“A traditional old stone townhouse filled with gorgeous contemporary art, situated at the edge Vence's picturesque old town”
Each of the 4 suites is individual. Pop Art has the Marilyn screen prints (one green, one red) above the big black bed with pink, orange and lime-green cushions to add some colour. There is a chandelier hanging from the bedroom ceiling and a giant swordfish from the bathroom ceiling. The sitting room has a black leather sofa with splashy colours on the wall behind.
Creamy white La Chapelle, up on the top floor, is huge. A wide double has ornate wrought-iron bedheads and room for a couple of armchairs. It also has gorgeous ceramics in a small display case, and a wonderfully extravagant bathroom.
Chateau is more demure by comparison, with carved wood bedheads and a bust on the black marble fireplace flanked by gilded lamps. There is a hand-painted decorative has an additional single bed in the living room so is a good option for families.
Cubist-inspired Vallauris was occupied the day we visited, but comes with the same delicious style and fittings: crisp white linen, quilted Provencal bedcovers, raw cotton curtains, shuttered windows, varnished wood desks and TVs (not that you need them).
Bathrooms are excellent, with huge cymbal-sized shower heads, contemporary porcelain sinks, heated towel rails and fluffy white bathrobes to pad around in.
Breakfast (included in the price) isn’t a rush. You eat in the kitchen with oils on the walls, a rather grand country dresser to one side, decanters on plinths, colourful tea tins lined up neatly on one shelf and a white beamed ceiling above you. A couple of baguettes are laid neatly across the bread board, there are baskets of croissants, pretty glasses filled with freshly-squeezed juice and various jams.
At night, if you want to stay in, Thierry will organise a plate of French cheeses with a salad, some bread and a bottle of Provencal wine. In the winter months, when it’s not too busy, table d’hôte dinners are available on request for a set price; you can discuss menus directly.
If you want to eat out at the poshest place in the area, head 2km down the hill to St Paul de Vence (an impossibly pretty hilltop village which is besieged in summer by tourists) and try to bag a table at Le Colombe d’Or, where Madonna and Robbie Williams like to hang out. Wildly expensive, and it might have had its day, but still the reputation lingers. But there's plenty of choice in Vence. Try L’Amoise for exceptional fish, or Le Clemenceau, a simple bistro in the old town for good local food and reasonable prices.