“Grand 18th-century townhouse with succulent gardens, a shimmering pool and sparkling rooms, right on the doorstep of historic Nîmes”
The effervescent style and scale of the 14 rooms and suites is quite something; sparkling 18th-century elegance flows throughout, the different between them is size. Colours are regal: reds, greens, golds and blues.
Big beds come smartly attired with pure white cotton, woollen blankets and quilted bedcovers. Fling open the windows and you feel you can reach out and touch the tops of olive trees. Bathrooms are exquisite: expect the deepest claw-foot baths with big fat cymbal shower heads above, thick white towels and bathrobes, and, of course, the obligatory chandelier.
One of the huge Deluxe rooms has murals on the wall, a walnut armoire, a wood and marble floor and 19th-century radiators. High ceilings, soft light, and a lavish embroidered elegance throughout. You'll find candles in the garden, draped crowns above the bed, sweeping curtains, crystal wall lights and bowls of dried roses. The 2 Standard rooms are smaller, but far from small. One has toile de Jouy fabrics on the curtains and polished wood floors.
In summer you eat breakfast (extra charge) in the garden. The tables are scattered about so that you have a little corner to yourself. In winter tables are set up in the different salons, one in each room, then covered in starched linen cloths and graced with proper napkins and fine crockery. Whatever the season you get croissants and pain au chocolat, as well as baguettes. There are lovely jams, freshly-squeezed juice, cereals, bowls of fruit, pots of tea and coffee, and eggs if you want them.
For snacks and light meals, you can request a platter of fresh crudités or a platter of French cheeses, accompanied by a basket of bread, a bottle of wine and some fresh fruits. Prices are fairly high, but the choice of settings is unbeatable - a candlelit salon, the orangery or a secluded spot in the gardens.
Otherwise, you can eat your way around the world in Nimes, so take to the streets and follow your nose. Try Alexandre for a Michelin star, secluded Le Passage de Virginie for relaxed dining and the freshest of ingredients, or La Flambee in Rue Fresque for a super-simple setting and great crepes. If you want to sit and drink coffee, head to Le Café Carré and gaze upon La Maison Carrée, the only fully-preserved Roman temple in the world.