With such a colourful history and an architectural legacy built by some of the wealthiest citizens of France, a visit to Toulouse is always memorable – but try some of these luxurious suggestions for a totally unforgettable experience.
Toulouse is the capital of the Haute-Garonne department, and with Carcassonne and Albi forms the “Golden Triangle” known locally as the “Pays de Cocagne”.
During the Renaissance, Toulouse was one of the richest cities in France due to the sale of a unique blue colour made from “pastel” plants. It flourished on the soil of the Pays de Cocagne, which gained its name from the colour-making process where the plant’s leaves were formed into a ball, called the “coques”.
Eventually Toulouse became known as the Pink City, due to its abundance of striking terra-cotta brick buildings – most of which were built by wealthy pastel merchants – such as the ornate Hôtel d’Assézat, which houses fine art for the Bemberg Foundation.
Today Toulouse is one of the most vibrant cities in France, offering a lively arts and entertainment scene as well as being a thriving and successful hub for tourism and commerce.
If you are considering a trip to Toulouse, here are five ideas that could make your stay as luxurious as possible.
Stay at La Cour des Consuls Hotel and Spa
Located in the charming district of Les Carmes, La Cour des Consuls Hotel and Spa is a new five-star boutique hotel in Toulouse. Set in a grand 18th-century residence, the luxurious suites are chic and stylish with cool, neutral interiors that combine black and white, and chocolate and vanilla. Wander through the courtyard to the Champagne Bar for exclusive aperitifs and indulge in chef Jérôme Ryon’s exquisite cuisine at Le Cénacle, which offers traditional French fayre with a refined twist.
Travel VIP style around the city
Toulouse is France’s fifth city, so while it has an intimate feel at its heart, many of its must-go landmarks are fairly spread out, so why not travel around in a chauffeur-driven vehicle? Whether you need to quickly transfer from the international airport to a meeting downtown, or dash from a morning at the modern art museum, Les Abattoirs, to an afternoon at Space City, Cité de l’Espace, there are plenty of options in Toulouse for private and prestigious transportation services.
Dine out at Michel Sarran’s flagship restaurant
Michel Sarran’s restaurant in Toulouse is the place to go for gastronomic delights. Having earned his second Michelin star in 2003 and been part of the jury on Top Chef on French TV, Michel Sarran’s flagship restaurant is a must-go for any foodie in Toulouse. With “l’art de vivre” at its heart, this elegant restaurant’s speciality is langoustine and squid “macaronade”, a speciality originating from Sète.
Buy a property in the heart of the “Pink City”
It isn’t just “Toulousains” who flock to the legendary market on Place Victor Hugo, people from all over travel to buy the mouth-watering produce from this lively part of the city. Busy, bustling and surrounded by beautiful buildings, cafes and restaurants, this is one of the most sought-after locations to own property in Toulouse.
Properties like this spacious four-bedroom apartment (HH-10573317) don’t come on the market very often in Toulouse. With large windows, exposed brick walls and many original features, this is a good time to buy such a property as prices are starting to rise in the Pink City. This particular property also offers a savvy development opportunity to the right buyer as it needs a little updating in places.
With four bedrooms and city views this apartment could make a delightful family base for holidays and weekends, whilst also offering good rental prospects. For example, nearby in Blagnac, Airbus employs more than 15,000 people, so long-term yields (as well as short-term) make sound investments, especially for those with properties that can accommodate a family downtown.
Indulge in a luxury wine tour
If you’re in Toulouse it is well worth driving 45 minutes up the road to Gaillac. Located south east of Bordeaux and relatively unheard of compared with its world-famous neighbour, Gaillac wines have been part of French history for around 2,000 years.
Enigmatic and renowned for their diversity, there are over one hundred winemakers in the Gaillac area that you can visit on your personal wine route. If you prefer something more luxurious, private tours as well as bespoke packages are available which offer expert guides and tours of some of the most prestigious wine estates.
If you are looking to buy property in Toulouse, visit Home Hunts’ online portfolio at www.home-hunts.com. To speak to a local consultant about the best places to visit in Toulouse and your specific real estate needs, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.