Au Coeur de Beaufort is a two hundred year-old Maison Vigneronne set into the original ramparts of the medieval village of Beaufort (Herault), in the Minervois wine region of the newly-named Occitanie department of Southern France. (Formerly known as Languedoc-Roussillon).
Beaufort sits at the foothills of the Montagne Noire and the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc and is equidistant to Carcassonne, (famous for its renovated medieval Cité), Beziers and Narbonne. It is also just under an hour’s drive to the many beaches of the Southern French Mediterranean coastline.
Au Coeur de Beaufort was originally three separate dwellings that have been merged over the years to form one large, three storied, stone-walled house with a central staircase leading to the first floor bedroom suites: Passion and Indigos. Vintage is on the ground floor.
We first fell in love with all the original features of the house; the floor tiles, marble fireplaces, the rough plaster walls and the winding stone staircase. We have endeavoured, in its renovation, to preserve the charm of the authentic but have added the luxury of contemporary fittings in the ensuite bathrooms.
The elegant garden and its ten-metre lap pool, is separated from the house by the narrow rue Centrale. It provides a soothing oasis to relax in at the end of your exciting days of discovery – visiting the numerous boutique wine domains, places of historical interest and leisure activities nearby. Above all, the ‘heart-shaped’ garden offers a lovely place to breakfast, swim and unwind in the gently cooling breezes that circulate throughout the village, which make even the hottest afternoon and evenings by the pool a wholly pleasurable experience.
With its crumbling medieval Château, Beaufort village sits atop a small hill just outside of Olonzac, the Minervois’ principal village, offering all the cafes, restaurants and facilities one may require and a weekly market on Tuesdays offering local and organic produce and crafts.
Beaufort lies between the foothills of the Montagne Noire and the Pyrenees to the south, as such it is within easy access of the numerous Cathar historical sites including the Unesco World Heritage site of Minerve. It is a quiet, authentic wine-growers’ village with a well regarded restaurant, the Auberge de St. Martin within three minutes walk from the house. There is another restaurant nearby, L’Asphodèle, in our neighbouring village, Oupia (1.5km). We can also advise on and reserve tables for you at a variety of restaurants in the vicinity, ranging from basic French cuisine to Michelin-starred establishments.
Close by, there is also a leisure lake, Lac de Joarres for windsurfing, dinghy sailing, para-sailing, wild swimming and fishing. Or, for other sporting diversions, there are riding stables and an aerodrome at 10km distance, where one can learn and enjoy sky-diving.
About your Hosts…
Karin & Rafe McKenna
Still working in the creative industries – Rafe as a Sound Engineer and Master Mixer, Karin in publishing – we wanted to create a calm, cool and relaxed environment for our guests, a Repos Creatif if you like, where there are no strict regulations or formalities about the house, garden or pool – other than that our guests enjoy the space and respect the peace of others. Smoking, however, is only allowed in the garden area.
We bought and renovated the house for us as our main home, having lived in central London for many years, but we love meeting new people and sharing it with fellow world travellers.
We have both travelled extensively during our careers, so appreciate the little comforts that make all the difference to a Chambre d’Hôte stay: Shower Gel, OLVERUM bath oil, Shampoo, Conditioner and separate beach/pool towels are all included for those who prefer to travel light.
As we both come from large families of Actors, Musicians, Writers and Artists* we offer a 15% discount to all Equity, SAG and Musicians Union members. Longer stays of 7 days and over will also be offered at a discounted rate depending on availability.
*We keep two portable easels for visiting artists and can advise on local suppliers of materials.
Local Knowledge -We can provide you with as much guidance on where to go and what to see in the area as you like and have copious information to guide you, but likewise, we will leave our guests in peace to enjoy their time at Au Coeur de Beaufort without interference.
Au Coeur de Beaufort is currently open from June to September (incl.) each year, with a minimum stay of two nights. Costs are from 70€ per room (depending on month) for up to two guests (Passion and Indigos), including a plentiful breakfast, brought either to your bedroom suite or on the garden terrace, A 10€ surcharge will be added for an extra guest staying in Vintage.
Languages spoken by Karin: Fluent French and English, plus a little Italian, German and Spanish.