Aan tafel!


For 9 years our guests have left us the most touching messages and the finest drawings in our guest books. It is quite impossible to post these couple of thousands of pages on the website. Every time we try to make a selection we realize that that too is a hopeless task.  Every message has its unique charm and every single word touches us deeply. Those who would like to wander through those lovely books will have to come and do it here...

We can offer you an alternative, though! In 2010 an independent poll was conducted by a reputable Belgian publisher of travel guides. There was a massive response, and we are very proud of the enviable result La Vigne Rousse obtained. We will not bother you with endless statistics, but we will summarize what our guests value most in our house:
  • Pre-eminent top score is welcome by and availability of the hosts: we obtained a breathtaking 9,8/10.
  • The quality of the dinners  got an appreciation of 9,4/10.
  • Comfort, equipment and cleanliness of the rooms scored 9,2/10.
Asked why the guests would recommend a stay with us their top answers are:
  • To relaxA great number of touristic highlights are close by and easy to reach To enjoy the excellent foodFor a romantic holiday
  • For the excellent atmosphere among the guests

If they wished, guest could leave a personal remark, but there was no obligation at all. Almost everyone who evaluated us made the effort. The publisher sent us unsigned remarks, of course, to guarantee the anonymity of the poll, but to us it is mostly quite easy to recognize our guests. We translated their testimony; enjoy what they wrote:

The wonderful hostess and host make you really feel at home here.

These people are just super, nothing is ever too much for them. They treat you as if you were their own children, in short, other B&Bs could learn something from them.

We were very pleased with our holiday, and we’re sure to return there.

HOSPITALITY written all in capitals. A nice, easygoing, down to earth atmosphere with a poetic touch to it, irresistible even to the greatest philistine.  The food and drink is pure heaven. I don’t speak French, but Klaartje and Jo: ‘bon, bon, bon’.

It’s been two years running now that my girlfriend and I spend a week here. Both times we had a smashing holiday. There are innumerable places of interest to visit , to everyone’s taste. But then, the way we were welcomed, Klaartje’s delicious cooking (she could run a star restaurant), the talks well into the small hours of the night, the jovial atmosphere make this a lovely place to stay. We are going back there next summer to spend part of our holiday.

An extremely warm welcome in this delightful old mansion. Lots of beautiful walks in the immediate surroundings. By car one is within a stone’s throw of many of the area’s touristic highlights (Carcassonne, Narbonne, the Cathar Castles, the Mediterranean, etc...)

To everyone who is looking for an unforgettable, fantastic trip: let yourself be pampered and cared for at La Vigne Rousse. Host and hostess Jo and Klaartje will see to it that everything is perfectly arranged. Best tip ever!

Perfect address. Very warm welcome. Situated between the Fontfroide abbey and Lagrasse. Not far from the Cathar castles and the Canal du Midi. Perfect starting point for biking tours: hilly, but not yet those steep Pyrenees climbs.

We were received exceedingly well.  Any practical question we had, Klaartje and Jo had the answer. The evening meals are an absolute treat!

An incredibly heart-warming welcome!

Hostess and host are one couple out of a thousand! Very welcoming, always a smile. There are no rules, everyone does as he pleases. Great evenings to be had in or without the company of the other guests.

The host and hostess know perfectly well how to make their guests feel completely at ease, whatever their character or background. They’re also past masters in making their guests get along with each other in full harmony. Apart from that, they spare no effort to give you a dream holiday and what’s more: they don’t overrate the merits of each touristic feature.

Not only are the owners very friendly and witty, they’re also exceedingly flexible and helpful.

Very warm-hearted hostess and host, who run their B&B with gusto. The ambiance is very agreeable and the food delicious.

We (myself, my two children and their partners) had a whale of a time thanks to the personalized and entertaining reception by our hosts. My children had asked them to prepare a double surprise for my birthday: a picnic hamper for lunch, and a gastronomic dinner at La Vigne Rousse that evening. Whatever we fancied was done even before we asked for it. Everything was perfect.

For ten days we were pampered by the genuine kindness of our hosts. Our hostess knew how to tease our palates every day (e.g. a starter of fried scampi on scrambled eggs with freshly picked wild asparagus: mmm what a treat!). A Flemish couple with Belgian savoir vivre in a French nonchalant setting. Philosophical, social, hard work, books, nature, knick-knacks, dry martinis, wine, authenticity,... just a jumble of words that could be turned into a holiday novel, but which we shall cherish just for ourselves. It’s as if we left two close friends behind when we returned home.

