Per weekfrom 1475.00 to 2285.00 EUR
It’s no exaggeration to say that the word "paradise" is often heard at Montengrand and its easy to see why; This picture-perfect row of five romantically quaint but beautifully renovated 2-3 bedroom cottages, nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees and within minutes of the medieval bastide town of Mirepoix, enjoys a setting so breathtakingly beautiful it could motivate the most reluctant artists, and views that could well put pay to poolside plans to get through the most gripping of blockbusters.
Set on a 30-acre domain of wildflower meadows and woodland, this tiny and charming hamlet of cottages has a magical quality that will have a wind-down effect on even the most frazzled of families. Even in a rundown state, several years ago, it cast its magic on its owners Nicki and Adrian who sold up and moved out of Fulham to pursue the idea of transforming Montengrand into exactly the kind of holiday they wished they could find for themselves and their, then toddler, daughter Mo. If the visitors book is anything to go by, they have certainly succeeded in answering the prayers of most parents and their offspring. In fact, Montengrand has become something of a closely guarded secret amongst families who return year after year. July and August dates are often booked up year in advance, but get in early enough and an early summer or warm September stay could well be yours.
The six cottages sleep for 4-6 and are a homely but stylish mix of Cath Kidston meets French country chic and wonderfully in keeping with the pastel-coloured scenery that surrounds them. Each has a large double bedroom and a twin, whilst some have additional beds in large, safe, mezzanine sleeping areas or in bunk rooms. Kitchens are well-equipped with gas hobs, electric ovens, microwaves and dishwashers, whilst all bathrooms have both baths and showers. Some cottages also have en-suite facilities. Their thick stone walls ensure that they are cool even in the height of summer and warm and cosy in the winter months, with the aid of log burning stoves and electric radiators. All come with boutique hotel-style luxuries in the form of comfortable beds with crisp Egyptian cotton bed linen and fluffy cotton bath towels. There's even a daily fresh bread and croissant delivery, a pre-arrival grocery and baby essentials (nappies, wipes, formula, jars etc.) service, optional home-cooked meal deliveries, plus a mid and end of stay maid service - adding to the hotel-type experience. Plus, a brilliantly comprehensive list of baby and toddler equipment and toys is an added bonus for young families and testament to Nicki and Adrian's first-hand experiences.
No matter how enchanting the interiors of the cottages, it’s their exteriors that often provide the best memories. Each has a private, furnished terrace or garden with BBQ leading off their south-facing open-plan living areas, which are ideal for eating en famille or simply enjoying some quiet time together. However, the stunning pool, which is heated for comfortable baby swimming even in spring, is a major draw. Safely gated and fenced, it benefits from amazing views and a brilliant summer kitchen where impromptu communal BBQ nights often take place. Then there's the 18ft tepee often adopted as a den by junior guests in the day and sometimes used by families to 'camp-out' at night, cooking up sausages and beans over the campfire and taking in the star-filled skies.
La Porcherie - Sleeps 2 adults, 3 children & 2 babies:
This end of terrace, south facing cottage is arranged over three floors. The ground floor comprises a light, double aspect, open plan kitchen and living space which opens onto a small, private, south facing walled garden with Mediterranean planting and a stone and terracotta shaded terrace with table, chairs and a gas barbecue. On the first floor there is a small landing which leads to a light and airy south facing children's bedroom which has a bunk bed and a single bed, plus space for a cot or toddler bed. The window has exterior wooden shutters which when closed make the room very dark to help deter small early risers. Also off the landing is the family bathroom with bath, basin and loo. More stairs lead up from the landing to the top floor, which is laid out as a large double bedroom with a beautiful 6 foot wide walnut bateau lit and a small en-suite shower room with basin and loo. This is a really lovely, large space with both south and north facing windows with exterior shutters and a velux window (with blackout blind) in the roof for extra light. If you are holidaying with a very young baby there is plenty of space for a cot in this room too. Please note: This bedroom is in the loft space and those who are seriously tall may encounter some headroom issues in the shower room and at the edges of the space. It is not problem for those who are average or slightly above average height.
