Loving Living in the Sun by our South of France correspondents James Talbot and Lavinia Percy
12 years ago, rainy dark days and the need for adventure persuaded us to leave the UK for sunnier climes. After hunting around for 18 months we bought two ancient stone farmhouses set amongst the vines in the Var some 60 miles west of Nice. Its river frontage and setting on its own peninsula was more than we ever dreamt of.
The next two years were spent rebuilding and extending the houses and putting in a swimming pool. The field surrounding them was transformed into an exotic Italianate garden and park with romantic walkways along the river, a fisherman’s paradise and nature lover’s idyll.
Then three years ago we decided to make it our full time residence.
Living in a warm climate with wonderful seafood and vegetables widely available, it has become a perfect lifestyle.
We are very centrally located, so frequent trips to Aix en Provence, St. Remy, Avignon, Marseille and the Spanish border have become a way of life. Menton, and the Italian Ligurian coast are just a most enjoyable day trip from here.
Although the farmhouse is hidden amongst the vineyards the main A8 motorway is just 10 minutes away. With this access and all the cultural delights of Europe we have everything we need at our fingertips.
Last month we drove up to Lago di Maggiore – a comfortable 4 hour drive and the Cote d’Azur, St. Tropez, Ste Maxime, Antibes and Juan les Pins are just 45 minutes distant. Similarly the charming Isles of Levant are easily accessible.
The colourful town of Nice or Nizza and its port can be reached in an hour as can Toulon. With three international airports ( Marseille, Nice and Toulon ) to choose from and a local train station from which we are whisked to Paris in 4 hrs by the TGV it really is an ideal spot.
This house has been full of family and friends for the past 10 years, a paradise to live in and a joy for us all. Now members of our family have moved to America and want us to follow. After much soul searching, with trepidation we have agreed to do so and now the property is for sale.
The two houses are configured to be used as one or two separate homes. It is ideal for two families or one large one and together have 7 beds and 6 baths, five acres of land and of course a 10 x 5 metre swimming pool. It is in immaculate condition.
Described by the locals as ‘un petit coin du Paradis ‘ we hope that it will be bought by a family who will love and appreciate it as much as we have done.
DETAILS OF LA BASTIDE DE LA RIVIERE AND THE OLIVE HOUSE
On the market for 2.5 million Euros
Two stone built period Provencal Farmhouses completely renovated to an exceptional standard.
Situated in an extraordinarily beautiful river setting on six acres of parkland, this is a nature lover’s paradise. The two houses can be lived in as one family home or separately.
Wonderful tropical gardens surround the house and pool area. These lead onto open parkland and down to the river, which is bordered by woodland of towering silver birch and aspen. Heron, kingfisher, terrapins, cormorant and wild duck are all a common sight.
The ruins of an ancient flour mill with waterfall and mill pool complement the river. Perfect for both swimming in the summer and fishing. It is possible to catch a variety of fish including carp, pike, perch, bream and trout from 300yds of riverbank. The park offers an environment with endless possibilities for recreation. There is plenty of space for a tennis court. It is unusual in this area to have so much usable flat land rather than precipitous terracing.
There are many seating areas and dining tables for lunches by the riverside. Canoeing is also another favourite sport for everyone to enjoy
6 en-suite Bathrooms
2 Sitting/Dining rooms
Covered Terrace 3m x 8m
Balcony from Master Bedroom 3m x 8m
5 Acres Parkland
300 metres River Bank
Two 15th century Courtyards
Cave 90sq ms
Salt Water Swimming Pool 5m x 10m
The houses include in their outside areas, two courtyards which are part of a 15th century ruin adjoining the Olive House. One south facing, a wonderful winter sun trap and the other half covered for evening dining with access to the garden and pool.
The garden has an Italianate flavour with fish pond and fountain fed by natural water from a spring and a small olive grove.
The property is situated on the edge of a tiny hamlet and the extensive grounds afford total privacy to the house and garden.
This property is a little corner of paradise in Provence.
Under 1hr from Nice, 45mins St Tropez, 45mins Cannes. Only ten minutes from the motorway and five minutes from local shops, two supermarkets, a butcher, boulangerie and hairdresser etc. A very convenient location for everything you need be it recreation, the beach, supermarkets. airports, or the train station.
Price 2.5 million euros