Reveling in Provence
Volume XIX, Issue 33
If you read yesterday’s Nouvellettre®, then you know that Patty, Jennifer and I left Vaison-la-Romaine and headed to the perched village of Venasque where two of our clients live—one New Orleanian who sold one of her two Venasque homes to another New Orleanian and his husband who are currently renovating and decorating the centuries-old village house.
Our reunion with the two sets of clients brought eight people together over drinks at the village house under renovation, then dinner at a local “guinguette” (a kind of popular cabaret, most often in the open air, in the greenery, where one can drink and dance) and a sleepover at the other client’s large and spacious home at the edge of the village. All parties were glowing! Their transaction had taken almost two years to complete “thanks” to a list of road blocks, including Covid-19, sewage repairs and the time to finalize the mortgage. Both parties had tons of patience throughout the process.
Now that both the buyers and the seller have completed their transaction and are enjoying their respective homes this summer, they are glowing with happiness and pride…and I mean GLOWING. I’ve never seen such big smiles and such expressions of happiness. The village house renovation is not complete—the kitchen hasn’t yet been installed, but they didn’t seem to care that they were grilling on their big terrace (from which there is a perfect view of Mont Ventoux, now that the tree is trimmed) and washing dishes in the bathroom sink…it will all come together soon enough. Plans to spend much more time in France permanently are already in their thoughts. We were glowing as much as they were before the evening was over, and particularly pleased that the three New Orleanians had found each other, having become good friends and neighbors, through us and our efforts.
The next morning we continued on our journey south toward Nice to stop in Lourmarin to pay a visit to Les Olivettes, a property we have for sale. Jennifer wanted to see the property and the Provençal town was not out of our way. We found the house in beautiful sunshine and the pool freshly cleaned and ready to be fully enjoyed. It was an opportunity for me to take photos at this perfect time of year to show off the beautiful 90 square-meter pool and cabana.
We’ve been surprised that Les Olivettes hasn’t sold sooner, but it’s clear it takes the right smart person to see its advantages as a turn-key revenue-generator as a Bed & Breakfast. With six self-catering apartments, it could easily generate 150,000€ per year. Designed and successfully operated as a Bed & Breakfast over a 20-year period ending in 2019, it benefits on average from 4.5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. It is a unique offering among local B&B establishments in that each apartment includes a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a private terrace.
One of its key advantages is also its proximity to the well-known and well-heeled enclave of Lourmarin. It’s literally an eight-minute walk from the house to the town, making it perfectly located to have the advantages of both the isolation of a luxurious home with immediate and carless access to the village. For someone visiting the area, it doesn’t get more perfect than this.
Before heading back to Nice, we stopped for lunch in the town of Cucuron under the Plane trees that line the “étang” (a natural or man-made body of water that is smaller and shallower than a lake, such as a pond). We had planned the stop with Barb Westfield, resident of nearby Ansouis, before making a detour to the village to show off her house to Jennifer who had never been there.
As we drove into the parking lot adjacent to the outdoor dining for the café across the street from Barb’s house, it conjured up a memory from 11 years ago when my daughter, Erica, and I had lunch in that very spot, before we knew Barb well, nor had I ever been to Ansouis. At that lunch with Erica, I can vividly remember remarking that I was pretty sure I knew someone who had a house in that town, but didn’t know where it was. Lo and behold, it was just there in front of us by sheer coincidence. I became very friendly with Barb soon after.
While traveling through most of Provence in the course of two days, we had much discussion over why the region is so beautiful, so refined, so elegant…and it is all those things. I don’t think another part of France wows me quite as much as Provence, and every little corner of it. Its terrain is diverse, its agriculture a cornucopia of fresh produce, its architecture rich in history and lore, its climate the most desirable in France and its lifestyle symbolic of what France strives to achieve…a richness of the ultimate pleasure. On top of that, add its beauty and what you have is just about perfect.
We are making more and more friends, colleagues and clients in the region, creating paths to finding fabulous properties on which we can put our “seal of approval.” If you are interested in learning more about property in Provence, be sure to contact us and let us know. Click here to let us hear from you, and together we can revel in Provence!
The Adrian Leeds Group®
Adrian with Barb Westfield in Cucuron
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