The revered dish of South West France is the hearty cassoulet. The original and definitive recipe of the rich, slow-cooked casserole is attributed to the small town of Castelnaudary, on the banks of the Canal du Midi. Or so its residents would claim. The Toulousains, however, beg to differ. Their subtle variations, they insist, are the key to the true cassoulet. And then there are the Carcassonnes. The region is accustomed to conflict. For nearly 6000 years this strategically-prized land has been fought over by Celts, Romans, Visigoths and Saracens. This, too, is Cathar country - historically proud and independent-minded - feted in the works of Rostand and Dumas. Lying in the rolling foothills of the Pyrenees, below the animated village of Fanjeaux, is the Domaine de la Hille: a charming, restored farmhouse with origins dating back to the 11th century. The 8-bedroom property lies at the centre of ten acres of manicured grounds and parkland, surrounding a shimmering Bisazza-tiled swimming pool and a soft-impact shaded tennis court.
- Entrance hall
- Utility room with two large American-style refrigerators, wine fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer and butlers sink
- Large kitchen with professional standard La Cornue oven with twin ovens, six gas hobs and griddle. Kitchen table with twin benches and French doors leading onto the courtyard.
- Courtyard: large south-facing gravel courtyard, planted with olive trees and roses. Vine shaded seating area with outdoor sofa and chairs. Large circular table with umbrella and five curved and fashioned benches seats 20.
- Steps leading up to the pool area with 13 m pool, tiled with green and gold flecked bisazza tiles. Surrounded by outdoor sofas and armchairs, umbrellas and 12 sun loungers.
- Off the kitchen: there is also a table tennis room / games room which in turn leads into the library and staircase to first floor.
- Sitting room with two 4-seater sofas, armchair, TV, Xbox,Playstation, music system with French doors leading onto the south courtyard.
- Dining room with large table seating up to 20 chairs. French doors leading onto shaded north terrace with table and seating for 20 people. Views across the lawns to the pond and the hills beyond.
- Original 11th century hall with main stone staircase to 1st floor.
- Storage area under the stairs with golf clubs, tennis racquets, volleyball, archery sets, badminton, boules, full yoga equipment, weights, boxing equipment, etc.
- Large drawing room no 2, with sofas, armchairs, desk, computers, WiFi.
Most of the rooms on the ground floor have French doors opening onto either the north or south terraces.
From the main staircase from the 11th century hall:
Large landing with doors into:
- Bedroom 1 - double bedroom with four-poster king-size bed
- Bedroom 2 - large dormitory style bedroom with four single beds; stairs leading up to children's "den"
- Bathroom with bath and walk-in shower
- Bedroom 3 - master bedroom with super king-size bed and en suite bathroom and dressing room. Walk-in shower and bath.
Off the master bedroom there are interconnecting lockable doors into:
- Bedroom 4 - double bedroom with king size lit bateau, en suite bathroom with shower and bath. Door onto landing.
- Bedroom 5 - double bedroom with king size bed, en suite bathroom with bath
Down three steps to:
- Bedroom 6 - double bedroom with king size bed, en suite bathroom with bath
- Bedroom 7 - twin single beds
- Bedroom 8 - double bedroom (simple mezzanine room)
Staircase back into library on ground floor.