For people who toil away in shiny glass boxes in the constantly connected City of London, the rustic experience on offer in Provence has proved to be an understandable attraction.
The desire for a slower, simpler pace of life, where you get up in the morning and head to a market to buy produce that has come straight from a farm – after a visit to a local boulangerie, of course – has drawn travellers from other parts of Europe for more than 100 years. Many decide that once here, they don’t want to leave.
South Luberon, an area of Provence on the foothills of a mountain range in a national park, is filled with lavender fields and picturesque villages.
An 18th-century farmhouse set at a crossroads between three of these villages, Cucuron, Ansouis and Lourmarin, is now on the market with a price tag of €8.5 million (Dh34.7m).
So what can you expect for that kind of money?
Plenty of space, for a start. The farmhouse is on 25 hectares of land that includes a garden full of Mediterranean spices, an olive grove and a vineyard. It also contains a pool house, a mud room and panoramic views over the Luberon mountains.
The farmhouse itself has more than 700 square metres of living space. Inside, it is split over two levels. The upper floor contains a reading lounge and five bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The parental suite has a dressing room and direct access to a bar at mezzanine level.
On the ground floor, there is a large, vaulted sitting room with a central fireplace, a dining room with music area, a kitchen with another fireplace and a large terrace to the rear. There are also reception rooms that lead to the mezzanine-level bar and a library. There’s also an annex containing the caretaker’s apartment, a boiler room, the pool house and a laundry area.
There are schools, shops and other local facilities nearby, and for those who may need to rush back to their glass box in a hurry, it is just 25 minutes from the nearest TGV station at Aix-en-Provence and 45 minutes from Marseille Provence Airport.
Vincent Boutière handles executive sales for Emile Garcin Propriétés, an estate agency in Aix-en-Provence handling the sale of the farmhouse:
What is this area like?
South Luberon benefits from an astonishing and relaxing light. Beauty of landscapes is omnipresent in all seasons, and easy living is evident.
You may enjoy holidays or live all year round. For typical Provençal villages, visit Cucuron or Ansouis, without forgetting the must-see Lourmarin – the village which was home to Albert Camus, Henri Bosco and more recently Peter Mayle. We love their markets, cafes and castles.
Who would typically be interested in a property like this?
This unique property is mainly intended for somebody who likes things done well. The renovation of this residence is perfect and has amenities of high quality. Surprisingly, despite its living area of 700 square metres, the building has a human scale. It would suit a family or a businessman wishing to revitalise and recharge batteries.
What advice would you give to someone moving into this area?
Be prepared to be wishing to stay longer than you planned. Foreigners who buy in this area each year extend the duration of their holidays or stay. Some expatriate English owners have even decided to live here all year, with their children at school, and work from their property with occasional round trips to London. Try the Provençal gastronomy, morning markets, aperitif time and receptions.
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