Bedrooms 5, Sleeps 9, Ratings 1 10/10
|Villa Mimarmel||Self Catering||Friday||3||6||2|
Mimarmel is a contemporary single storey villa situated towards the end of a quiet cul-de-sac of 16 similar properties just 5 minutes walk from the centre of the quaint village of Ginestas.
Once through the front door pass through the lobby, with a cloakroom on the right hand side, into the bright and airy large (55 sq m) open plan living area with two sets of frenchdoors leading on to a covered terrace and the garden.
The living area is furnished in a contemporary, comfortable and practical style with plenty of room for 6 guests. The very well equipped kitchen with breakfast bar is ideal for preparing a quick snack or a gourmet meal. As well as the breakfast bar there is a large dining table easily seating 6.
A door from the living area leads onto an inner hallway off which are the 3 bedrooms and the main bathroom. The main bedroom has a comfortable super-king size bed and has its own en suite with shower, washbasin and toilet. Bedroom 2 can either be configured as a double or with twin beds. It also has a useful washbasin. Bedroom 3 has twin beds. All bedrooms were refurbished in 2016 with new beds, furniture and soft furnishings.
Walking out through the living area frenchdoors there is a shaded seating area for 6 close to the built in barbeque. A door leads off the terrace area to the pool room where the washing machine plus an additional fridge/freezer, (ideal for pool side drinks - and smelly French cheeses!) are located.
Looking south from the living area or the terrace the pool sparkles and there is an array of colour all year round in the Mediterranean garden. Stretch out on one of the sunbeds and relax and enjoy the sunshine and the gentle chime of the village church bells in the distance.
In the evening head out into Ginestas or one of the neighbouring villages for a meal or drinks or simply enjoy the peace and quiet of the evening whilst watching the swallows dipping in and out of the pool.
The village Boulangerie is only a few minutes walk away where fresh croissants, pains au chocolates and freshly baked baguettes are readily available. The village tabac also stocks general supplies and grocery items.
If you don't fancy cooking at lunchtime then a visit to Les Trois Petits Cochons in the village is a must with a 3 course meal including wine at only €14! La Table du Casino next to the Mairie serves lunch and dinner. L'oncle Jules, the local wine bar, adds to the choices available.
The village also has a bank with ATM, a Post Office, a pharmacy and a hairdresser. There is a co-op for the local wine or go to one of the neighbouring villages - there is a wealth of wine choice on the doorstep!
Venturing further afield there are numerous places to visit including the beautiful medieval walled city of Carcassonne, the Cathar village of Minerve, the Canal du Midi and some beautiful sandy beaches. We have a collection of tourist leaflets at the villa and we are always happy to make suggestions based on individual guest's preferences.
Kitchen - The kitchen is well equipped with oven, hob, grill, American fridge-freezer, microwave, kettle, toaster, coffee-maker and dishwasher. We provide 12 place settings of crockery and cutlery and almost every kitchen item you could wish for. There is a stand alone island in the kitchen with chairs for quick snacks. We have an additional fridge/freezer in the pool room which we tend to use for drinks. The washing machine is also in the pool room. There is a washing line in the garden and if you really want to iron on holiday then there is an iron and ironing board too.
Dining area - There is a dining table and seating for 6. We can also provide a highchair and booster seat if required.
There are 2 large comfortable leather sofas both seating three people and a separate leather chair.
There are 3 bedrooms, one double, one twin and bedroom two can be configures as either a kingsize double or twin. The main bedroom has an en suite with shower, basin and wc. Bedroom two has a basin. A cot can be provided if required.
The main bathroom has a bath, superb large walk in shower, basin and wc. There is a separate cloakroom with basin and wc and, of course, the en suite in the main bedroom.
There are electric heaters in all rooms for the winter months along with heated towel rails in the two bathrooms.
The villa has satellite tv with a number of English free to view channels, a large screen tv, dvd player, and PlayStation2. We have a large selection of dvds for all ages. We also have a large number of traditional family games such as scrabble, boggle, bingo etc along with jigsaw puzzles and games for younger children. There is a bookcase full of contemporary paperbacks and reference books.
There are two sets of frenchdoors from the living area opening up onto a covered terrace where the outside dining table and 6 chairs are located. There is a built in bbq, 6 sunloungers as well as umbrellas and side tables around the garden. There is a seat under the shade of the mulberry tree and also a swing seat by the pool. Cushions for all outside furniture are located in the storage trunks.