A home with a heart, full of authenticity and nostalgia. The owners are emphatic people who’ll go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. Every evening it feels like coming home, or like staying with old friends. The fact that our hostess is an excellent chef who takes genuine pleasure in cooking the most delightful dishes with fresh local ingredients is an additional bonus. We have rarely felt so at home as in this B&B. An absolute must for those who appreciate sincerity.

Arriving at La Vigne Rousse is like coming home after a long journey. An incredibly warm welcome by two friendly and enthusiastic people. We’ve already spent two vacations there, and we’re sure to return. Just one example of how helpful they are: Jo shaved off his long, long beard because our then only daughter was afraid of it. It did help, because after that they got on like a house on fire. And Klaartje proudly reminding us (and everyone else) that our second daughter is ‘made in La Vigne Rousse’, well, that’s Klaartje all over. We’re not family, and yet they‘ve got a picture of themselves with our three daughters taped on their fridge door. So we were told by other relatives we sent there, and who were pleasantly surprised to see it. In short, they’re like family you haven’t seen in years.

Extremely cordial and warm welcome.

La Vigne Rousse is really the top. Two darling hosts, ever ready to help their guests. Everyone is in a good mood, the meals are delicious, the rooms and the whole house bathe in an extremely  warm atmosphere. Words fail me.

A very warm welcome. Fabulous food, charming surroundings. Highly recommended!!

Our stay at La Vigne Rousse was pure bliss! While our son Jasper played in the courtyard for days on end, we both basked in peacefulness and a whole year’s stress just melted away. The food was superb. Jo and Klaartje create a jovial atmosphere in which we felt completely at home.

I travel single. Therefore, I appreciated my hosts’ welcome and their company all the more. They took me in like part of the family, and that’s how I felt all the time there. They gave me enormous freedom (breakfast at all hours, latchkey,..) and lots of tips about things to do and visit. This kind of tips by local people always get you to the most idyllic spots.

Ever since La Vigne Rousse started, we’ve stayed with Klaartje and Jo for at least once a year. The first time as a young couple, the next time just before our marriage, then as newlyweds, later when we were expecting our first son, than with him a few months old, etc, etc... We always immensely enjoy our stay there, be it for just a few days or for a fortnight. Hard to mention everything we like about the place. Perhaps what we appreciated most is the way Klaartje and Jo received our son Louis who was only 5 months when he first visited them. No problem to have a microwave in the room, a fridge at our disposal. Klaartje lovingly picked fresh vegetables from the garden for me to cook in his steamer: Louis must have the best! In the following years Louis’ meal was adapted or served before the grown ups’ dinner. This is only one small aspect, but we’ve always been fully pleased with everything.  One more thing needs to be told: the dinners are SUBLIME! We’ve already told Klaartje several times that she ought to write a cookery book; that would be great. It’s a good thing she is happy to share her recipes with anyone.

The hallmark of this house is the unconditional efforts of host and hostess alike to make their guests feel at home and comfortable. Especially Klaartje’s enthusiasm is literally inexhaustible. One feels immediately basked in French joie de vivre.

Everything is absolutely charming: the village, the house, the decoration, the courtyard. And the hostess and host!!

We’ve had lovely days in a fantastic house with very extraordinary people. Our suggestion is: try it!

Thank you, thank you, dearest guests! We enjoy our ‘work’, and we are what we are. Our bulging guest books are our most cherished treasures: they show us again and again that we do a good job and that you liked it here! The fact that so many of you have taken the trouble to reward us in an independent poll is something we would never have expected. In the best tradition of the house: let’s drink to it!



Belgian publishers Lannoo and their travel guides

In 2003 Peter Jacobs and Erwin De Decker travelled across France, armed with an impressive arsenal of maps, methodically outlined routes, excellently prepared documents, and most of all: a passion for creating an original travel guide. Our house was visited and tested too, and we were very impressed by their thorough approach. In 2004 the first edition appeared, and La Vigne Rousse  was recommended as a ‘grand cru’. It was the beginning of an unexpected and unforeseen success. The guide was reprinted, extended, rewritten. Every owner of a B&B or small hotel is anxious to get his house into this prestigious guide. One does not pay to get listed; one is simply chosen, which is the best guarantee for an objective guide, and at the same time the secret of its immense success.