Monday, April 28, 2014

Peaceful Mazet rental outside of L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Vaucluse


For once, I am the one that uncovered le bijou, something that is usually Remi's specialty.

I had actually seen the ad for a mazet rental in the Vaucluse region a few years ago. It promised "tranquilité absolue" or absolute tranquility, something that definitely peaked my interest. But then we discovered Simiane la Rotonde and never looked back. Alas, our cabanon there had already been booked for Easter and for various reasons (including not having 100% faith in our ancient Saab) we didn't want to travel too far from home. And so I dug through my files and had a pleasing "Ah-ha" moment when I came upon the mazet again, hidden in a forest and yet close to all. It was available and I knew immediately upon arriving that we had discovered a true find.

The late afternoon light played in the trees and through the hills rolling out in front of us. Besides the owner's house - set a fair distance a part from the mazet - we could see nothing but forest and sky. No roads, no cars, no electric cables. Nothing. The wind whispered "Welcome." The birds agreed.

Was I ready to drop into the world's most comfortable loungers for a nap? Most certainly and soon...

 Patsy, the owner's young and sprightly female, stopped by and immediately had Ben and Kipling under her thrall. Even before I stepped across the threshold, I knew that we would be good here, more than good.

While the mazet is only 45 square meters large, the owner's wife explained to me that they built it little by little, "the traditional way, how the shepherd's used to" so that no space would be wasted and only what was needed, as it was needed, would be added on.

The kitchen was, without a doubt, the best stocked of all of the rentals that we have seen so far. I could have cooked up a storm...and occasionally, when I could shake myself from the throes of vacationitis, I did.

How I appreciated that there are windows everywhere...

...all the better to keep an eye on what certain creatures were up to outside.

There is a television and DVD player that went virtually untouched, as well as a portable radio that let in crackly classical music after the bird's symphony had calmed for the evening.

Even at the end of April, we were grateful for the really efficient pôele or wood-burning stove, especially during the rainy days. The classical music played then too.

That we all felt right at home was obvious...

...and I slept well in the small but comfortable bedroom. I would look forward to the moment each morning when I could pull back the curtain to find out what the day had in store.

The bathroom was perfectly clean with a large, steaming shower that was a spa miracle in comparison to our current minuscule sprinkler.

The old pine farm table was quickly covered with stacks of reading material after this photo was taken. I loved the hours that Remi and I spent across from each other, heads bent in taking in the new.

But truly, outside is the place to be... we discovered immediately our first evening at the apéro, when were given a large basket of the freshest strawberries I had tasted this year.

The view and their sweetness worked well together. 

A path leads towards the owner's house, where under an elegant stone archway...

...lies a pool that the renters of the mazet are invited to use. At 17° C it was still too cold for us, although a certain furry being dipped in his front paws and was stopped from performing a full belly flop just in the nick of time...

In July and August, the owners move into the mazet and rent out their home (with the pool). It sprawls out over several levels and is a perfect example of the atypical architecture found in this part of Provence.

They built both the home and the mazet themselves. The project has been a long one...

...and is still going on as they feel that there are always improvements to be made.

Both houses can be found at the end of a private, one kilometer long dirt track that guarantees the privacy that we so craved.

I have never experienced such quiet in France and never rested so well either. There are hiking trails criss-crossing their two hectares of land and leading in to the hills beyond. I have much to share of the beauty that we found on our walks there. The memories are solid and simply good. 

(Smiling Golden not included)

What a gift to know that we have found this charming refuge, only ten minutes outside of L'Isle sur la Sorgue (world-famous for its antique shops) and yet a world a part. Many of the most beautiful villages of the Vaucluse are only a short drive away, although you might just be content to stay put, as we were. Yes, we hope to return and soon.