The peanut shaped pool is approximately 9 metres by 6 metres and has a uniform depth of 1.4 metres. There are steps at the side of the pool.
The mediterranean garden is a particular feature of the property having been replanted a few years ago to provide interest and colour throughout the seasons. The pool and gardens are secluded with high hedges along all sides.
A car is strongly recommended but not absolutely essential. There is off street parking in the driveway for at least 2 cars..
There is just a small threshold at the front door and with the walk in shower the villa is well suited for those who are less mobile.
All bed linen, towels and pool towels are provided. The villa will be cleaned prior to your arrival and we ask that you leave it as you find it on your departure.
Penny and Robert (pictured here at a local vineyard) purchased villa Mimarmel in 2011 after a long search for a suitable holiday home in the South of France. Now that we are retired we are able to spend more time in Ginestas whilst continuing to let out the villa for holiday lets so that others can share the delights of the area.
|Year property purchased||2011|
|Why this location?||We were looking for somewhere quiet but in a village that was "open" all year round. We chose this area because there is so much to do in the region if you want to venture out but if you want to stay at home the pool and gardens are just a delight to enjoy.|
|Unique benefits of property||Quiet secluded garden.
Fabulous swimming pool
Recently refurbished bathrooms
A quiet location but close to all amenities
Walking distance of the Canal du Midi
A thriving village with restaurant, bar and wine bar
Lots to see and do in the region
40 minutes from the coast
A visit to the ancient walled Le Cité is a must whilst in the region. Set off early in summer as it gets very busy, park at the top of the hill and once you have visited Le Cité walk down across the river to get a good view of the ramparts and have a stroll through the “lower” town. (NB If you are driving along the A61 at any stage stop off at the “Aire” to get a fabulous view of Le Cité)
You can take a trip on the Canal du Midi from either Le Somail or Homps. Both trips are good but on balance we favour the trip from Homps as there are refreshments and toilets available on the boat! You can also hire a small boat by the hour in Le Somail.
Take a drive along the edge of the Etang between Bages and Peyriac - Lovely scenery and if you are lucky you will see flamingos. Stop off in Bages and be sure to find the view point where you can see Narbonne cathedral dominating the skyline. Also have a walk around the pretty village of Peyriac.
Visit Le Somail early in your stay to go to the local tourist office where you can also see a film about the canal. Be sure to visit the bookshop which is in the most amazing building and was featured during Channel 4's "Great Canal Journeys" with Timothy West and Prunella Scales. Sit and have a coffee watching the boats go under one of the most photographed bridges in France. There are some excellent restaurants here, too.
This ancient Cathar village, about 20 minutes drive away, is steeped in history and offers spectacular views over the rivers.
The nearest beaches are at Narbonne Plage and Gruissan Plage. We prefer Gruissan which is fascinating with the houses built on stilts that featured in the film Betty Blue. The restaurants are, we feel, over priced and poor on quality so take a picnic and don't forget toilet paper for the public loos.
A very pretty town with some quaint cobbled streets and really attractive shops. Saturday is market day so you need to go early on Saturdays in order to park.
No trip to France would be complete without a visit to a wine cave. If you just want to pick up a large container of cheap local wine then visit the Ginestas wine cave on the road towards Mirepeisset. For more grandiose surroundings try the wine cave at Ventenac. If you want the “true” experience though go to somewhere like Domaine de L’Herbe Sainte at Mirepeisset or Domaine Sainte Marie Des Crozes in Douzens where you will hear all about the wines they produce and have ample opportunity to taste a few.
The ancient Roman city of Narbonne is approximately 30 minutes drive away. On your visit take in the cathedral, the Canal de la Robine, Les Halles and the Archbishop’s Palace.
Take a walk along the canal. Our favourite route takes us up past the post office in Ginestas and then along Les Gardes. Fork right and you will come to the canal. Turn left along the canal and look out for the boat that a farmer has “parked” in his field to avoid paying mooring charges! Keep going and you will come to Le Somail (in time for coffee, lunch or dinner?) and then back to Ginestas the way you came or past "Plan B". If you want to extend your walk you can carry on along the canal over the viaduct up to Port Robine where you can cross over to the other side of the canal on the road bridge before heading back.
