|Les Perles D'Azur||Self Catering||Saturday||2||6||2||Sofabed for occasional use|
Les Perles D'Azur is in St Pierre la Mer, on the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne, Languedoc Roussillon. It is just a short walk from the house to the beach, lagoon, cafes, restaurants and daily market.
St Pierre is very much a French seaside village, and Les Perles D'Azur, although recently built, is a villa constructed in typical local style (tiles, wooden shutters). It is set on a south facing hillside, looking toward the Mediterranean Sea, and the views are gorgeous at any time of the day or year.
The house is in a terrace of 5. It has its own marked parking place and has a garage and wetroom/shower room and utility area on the lower floor. Stairs go up to the large terrace and the main open plan living/kitchen/dining area. Two bedrooms and a second shower room are also on this leavel. Both bedrooms open into a courtyard garden, which has stairs up to the roof terrace.
Built to be our retirement home, the house is well equipped and suitable for year-round living.
The house is close enough to the village centre to walk to a choice of restaurants and pavement cafes, and the colourful daily local produce market, yet far enough away to be relaxing and peaceful.
The beach and lagoon are also just a walk away and watersports are well catered for. Cycle tracks and boardwalks make for pleasant village or seafront strolls, perhaps to neighbouring villages.
St Pierre is set between the Med and the 'Massif de la Clape', a nature and recreation reserve, with vineyards dotted throughout. The reserve is a popular recreational area for climbing, mountain biking, walking and wine tasting.
A full kitchen with quality appliances all built in: induction hob, pyrolytic self-cleaning oven, full height fridge, microwave, dishwasher. Well equipped so a keen cook can enjoy working with the local market produce, or have a great choice of ways to serve the delicious treats cooked up by the market traiteurs.
Dining table with 6 chairs.
Sideboard with phone, music centre, guidebooks, books and games.
Sea views from this open plan room.
Dining tables and chairs also on front terrace and rear courtyard garden.
Open plan with 3-seater sofa, 2 leather armchairs and large coffee table.
The sofa converts to a double bed, hence 6 people can be accommodated on a short term basis, for example, if guests are staying long-term and would like friends/family to visit them for a short holiday.
Sideboard with digital flatscreen tv, wi-fi router, Orange tv box, BluRay player and large selection of dvds.
Double bedroom with bedside tables, fitted wardrobes and cupboards.
Door to courtyard garden.
Twin bedroom with bedside table, fitted wardrobes and cupboards.
Door to courtyard garden.
Linen supplied, plus spare sets so guests can wash and dry linen themselves during their stay.
Choice of bedding (quilts, blankets, throws) and variety of pillows.
Downstairs fully tiled wetroom has shower, large basin, mirror, wc and hanging rail for wetsuits etc.
Upstairs fully tiled shower room has shower cubicle with glass door, basin set in vanity with lit mirror, power point, and wc.
Very well insulated, helping keep warm in winter and cooler in summer. Doors are double glazed pvc with wooden shutters. The aspect often allows a pleasant breeze to blow through the house, mediating summer temperatures. Built to be our retirement home, the house is suitable and equipped for year round living. All upstairs rooms are heated with modern thermostatically controlled wall heaters.
Wi-fi internet and telephone with many calls included in rental rate.
Music centre with Ipod dock, USB input, CD and radio.
Sony Bravia flatscreen TV.
Orange TV package with some English language channels, movie package and TV on demand set to broadcast in 'original language' (many English language series and movies)
Large selection of DVDs.
Wine tasting: many local vineyards have outlets in the village and welcome tastings.
25m2 south facing terrace opening off the lounge/dining area with panoramic views over the village to the sea and mountains beyond. Dining table and chairs, sun loungers, sun umbrella, and local style built-in bbq. Outside water tap. We use this area throughout the year.
Courtyard garden: 50m2 total. Paved area with table and chairs, sun umbrella, and sun loungers. Stone steps up to raised sloped garden area planted with local species including aromatic jasmine and honeysuckle, and producing fig tree. Outside tap with hose.
The 2 outside areas have opposite aspects, which we have found ideal for choosing the right spot to suit your desired sun, shade, sheltered, open requirements.
There is also a large roof terrace which is unfurnished, and the views are spectacular.
Outside the garage and front door is a large marked parking space.
The garage is large and has room for storing suitcases and is perfect for keeping the car cool in the heat of summer.
The washing machine is in the garage, with clothes basket and pegs. Washing line is in the garden and clothes airer is in the garage.
The house may not be suitable for young children as the front terrace is at first floor level. The main living is also at this level which is up a flight of stairs, so not accessible for people with limited mobility.
Although new to this website, we have been letting our second home to guests for some years. Our villa is mostly booked up by returning guests who have fallen in love with St Pierre and the views, space and facilities our place has to offer.
Spring and autumn are popular for longer stays (4 weeks for the price of 3 special offer).
Our house is often booked well in advance and we only have 1 week left in September and all of November available for 2017. There is no availability for 2018.
