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French artists, media personalities and the glamorous crowd, in the Lubéron, the money is here but more hidden away,’ explains Mr Jannsens. ‘In St-Rémy, people are more colour- ful and more showy and some of the houses take on a more contemporary feeling, but everyone likes to keep a low profile in the Lubéron.’


‘Les Alpilles is really the French answer to the Cotswolds. The villages are pretty and easy to get to for weekends’


It’s this understated charm that


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Views of Les Alpilles A beautiful, secluded house near the Alpilles village of Maussane, this has six bedrooms as well as a three-bedroom guest house. The garden, comprising some seven acres, has been cleverly landscaped and there’s a smart infinity pool. €4.65 million through Provence


Dream Property (00 33 4 42 24 10 00)


which are among the coveted plus beaux villages de France. ‘The Lubé-ron is all about views,’ says Mr Hindle. ‘It’s just as accessible for British buyers flying into Marseille— just a question of turning right instead of left when you arrive at Cavaillon.’ Owning a house in the Lubéron is


about ‘seeing and smelling Provence from your doorstep’, believes Rudi Janssens of Janssens Immobilier, Knight Frank’s expert in the Lubéron (00 33 4 90 75 96 98). He shows me a house that boasts one of the best views in the area. From the terrace across the garden, planted with short rows of lavender and plotted with parasol pines, is a neatly tendered vineyard and, pegged on the hill in the near distance, the stone-built town of Bonnieux, which was once a papal enclave until the French Revolution. ‘This is a sought-after location because you’re not isolated —the action is nearby—and yet it’s quiet and secluded. Plus, we’re in a regional park, which means that the view will never change.’ To the right and perched high


above is the Château Lacoste, the former home of the Marquis de Sade and now owned by the designer Pierre Cardin (one of as many as 30 properties he owns in the area).


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50 Country Life International, Spring 2014


An Aga in Provence The owner of this 17th-century converted coaching inn is described a ‘bit of a maverick’, according to agent Lissie Templeton. The stone-vaulted area, originally designed for coaches,


is now a split-level reception room. It sits in Le Paradou, Les Alpilles, and comes with six bedrooms and a four-oven Aga in the kitchen. €2.75 million through Winkworth International (020–7870 7181)


www.countrylife.co.uk/international


Huge picture windows in the house make the most of the exceptional views and the pared-down interior taste of the current owner means the house is a sort of stylish and well presented tabula rasa for the new owners to add colour and character. ‘Although Les Alpilles attracts


Facing page: Provence is a real feast for all the senses—lavender and Sénanque Abbey, Gordes


attracts a range of people from French politicians to Hollywood actors (inc- luding John Malkovitch, among others). But the price for this peace and quiet means that, save for a few tour buses, the towns and villages are ‘dead in the winter’, argues Mr Baldock. ‘In St-Rémy, you have life at least nine months of the year.’ Within the golden triangle of the


villages of Bonnieux, Ménerbes and Gordes, society is decidedly cosmo- politan. It’s not unusual to find hamlets with Canadian, American, British, Dutch and Swiss residents. ‘Beyond that, Cabrières d’Avignon is another good village if you want to be within walking distance of shops





Luigi Vaccarella/SIME/4Corners


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