Built from honey-coloured stone in the style of a Provencal mas, La Retraite is a traditional villa beautifully restored to suit modern tastes.
The house is set just outside the village of Le Rouret, in an area famous for the jasmine, roses, orange blossom and violets grown for the perfumeries of nearby Grasse. The villa's own 6,000 sq m of grounds include terraced gardens filled with lavender and other flowering Mediterranean shrubs, as well as a wilderness garden planted with cherry and olive trees.
The large pool and deck area has sweeping views down over the wooded valley. There's a poolside dining table and a pretty pergola - perfect both during the day and, later, for watching the sun set. Elsewhere, there's a traditional Provencal outdoor kitchen with its own wood-burning oven.
Inside, an enormous double-height living area reaches up to a galleried landing. There's also a large stone fireplace for chillier evenings.
The light and spacious bedrooms, one with a private balcony and one with direct access to the ground-floor terraces, have large windows with traditional shutters and elegant Provencal-style furniture.
In the mornings, head to Le Rouret for croissants and warm baguettes at Le Campagnard. Or jump in the car, head south, and within 45 minutes you can sitting in a cafe on the Croisette in Nice sipping a cafe au lait.
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