Once upon a time, many centuries ago, there were two houses divided by a cobbled lane. Centuries later, the cobbled lane was replaced by a winding stairwell and a vast sky-lit hall. Today, the hall separates three charming first-floor apartments and it’s a privilege to stay, here in the medieval ramparts and off the market square (parking is an adventure!) of one of the most historic villages of France. It’s a special place for both couples and young families – and dogs; the small garden below ‘Balcony’, shared by ‘Riverside’ and ‘Market’, borders the pebble beach so you can paddle in the river or wander down to the 11th-century bridge. Each apartment is large, light-filled and lovely, with lofty beams and sweeping terracotta, pretty bathrooms and modern kitchens, colourful throws on comfy old sofas and quirky brocante finds – an easy, inviting décor. As for beautiful Lagrasse, it is centred around a Benedictine abbey dating from the time of Charlemagne. The owners, a young couple who live in the apartment above, are passionate about the Corbières and most courteous and flexible with guests.