“A magical mix of 17th-century charm and 21st-century hotel chic, with lavender-filled gardens, a pool and a hammam”
Gauthier worked with the architectural 'bones' of the original structure as he dressed each space, merging stone steps, tiny square windows and pitched roofs with whimsical items and unexpected splashes of colour.
Tucked into the farmhouse rafters, the 3 rooms - Heureux qui comme Ulysse, Tour du Gui and Baron Perché - have exposed beams and views of the garden. All have in-room sinks and Baron Perché also has a huge in-room tub set beneath a window; Tour du Gui and Heureux qui comme Ulysse have separate showers.
The 5 suites are larger and have lounges. Fleur Dumas boasts an original tiled floor, a shady private terrace with a daybed, and a glorious 1930s-style bathroom with claw-foot tub. Belle du Seigneur, set in the oldest part of the house, has a fireplace, sinks behind the bed and a shower hidden behind a glass panel. Chant du Mûrier is located in a separate building, so it’s ideal for couples seeking seclusion. It has a small terrace and we liked its curtains and cushions, made from recycled marine blankets. We hope to view Suite Odyssee and Suite Ecume des Jours on our next visit. They offer exposed stone walls, wooden beams and bright living areas; Odyssee has an in-room tub while Ecume des Jours has a mezzanine level.
We could easily have settled for a week in the sprawling Petit Prince Apartment thanks to its added space, kitchenette and 22sqm terrace with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
All rooms are heated and air-conditioned, with kingsize beds. Bathrooms are luxuriously outfitted with heated towel rails and organic Damana products. Suite Ecume des Jours and Petit Prince Apartment have enclosed bathrooms, others are at least semi-open to the bedroom area.
In addition to freshly squeezed orange juice and pots of coffee or tea, you can savour a gourmet breakfast of locally made yoghurt and cheeses, fruit from the garden, smoked salmon and charcuterie, French bread and croissants, and Gauthier's homemade jams. There’s even a machine for boiling the perfect egg. Linger on the sunny courtyard or in the dining room.
Salads and snacks are always available for lunch, based on what is ready to be harvested from the kitchen garden. You’re also welcome to bring food back and enjoy a picnic in the sauvage garden, though drinks should be ordered on site. If you’re staying in the Petit Prince Apartment, you can make simple meals in the kitchenette (fridge, hob, dishwasher and coffee-maker).
Most evenings, either the chef serves either a 3-course table d’hôtes or a la carte dinner is served by candlelight in the courtyard (6 nights per week). Part of the fun of 'dining in' is the delight Gauthier takes in bringing you samples of ingredients to smell. Our soup was a complex blend of cilantro, sorrel and cumin, accompanied by salmon topped with toasted pine nuts. It was delicious, as were the following courses: seasoned chicken in a simple tomato sauce, and a flourless cake sweetened with the first plump cherries of the season (picked on the property, of course). Special menus are available for vegetarians and children.
On days when dinner isn’t served, Guy and Gauthier are happy to make reservations at local restaurants, including the imaginative La Table 2 de Julien in Montaren, and Le Comptoir du 7, both within a short drive.
While this is more of a peaceful adult retreat, children are welcome in some rooms. Note that there are steep stone steps within the apartment and around the house and gardens.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Baby cots can be added to the Chant du Mûrier and Fleur Dumas Suites; the latter also has a double sofabed which can sleep 2 children or 1 adult. The Petit Prince Apartment and Belle du Seigneur Suite also have sofabeds, but cannot accommodate baby cots; the apartment also has a kitchenette.