents, toilet rolls etc for the whole week. We’ll leave you to buy the food and wine!
For adults there are music and film CDs, fiction books and board games including chess and scrabble. There is also a small collection of my walking guides and maps. I don’t care if you walk off with the fiction, but please respect my maps and walking guides! There is an ipod connection on the music centre so bring your own music then you won’t have to listen to our bizarre tastes.
Lastly, about kids. There is a baby gate to avoid accidents on the spiral staircase, cot, highchair, changing mat, some toys and books, and a cuddly pink pig that snores and vibrates when you press it.