“An easy-going spirit infuses this old stone house, with restful contemporary interiors and a pretty pool in its walled garden”
Three rooms overlook the garden and pool, two have views of fields and village buildings, all are on the first floor. The same contemporary feel runs throughout: colour-mixed concrete floors, off-white walls, Swiss Flex beds (very comfortable and can be made up as doubles or twins), crisp white sheets, mohair blankets and colourful raw silk eiderdowns. Also: terracotta pots, black-and-white pictures, simple coir mats and 19th-century radiators.
On our first visit we slept in the Fleur d'Oranger room at the back of the house and were delighted with it (Buddha in the fireplace, scented candles, beige curtains, orange silk eiderdown and original tiles in the excellent bathroom), though on our second visit we jumped at the chance of a garden-facing room. These are well worth chasing. They are bigger, lighter and come with Jacuzzi baths in the corner of the room (and elegant white drapes to protect the modest). Two of the three garden rooms, Parfum de Jasmin and Eau de Rose, have French windows opening onto large balustraded balconies, where you find deckchairs and parasols; you get a lot for your money. You can laze by the pool, pick up a drink, read on the balcony, retire for a snooze. There are newly-painted old armoires, exposed stone alcoves and the odd silk wall-hanging.
Located between these two rooms is Bois de Santal, which shares the same pretty view of the walled garden and also has a Jacuzzi bath. It's decked out in calming shades of green, white and beige but it doesn't have a balcony.
Those with a child should opt for Lait d'amande at the side of the house which has a built in sofa that can be used as an extra bed.
In summer you eat outside on a sail-shaded terrace. In winter you move inside and eat in front of a flaming wood-burner. A buffet breakfast from 9-11am offers home-made jams by the dozen, baguette and croissants, muesli, fruit and orange juice; there’s coffee and tea, too.
Two nights a week (Friday and Saturday) great dinners are on offer (for which you will pay extra), that are eaten in the lantern-lit garden. You might get a risotto or gazpacho, then red snapper or fillet of beef, a chocolate fondant with fresh fruit and ice cream and, finally, cheese. The kitchen and living area are open plan so you can watch the cooking and help yourself to drinks from the honesty fridge, including bottles of wine.
The village offers a couple of local restaurants. We ate hearty French cooking at Le Papet and were treated extremely kindly by Madame, who knew her art well. La Louisia, also in the village, is good (if not better). Head to Tavel and its ubiquitous auberge for something a little fancier, Avignon (10-15 minutes) for more cosmopolitan fare, or to Uzes (30 minutes) and Les Trois Salon for a 6-course tasting menu.
The small historic village of St Laurent des Arbes takes about 5 minutes to walk around - you'll find a couple of cafes, grocers, a pharmacy and a castle. Most guests use Maison Felisa as a base for exploring further afield, returning later in the day for a refreshing dip in the pool and a soothing massage.