A driveway, crossing a tall coppice stand, leads to this large, 18th century residence, a part of which on the corner of the entrance courtyard, comprises vestiges of an 11th century stronghold house.
The car parking area is laid out in front of the outbuildings, featuring a wide, central, vaulted passageway opening into the inner courtyard. The facade of the chateau, at the end, is set between two long wings which create a U-shape as well as a narrow, central courtyard. This is reached via a wide driveway, bordered by a row of little palm trees. An old olive tree that still produces fruit stands in the middle of the courtyard.
The superb entrance door is flanked by flat, stone columns, topped with a stone trumeau. The ironwork is old and the latticework over the fanlight bears the initials of a family that once lived here. The sober, refined Directoire style is featured throughout the interior decoration. The central building is composed of regular limestone blocks. The wings still have their old rendering.
The chateau and its wings
The entrance to the chateau is in the middle of the central section which, paved with old terracotta floor tiles, provides access to the two wings set at right angles. The left-hand wing was most certainly intended for the owners of the property as is shown by the decoration of the doors and the fireplaces. The right-hand wing was, no doubt, given over to staff.
The spectacular stairway, with its metal railings and its panelling, provides a glimpse of the first floor landing where a welcome desk has been installed.
A long, through gallery in the most elegant wing provides access to four large rooms, all open on to a west-facing terrace. All feature high ceilings and double, Directoire style doors.
The first room, once a lounge and currently the breakfast room, has a straight ceiling, new wide strip wooden flooring and a fireplace featuring decorative plasterwork. It has two sets of double doors, one set housing a cupboard and the other opening into a dining room where parquet flooring is laid in a herringbone pattern. It has a straight ceiling and a large marble fireplace. Panelling with gilded moulding gives this room a Baroque air. Double doors on the right-hand side of the fireplace are similarly decorated with gilded moulding.
The library, with no direct link with the dining room, has been converted into a bedroom. It has a plaster ceiling, strip pattern wooden flooring and a large, grey marble fireplace as well as a French window opening on to the terrace. A bathroom includes a toilet.
The floor is covered with old tiles and the walls with natural wooden battens.
A large bedroom, for “newlyweds”, ends this wing. It is preceded by a small hall, paved with terracotta floor tiles, which also provides access to the bathroom. The bedroom features strip pattern parquet flooring, a plaster ceiling and a grey marble fireplace. A French window opens on to the entrance courtyard and a window overlooks the inner courtyard. The bathroom is illuminated by two windows and the old double vanity unit has a wooden base. The toilet is separate. The large, white floor tiles have black inlaid decoration.
A large room, off the hall, takes up the entire corner of the right-hand wing. This was, no doubt, the old chateau kitchen as is shown by its terracotta floor tiles, a French ceiling with white-painted beams and a large traditional fireplace, with stone jambs, a wooden lintel and a brick mantel. This room opens on the north and east sides via two French windows. A very small kitchen, adapted to our era, has been created along the north wall, separated from the room by a counter. Behind it, a large, fixed, picture window, set in the old wall, lets in daylight. A wooden trapdoor on the north side set in the old floor tiles must have provided access to a small wine cellar.
Two sets of tall double doors are set on either side of the fireplace. The set on the left-hand side open into a hall area with a glazed door opening on to the garden. The set on the right-hand side provides access to the wing. The ceiling features white-painted battens whilst the floor is covered with terracotta tiles. A window, on the right-hand side, looks out over the courtyard. A toilet door is on the left-hand side. These precede a study with a corner, marble fireplace. A blind room, set between the study and the large kitchen, is used for storage purposes.
This wing ends with two bedrooms. The first, with a mezzanine, has a window looking out over the countryside. It has terracotta floor tiles. A bathroom, with a shower, a wash-hand basin and a toilet, is installed under the mezzanine.
The last bedroom has a window overlooking the inner courtyard and another looking out over the entrance courtyard. It has a straight ceiling and is carpeted. A door in a corner leads to a bathroom with a shower, a wash-hand basin and a toilet.
A straight, narrow stairway going up to a section of the first floor is set between these two bedrooms. A French window on the landing opens on to a winding metal fire escape. This level comprises four bedrooms with wide strip wooden flooring or sea rush matting. Two of them feature the exposed roofing framework. Each has its own bathroom, with a wash-hand basin, a bath and a toilet. Steeped in light, they look out over the inner courtyard, the entrance courtyard or the countryside.
