Bastide Provençal is the height of Côte d’Azur luxury – and as erstwhile home to Brigitte Bardot, it’s not short on glamour either, says Simon Gage
Those old-school legendary European movie legends knew a thing about glamour. Well, it was kind of in the job description, wasn’t it? And you don’t need to go further than a small hillside village 30 minutes from Cannes to see that glamour in action.
Bastide Provençal, a breathtakingly beautiful villa in the picturesque village of Peymeinade on the French Côte d’Azur, is where arguably the most famous French film star of all time – and easily the most glamorous – Brigitte Bardot, ran around in string bikinis drinking in amazing views as well as wine from the villa’s very own vineyard.
Because why would you bother with a villa that didn’t have its own vineyard, right?
Having been introduced to the area by her soon-to-be next-door neighbour, French actor Jean Marais, the 24-year-old Bardot fell in love with the villa for its seclusion, its views and its history.
Now, more than half a century later, and following a renovation that has brought the centuries’-old stone and medieval tower back to incredible nick, the villa can be yours to enjoy, with or without the string bikini (but preferably with the wine!), as luxury villa specialists Edge Retreats have added it to their already impressive global portfolio.
Going through the fig and clementine trees and brushing past lavender, you come across a leaf-covered exterior so perfect it looks as if each leaf has been hand-placed. And it’s love at first sight.
Even without the movie star credentials, this is pretty starry stuff without being in any way glitzy, like some of the more showy villas in this area.
The wooden shutters and amber stone are classic but the transformation of the building is spectacular, with Bardot’s old swimming pool having been made into a Japanese-style reflecting pool and a new infinity pool looking out over the vineyards.
Italian-style terraces and an alfresco kitchen with a wood-fired oven mean you can spend your time in the sun enjoying those views while the interiors balance grand style with rustic charm: high ceilings for instance are crossed by timber beams and rough stone walls face neo-classical doorways.
It’s where medieval meets state-of-the-art in surroundings so relaxing a total digital detox seems only polite.
With 11 bedrooms to play with – and all that outside space – it makes the perfect playhouse for groups of friends, with or without children tagging along.
And if you ever tire of lounging in the lap of luxury and taking dips in that pool there’s plenty to do in the area. You can slip into Cannes for some high-glamour shopping or dining, for instance, or charter a luxury yacht to take you out for a private lunch on the open wave.
Well, if you’re going to hang out in Brigitte Bardot’s old place, you’re going to have to raise the bar a little.
Booking Bastide Provençal
Book Bastide Provençal with Edge Retreats, the luxury villa experts, from 30,000 euros per week.
For further information and enquiries, please visit www.edgeretreats.com or call their team of taste-makers on 0203 355 6077.
If you have a few million going spare, the owners are also interested in buyers!