Hourtiquet was built in 1776 on the older foundations of a ‘fortified farmhouse’ – a place to provide shelter for its neighbours in troubled times. Today, the heavy wooden doors in its solid stone walls open into what is now one of the most delightful courtyard gardens you will ever see!
As you approach Hourtiquet along its gravel drive through a grass meadow, to begin with all you can see is a long, blank stone wall pierced by a large arched entrance – and if the heavy wooden doors are closed this looks rather forbidding! But inside these doors, enclosed by warm, honey-coloured stone and timber buildings on three sides, is a courtyard garden that provides endless delight: full of roses and lavender, with a variety of places to sit in the sun and the shade, terraces for morning tea or evening drinks, the perfect place to relax, read, chat - and just to enjoy this lovely place!
The present (English) owners of Hourtiquet have transformed an early C19 Gascon farmhouse and attached older farm buildings into a stylish, charming, comfortable and well-equipped home, forming two sides of the central courtyard. Facing South East towards the Pyrenees, the courtyard is very private and secluded, and can be made completely secure for small children.
The fenced swimming pool area is slightly away from the courtyard, to the East of the house and designed so you can spend the whole day by the large pool. There is a summer kitchen with BBQ, shower and WC, a covered dining area, lots of chairs, tables, loungers and sunshades – pure pleasure!
As you walk in through the arched main entrance (with the date stone 1776 over the arch) you will see across the courtyard in front of you the main double front doors into the house; above these doors is the interesting carved keystone (see photo) with the date 1813.
You will enter the house through these main doors, into the main sitting room with its open wood fire, comfortable sofas and seagrass flooring. To the right of this is a second sitting room/children’s TV room, with a projector for films and the WIFI router. There’s then a door on out (past an outside shower) into the high roofed Chai with its summer sitting/dining area – a magical spot!
Turning left from the entrance, you will pass into the unusual and very appealing ‘double’ kitchen/dining room. The first part of the first room has a dining table seating 10, with an open wood fire; the second part of this room is the ‘front’ kitchen, with the main sink and work/serving area and gas fired Aga; the second room is the working ‘back’ kitchen, with all the necessary fridges/freezers, Rangemaster cooker, microwave, dish washer, sink etc.
Off the side of the kitchen, through a back hall, is an attractive downstairs bedroom and ensuite bathroom, ideally placed if you have brought a cook or nanny with you. From the kitchen, continue into a hallway with very attractive old wooden staircase to the first floor (and see below). On the other side of this hallway is a small cosy dining room with a table for 6/8 and a wood-burning fireplace.
Beyond this dining room you will enter a different part of the house - the old barn. Here the owners (John is an architect and Louise a designer) have recently created their ‘Summer Room’’, a vast double-height family dining/sitting/party room with a huge fireplace. Beside the dining area, is a music room, with small grand piano. The Summer Room has French doors leading out to a terrace with a seating area looking onto the courtyard.
At the far end of the Summer Room, there is a double bedroom (‘Mountain View’) with ensuite shower room. Here also are the wrought iron stairs leading up to a library landing area with comfortable sofa’s and wonderful views of the Pyrenees. From this library a suspended gallery crosses above the Summer Room and back into the main house.
From the hallway (see above) beside the kitchen the characterful old wooden stairs takes you to a pretty, comfortable landing/sitting area with sofas and an open fire; off the landing is a small double bedroom, suitable for a child or young adult. The gallery from the library/Summer Room enters the other side of this landing, opposite the door through to the main bedroom area.
At the top of the stairs you turn left onto a landing leading to a large double bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and small dressing room. Opposite this is the charming main bedroom, with a large ensuite bathroom and a door out to a lovely private sheltered gallery. This lovely space built above the Chai (there are stairs down to the summer dining room) overlooks the courtyard garden and is perfect for your morning cup of tea, or for quiet reading at any time of day – it’s truly idyllic!
Practically every part of the house, upstairs and downstairs, overlooks or has access into, the courtyard garden – in summer it provides the main route connecting all parts of the house. This beautiful garden is at the centre of everything that happens at Hourtiquet and will also inspire your holiday.
Hourtiquet is the perfect holiday house for a family or a group of friends; it’s great for a special birthday or anniversary, taking advantage of the huge Summer Room and all the different areas for wining and dining.
Hourtiquet is very well-located on the edge of the small village of Laguian-Mazous and only 5kms from Mielan which has all services. Hourtiquet is also not far from Marciac with its renowned International Jazz Festival (this year from 24 July to 14 August 2020). It’s also about an hour’s drive to the Pyrenees, whether for walking/picnics/canoeing/rafting during the Summer, or skiing during the Winter.
*map pin shows nearest village to the property
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Hourtiquet is close to the small market town of Mielan, which has boulangerie, small supermarket, butcher, post office, bars, restaurants, pharmacie & a farmers' market on Thursday. The larger town of Mirande is 20 minutes' drive and has a better selection of supermarkets, patisseriers/boulangeries, an extremely good fish restaurant, bars on the square and a large Monday morning market.
Hourtiquet is under 20 minutes to Marciac, with its famous Jazz Festival in the Summer, which has a larger supermarket, with boulangeries, post office, pharmacies, selection of restaurants, bars etc. and a good market on Wednesday mornings.