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In a residential area of the city, not far from the banks of the Tarn, L’Autre Rives is distinguished by its slate roof and square corner tower overlooking the surrounding roofs covered with canal tiles. The chaining and framing of the brick window frames remind us, however, that we are indeed in Occitania - land of sun and light, of which Albi is one of the jewels. While the crowds roam the streets of the old town, the house cultivates a peaceful and healthy freshness. The decor exudes a modern and refined spirit that also contributes to the benevolent sense of calm that will seize guests upon arrival. They will only feel more determined to discover all the wonders of the city and its surroundings.
Several criteria led us to choose the city of Albi. The first was that it allowed us to return to our region of origin, the Southwest. Our families are from Toulouse and Pau. We wanted to be in town with a pleasant quality of life. It is a lifestyle choice and allows us to have a longer tourist season than in the countryside. I knew Albi because my parents would come from the Toulouse region from time to time to show their friends around. But I discovered another Albi! As it is now classified as a UNESCO world heritage site, a lot of efforts have been made to enhance the episcopal city and the Sainte-Cécile cathedral. After three stays in Albi, we ended up "meeting" our house. We had found the place where we wanted to settle, live and work.
It is a 1930s house built on four levels with quality materials. It has a sloping roof in slate which is quite remarkable for the region and gives it an imposing character. Inside are spaces to move around, large halls, 3.5m high ceilings and moldings that we were able to keep in the communal areas. The house is very bright because all the rooms have one or more large windows. Many noble materials have been preserved inside including oak for the parquet floors and marble for the fireplaces.
It was built by one of Albi's great families - the Fraysse/Andrieu family - with the help of a Tarn architect, Léon Daures. Particularly prolific, we owe him four historic monuments, three of which are located in Albi and the fourth is in Toulouse. He also built the Ambialet power plant which has some architectural elements in common with the house. The family who built the house included two brothers, entrepreneurs and goods merchants, who at the time acquired many plots of land in Albi and built many houses. They also owned the Tarn gravel pits and quarries in the region. The building adjoining ours was originally a molded concrete factory transformed by the Fraysse/Andrieu family into a repair shop for boats that dredged the Tarn below. The house has stayed in the family from its construction to when we bought it in 2014.
A character house with a large landscaped garden in the city centre equipped with a large salt pool. Our guest house was designed to be an oasis just a ten minute walk from the historic centre, the Sainte-Cécile cathedral and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. We pay special attention to our rich and varied breakfasts - we serve sweet and savoury dishes that are homemade or from local producers who work with organic or reasoned agriculture, and craftsmen with a passion for taste and quality products. We are always available to help our guests with activities, restaurants, tips.
We really like the Saint-Salvi cloister from the 11th century, it's a good spot to find a little freshness in the summer. It is one of the five edible gardens made available by the City. The fashion museum is a must-see. Dominique, the owner, bought part of the old Annonciades convent which is a historic building with architectural elements from the 12th to the 17th century still visible. He restored it to open a museum in 2012 where he exhibits the most beautiful pieces from his personal collection. Albi's new theatre is the only contemporary building in the city. Designed by architect Dominique Perrault, it is a place of life and culture. The Mappa mundi d'Albi is a medieval map of the world, included in a manuscript from the second half of the 8th century kept in the old collection of the Pierre-Amalric multimedia library in Albi. A few tours take place in August to allow visitors to see the original. Ten minutes from Albi are the Mining Museum and the Tarn Leap Museum. These two museums tell the industrial past of the region and are unpretentious but touching in their humanity. The most famous of the bastides (fortified villages perched on top of hills) Cordes-sur-Ciel, has become a little too touristy. There are many others and our favourites are Puycelsi, Lautrec and Ambialet. The Sorèze Abbey, the Dom Robert tapestry museum and the Canal du Midi for a long, cool walk. The Soulages museum in Rodez, the cathedral and the Bras café. We work with many local producers and artisans. Le château des Plantes in Cambounet-sur-le-Sor is the only pastel producer in the region who cultivates and processes leaves (dye) and flowers (oil) on site. Janie Chocolaterie is our favourite chocolate factory, it is outside the historic centre and well hidden. Les Confitures de ma Douce sells jams prepared with passion by Marion and they are the jams we serve for breakfast. L'Ambroisie is a small restaurant with simple decoration, tasty cuisine and perfect hospitality. The Epicurean is another example of the hospitality dear to the hearts of Albigensians. The Sommelier Table, the closest to us, was awarded a Michelin "bib gourmet" and features one main highlight: wine. Myriam and Arnaud serve travel themed fusion cuisine at Le Cascabar. La Tourelle Saint-Loup is a well-hidden tea room on the Place Saint-Loup. It owes its name to the Gothic chapel that has stood there since the 14th century. "L’épicerie Fauvette" is a grocery store and restaurant for lunch that serves fresh, organic products with flavours from around the world.
90 € - 170 € per night
On the ground floor are the living and dining room as well as a bedroom. On the first floor are three bedrooms and a suite. This suite is adaptable and can be transformed into a bedroom and a living room, or two bedrooms that can accommodate up to four people. All the bedrooms have en suites. Two bedrooms are fitted with baths, the other three have showers. Two rooms are on the street side with a view of the Sainte-Cécile cathedral. The other three bedrooms overlook the garden. All rooms are air conditioned.