Two years ago, Jeany and Stephen realised their ultimate dream of owning a wine estate, ten years after moving from London to Provence. Here, Jeany talks us through how she has gone about lovingly restoring and renovating La Bastide farmhouse on Domaine Mirabeau to its authentic charm, and shares her favourite thing to do when she and Stephen stay at the Domaine.
Bastide is a local term for a manor house in Provence, located in the countryside or in a village, and originally occupied by a wealthy farmer. Bastides are square or rectangular, finished with a kind of cement and lime wash, either rose, golden, or ochre-toned, and are larger and more elegant than a Mas farmhouse. In Provence wealthy estate owners escaped the heat of town to their stately homes for a summer retreat and to supervise the farming. La Bastide on Domaine Mirabeau was built in the early 1800s, with the former animal barn being converted into what is now the spacious living room and two additional bedrooms in the 1960s.
Q&A with Jeany about Her Renovation Project
What was your design inspiration for La Bastide on Domaine Mirabeau?
My main inspiration came from local houses with their traditional materials, which I have come to love over the last 10 years. We have stuck to simple natural colours and materials with the occasional different touch to bring some fun modernity to this building.
What did the renovations of La Bastide involve?
We were largely spared structural work, because the room layout was so good already, but the building underwent a full redecoration and all the bathrooms were completely reworked to be much more beautiful and functional. The kitchen was re-built by hand and we replaced all the furniture.
Can you give us some examples of some of the brands you’ve worked with for the interior design and décor in La Bastide?
We have worked with some lovely houses like Manuel Canovas and Christopher Farr for their great linen fabrics, an incredible Zellige tiles supplier called Zellige Warehouse and a local company that happen to supply the whole of Paris with their beautiful metro tiles (they even made us a pink version). A lot of the other touches were handmade by local craftsmen, such as the kitchen and the metalwork and we kept as much of the original features as we could.
Can you tell us a little about the interior design and features in the new suites?
The suites are both very roomy with great beds and little sitting areas. The Garden suite has a lovely exit to the back gardens, as well as a dressing room and pretty bathroom with a marble mosaic floor. There are plenty of works of art and decorative touches, including an original from our favourite painter Jean Arène in each bedroom. The Baignoire Rose suite features a huge bathroom with a pale pink freestanding clawfoot tub and whitewashed floorboards, with views over the vineyards. In the shower, we chose gorgeous Moroccan Zellige tiles in the shape of fish scales. All the bathroom hardware is from Axor, which is such a great brand for a retro design and solid quality feel.
What does your ideal day relaxing on Domaine Mirabeau look like, if you didn’t have to work?!
We love walking around the vines, saying hi to the alpacas and the pigs, followed by lounging in the deep linen sofas with a good book or a magazine. The place oozes tranquility so it is very easy to relax and let the world go by. In the summer we love cooking up a good meal with lots of fruit and vegetables and indulging in a long lunch, followed by a swim. Sunsets are incredible too, so we make sure we are sat outside with a glass of rosé and some olives to watch it go down behind the umbrella pines.
What are your favourite things to do in the local area, when you and Stephen stay at La Bastide on Domaine Mirabeau?
Our favourite things are to hop in the car for a quick visit to the beach and maybe treat ourselves to a seafood lunch at one of the restaurants on Pampelonne beach behind St Tropez. Another lovely outing is to go to one of the flea markets in the local area, Grimaud not far down the road has one most Sundays. But more often than not we just enjoy staying around La Bastide; moving from one shady spot to another as the day goes by.
Features of La Bastide
Stunning terraces for al fresco dining, a private heated outdoor swimming pool and plunge pool, lush gardens with scents of Provence and a boules court – this truly is a haven of peace. La Bastide exudes French charm with rustic stone, wooden beams and traditional shutters. The farmhouse has seven spacious bedrooms, five of which are ensuite, and two share a bathroom. All bedrooms look out onto the surrounding vineyards. There are two stunning suites, both newly refurbished in 2020.
The property has a large open-plan kitchen and dining area, perfect for enjoying informal meals where guests can smell the Provençal aromas coming from the kitchen. Daytimes can be spent soaking up the sun at the private infinity pool and plunge pool, with views of olive trees and vines, or taking a stroll to the walled ‘potager’ vegetable garden, or to visit Domaine Mirabeau’s animals, including our two alpacas, pigs and chickens!
Come and see for yourself!
La Bastide is available for rent in spring and summer 2021, when it is safe to travel again. The charming villa is perfect for families or groups of friends looking to escape busy lives and relax, whilst exploring everything Provence has to offer. Staying here is also a great way to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life on our Domaine.
We have a flexible cancellation policy for this year, so if you’d like to enquire about making a provisional booking, please contact Bea on email@example.com