B&B – Small Boutique Hotel near Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Gaillac

B&B-Small Boutique Hotel near Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Gaillac, the Domaine de Perches is at the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’. In short, luxury is synonymous with space, elegance, and tranquility. For the owners, discreet attention to guests’ needs is a top priority.

A unique place
An amazing location

Luxurious Rooms and Suites in this B&B – Small Boutique Hotel near Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Gaillac

Our guest rooms and suites are light, spacious and elegant. They tastefully blend fine, antique furnishing with generous contemporary beds, ancient architectural features with state-of-the-art shower and bathrooms, Egyptian cotton sheets, warm bathrobes and luxury toiletries. Experience the calm, serenity and refinement which Domaine de Perches offers you.

Share our passion for fine food and wine

Special care is taken in finding fresh seasonal produce to create interesting combinations of flavours and textures. Preceeded by an apéritif, dinner, although a four-course set meal, remains light, healthy, and balanced. Our dishes are complemented by a variety of interesting, high-quality wines from Gaillac and the South West. Depending on the season and the weather, dinner is served in one of the inside, or outside, dining rooms.

Perches Gallery Gaillac vineyards, Tarn

The Gaillac Vineyards around Perches.

Despite Gaillac having been one of France's earliest wine-growing areas, Gaillac and its wines have been pushed into the shadows by bigger names in Bordeaux and Burgundy. It should be remembered, however, that at one time the Gaillac vineyards…

Le Domaine de Perches: the perfect base for exploring Occitanie

by Michael Edwards Le Domaine de Perches: the perfect base for exploring Occitanie. A 17th-century wine chateau restored with immaculate modern taste, is simply ideal for touring Auch’s Late Gothic cathedral, the medieval city of Albi and…
Quintessential English Dream of France

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Dîner à la table d'hôte du Domaine

The art of French cuisine in the Tarn

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Albi a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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“Space, tranquility, wonderful hosts”

“Without a doubt, this stunning home is an absolute triumph and incredibly luxurious”

“All in all, the place to indulge in some of Gaillac’s best food and wines”

“A pool and terrace with a vista waiting for a contemporary Monet”

To book a room

To contact us

  • tel: 05 63 56 58 24
  • email: domainedeperches@orange.fr

The Gaillac Vineyards around Perches.

Perches Gallery Gaillac vineyards, Tarn

Despite Gaillac having been one of France’s earliest wine-growing areas, Gaillac and its wines have been pushed into the shadows by bigger names in Bordeaux and Burgundy. It should be remembered, however, that at one time the Gaillac vineyards around Perches produced wine which was enjoyed by Henry VIII! Gaillac is also home to the oldest wine cooperative in France.

Gaillac’s winemaking has a history dating back to Roman times: some of the first vines in the area were planted in the first century BC, a fact which can be backed up by the Roman remains of a pottery in the nearby village of Montans, which produced amphorae specifically for the transportation of Gaillac wine up the Tarn river to Bordeaux.

Subsequent years of warfare saw many of the vineyards destroyed and it was the monks at the Benedictine Abbaye-St-Michel in Gaillac who tenderly and meticulously brought the Gaillac vineyards back to life. It was then Henry VIII, several hundred years later, who did a great job of marketing them in the UK! In 1520, he met the French king François I in Calais, who gifted Henry with 50 barrels of Gaillac wine – clearly a quality wine he held in high regard. Henry allegedly very much enjoyed his present and drank it frequently afterwards, introducing the wines from this part of France to the rest of his friends. (This was much to the annoyance of Bordeaux wine producers.) In jealousy, they obstructed the ease of exporting Gaillac wine through crippling tarifs until its reputation abroad faded to almost nothing.

Gaillac wines

Domaine de Perches has a situation and a soil-type which lend themselves perfectly to wine making and to this day 5 hectares of the estate are dedicated to vines. After years of being allowed to deteriorate, the vineyards were brought back to life in the late eighties by the then owners who replaced many of the aging vines and introduced more modern production methods. Their success was endorsed by the oldest wine merchant in the UK– Berry Bros. & Rudd – who described Perches’s Sauvignon Blanc as displaying “a wonderful purity of fruit”.

Gaillac wine

When Alain bought the domaine, he wanted to keep the connection to wine alive so, despite the cuves having been long-hidden behind walls as the house was slowly renovated many years ago, there are still discreet clues within the house as to its former purpose.

The pigeonnier at Perches has also been retained although it is now home to a Barn Owl and her two babies! It was originally built to provide a plentiful supply of pigeon droppings – strictly the only form of fertiliser allowed on the vines according to the rules laid down by the Benedictine monks.

Another recent little discovery was a pile of notes pinned to an old door at the back of a barn. The notes date from 1961-1969 and are a record of quantities of marc (the solid residue of stems, pulp, seed and skins remaining after the grapes have been pressed). It is clear from these notes that the marc was sent off for secondary usage, possibly to make an eau-de-vie de marc or as a fertiliser.

Gaillac wine

The present vines are now looked after by Bernard Auque at Mas Pignou

vine de Gaillac

It was perhaps serendipity that brought Alain to Perches: when he came on his first holiday to the house he had just bought in Cordes in 1999, he very much enjoyed the Gaillac wines. When he flew back to the UK, he could not carry enough Gaillac wine for his friends and took it for granted that it would be available in London. As it turned out it was almost impossible to buy and the only one he eventually managed to find was the white wine from Domaine de Perches!  Nobody could have possibly guessed then and not least Alain himself, that 14 years later, he was going to become the happy owner of the Domaine de Perches and its vines!

