You could quite easily spend the whole day out here. The spacious balcony offers superb views of the ancient bridge, medieval castle and the mountains behind – and of course the beautiful river Aude. You’ll find a table and chairs as well as a small herb garden. The grape vine provides welcome shade where it curls up the wall and over the arbour – time it right in the autumn and you may find home-grown grapes on the breakfast table!
Breakfast on the balcony is quite splendid. Make your selection from the breakfast table, sit down with a fresh cup of home made coffee and watch the sun rise over the chateau.
If you get up a little earlier you may get a glimpse of a heron fishing in the river or perhaps the sight of a king fisher. The dawn chorus starts the day, with the many birds that live around the riverside – fly catchers, yellow wagtails divers and swallows.
The ducks add a little humour to the babbling waters, especially when engaged in a little duck rugby. We often feed the ducks and have found that if you save the ends of your French stick (which resembles a rugby ball) and throw it over at the end of the feed, they will run with it and fight for the ball, it’s like a scene from Twickenham and has us in stitches every time.
The breakfast kitchen is on the ground floor and leads to the balcony. The choice is yours although we always prefer to eat outside. As the balcony faces east, the harshness of the summer sun moves around for the afternoon and makes the balcony a pleasure at any time of day.
Your peace is only interrupted by the occasional canoeist passing by or the hum of a dragon fly or humming-bird moth.
As the sun moves round and nestles behind the foothills of the Pyrenees the eastern skies light up with its dying embers. The tranquillity of the balcony now comes into its own. Open a bottle of local wine or Blanquette and feast on your favourite book or play a game of dominoes or cards.