Mar 23, 2009

Reuters article - "Travel Picks: Top 10 vacations for the newly unemployed"

Reuters have picked up the article that was written about us in "Travel and Leisure" this month.

You can read the specific graf about us below and check out the full article here:

"6. Finish Your Novel in a Medieval French Village: Got a half-written novel sitting in a drawer? Find inspiration at La Muse writers' retreat in Labastide-Esparbairenque, in the heart of Cathar country in the Languedoc. Its location in a quiet, secluded medieval village means there are no distractions here beyond the rustic food, the local farmers' markets, the nearby wineries, and the company of other writers."

If any one else out there would like to do an article on La Muse please email us at and we'll help you with whatever information you need!

The Tree of No

Sandy Florian, an attendee last year, just send us her new book, "The Tree of No." You can buy it at Action Books.

Sandy's previous books are Telescope (also Action Books) and 32 Pedals & 47 Stops (Tarpaulin Sky Press). She also has a blog which you can check out here.

Mar 21, 2009

The Wednesday Hike in the Mountains

Here are a couple of photos of the day-long hikes held in our mountains by the local tourist office.

The guy on the right is the artist Dave Beazley from New Zealand's north island. On the left, with the big smile, is Brendan Wolfe, our writing fellow this month from the University of Iowa writing program.

You can check out Dave's art on his website or buy it at his Auckland gallery's website, Sanderson Contemporary Art.

Brendan is a writer and editor (Kirkus, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Review, et al.) who has edited two alternative weekly newspapers, worked on the copy desk of a daily newspaper, and taught. He is working on a book and you can check out his cool blog.

The younger lady in the photo below is the jewelry designer Andrea Simper. She also comes from New Zealand and is at La Muse this month working on a beautiful new series of jewelry designs based around the idea of light. You can see her jewelry on her website , or, if you're in London in March or April, you can look at her work at Goldsmiths' Company's spring exhibition. Her recent work will also be shown at the La Muse gallery soon.

Mar 19, 2009

Taos Retreat

We have a friend, Tara Lumpkin, who's renting her house out in Taos while she travels.

Ideally she would love an artist or writer to rent it as that's what she is.

Email her through her house website if you're interested!

Mar 18, 2009

Fractured Atlas

We just became a member of Fractured Atlas.

If you're living in the US and you need insurance/advice as an artist/writer etc. you've got to check them out.

Mar 16, 2009

Fodor's article

Below is the review of La Muse in Fodor's "France" guide. It's in the "Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon" hotel reviews, under Carcassonne.

La Muse

  • Address: 1 rue de la Place, Labastide Esparbairenque, Carcassonne, 11380
  • Phone: 04-68-26-33-93

Fodor's Review:

A manor house in the center of a village perched on a mountainside over a river valley, La Muse is a welcome respite from the oft-touristed environs of Cathar country. Functioning primarily as an extended-stay retreat for artists and writers, the hostelry also accommodates shorter sojourns in "Calliope," a spacious suite overlooking the valley, and in several neighboring stone village houses (EUR 400-EUR 600 per week). You can enjoy the extensive La Muse library, the expansive slate terrace and gardens, or a conversation with one of the many distinguished international artists or writers after "quiet hours." The village is 10 minutes north of Lastours and a 15-minute walk from a great meal at Roquefere's Sire de Cabaret. Pros: tranquil and quiet; special experience off the beaten tourist track; short drive from Château Villatade winery. Cons: car is essential for getting here; most accommodations require extended stays.

  • Hotel Details: 4 rooms, 1 suite, 3 villas
  • In-room: Wi-Fi.
  • Credit Cards: AE, V
  • Closed: Closed Dec.

Mar 10, 2009

Travel and Leisure article

La Muse is in the March issue of Travel and Leisure magazine.

Written by Claire Berlinski, the article names us as one of the ten

"Top Vacations for the Newly Unemployed."

Below is some of the copy from the article about La Muse:

"Finish Your Novel in a Medieval French Village

Have a half-written novel sitting in your dresser drawer? Dust it off at a writers’ retreat in the Languedoc.

Where: Find inspiration at La Muse writers’ retreat in Labastide-Esparbairenque, in the heart of Cathar country in the Languedoc. Its location in a quiet, secluded medieval village means there are no distractions here beyond the rustic food, the local farmers’ markets, the nearby wineries, and the company of other writers. Bonus: writing a scathing roman à clef about your former employers will make you feel much better.

Price: Rates for three-week retreats range from $975 to $1,365, depending on the room. In winter, you can barter for your room by working several days a week—your tasks might include building stone walls or gardening."

Reuters will also be running an article a long the same lines soon.