Staying with Eve was possibly the highlight of our visit to Europe!! Her place is gorgeous, she and her friend Eric are charming company, and there is simply no way to describe how very memorable our visit was.
We arrived a bit late and Eve was very helpful and communicative, sending Eric to meet us at a local gas station and guide us through the country back roads (helpful, since it was a few dirt-road turns to find the residence.) They helped us bring our things in and then, despite the hour, invited us to join them in a drink. What could have been a brief perfunctory welcome turned into a lovely extended chat over drinks, with Eve pulling a few different specialties off the shelf to share with us. By the time we turned in we felt ourselves old friends and truly guests, not just tourists.
THE PHOTOS DO NOT DO THIS PLACE JUSTICE! Eve has beautifully renovated a 12th-century stable, leaving the unique character of the place intact, with stone walls and original ceilings, while bringing light and comfort and freshness in such a way that you just sink into the relaxation of being in a classic region of France.
I have to dwell on the rooms for a few moments. The beds are large and plushly comfortable. The roomy rainfall shower runs off the concrete-and-river-rock shower floor, and the glass walls give you the impression of being outdoors. The granite (?) stone sinks offset the natural shower with a little hint of upper crust luxury. And everything was pristinely perfectly clean.
Eve outdid herself on breakfast the next morning, with pastries and cakes, several local cheeses, cured meats, creme fraiche, coffee, tea, grapefruit... we had intended to have a hurried meal and dash out to see Carcassonne, but the breakfast and the company were such treats we wound up lingering. Afterwards Eve and Eric shared their garden with us, where we had the friendly accompaniment of Snow and Harry, the two large Great Pyrenees dogs, and Holly, the little Jack Russell terrier. The dogs wound their way around a few chickens in the yard, and Harry the parrot (yep, two Harrys!) entertained us with his opinions of the mini-menagerie.
Ultimately our hosts sent us off with a bag of fresh bread and cheese, some sprigs of rosemary, lavender and lemon balm to brighten our car, and a great sense of cheer.
This was such a great experience that it honestly has changed my next vacation plans. As soon as I have the opportunity to travel again I'll be booking a week or two here and really taking my time to appreciate all that this wonderful spot, and these wonderful people, have to offer.