Why Cathar Country Houses?

Lizzie’s Garden

Picture the scene …  two green eyed blondes – Jennifer (my neighbor ) significantly younger then me, and me – Lizzie – glasses of wine in hand, sitting in my garden over lunch, listening to the river, the cow bells from the fields on the hill behind, and the crow who keeps stealing my shiny metal clothespegs.  We were both talking about how much we love where we live….   I can’t remember who said it… but it is so true – ” This is one of France’s best kept secrets”… and it is.

We live in the Aude in South West France – it’s the land of troubadours, festivals to celebrate anything from a pumpkin to a hazelnut (any excuse to have a nice time !) and villages with warm red roof tiles, charming balconies, mountain views and trout streams ….  yet hardly anyone who doesn’t live here has heard of it.


Chateau Terre Blanche – Chalabre

We’ve got wonderful old stone built houses – some dating back to the 12th century – and so much history that we all take it almost for granted.  It’s an area that is a wonderful mix of traditional values and a firm determination to pick up the best of the modern world – excellent internet access, brilliant road network, easy air access to the rest of Europe and America ( Jennifer is American ) and amazing train services – lunch in Paris?- no problem, just catch the early train….. late lunch in Spain? no problem – 3 hour drive and you can be eating fresh caught fish at the side of a little, rocky bay.  In winter feel the urge to ski or snowboard? (or in my case do some tax free shopping!) no problem, the Principality of Andorra is an hour and a half away by car.  An hour and a half too far?  Well, there’s the “family friendly ” ski resort of Mont d’Olmes at half that distance…. and of course, we have the mediterranean about an hour away for the best of beach lovers…  bliss.


Lunch can lead to interesting things….  in our case the founding of Cathar Country Houses, our Estate Agency, so that we can share the wonders this area offers.  It has taken us from late summer until now to build a property portfolio that Jennifer and I are happy with – we have no intention of ever being a big agency –  we are small, specialist and have made decisions to take only houses that we would be happy to live in ourselves and that we feel offer outstanding value.

Strangest of all… we have decided that we are going to LISTEN to what our clients want!!  We’ve both had experiences of being shown property that in no way met what we wanted, and, if you are a busy person, that it the last thing anyone needs …..  so, we are going to be seriously different – and France even has a phrase for that ” Vive la difference ” !!

Welcome to CATHAR COUNTRY HOUSES…  let us know how we can help you!

~  Lizzie & Jennifer

CLICK HERE to view our portfolio properties…

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