Our Maison de Ville lies in the old heart of Colombiers, a rural village on the Canal du Midi, in the middle of France's largest wine growing area.
It was built in several parts, the oldest, we believe, dating back to the late 18th Century, with additions in the late 19th Century to make it the shape it is today.
The house was renovated in 2001, retaining a lot of attractive period features while the downstairs in particular, includes an element of more modern design.
Grand Rue was completely re-surfaced and given new drainage in 2002.
When the house was first built, the locals would have lived on the first floor with the ground floor being a working area with the entrance being via large wooden doors. This original entrance had become a garage by the time we acquired the house in 2006 with wide, folding doors, one of which contains the main door to number 15.
The downstairs now has a pleasant tiled area with two recliner seats, a small table and four matching chairs, the washing machine, the electrical Consumer Unit and the storage holding beach accessories. A door to the left leads into a small corridor with, off to the right, the shower room and Loo, a vestibule, a cave (now a curtained off storage area) and the downstairs bedroom, while turning left leads you upstairs.
At the top of the stairs there is a small landing with access to a washroom which houses a toilet and washbasin. The landing leads through into a combined living/dining and kitchen area with French windows opening onto the balcony which overlooks the street and catches the sun for a large part of the day.
A door at the back of the room opens into a two bedded room with an additional single bedded room to one side.
No 15 is 3 minutes walk from the tree-lined Canal du Midi.
Colombiers is more open and cosmopolitan than some French villages, having additional restaurants bars and a small supermarket to cater for the boat trade that travels along the Canal du Midi in summer.
Colombiers has a 'new Port' where people can hire canal boats and stop for provisions. The 'Port' also houses an 'Amphitheatre' where shared musical/theatrical/shows etc regularly take place throughout the year although the bulk of the shows obviously take place in the busier times. The workload of shows is shared with Nissan. Three of the local restaurants are based around the Port.
The stretch of the canal that finishes at Beziers is 33 miles long without a lock, but it makes up for that by having 8 locks in a row at Ecluse de Fonséranes immediately before the canal crosses the river Orb on a canal bridge on the outskirts of Beziers.
This is the deep South of France with Roman remains, Pilgrim's roads and a long history intertwined with strife, invasions, fighting and religion.
This is Cathar Country where the language is rich with Spanish influences, where the pace of life is slower and the summers are hot.
If you want the beaches, the bars, the night life, they aren't far away.
If you want to sit in the shade of the plane trees that line the canal with a picnic, you can do that as well.
In half an hour you could be walking in the foothills of the Haut Languedoc National Park or tasting wine in countless Domaines throughout the region.
If you want history there is more than you could possibly want within an hours drive while the number of Churches to explore are legion.
If you want to try the real France - this is where you'll find it.