This unusual solid stone house dates in part to the 14th-century and was a working mill until the 1950s – the original cogs and machinery have stayed and a mill stone has been cleverly transformed into the living room table.
Arrive to a welcome hamper of fruit, wine, enough food to get started and cupboards stocked with the basics. Several cooks can work together happily in the huge kitchen, and you can eat together around the large oak table or outside on the terrace. All the rooms are separate from each other (there’s also a dorm for four children) and have thick oak doors, making it feel delightfully private.
The walled garden is splendid, with outdoor sculptures and mature trees; a river burbles past, a fountain trickles, and all is beautifully illuminated after dark. Spend lazy days by the heated pool, walk up a tiny footpath to reach Vence for great restaurants and village shops, or head in the opposite direction for Matisse’s iconic Chapelle du Rosaire (500m).