Our cottage is in the heart of Cathar country in southern France. Although it is very private and blissfully quiet, it is also accessible. The regional airports of Toulouse and Carcassonne, the train and autoroute are all a short drive. A wide range of family-friendly activities are available in the area, as are markets, village fairs and other attractions. The house is cosy and great for couples, families (with kids), and we are happy for you to bring pets (but don't let dogs chase the deer).
The Domaine de Badens is a beautiful 5 hectare property, situated on the edge of the village of Cenne Monestiés in the southern French department of Aude. It is nestled in mature oak, chestbut and pine forests and borders the Lampy river. Wildlife is abundant, and a wide range of native European animals have been seen on the property (deer, wild boar, badgers, martens, foxes, red squirrels, dormice, bats and a slew of smaller creatures) as well as a wide variety of birds (three species of owl, many birds of prey, jays, golden orioles, hoopoes, green woodpeckers, European rollers and many many others). The domain is very private, very calm and entirely at the disposition of the renters. The gite is situated 100 metres from the main house on the property, an old mill that was built in 1885; the other buildings onsite are being renovated (though never when we have guests) and are not inhabited and unless we happen to be around.
The gite is renovated in a manner that respects local traditions but also assures comfort. The gite includes:
-Two principal bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom and electric heating. A good quality travel cot is also provided for babies.
-An additional small room (the mezzanine) that can serve as a single bedroom or office. This room has views over the valley of Cenne Monestiés, with distant glimpses of the Pyrenees and the Pic de Bugarach.
-A fully equipped kitchen (though no dishwasher).
-A large open plan dining and sitting area with wood-burning fireplace. A high chair is also provided.
-Two large terraces (one a wooden deck surrounded by mature oaks) with barbecue.
-A small pool (5 x 3 metres).
-Washing machine and dryer.
-A HiFi, ADSL-WiFi internet connection (which is decent but not high capacity), telephone and television with local and international channels, including Canal+ premium channels.
-Outdoor furniture on both terraces, dining and relaxing outdoors is easy.
The house is generally child friendly - we are also parents and our young son has put it through its paces. We are working to improve areas of concern on the grounds and would encourage parents of young children to be vigilant when outside.
Dogs are welcome on the condition that they do not harass the wildlife or destroy furniture and fittings. Dogs should be restrained from chasing the neighbours cats who are also occasional visitors to the property!
Guests have access to the gite and the land. There are other buildings on the property that are either being renovated or otherwise shuttered - guests should avoid these. The gite has a private access track and private parking less than 10 m from the front door
Guests will typically have the place to themselves. We live overseas but typically return at some point during June-September to make sure everything is ok and to visit family. We stay in the larger house on the property which has a separate access road. If we are there then we are very happy to help guests with their trip/holiday planning.
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There are no shops in the village, although there are small grocers and bakers in neighbouring villages. Larger supermarkets are available in Bram, Castelnaudary and Carcassonne. It is a good idea to stock up before you arrive - there is a large fridge/freezer and plenty of storage.
- kids need to be supervised outside (pool and woodland)