We stayed at La Ferme de Maurel for three nights prior to our wedding in September and it was simply wonderful. Before we go away I normally research the local area and *over-analyse* reviews but in this instance, I just didn’t have the time, therefore it was a pleasant surprise.
La Ferme de Maurel is situated a 5-10 minute drive from Le Fossat, a village halfway between Toulouse and Foix in the Ariege, part of the Midi-Pyrenees in South West France. A fully-renovated authentic farmhouse dating back to the 18th century forms the main house where the hotel rooms are located and just behind sits the rentable gite.
As we drove through the rolling countryside to the hilltop location, I must admit I was a little hesitant and concerned about the location. It felt quite remote and out of the way which is something we are not used to but what we came to appreciate.
Our room on the first floor was tastefully decorated and the epitome of chic French style. Think rustic furniture and quaint features combined with duck egg, white and grey hues; a boutique-style hotel room in an authentic farmhouse.
I think that there is only around 4 or 5 rooms in the main house and we were the only occupants, which meant I had the pool to myself all day. There is also a rentable gite to the back of the property which can sleep up to 9 and has the added bonus of a kitchen, private outdoor eating area and two bathrooms.
The pool is kept clean and the grounds well-maintained with the open barn offering a welcome shaded area, perfect for picnics in the late afternoon sun. There is an outdoor kitchen with a fridge and an honest book, which is ideal if you fancy a glass of wine in the evening.
We ventured into Le Fossat for dinner a few nights, which is about a 5-10 minute drive. There is a Carrefoure so you can stock up on essentials and a lovely Vietnamese restaurant open all year, serving food made from fresh produce.
While I was not too conformable with the location at first, within a few hours I fully appreciated the remoteness of the property. It was so peaceful that I really had no option other than to relax. And this is something we all occasionally need. Much to my delight I even managed to read a book in two days, what with the endless hours relaxing in the hammock and on the sun lounger.
What makes this place so special is the personable service from the owners, Ann and Jef, who went out of their way to help us when our hire car wouldn’t start one evening and made us feel welcome and comfortable in what is essentially their family home.
As it is only a 40 minute drive from Toulouse airport, it is the perfect place to stay for a long weekend and at approximately £55 per night for a double room, it is incredibly affordable.