The wide stairway in the main hall goes up to the left wing and the beginning of the right wing. The layout is the same as that on the ground floor: the gallery set at right angles leads to a small bedroom, on the north side, with a bathroom and a separate toilet. The ceiling features painted battens and the floor is covered with sisal matting. Then, the large gallery, in the wing set at right angles, leads to four bedrooms. The first three have the same refined decoration and the same level of comfort in the bathrooms, with old wide strip wooden flooring or sisal matting, plaster ceilings or white-painted battens. One of them has a polished wood fireplace, topped with a mirror in its trumeau. All the windows look out over the west-facing terrace. Each bedroom has a bathroom, with a bath and wash-hand basin as well as a separate toilet.
The last bedroom takes up the end of the gallery. It is meticulously decorated with old wide strip parquet flooring, a straight, plaster ceiling, walls hung with white paper featuring a raised satin stitch. It features two windows, one facing south and the other west as well as a straight, grey marble fireplace. Separated from the bedroom by a little lobby, the bathroom faces south and east. Its double wash-hand basins are set in an old vanity unit. It has a resin bath and a separate toilet.
A large meeting room off the main stairway landing, prior to the right-hand wing, takes up the corner of the building. Above the old kitchen, it features sisal matting and an exposed roofing framework, whitewashed walls and a window overlooking the valley on the east side. A little to one side, before the meeting room, is a room laid out as a kitchen area. There is a toilet at the end.
Following on from the little landing is a large, dormitory bedroom, featuring a mezzanine with a bathroom, featuring a tiled floor, a bath and a wash-hand basin. The toilet is separate.
The rest of this wing can only be reached via the narrow, wooden stairway on the ground floor.
The outside buildings
The chateau is the main feature of the vast, curved entrance courtyard, opening on the west side on to a terrace delimited by a wall and dominating the swimming pool, protected from the wind whilst benefitting from a superb view of the surrounding countryside.
The dovecote and a section of the outbuildings, on the east side, have been transformed into holiday accommodation rental units or bed & breakfast bedrooms. A long building, facing the chateau, closes the courtyard. It features a central, vaulted and paved passageway. Then, closing the courtyard is the professional section, with restaurant rooms and kitchens.
The entrance door is protected by a glazed canopy. In front, it has a terrace with wooden flooring.
The ground floor comprises a small living room and an integrated kitchen area, with terracotta floor tiles and batten ceilings. A small window faces south. A toilet has been installed under the stairway going upstairs. The first floor includes a pleasantly rustic bedroom, with its old wooden flooring and exposed roof truss. A window faces east. It features two corner cupboards. A bathroom, set in a corner and closed with a curtain, has a bath and a wash-hand basin on a stand.
Two bedrooms, one of which has a fireplace, have been laid out all on one level for disabled people. The floors are covered with terracotta tiles. The bathroom has an Italian style shower, a wash-hand basin and a toilet. A delightful, small, front garden is filled with the sound of a fountain.
Facing the chateau and set at right angles to the two small bedrooms for disabled people, a long building closes the courtyard. It is used by the professional catering section.
On one side of the porch way, a long room, with a semi-circular vault lined with small bricks, is paved with flagstones, illuminated via basement windows and fitted with bathroom and toilet facilities. It was, no doubt, a wine storehouse and is now a conference and projection room. Behind this long vaulted room, opening on to the carpark, small bedrooms have been created in the outbuildings. Extremely rustic, they were intended for housing the extra staff required for large functions.
A large restaurant room has been created on the other side of the porch way. Completely glazed and resembling a conservatory, it looks out over the inner courtyard. The floor is covered with imitation stone tiles. The ceiling is hung with awnings.
Another room, on a lower level to this one, is known as the “Gascony room”. It, too, is used for catering purposes. No doubt, the oldest section of the property, it features traces of mullioned windows and vestiges of a large medieval fireplace. It has wooden flooring and large rustic ceiling beams and battens. A door in a corner leading to the toilet is arched.
On the primitive level of this old room are modern and very functional, professional kitchens.
Directly above the kitchens, looking out over the carpark, is a very contemporary, self-contained, open-plan dwelling. An immense room, with an exposed roofing framework, looks out over the countryside via two picture windows, spanning the entire west wall. The bedroom, at the end, constructed above it, looks down on the living room via a sliding picture window, taking advantage of all the daylight as well as the view of the hills. Next to it, a bathroom has an Italian style shower, a wash-hand basin and a toilet as well as a tiled floor. A corridor with a cupboard, leads alongside the bedroom to two bedrooms, illuminated via skylights. They share a communal shower room.