Destinations | The Reconnoisseur

A French B&B makes for a memorable birthday celebration

This B&B is small, chic, and totally endearing

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A French B&B makes for a memorable birthday celebration

February 08 2011
Lucie Greene

I’m not usually one to make a big fuss of birthdays, but when it came to my 30th this year, I felt I had to do something special. You see, 30 to me is when you become a proper grown-up. Cups, plates, and cutlery in your apartment should match. Bills should be paid on time. Parties, too, should be just a little bit civilised.

It was with this in mind that I found myself shunning the usual suspects – chiefly, Soho House – and instead searching for a weekend getaway to celebrate with friends. The moment I saw Le Trésor, I had a good feeling. This B&B is one of the latest additions to boutique hotel website Mr & Mrs Smith’s growing collection. With just four rooms, it’s situated in a 200-year-old house in Sonnac-sur-l’Hers in southern France (Toulouse and Carcassonne are the nearest airports), occupying one side of the village square.

During the winter the property is closed, but Tilly and Will, the young British owners, will open for groups taking over the whole place, which seemed perfect for my little gathering.

Le Trésor was totally endearing. The rooms were simply but chicly furnished with reclaimed furniture, and equipped with comforts such as high thread-count sheets and L’Occitane toiletries. And the living room – big fireplace, large enveloping sofas – became our den for the whole stay.

Taking over the house meant that we had the best of both worlds: hotel service, but with the freedom of a self-catered property. All our food was cooked for us, and was of a very high standard: my birthday dinner included warm fresh-baked bread with apricots, a goat’s cheese salad, duck with dauphinoise potatoes, and a rich chocolate torte.

My only quibble with the weekend was the weather, which was punishingly cold. But in fact that made staying indoors all the more fun. We cosied up with blankets, talked, laughed, and totally relaxed, before returning home revived. Now, how grown-up is that?

€85-€120 per person per night; a next-door cottage, Le Petit Trésor, is also available for €750 per week or €130 per night (three nights minimum).