Chevrèfeuille is a town house built in the 16th century.
Rising to three storeys, the house is of the heavy timber and brick construction typical of the time, solid and comforting, warm in winter, cool in summer.
On the ground floor are living and dining areas with French doors opening onto Rue du Tailleur (Street of the Tailor) and the trees which border the River Tarn. A modern, fully equipped kitchen adjoins the dining area, there is a powder room and a washing machine is located under the stairs. There is a gas fire in the living room area as well as a tv which receives British broadcasts and dvd player. Free wi-fi is available.
On the first floor is another living/dining area with a large open fireplace where cooking would have been done and the original tiled sink. Alongside is a double bedroom with an antique lit-bateau (boat bed) and with an en suite bathroom. Casement windows overlook the River Tarn.
Two bedrooms occupy the top floor. The main bedroom, with a king-size bed, has a walk-in wardrobe and access to a gallery with 180° views of the Tarn.
The gallery is also accessible from the other bedroom (two beds, one double and a single). A bathroom with shower, toilet and basin completes the top floor.
The house is centrally heated with large hot water panel radiators in all rooms.
The kitchen is located on the ground floor and was renovated in the last 5 years and is well equipped.
The oven is electric and the cooktop gas.
There is a fridge, microwave oven, electric kettle, toaster and coffee pod machine.
There is also a dishwasher.
The dining area adjoins the kitchen separated by the kitchen bench with a modesty panel and shelf.
The living area is located between the dining area and the stairs leading to the upper levels.
There is one bedroom and a shower/toilet located on the first floor with one of the 2 windows overlooking the Tarn River. The bed is a lit-bâteau (boat bed) slightly smaller than a double bed.
Adjoining the bedroom is a table and chairs. Originally this would have been the main kitchen with a large (non-working) fireplace and an old stone sink.
Animals would have been kept downstairs during winter.
On the next level are 2 bedrooms a shower/toilet as well as a gallery area looking out over the Tarn similar in design to an Elizabethan cottage.
One bedroom has a king size bed.
The other has a double bed and a single bed.
There is a shower, toilet and hand basin on each of the two sleeping floors as well as a powder room on the ground floor.
The house has hydronic heating radiator panels throughout which are heated from the gas water heater.
There is also a small gas fire located in the living area.
There is a tv fitted with a dvd player. The tv is connected to a satellite dish for British tv broadcasts and also has a French tv box hooked to the free wi-fi.
There is also an ipod player which also plays cds and a radio.
There is a small collection of cds and dvds in the house.
There are several book cases and guests are encouraged to swap their travelling books for another one.
There are also several packs of cards and board games.
There is no garden.
The main street outside the French doors has been blocked to vehicular traffic and so is a pleasant spot to either sit on the wall or take a chair out to sit and have an apéritif.
Parking is either 50 metres away in the Place d'Eglise or 100 metres away in the Place du Lavoir. The latter is recommended as it has more space.
The house is not recommended for people who have trouble climbing stairs.
The old Catholic church on Place de l'Eglise now has Anglican services.
I am a retired Australian who enjoys holidaying in Europe each year with my wife.
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||The Midi-Pyrenees is a lovely area of France. There is a lot of history, beautiful buildings, lovely wine growing area on the rolling hills and the tourists are mostly French. The house is 500 years old and located in the village of Brens on the Tarn river across from the town of Gaillac. So while the village is small and quiet there are several supermarkets, restaurants and other services and you can walk the bridge to the local market.
The village is also close to the major airport of Toulouse-Blagnac which is serviced by many airlines so you can fly there from Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome, London, Istanbul and many others. There is also a train station in Gaillac with frequent trains to Toulouse and the TGV.
|Unique benefits of property||Originally built in the 16th Century the house is now comfortably updated and yet it is easy to imagine what it would have been like in the medieval period.
The street outside the house runs along the Tarn River and has been closed to vehicular traffic. It is a very pleasant spot to sit and have an aperitif and say bon soir to the locals. Although the town of Gaillac is easily accessible the house is very quiet and with the old wooden shutters closed it is very easy to sleep in.
The village has a wonderful boulangerie, a bar and a mini market and boucherie so it easy to obtain supplies without going to the major supermarché.
Gaillac has a large market every Friday with fruit, vegetables, fish, cheese, charcuterie as well as a diverse range of clothes and household items. There is also a smaller vegetable market on Sunday.
The other lovely market in the area is about 40 minutes away in St Antonin Noble Vale, on the Aveyron River, the site of the film "The 100 Foot Journey".
There are many other markets in the area.
Albi is a medieval city listed by UNESCO and is a 20 minute drive from Brens. The centre of the town is little changed Medieval time and is a large example of the buildings of that time. As well as wandering through the old city there are several other interesting attractions:
. St Cécile, the largest brick cathedral.
. Musee Toulouse-Lautrec with over 1000 works housed in the old Bishop's palace.
. The Bishops Palace (Palais de la Berbie, C13th -C14th).
. Pont-Vieux built in 1040 AD.
. Museum Lapérouse
. Very interesting view of the city by taking the boat cruise along the Tarn.
There are many beautiful villages in the surrounding area such as Lisle-sur-Tarn, Castelnau de-Montmiral, Puycelsi, Penne, Bruniquel, Cordes sur Ciel and many others. Driving the Circuit des Bastides Albigeoises is a great day full of wonderful sights and plenty of photo opportunities with many locations for a picnic or more casual lunch.
There are good restaurants in Gaillac as well as in the surrounding area.
The better ones in Gaillac are Au Fil des Saisons, la Table du Sommelier and Chez Germaine but there are more. Some of the nearby villages also have good restaurants and one of the best is Lou Cantoun in Cestayrols.
Gaillac is a lovely town to explore. The centre is old and has winding streets running away from the river. Major attractions are:
. Abbaye St-Michel
. Musée de l'Abbaye, enter via Tourism Office located in abbaye building next to church.
. Maison des Vins located in same building which showcases different wines of the region each week.
. Parc de Foucaud and the Musée des Beaux-Arts housed in the Chateau.
The south and Carcassonne was a stronghold of the Cathar religion. When driven out of Carcassonne they retreated to a fortress at Montségur, in the Pyrenees, where they were eventually defeated and killed.
La Ville Rose (the Pink City) named after the colour of the brickwork has many beautiful buildings and is well worth a day trip easily completed from the Gaillac train station.
Also located 5 kms from the capitol is the Museum Aeronautics Space.
Following the Tarn westward towards its source in the Massif Central is a very picturesque drive, particularly the last stage through the Gorge du Tarn.
Along the way you drive under the amazing engineering structure of the Millau Viaduct.