Le Domaine de Perches: the perfect base for exploring Occitanie

by Michael Edwards

Le Domaine de Perches: the perfect base for exploring Occitanie. A 17th-century wine chateau restored with immaculate modern taste, is simply ideal for touring Auch’s Late Gothic cathedral, the medieval city of Albi and its Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, the cobbled village of Cordes-sur-Ciel floating in the sky on a misty morning, the abbey in Moissac, Armagnac and wine tasting, not forgetting the amazing Ville Rose – Toulouse.

Cordes-sur-Ciel

And Occitanie? It’s the huge new region of South West France – the consequence of the shot-gun midnight marriage (on 31st January 2015) of Languedoc-Rousillion and Midi-Pyrénées. As Provence’s country sister, Occitanie does decadence in its own bucolic way – enjoying the traditional luxuries of good food, fine wines and the time to savour them. 

Perches is ideally located for visiting the area and Alain and Howard have taken the chambre d’hôte concept to another level. They are the ultimate hosts, sharing a pre-dinner drink with their guests; the venue is dependent on temperature and light – perhaps on the decking by the pool, or in cooler autumn, a picture window to admire the sunset.

They bring their guests into their gallic world, gossiping of the crops that are flourishing, the restauranteur who has bagged a great chef and another who has lost his Michelin star, the local vintner who is experimenting with an interesting rosé, a concert in Toulouse, the latest exhibit at Albi’s Toulouse-Lautrec museum.Table d'hôte, Domaine de Perches

Suddenly a delicious four-course meal emerges and neither Alain or Howard has been absent for more than a couple of minutes. Then they recommend some remarkable local wines to complement each course as they dine with you. Armagnac follows.

The chambre d’hôte concept is not for everyone, some want a silent, reflective breakfast, though breakfast is never served earlier than 8.30. But Domaine de Perches has a remarkably high percentage of returning guests who savour their slice of upmarket French rural living, while Alain and Howard give their take on all things French, and especially, on what to see in Occitanie.

 

The Quintessential English Dream of France

Quintessential English Dream of France

 

Maison de luxeBy Michael Edwards

Somewhat ironic that le Domaine de Perches, a chambre d’hôte located forty miles north-east of Toulouse airport, in a dreamy golden-wheat-sunflowers-vineyard landscape may be the quintessential English Dream of France. Ironic too, that most of us could articulate the rags-to-riches go-getting American Dream, but struggle to define an English Dream. For, post Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, almost every Waitrose-shopping Brit dreams of a “project” in Provence or Tuscany – or France’s  enlarged and re-named South West region, Occitanie. “In fact,” says Howard, “there are rather a lot of people round here from somewhere else. We may be the new Provence.”

In an alternative life, it might have been you, rather than Alain and Howard, hosting guests in this epic restoration. It could have been you serving a chilled gazpacho or a seared tuna steak to your fortunate guests who’ve decided to park the car for the night and indulge in some of Gaillac’s fine wines.

 

Chamber d'hote de luxeThe oatmeal-coloured, south-facing rambling house is the ultimate property porn: a crumbling wine chateau reinvented as a modern design classic. Morning sunlight flooding into the library – reflected off the light wooden floor, over the sisal matting and gleaming back from a wall of solidly bound books – which is just one of the four reception rooms that demonstrates Alain’s flair for interior design. Cushions are always plumped, vases always tastefully filled.

Domaine de Perches is a soothing sanctuary, where wage-slaves can live The Grand Designs dream for a few tranquil days –  you can almost hear Kevin McCloud purring his appreciation – with views over the valley vineyards to the Montaigne Noire. For Alain and Howard are indefatigable restoration heroes: cultured interior design visionaries with impeccable taste.Maison d'hôte de charme

“We were looking for something smaller,” says Howard, Perches was their second project in this region, “but we fell in love with this place.” He was unable to resist an understated wave that took in a four-hectare panorama of house, swimming pool, tennis court, lily pond and a vineyard that is now harvested by a neighbour. It is a vista waiting for a contemporary Monet.

 

Reproduced with thanks from ‘Trip Reporter’

Michael Edwards, travel writer, visited Perches in late September 2017

Perches Gallery Gaillac vineyards, Tarn

The Gaillac Vineyards around Perches.

Despite Gaillac having been one of France's earliest wine-growing areas, Gaillac and its wines have been pushed into the shadows by bigger names in Bordeaux and Burgundy. It should be remembered, however, that at one time the Gaillac vineyards…

Le Domaine de Perches: the perfect base for exploring Occitanie

by Michael Edwards Le Domaine de Perches: the perfect base for exploring Occitanie. A 17th-century wine chateau restored with immaculate modern taste, is simply ideal for touring Auch’s Late Gothic cathedral, the medieval city of Albi and…
Quintessential English Dream of France

The Quintessential English Dream of France

  By Michael Edwards Somewhat ironic that le Domaine de Perches, a chambre d’hôte located forty miles north-east of Toulouse airport, in a dreamy golden-wheat-sunflowers-vineyard landscape may be the quintessential English Dream…
Dîner à la table d'hôte du Domaine

The art of French cuisine in the Tarn

The art of French cuisine in the Tarn is based on fresh local produce and aims to create appetising, healthy and balanced dishes. There are excellent local wines, many from the Gaillac region, to complement the food. The organic movement…

Visit the beautiful village of Puycelsi

  Visit the beautiful village of Puycelsi, one of ‘les plus beaux villages de France’ which is draped across the top of a hill in the Tarn. It is about a 20-minute drive from le Domaine de Perches. The village can be seen for…
Maison d'hôtes de luxe près de Cordes-sur-Ciel

Albi a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  Albi a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the episcopal city built along the River Tarn. Additionally, it is the administrative centre of the département of the same name. The city is home to the magnificent Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile…