Albi, from one bank to the other of the Tarn

This imposing 1930s residence had belonged to the same Albigensian family since its construction when Isabelle and Philippe Martial acquired it in 2014, leaving the outskirts of Paris to open a guest house in their region of origin. Seduced by its volumes, its surface area of ​​nearly 700 square meters and its location close to the city center, they opted for a renovation that upsets its character while enhancing it. On the ground floor, Isabelle has revived the mosaic floors and woodwork with contemporary design pieces by Matière Grise, Inga Sempé or Constance Guisset, while modern consoles and lightings sit alongside marble fireplaces.

Scents of cake and chouquettes

The “Zen” suite is on the first floor, facing the grand staircase. From her living room, you can see the Sainte-Cécile cathedral, a few hundred meters away. To reach the Episcopal City from the house, just cross the Tarn by taking the Pont-Vieux. The room is particularly spacious, and the parquet creaks a bit, which is the lot (and makes the charm) of the old residences.


The library and the benches are a natural invitation to read. When you wake up, aromas of cake and chouquettes from the oven slip under the door. In addition to being a fine cook, Isabelle (whose maiden name is Rives, hence the name given to the house) knows the city like the back of her hand and willingly shares her favorite itineraries. You will have to come back in fine weather to enjoy the vast landscaped garden and the salt-water swimming pool.

The Other Shores, 60, rue de Cantepau, from € 150 per night.

At 1000 meters: go in search of garlic

The primeur Chez Ivan and Lætitia, in the covered market of Albi.

The covered market is located under a Baltard-style pavilion, built in 1903. In the center, Chez Ivan and Lætitia, early vegetables, pink garlic manouilles from Lautrec (IGP appellation) are suspended above the stalls. It is eaten fresh from July to September, then stored for at least six months. It perfumes salads as well as stews. The seller, Ruben, gives a thousand tips on how to use it.

Covered market, rue Emile-Grand, open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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At 1,000 meters: feast without fuss

In the restaurant Au Hibou, at 21, rue Saint-Julien, in Albi.

After having cooked around the world for fifteen years, Loïc Benech took over Au Hibou this summer, a small restaurant on three levels. Less chic than the Cascarbar, located on the same street, the address attracts a laid-back clientele in search of creative cuisine and craft beer. Where does the name given by the previous owner come from? Perhaps an animal once nestled in the narrow staircase that leads to a tiny art gallery …

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Albi, from one bank to the other of the Tarn