• +33 6 07 84 06 63
  • 1 Rue de la Place, 11380 Labastide-Esparbairenque, France

Alain, the guardian of the place

Once a doctor, a novelist in my spare time, I now dabble with my love of literature, music, cinema, philosophy and the visual arts.

La Muse and I, a love story

Like many others, after a search on the internet, on a superb day in September 2010, I found La Muse. When I got there, the house was empty; there was a note on the kitchen table asking me to settle into my room, Clio. I waited for the shuttle to return from Carcassonne with other new residents. The journey had been long, so I lay on the bed in front of the open windows where a warm breeze passed, and daydreamed with this fabulous landscape as my companion. A little later, I heard voices and laughter on the terrace, and I got up to meet half a dozen people who would enter my life and stay there for many years.

A parenthesis

Love stories are complicated. After a dozen stays, I said goodbye to La Muse in 2014. But I didn’t move away; I had also fallen in love with the region. I didn’t go far. I crossed the highway, and from Cabardès I went to settle in the Corbières, in the beautiful medieval village of Lagrasse. Lagrasse is a kind of large-scale La Muse; a crossroads of all cultures. Since 2018, I have been chairing the En Blanc Et Noir piano festival there.

Back to La Muse

In January 2019 the owners contacted me to announce their departure to the United States and the sale of La Muse. I knew I could not resist the temptation for long. When I visited the magical place again, I felt like I was coming home. Not to acquire it would have been a huge regret. Like me, Kerry and John Fanning wanted this unique place they created and developed with so much effort and passion to remain in the hands of someone who would appreciate its value.

I want to allow others to experience the extraordinary moments I lived at La Muse. The old house carries an immensely potent energy – perhaps it is the omnipresence of Mother Nature, the suspension of time, the unlikely meetings of unique personalities from all walks of life who find themselves in this well-hidden village of the Montagne Noire. Whatever it is, it is with great pleasure that I will welcome you to this magical place!

Alain Brichau

Alain's tastes

Ithaca by Constantin Cavafy

Minotaur Reading by Beth Carter

Bartleby by Herman Melville
Oblomov by Ivan Gontcharov

West of Rome by John Fante (Translated as Mon chien stupide in French)

Éléphant by Christian Silvain

Hélène Grimaud
Hilary Hahn
Barbara Hannigan

Annie Ernaux

Richard Ford

Alexandre Jollien for his Sagesse espiègle (Mischievous wisdom)

Socrates, the lover or Athens and Alcibiades

All those of Kieslowski
Victor Victoria, by Blake Edwards
All those of David Lean
Frankenstein Junior, by Mel Brooks
All those from South Korea
Rosetta, by the brothers Dardenne
All those of Agnès Varda
And of Jacques Demy

Les Royaumes de Léopold Strad, by Alain Brichau

Rachel and Julien, directors of Ateliers La Muse

A couple of “Musers”

Panoramic mountain views, cozy writing desks, a library full of books and a charming stone terrace… La Muse never disappoints. Whether it’s getting up with the sun to work on a novel, planning an essay over a long hike, or gathering for a reading on the terrace, La Muse is a place that inspires and invigorates. We grew to love La Muse so much that we got engaged there in 2021!

Rachel loves to work on her writing with the inspiring view from Euterpe, while her husband Julien spends hours writing on the terrace, where the neighbor’s cats sometimes make a guest appearance…

Workshops at La Muse

When Alain asked us if we’d be interested in organizing workshops at La Muse, we were ecstatic! We are thrilled to be able to share our passion for literature, creativity, writing, and art. Our various workshops aim to provide an encouraging and fruitful environment for everyone to create in the best conditions possible. We hope to build a community with creatives from around the world, be it over a workshop session or a homemade dinner, and contribute to La Muse’s power to inspire.