Histoires de Bastide

Tourrettes-sur-Loup, Cote d'Azur, France Book from Eur130

A clutch of peaceful B&B rooms in a medieval hilltop village that’s one of Provence’s best-kept secrets
Tourettes-sur-Loup is a hidden jewel - a fortified village perched on a rocky outcrop amid a sea of forested hills. Hordes flock to nearby St Paul de Vence, famed for its artists, but somehow Tourrettes’ winding stone streets have escaped the tourist invasion. Renowned for its violet cultivation (violet-scented products line the shelves of local shops), it also boasts some very fine restaurants - including a Michelin star.

Hidden on a side street near the main square (having moved from a previous incarnation just outside the village), this bijou B&B makes an excellent base for exploring. The feel is intimate, and the guestrooms are airy and bright, with simple furnishings, pale colours and travertine stone bathrooms that have been designed to soothe. Large windows gaze out over pine-scented slopes, and some rooms have Jacuzzi tubs. But best of all is the shared terrace - a vast suntrap with views that stretch for miles. It’s a wonderful place to linger over breakfast, relax with a good book, or sit back with an evening glass of wine as the stars emerge overhead.

Highs

  • A handy location in the heart of Tourrettes - ideal for a taste of Provençal village life
  • Breakfast is delicious and taken while gazing over the open landscape
  • Eye-popping views from the guestrooms and the terrace - you can even glimpse the sea glinting on the horizon
  • Owner Sandrine is a charming host, and spot-on with her restaurant recommendations
  • Only a short drive from Nice airport and the beaches of the Côte d’Azur. There’s parking nearby, too

Lows

  • No guest lounge, and no meals other than breakfast are served
  • The pool is half a mile from the guesthouse and there's charge to use it...
  • Sandrine lives off site and only pops round a couple of times each day, but she’s always at the end of the phone should you need anything
  • Some may find the interiors a little bland, and the period character of the building's exterior is sadly hidden behind orange render
  • You can only check in between 5pm and 7pm
  • Best suited to couples - no extra beds / baby cots, and bathrooms aren’t fully separated from the bedrooms (though toilets are enclosed)

Best time to go

It’s fabulous here in the height of summer, when you can enjoy long, lazy days away from the bustle of busier towns. If you plan on hitting the beaches along the Côte d’Azur during your stay, come in May, June, September or October to avoid the crowds. March and April can also be surprisingly nice - and mid-March brings Tourrettes’ famous violet festival.

Our top tips

There are some lovely footpaths leading from Tourrettes into the hills behind, taking you through rocky ravines and offering beautiful views. Ask Sandrine for directions.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 4
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Maps and guidebooks
Room:

Rooms

Elegance and simplicity are the buzzwords of the guestrooms. Walls and fabrics come in soothing taupes, natural creams and understated greys, and paintings provide occasional splashes of colour. Floors are made from warm oak, and wood-framed windows look out over the hills to the sea beyond.

All have kingsize beds with Egyptian linen and goosedown duvets, as well as a desk, a chair and a large wardrobe; you also get air-conditioning, free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. The travertine stone bathrooms are tucked behind walls of glass bricks (toilets are separate), and come with bathrobes, hairdryers and toiletries made by Grasse-based Fragonard.

Marius and Le Temps des Secrets has a shower and a Jacuzzi tub with chromotherapy lighting. The other rooms Fanny and Manon des Sources, have a large walk-in shower (no tub) and the former can be set up with twin beds on request. All share the same style and great views, so the choice largely depends on whether you’d like a soak in the bath.

Added in 2015, we're yet to personally view Le Temps des Secrets and Manon des Sources.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast is a highlight, and best enjoyed on the communal terrace beside the breakfast room, where there’s a table and chairs for each guestroom (spaced well apart for privacy). You'll find freshly squeezed orange juice (always a plus), just-baked baguettes and croissants, honey, fruit, and homemade and local jams (including violet and rose varieties).

For lunch and dinner, Tourrettes has a few first-rate restaurants, with prices to suit all pockets. Serious foodies should head to Le Clovis, a dinky little place in the heart of the village, whose young chef Julien Bousseau has won a Michelin star. Menus revolve around changing trios of seasonal ingredients - we visited in October so ate a wonderful starter of 3 varieties of wild mushroom, each cooked in a different way, followed by a memorable main of lièvre à la Royale (hare stuffed with foie gras) and homemade chestnut-flour pasta. Julien is a staunch supporter of local produce, and his approach covers everything from the food and wine to the crockery and olive-wood bread baskets.

Another good bet in central Tourrettes is Chez Grand Mère, a family-run restaurant serving North African dishes at very tasty prices. Going for 30 years, it’s a real locals’ favourite. Wine-lovers should try Le Cave de Tourrettes near the square, which has an impressive range of wines and tasty tapas. And, for hearty fare at giveaway prices, join villagers for lunch at the Café des Sports on the square - there’s little choice, but you’ll get a good meal for a steal. If you don’t mind a drive, try L’Ecole des Filles in Bar-sur-Loup (15 minutes in the direction of Grasse) for modern gastronomic cuisine.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Cooking classes
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity: Tourrettes-sur-Loup

Activities

  • Stroll the ancient pedestrianised streets of Tourrettes, visit the violet museum, and browse numerous potters, jewellers and silversmiths. Don’t miss market day on Wednesday
  • Wander half a mile to Histoire de Bastide's private guest swimming pool, set in a verdant garden with south-facing views - be warned though, there is a charge for use
  • Visit the pretty old town of Vence, 10 minutes’ drive away. Shop in its chic boutiques, marvel at the Matisse drawings on the walls of the Chapelle du Rosaire, and catch the Friday market in the square
  • Drive to Grasse, world capital of perfume. Envelop yourself in scent in the showrooms of some of the big parfumeries, then learn about the fascinating history of perfume at the Musée Internationale de la Parfumerie
  • Enjoy fantastic modern art at the Fondation Maeght in St Paul de Vence, including skinny bronzes by Giacometti and works by Miró, Chagall and Braque. Afterwards, pop in for a drink at La Colombe d’Or, the hotel-restaurant in the heart of St Paul de Vence, and take a peep at its original Picassos and Matisses, acquired in lieu of the artists’ unpaid bills
  • Top up your tan and hang out with the jetset on the beaches of the Côte d’Azur, just 20 minutes away
  • Take to the hills and follow one of the many long-distance hiking trails (sentiers de grandes randonnées). Sandrine can provide maps, or advise on local bike hire if you'd prefer to cycle
  • If you’re feeling energetic, climb the 1,248m Pic de Courmettes just above Tourrettes, or explore the Gorge du Loup near the village of Pont du Loup (10 minutes’ drive)
  • Take a course in cooking with flowers (including violets, of course) with chef Yves Terrillon in Pont du Loup; Sandrine can help arrange this

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

The B&B isn’t best-suited to children, as there are no extra beds or baby cots. That said, you could book 2 rooms together; Fanny can be set up as a twin room on request.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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