We are Ray and Denise, an English/Kiwi couple who have, since 2011, been dividing our work time between the UK and New Zealand. We spend as much of our time off as possible in St Pierre. We enjoy outdoor sports, whether it be windsurfing in a force 6, a walk through the garrigue appreciating the spectacular views, or a leisurely bike ride to the next village for lunch. We also appreciate good food and wine, and exploring the history and culture of different places.
|Year property purchased||2004|
|Why this location?||We had holidayed throughout Europe but kept going back to Languedoc-Roussillon; unspoilt nature, mountains, hills and sea close together, great climate, food and wine, and still retaining its local culture. St Pierre was a hidden gem that we discovered by accident, however. Not on the tourist trail, but rather a beach village with no high rise, limited in size by surrounding reserves, and populated mainly by French second home owners. We stood on the vacant plot on the hill that gently slopes to the white sandy beach, and watched the sea turn from deepest impossible blue through shades of iridescent peach and pink while birds glided leisurely on thermals, and listened just to the waves crashing on the shore below. What peace! Sold!|
|Unique benefits of property||The development is long finished and populated and gardens grown, but we still have that feeling of instant peace as soon as we arrive. What else do we like? Nobody has to miss out on the local wine and be the sober driver! We can choose from more than just 1 or 2 restaurants to walk to. The daily produce market is right here, in our village. We can walk to the beach. We can walk through the reserve behind the village. Or we can just sit on the terrace and look at the sea.|
We try to be in St Pierre for the Sentier Gourmand de la Clape, (affectionately known by our friends, who have considered themselves very lucky to join us for this event, as the 'Gourmet Wine Walk'). We've made it 5 times so far, but sadly I have started a new job which requires my presence in New Zealand in May, so our loss could be your gain!
The 'Gourmet Wine Walk' is a wander through the AOC wine region which surrounds St Pierre, through dramatic vineyards with stunning views, with 6 stops along the 6-8km route. At each stop, indulge in one course of the most delicious menu, matched with several local wines to taste.
The event, held on the third Sunday of May each year, is organised by the winemakers of the La Clape region, the rocky, pine, herb and vine clad reserve between Narbonne and St Pierre, overlooking the Mediterranean. The wines carry the label AOC Languedoc-La Clape and, we think, are some of the finest Languedoc wines. The menu is prepared by the acclaimed chef Marc Schwall, patron of the restaurant Cuisiniers Cavistes (http://www.cuisiniers-cavistes.com/) in Narbonne.
St Pierre has a permanent population of about 2,500 and a good range of shops, services and facilities. The reserve bordering St Pierre, the ‘Massif de la Clape’ is cloaked with pine and olive trees, wild rosemary and thyme, and features rocky peaks and outcrops and vineyards. It is a popular recreational area for climbing, mountain biking, horse riding, walking and wine tasting. Pony and bike hire available in the village. A choice of restaurants and pavement cafes are within walking distance of the house, and wine shops offer quality good value local wines ‘en vrac’. During the French school holidays, evening markets, live bands and various shows are put on in St Pierre, and neighbouring Narbonne-Plage. St Pierre is in the Aude area of the Languedoc region. One of the most diverse areas of France, the Languedoc offers mountains, lakes, rivers, and beautiful stretches of coastline; historic cities and fairytale citadels. The ruins of Cathar strongholds contrast with the restored city of Carcassone. Cruise the Canal de la Robine from Narbonne, the oldest town in Southwest France, to the sea, or choose the Canal du Midi, a World Cultural Heritage site. The gorges of the Cevennes are within reach, as are the foothills of the Pyrenees.
St Pierre is a seaside village. 10-15 minutes walk from our house to the 8km long clean golden sand beach. Plenty of space for beach games, even in high summer. Actively patrolled and separate zones for watercraft to safeguard swimmers. 10 minutes walk to the lagoon (etang) for canoeing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Kit hire and English speaking instruction (beginner to expert) available The sea and etang provide for all types of water-based activities: fishing, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kitesurfing and swimming. St Pierre sports centre includes tennis courts (for hire), a community building and an etang which is ideal for learning and perfecting watersports. St Pierre and surrounding areas host a number of major funboard and kitesurfing championship events. Sail and motorboats can be hired at the small marina.
Excellent choice of fresh local seafood, deli goods, bakeries and full range of produce at St Pierre village market, which expands in the warmer months to include clothing, crafts, jewellery and work by regional artisans. Choose from a huge variety of produce to prepare yourself or buy excellent ready-made dishes. The market operates every morning and attracts locals from surrounding villages. Many local wine producers have outlets in the village. Follow the resident's example: drink your water bottle dry at the beach then have it filled from a wine barrel (for a fraction of the price of bottled wine) on your way home. Narbonne has a large market that attracts French people from throughout the region and has many places to eat and drink within the market.
The property was better than advertised.
The equipment provided was beyond our expectations, everything you need is there. Great kitchen, lounge, entertainment facilities as well as two fantastic terraces.
It was better than the photos shown.... a nice cool area at the back... plenty of outdoor furniture.... great barbecue.
Easy access to the main village... a nice walk down to the sea.... plenty of eateries along the waterfront should that be what you want.
We spent a week here during autumn, just when things are cooling down, and things are quiet, so our time was restful and relaxing.
We recommend this property highly. Great place and location.