At a glance:
* beautiful old Provencal stone farmhouse
* in a village with all amenities (300m walk to shops)
* large 10 meter private swimming pool
* extensive garden with splendid views all around
* sleeps 6 (3 double bedrooms)
* well equipped kitchen
* internet, wi-fi, hi-fi's, TV, DVD
* bathroom with shower and bath
* two separate toilets (one upstairs, one downstairs)
* extensive library
* toys and games for children
* ample parking on private driveway
"Les Aires" is our beautiful and unique family home, situated in the delightful medieval village of Mirabel-aux-Baronnies in Provence. We ourselves live in the house year round, but during school holidays we are often away visiting friends and relatives in northern Europe.
The house, built from the local "Saffre" or sandstone, is an ancient farmhouse on a hillside in the village. The inside of the house measures 160 square meters / 1700 square feet. The back of the house is not just built against the rock wall, but actually built into it: the living room and the kitchen on the ground floor extend deep back into caves that were dug out or formed in the sandstone centuries ago. The rock wall at the back of the house, together with the thick stone walls, ensure that the house remains pleasantly cool even during the hottest of Provencal summers.
In addition to the unique caves, the house retains numerous charming details and features from its former life as a farmhouse. For example, ancient oak beams, the "manger" where the animals once fed, stone walls & archways, and old terracota stone floors.
The large (1500 sq meter / third of an acre) tiered garden contains many different trees, shrubs and plants. During the early summer one can enjoy the delicious fruits of the mulberry tree and wild plums, and later perhaps fig and quince. And of course there is an almost limitless supply of those Provencal kitchen staples: rosemary and thyme.
From the dappled shade of the Cedar tree in the middle of the garden and the surrounding patio there is a stunning 180 degree panorama encompassing olive groves, vineyards, fields and orchards, with the nearby hills and mountains forming a backdrop culminating in a splendid view of the highest of them all, Mont Ventoux. The Cedar also hosts two swings for children.
Our 10m (32 feet) long pool is in a beautiful setting and provides space for swimming, splashing or simply cooling off whilst taking in the same superb views.
The house itself will comfortably sleep 6 in its three double bedrooms, with each bedroom offering beautiful views to the east. One of the bedrooms has a large south facing terrace/balcony overlooking the garden. The upstairs bathroom has a shower and a bath, with a separate toilet. Downstairs there is an additional toilet.
The living room, which extends far back into a cave in the rock wall, provides plenty of sofa space and comfortable reclining chairs. The cave keeps the house pleasantly cool throughout the summer. A large screen TV, DVD player and hi-fi are available. There is also an extensive library of books in English, French and Dutch. For the musically minded, we have a piano and an acoustic guitar. There are a selection of toys and games for children. Wi-fi is available throughout the house.
The kitchen, with its work tops made from beautiful antique tiles, provides all the usual facilities (gas hob, oven, fridge, dishwasher, toaster, blender, etc) and is well equiped with pans, utensils & cutlery. A huge, long oak table easily accomodates six people. We have a large selection of cookery books to inspire.
The village has excellent facilities, all of which are within a few hundred meters walk of the house: two bakers, a butcher, general store, tabac, post-office, cafe, bookshop, pharmacy, doctor, dentist, cash machine and a small weekly market. There is also a playground and skate park on the other side of the village. More extensive facilities are available in the two nearby towns, Nyons and Vaison la Romaine, both of which are 7km / 4 miles away.
Our house makes a superb base for those interested in hiking, biking and climbing. There are countless wonderful walks in the area, ranging from anything from a short stroll to a full-blown GR. We have plenty of maps and guidebooks available. For cyclists, the challenge of Mont Ventoux awaits, along with countless other peaks and tours. For climbers, there are at least ten excellent crags within half an hour's drive of the house. We are keen climbers ourselves, so can gladly point you to suitable areas, including a few lesser-known places.
Whilst we gladly welcome children of all ages (we ourselves have a lively seven year old), please note that the garden is not an ideal place to leave young children unattended as there are a number of steep slopes guarded only by low walls.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.
We look forward to welcoming you!