LA BASTIDE DE MARIE - PROVENCE
A FRENCH FARMHOUSE AMONG THE VINES
Somewhere between Gordes and Ménerbes, as the lavender fields of Provence give way to rows upon rows of lush vines teeming with grapes ready for harvest, you may happen upon a rustic yet elegant 18th century residence, a typical country farmhouse that has been restored into pure Provençal perfection. Nestled amongst 57 acres of vines, the driveway leading up to La Bastide de Marie is lined with Cyprus trees, century-old olive trees and pale lavender bushes, the enchanting fragrance pulling you slowly towards the main house. La Bastide de Marie offers a bespoke luxury experience for all those in love with the Luberon.
Settled lazily into this bucolic paradise, amidst clusters of tiny flowers on blooming cherry trees and an abundance of white magnolias, La Bastide de Marie provides the ideal setting for a perfect life under an Epicurean summer sun. Surrounded by the ephemeral scent of lavender and almonds, the residence offers a variety of rooms decorated with an antique chic reminiscent of a bygone era. Without spoiling the character of the wild Provence hills that have been its home for countless years, the Bastide’s charm is in its timeless architecture that has been effortlessly infused with contemporary elements. Antique furniture, Baroque fixtures, and roaring fireplaces, make the cozy common areas the perfect place to indulge in an aperitif after dinner.
Like a family home, each room at La Bastide de Marie is unique. The rooms, suites and villas are each distinctive and private – decorated in diverse chromatic schemes, the feel of each space is cozy and authentic with antique lamps and unique vintage pieces, as well as exclusive paintings. For an unforgettable experience, one can choose to spend a night in the “Roulotte,” the traditional gypsy caravan in the front garden. Decorated in a kaleidoscope of hues with gold, green, pink and burgundy, this little caravan is evocative of a carefree lifestyle unbound by modern constraints, even if only for one magical bohemian night.
Known for its variety of seasonal cuisine and delicious flavors, Provence boasts a beautiful yet relaxed dining culture, and La Bastide de Marie is no exception. An outside terrace with pebble-paving shelters in the leafy shade of a lime tree overlooks the property’s large vineyard. Breakfast and lunch are laid out inside, with rough stone walls and an exposed beam ceiling giving the place a simple, welcoming feel; country cooking is piled high on delicate china set on rustic farm tables, a delightful understatement that enhances the delicious home cooking. Sample the flavors of Provence: orange-blossom or olive fougasse, home-baked croissants, fresh seasonal fruit, goat cheese... and enjoy them while looking out over the lush vineyards.
In the afternoon, wander the gardens around the property and indulge in the landscape. Swimming pools protected by stone ramparts are hidden amidst the greenery, springing up like ponds; guests can take time to relax, or visit the Spa Pure Altitude for a selection of signature Provence treatments. Inspired by the natural riches of the region, the intimate spa features massages with linen sachets of salts and essential oils, lavender and pine. A moment of relaxation in perfect harmony with your exquisite surroundings. At tea time, enjoy a delicate cocktail with homemade sweets topped with fresh mint, in one of the wrought-iron garden chairs scattered throughout the grounds, where you can admire the sun setting over the beautiful natural countryside, vines stretching as far as the eye can see.
Take a few steps up the rustic gravel road, and you’re at La Domaine de Marie’s tasting room, for a unique wine experience. The land boasts 57-acres of vineyard, embodying the Sibuet family's passion for wine. Grenache, Syrah, Roussanne, Vermantino, Cinsault and Mourvedre; a host of grape varieties are available for you to sip and savor on their tasting terrace. If you’re feeling bold, take your secateur shears in hand and learn how to tame the vineyard, working side by side with their team, harvesting the fruit of this fertile region.
Evenings are lit up by twinkling lanterns, white daisies rising in earthenware pots, purple shrubs adorning the pathways, the kitchen garden promising mouth-watering harvests and the herb garden enchanting every one of the senses. Begin on the terrace with a decadent happy hour - tapenade and charcuterie, baskets of local crudités, Vermentino and cocktails - and delight in trying one of the region's fortified wines, or the vineyard’s own offerings. From there, settle into the cozy, candle-strewn lower dining terrace, steps from the same vineyard’s vines. Far from being a mere ornament, the chef at La Bastide de Marie works closely with nature, using seasonal produce from the surrounding land. Freshness is his watchword as he sets out each day to gather treasures from the local markets, where the displays of regional producers inspire his dish of the day. Simple recipes and imaginative combinations give his menus their melodic Provençal accents. For dinner, appreciate La Bastide’s specialties: smoky chilled tomato soup with olive tartare, Provençal-style "caillettes" meatballs with herbs from the garden, creamy risotto with Vaucluse mushrooms and truffles, crème brulée flavored with lavender grown on the estate, and profiteroles with lime tree blossoms and lemon frosted with juniper and thyme... nature’s bounty at its best.
Walk home to your cozy antique room along a simple gravel road lined with vines and fragrant flowers, lay your head down on a pillow scented with fresh lavender, and rest well, knowing that tomorrow will bring a purely perfect Provence morning at La Bastide de Marie.