Carolyn Curr is the owner of Le Maison Bleue – an 18th century holiday cottage and bed and breakfast in the south of France.
Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France?
We have owned our French country home for almost 7 years, this is our 2nd season running our gite and B&B and we are loving it. It took a long time to do the works required, we were careful to maintain the long history and traditional character of the house and used authentic materials such as lime plaster to ensure its integrity. We are both from England and worked in local government previously, I am from Cumbria and Nick from the West Midlands.
Q: What do you love about France?
We love village life in the south of France, growing your own produce brings you closer to the seasons, the way the church clock and the comings and goings of the swallows mark the passage of time, the friendliness of local people and the way there is always time to stop and chat.
Q: What made you choose the region in which you have settled?
We chose southern Languedoc as it still feels very much like the “real” south of France, and it’s easy to get to, Carcassonne and Toulouse are only about an hour away, other airports are within a couple of hours – Perpignan, Beziers and Montpellier. We wanted an all year round destination, long, hot summers and in winter we are only 40km from downhill and cross-country skiing. Loads of walking and cycling from the door, some guests leave their car for much of the week.
Q: Tell us three things you like best about your Gite
We love the location of our gite, on the peacful village square by the beautiful old church
Guests love dining on the private first floor terrace to the sound of cowbells
The luxurious claw foot bath is a major hit
Q: What one thing would your previous guests say about your Gite?
Guests often comment on the “delightful mix of old and new”
Q: What is your favourite attraction near to your Gite?
Mirepoix is about 10mins drive, its stunning medieval square hosts the weekly market, the best in the region and everything you need for a marvellous self-catering holiday. A 2hr lunch in one of the cafes on the square is mandatory.
Q: What’s the oddest thing about the French culture that you’ve experienced?
French people can be very formal, after 30 years living side by side some have not progressed to the bissou and will only still shake hands, and wouldn’t dream of dropping by on their friends without an invite. I used to be a bit exciitable and launch straight into the cheek kissing, I have learned to be more restrained, although the chaps didn’t seem to mind too much!
Q: Which do you prefer and why – Entrecote Frites, Fish ‘n’ Chips or a good curry?
Hec, a good curry if I am really honest. There are some things you miss, the great British pub being the main one.
Visit the website of Le Maison Bleue: http://chezmaisonbleue.co.uk/en/