Visit the olive factory (L’Oulibo) just a few minutes drive away on the road into Bize. Taste the different types of olives and olive oil. There is also a great shop there if you need any “local” presents to take home.
Quite a long drive and you will need to set off early in summer to be sure of a parking space but the pretty seaside town of Collioure is well worth a visit. In the early 20th century Collioure became an artists' haven with Picasso and Matisse, amongst others, making it their meeting place.
No visit to Mimarmel would be complete without a trip to the “Three Pigs”. The Pigs only serves food at lunchtime and it is very popular with the locals. There is a set menu with usually about four choices for each of three courses. At €14 including a ¼ of wine it really does represent excellent value.
Set in an old station this is one of our favourite restaurants. It is also very popular with locals. One of the more expensive restaurants around but still excellent value for money
A restaurant by the canal that is very popular with locals and you really wouldn’t think it was English run. Highly recommended if you have a late afternoon flight from Carcassonne or want to have a meal before or after a trip on the Canal!
Having visited France on a number of occasions we have stayed in many villas, this has been by far the best equipped & very much a home from home. From the initial enquiry, through the challenges of Covid, right through to our return to the UK, Robert & Penny could not have been helpful. The location was ideal for visiting many different places such as the locks at Beziers, the flamingos along the Etangs & of course the Med. The suggestions left by Robert & Penny meant we tried new places despite having visited the area in the past. Would have no hesitation in recommending to others.
Thank you, Malcolm and Dawn. It has been a pleasure talking to you and so pleased you were able to visit Mimarmel this year which, at one time, didn't seem as if it would be possible.
Lovely property with brilliant facilities, pool a hit with my children
Lovely, well-equipped villa in a gorgeous village. We were a family of four, including two teenage boys, and loved the space, open plan living and the huge pool. The best welcome pack we have ever seen on arriving at a holiday rental and reassuringly sparkling clean, given the ongoing COVID situation. It would be great for families with small children too as it's on one level and gated and potentially those with mobility issues as the bathroom shower is walkin/wetroom and only a small ramped step into and out of the patio doors.
The wealth of information available on things to do and places to visit was great, but we very much stayed local only venturing as far as neighbouring villages and once to Narbonne (as foodies, we love Les Halles market) and for a couple of hours on the beach.
We have stayed in scores of villas and gites in France in the last 20 years, but there's only a handful we would return to as we like new locations. We would go back to Mimarmel in a heartbeat! Good job we drove rather than flew there though, not sure we've have got all the wine from the local vineyards back on a plane.
Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to write such a lovely review of your holiday at Mimarmel.
Well what am extraordinary time to be on holiday - during this terrible world Covid19 pandemic! We experienced more and more restrictions on our activities by the French Government whilst we were there and it was comforting to know that we had such a lovely home to be in lockdown at. We have been holidaying in France for 30+ years and this villa ranks up there with the best. The bed was really comfortable, important as you get older! The lounge was a lovely area with 2 good sofas. We had both French and English TV but prefer to watch French programmes whilst there. The garden is so private and would have been nice to sit out if the weather had been a little warmer!
Locally we enjoyed our stroll down to the Canal du Midi, which is only around 30 minutes away but much of our activity was curtailed by the French lockdown.
We did manage to visit the Chateau de Peyrepertuse, parking near the village and walking up to the chateau. The views from the top were fantastic on a glorious sunny day.
The owners couldn’t have been more helpful and understanding given the situation.
We were hampered by both the weather and world circumstances on our holiday but couldn’t have imagined a better place to be confined to. We really hope to return when everyone’s lives have returned to normal. Keep safe and healthy everyone.
Thank you, Christine, for being a very understanding guest, too. We do hope that you will be able to return to Mimarmel sometime when all this is behind us. In the meantime keep safe and well.
Bedrooms 5, Sleeps 9, Ratings 1 10/10
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Bedrooms 5, Sleeps 9
Bedrooms 4, Sleeps 8, Ratings 1 9.7/10
Bedrooms 3, Sleeps 6, Ratings 15 9.7/10
Bedrooms 4, Sleeps 8, Ratings 2 9.8/10
Bedrooms 5, Sleeps 10, Ratings 2 10/10
Bedrooms 4, Sleeps 8
Bedrooms 3, Sleeps 6, Ratings 1 10/10
Bedrooms 4, Sleeps 8