Once they've arrived and become enchanted, few families venture far from Montengrand although the very charming and well preserved medieval town of Mirepoix is just five minutes away by car and crammed with pretty shops, useful services (banks, pharmacies, doctors etc.) and family-friendly cafes and bistros. A trip to the Monday morning market which fill the town square and the cathedral forecourt, is not to be missed, neither is the annual puppet festival, which takes place in the first week of August, or the Jazz festival in April.
Beach bums and water sports enthusiasts will enjoy the sand-fringed 600-hectare La Montbel (10-20mins drive), whilst the Mediterranean beaches can be reached in just over an hour. The incredible La Cité at Carcassonne is only a 40-minute drive away and, during the winter months, the family-friendly ski station of Mont d’Olmes about the same distance.
Food lovers should not miss the opportunity to book a babysitter and visit the restaurant at the nearby Abbaye-Chateau de Camon, which, although reasonably priced (approx 40Euros for 4-courses) is highly acclaimed and has seating in the wonderfully atmospheric cloisters in the summer. Also highly recommended is the restaurant at the vineyard of Domaine Gayda.
Nearest Medical Services: 2 English speaking doctors in Mirepoix (5mins) & emergency department at Foix hospital ( 35- 40 mins)
Getting There: Flights - Carcassonne’s 'Salvaza' Airport is within 40-mins (served by Ryanair), Toulouse 'Blagnac' Airport is 1 hour away ( British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com & Flybe). By Rail: Take the Eurostar to either Paris or Lille and take the TGV to Toulouse. There is also a sleeper train from Paris to Carcassonne.
Check-in time: 16:00
Check-out time: 10:00
Reservation Deposit: 30%
Balance: 56 days prior to arrival
Check-in time: 16:00
Check-out time: 10:00
Reservation Deposit: 30%
Balance: 56 days prior to arrival
Sleeps 2 adults and 2 children plus infant in 2 bedrooms, 1 double and 1 bunk bed room.
Carcassonnes 'Salvaza' Airport is within 40-mins (served by Ryanair), Toulouse 'Blagnac' Airport is 1 hour away and Perpignan & Beziers Airports are 1 hour and 45 minutes away.
5 minutes away from the beautiful mediaeval, bastide town of Mirepoix, with its spectacular covered walkways, twice weekly markets, numerous restaurants, bars and pavement cafés
Beautifully landscaped heated outdoor pool with summer kitchen and gas barbecue and fantastic views to savour. Swimming pool area has secure fence, and child proof handle on gate. Gate is always double locked with key when under 5's are in residence.
Montengrand has a small roster of trusted, local, English speaking, baby sitters.
The following are always found in the cottages: toddler steps in bathrooms, toddler table and chairs, hand blender, sippy cups, plastic crockery, plastic cutlery, night lights & socket covers. The following are always available for those who need them and put in the cottages on request:wooden Cots, high chairs, booster seats, stairgates (top and bottom if required), baby bath, bath seat, non-slip bath mats, microwave steriliser, bed guard, potty & audio baby monitors.
Each cottage has a toy chest with a selection of toys, plus a small selection of baby/ toddler books in the children's' bedrooms and a DVD library.
Home-made meal delivery service available. Pre-arrival grocery shopping service. Local farm shop delivery, for seasonal fruit and veg grown in the surrounding fields. Daily bread and croissant deliveries can also be arranged. Plus, there's a large organic vegetable patch to plunder.
Lots of inflatables at the pool and pavement chalks which can be used very creatively on the sandstone slabs in the gardens and up at the swimming pool. There's a large wooden play fort and play house with slide and rope bridge plus a sand play table. Pre- bookable bike hire is possible from a local company who offer baby seats, helmets, tag alongs and trailers to make use of safe, flat cycle track from Montengrand to Mirepoix.
Stairgates are available.
Each cottage has its own private garden/terrace.
All of the properties at Montengrand have WiFi.
There is a small flock of very tame but slightly stupid sheep, lots of chickens who lay delicious eggs, 3 adorable, miniature Shetland ponies, 3 cats, guinea pigs to feed and two dogs called Lola and Jimmy. Little ones always enjoy helping to feed the menagerie.
Please click the text to scroll through reviews.
