- english, french, german, spanish, Dutch
About Tom Zoethout
We are your neighbors, and I'm your host, useful if you have any question, but we also realize that you are on holiday and maybe just want peace and quiet. Our goal is you spending a wonderful vacation just the way you like it. Beside the vacation rental we grow shiitake mushrooms on a part of our land for a living.
Tom Zoethout purchased this House in 1999
What makes this House unique
The peace and quiet, the fresh air and the view, no traffic around you but the chirping of birds and crickets and the wind in the trees. Stay in nature at 800 mtr altitude overlooking the valleys and foothills of the French pyrenees in one of the most beatiful departments.
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 12:00 pm
smoking outside is allowed
100% refund if cancelled at least 14 days before arrival date. 50% refund if cancelled at least 7 days before arrival date.
Fascinating and beautiful setting
This is a beautiful setting in the mountains, with a long one lane (and daunting) winding road as an access. There were two donkeys in the back yard, pigs and goats at the end of the driveway, mountain views everywhere, quietness, and night skies filled with stars. In the evening cool, we could light the fireplace with wood and kindling that was provided. The gite is well provided. Tom was considerate and concerned. The surrounding towns were interesting. Foix and Montsegur are near. We had a wonderful and very memorable time.
MAGICAL TIME SPENT IN PEACEFUL BIT OF PARADISE
We spent a month in France and travelled over 4000km.
Our travels took us far and wide and we had an amazing time with many special and outstanding experiences of diverse and varied interest.
This beautiful old cottage in the hills at the end of a long winding road was without doubt the highlight for me and an experience that took me right back to my childhood when I ran wild in Africa and enjoyed wide open spaces, limitless freedom and abundant peace- all surrounded of course with the beauty of nature and the joy of animals nearby.
The hosts were perfect - friendly and helpful and generous with time and extra treats ( must try the mushrooms) but unobtrusive and respectful of our space at the same time.
The cottage was well fitted and very homely- special items of artistic and historical interest made us feel immediately at home and not in a "rented" property where cheap things are bought new just to equip the place.
Little family treasures and the crystal chandelier sparkling in the firelight in the evenings while listening to gentle old music transported us to another world of complete relaxation.
The old fire is well worth mastering and using even if it is not too cold because it gives such an atmosphere and has a life all of its own - like the warm heart of this cottage.
My favourite of all was meeting Neige and Peepo the darling donkeys- the dogs, cats and of course the ponies next door.
It was very hard to leave and I shall treasure the memories of this very special time for always.
In fact I have been inspired to change my life because of the joy I felt here.
This is the REAL thing- simple, wholesome, beautiful and peaceful.
A wonderful retreat to refresh the soul.
A romantic hideaway.
A family adventure in nature.
So many things.
May this beautiful place be blessed and safe for always and all that reside or visit.
I so hope we can return one day.
A magical piece of the Pyrenees
Not really enough superlatives for this location. Can’t give it 6 stars out of 5. The Brychous is a very well appointed vacation home perfectly situated about 4 kilometers off a main road. Tom, the landlord speaks excellent English, fluent Dutch, good French. More importantly, he is simply a very, very nice person. He was patient and genuinely happy to see us. Always available if needed (he lives in the other half of the building) but never intrusive. Did I mention he grows shiitake mushrooms as a sideline? And he lent me a guitar for the duration of our stay.
The accommodation is one half of a three hundred year old farmhouse. Tom did most of the work himself and it was clearly a labor of love. Two floors, one containing a very functional, large kitchen, a really well appointed bath area (jacuzzi tub and spacious shower) and a lovely sitting/dining area focused on an easily manageable fireplace. (I made a point of getting up early, starting a fire, and watching the sun come up) The second floor holds the bedrooms. Ours was quite large, with a grand wardrobe, two beds, and double glass doors leading to a balcony with a fantastic view.
And the view/location is better than the accommodation. Brychous is situated fairly high up, requiring a 4 K drive on a curving, switch-backed road...a common feature in the Ariege region and really quite fun. The property offers magnificent views in many directions. Sometimes the valleys are filled with mist. Sometimes the farthest peaks are perfectly clear. On a clear night, the star canopy absolutely dazzles. IF you have not seen the real sky, unpolluted by light, you owe it to yourself to come here and see it at least once.
The sights of the region are reasonably close. We easily visited the Cave at Niaux, the Chateau and market in Foix, Montsegur, and others. Even took a drive down toward Andorra, just to get a feel for the high Pyrenees.
No review would be complete without mentioning Neige and Pippo, the resident donkeys. we bought carrots and apples to make friends, and they seemed to accept it. Just on general principle, I give it six stars out of five.
Idyllic location, beautiful house and wonderful hosts
This is a real escape-from-it-all location, high in the hills with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. The drive there is impressive, the single track road snaking through wooded slopes with intermittent views down to the valley below. The house is comfortable, Cosy and well-equipped. It is Suitable for a couple or a larger family as the rooms are generous and the sleeping arrangements flexible. The main bedroom has a lovely wooden balcony looking out over the garden, you can sit in bed and watch the sun rise and the skies are very clear for star-gazing. Although it is rustic in style, there are luxuries such as the jacuzzi bath and a good shower. The kitchen is well equipped for cooking meals and there is a fire and a logburner, although it was still very warm in October. Tom and Sandrine were wonderful hosts, very helpful and we loved to see the donkeys in the garden and hear of Tom's mushroom cultivation techniques. For nature lovers there are lots of butterflies and birds, wildlife parks and opportunities to really escape into the nearby countryside. Although it is in a remote location, there are shops locally, markets and large supermarkets at Foix. There are lots of things to do well within reach of the house- but it is enough to stay close to the home and relax in the tranquil surroundings. Would recommend a drive along the Col de Crouzette, visits to Foix and the valley of Orlu. We would loved to have stayed longer, it was wonderful.
Pretty rustic and extremely rural but in a stunning location. We really loved it.
The final 4 km up from the valley floor to the property is really quite exciting - single track and hair pin bends all the way. Tom (our host) met us and showed us where to bring our camper van in order to access our part of the property in order to unload. After that we left our vehicle parked 75 meters from our front door. The property was as described on the website - maybe just a tiny bit more rustic than than I had anticipated but that added to its charm. Tom kept us supplied with logs for the open fire which we really enjoyed in the evenings of early October. Our bedroom balcony looked our over fields, trees, sheep and cows. Wonderful! Tom's English was very good and he was very friendly - we even spent a bit of time 'making music' (us with our ukuleles and him on percussion). We loved learning about his shitake mushroom growing project :)
Summary - beautifully peaceful and atmospheric place but you don't need to be too fussed by a few cobwebs and relaxed housekeeping. We would happily go back again.
Week end au vert top
Super semaine: Tom le propriétaire est trés gentil, trés patients avec nos enfants (et pourtant on en a 4!); le gite est en hauteur en pleine campagne mais pas loin du vilage etbSaint Girons et Foix sont à 30 minutes de voiture; habite juste à côté mais reste très discret.
Nous avons été visiter le chateau de Foix, les grotes du Mas d'Azil, différents petits villages autour, Saint Lizier ... la région est trés belle.
Juliette fait la bise à Pipo et Neige les deux ânes !
prehistoric caves and cathars castles to visit in direct area