Pied-à-terre – from French, literally, foot on the ground. The term is used in reference to a small living unit, usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual’s primary residence. The term implies usage as a temporary second residence, either for part of the year or part of the work week.
My own personal pied-à-terre in Montpellier has the most wonderful diversity of grounds:
First, you have to climb exactly 106 steps, before reaching the last floor and the entryway, covered in polished concrete.
When you first enter, you find yourself in the kitchen, with the cute little sky light above.
Next to it is the bathroom – a place for reading or just marveling at the stones on the ground.
Then comes the living room, its cool floor covered with beautifully worn large grey stones, typical of the old architecture in Montpellier’s center.
Next door is the bedroom, with its creaky hardwood floors.
The bathtub may or may not be in the bedroom itself.
And lastly – “the balcony”! To get to it, you have to climb out of the bedroom window. Just beyond it is the roof of my favorite cinema that shows films with subtitles, rather than dubbed in French.
To all my dear friends: consider this a “teaser”. To see the rest, you’ll just have to come visit.