Our whole family had a great holiday. Laid back but caring hospitality. It was perfect! Fun activities for our 3 and 5 year old boys like collecting hen's eggs, trailer rides, collecting wood etc (in fact they were kept so occupied on the farm and with other family's children, we hardly saw them!). I couldn't recommend this holiday more if you have fun-loving children and like the outdoors. La Porcherie is a lovely cottage - well kitted out and homely.
Wonderful holiday- our young boys had a great time. It was hassle free with a young family. Looking forward to visiting again!
What felt like our first true family holiday with our 16 month old daughter where it mattered more about what she wanted. Happily we were all catered for. She was enchanted from the moment we arrived with the little table & chairs with colouring pencils laid out, all the animals, the teepee etc. We were also extremely comfortable too with a ready stocked fridge, fresh bread delivered every morning (often still warm), baby sitting & restaurant reservations organised for us as well as Adrian playing chauffeur! Needless to say we have already booked for 2 weeks next year & are hoping to bring some friends. We have previously enjoyed very peaceful breaks on Sark but this felt like Sark for toddlers.
We had a truly magical holiday here. A glorious house, perfect for our first holiday with our baby girl (11 months). The most charming hosts, beautiful setting, easy to access from the airport, charming market nearby, friendly animals to greet each morning and a stunning pool! Could not recommend it more highly. We will be back!
A truly fantastic holiday at Montengrand! We had high expectations based on the reviews we had read however our stay exceeded these expectations by some way! Fabulous cottages, wonderful owners and a stunning location. We had such an amazing, relaxing holiday and our 22 month old loved every minute. We can't wait to go back!
We had a lovely holiday here with our 13 month toddler in September. A lovely temperature to visit this area. We were extremely well looked after. The gite was lovely. Pool warm enough for baby and has lots of toys and facitilies. Everything is thought of. The owners are fantastic and so helpful. I am definitely recommending this place to friends.
Montegrand was a magical holiday for my husband and I and our two young children (age 6 and 4). One we will never forget. The accommodation was was beautiful, the setting stunning, and the hospitality second to none. The kids adored having the animals to play with...even taking Jimmy the dog for a walk and helping put the sheep back in their pen when they escaped!
We had a really lovely holiday at Montengrand. It was an ideal place for our 3 and 6 year old children who loved the pool, play castle and animals and loads of space to run around.
Wonderful. Nikki and her team run a fantastic holiday destination.
I would highly recommend this property for a family friendly destination and a great holiday. The owners, Nicki and Ade were very friendly and gave a great service to us from booking a local restaurant for us, sorting out bicycle hire and the fresh croissant delivery - all was taken care of. Faultless!
Fantastic place! Perfect for families!
Had a wonderful week's stay here. Nicki and Adrian cannot do enough to help and are so friendly. The children loved the place - making new friends and the freedom to explore. We would love to return!
It was a brilliant holiday for so many reasons - the location, the accommodation, facilities, pool, bar, staff, events. We still talk about our holiday fondly after many months.
The best destination for families, Montenegrand has a set up ideal for children, with cats, dogs, chickens, donkeys and sheep in abundance! Nicky and Ady make you feel at home from the moment you arrive. They were always available to help out when needed, from changing a tyre on a bicycle to fixing appliances! There are lots of children's toys, books and play areas. There are great prepared meals if you don't feel like cooking and a shop on site with essentials (including local wines) if you can't face leaving for the town! The pizza night was a great evening for both children and adults and the honesty bar was a great place to meet and get to know the owners and other guests. The pool area has a great set up with a kitchen, barbecue and sheltered seating area adjacent.
I had low expectations of how enjoyable & relaxing a holiday with 3 children under 4 could be, but our week in Montengrand was the best holiday we've ever had. The cottage was so beautifully furnished, the pool was perfect and the kids loved every second from feeding the sheep to pizza night to playing with their new friends in the other cottages. Nicki is the warmest host you could imagine and everything was made so easy for us. The town nearby is lovely and it's such an easy distance from the airport. I am now recommending Montengrand to everyone I know and we can't wait to go back!
We loved it here and had the best holiday. We are definitely going to return and have already told our friends all about our fab stay.