Le mazet chez Les Romans
Between L'Isle sur la Sorgue and Roque sur Pernes
Owner: Michel Marcouf
Tel. +33 (0)4 90 38 54 63
Current price: from 220€ to 390€ depending on the season, not including deposit

To rent from HomeAway in English:
Pour le louer chez Abritel en Français:
Owner's website for 360° views of both houses:

As always, it goes without saying (hopefully) that I am not compensated in any way for my rental suggestions, I just like to pass along a good thing when I see it.
Have a great week everyone...


  1. Oh my goodness, Heather. What a perfect slice of heaven you've discovered. Can't believe that is just 10 minutes from bustle-y L'Isle sur la Sorgue. If anyone deserves a peaceful, pretty retreat it's you my dear. Hope memories of your time away have you breathing deeply for weeks to come! XOXO

  2. This was definitely a quiet and wonderful Easter weekend. I still like your pictures and especially your style of writing, better you explain/describe such natural things.

  3. What a sweet find! It looks beautiful and serene and even fairy-tale like - I can see how easy it would be to relax here! I'm so glad you had a quiet getaway in such a lovely place! p.s. I got really excited about that last picture until I read the fine print

  4. Oh Heather, what a story, what a discovery! I just wanted to say it just like your sister did: Avec la brume it looks just like the setting of a fairy-tale.
    What a welcome avec la charmante chienne! Et les proprietaires semble d'être sympha aussi. Though I always ask myself how people manage to lead such a live. Peut-être avec beaucoup de courage et un travail à I-S-L-Sorgue...
    It must have been deeply relaxing, même meditatif!

    And I like that second image for its painterly composition (;
    ( Et bien sûr le saucisson+Ben)

    1. I keep meaning to send you an email! Their story is really interesting. More from me soon!
      And yes, where there is saucisson, there is Ben.

  5. Heather oh how i envy lovely, serene , and relaxing! YOu have such a knack for finding the perfect little spots!!

    Studio Dan Meiners Feature

    1. Love that very pretty new profile photo of you!!!

  6. Envy-making indeed. Beautiful! What a charmed life…
    Much love and affection from the distant west,

  7. What a great place to relax and find a sense of balance. The stone exterior is lovely and the interior looks cozy, with just the right amount of charm. So glad that you, Remi and the pups were able to experience this secluded retreat!

  8. The perfect get-away. It looks so peaceful. I need to spend a few weeks in a place like that. I had no doubt that someone's golden paw would be in the pool. Most retrievers can't seem to resist water of any type :)

  9. I feel more relaxed just looking at these. What a fabulous find!

  10. To your many talents about which I know, add your ability to find what for me are indeed bijoux in which to relax and revive. This one looks just about perfect! Since you have to leave your current home in June, maybe you and Rémi could negotiate with the Marcouf's to rent the mazet for the summer...and they could stay in their house with the pool! While they might lose some money by not renting out their house, they would gain four of the best tenants (including dog companions and potential dog sitters) for the whole summer and not have to deal with revolving renters. And you four would have a wonderful place to spend the summer and a base from which to continue your search for your next home. Now, to go and look up "mazet" in my French dictionary! Happy for you all, Leslie in Oregon

    1. That is a lovely idea but it is too far away for Remi for an everyday commute. :)

  11. What a perfect little piece of tranquility and beauty. The mazet looks like a house that grew organically, this way and that, to take advantage of the best views. A great place for a rest.

  12. I love tiny little cottages like thist. What a perfect place. When I first saw the photo I thought,"Is this where Heather is going to live now?" It looked so right for you.

    1. That made me smile! We both felt that if it had an extra room and a covered garage that we could live there.

  13. 'That we all felt right at home was obvious...'


  14. Wow...this is absolutely looks so peaceful and relaxing Heather...well found ;) xx

  15. Almost like the fairy tale where the seven dwarfs live. Perfect.

  16. Your first photo of the house looks like something out of a dream. Beautiful photo. "Absolute Silence" is something that I often crave. Also absolute privacy. How rare is that. Oh, and Kipling must be a happy lad with those strawberries to eat. hehe

  17. Oh so beautiful, Heather... And so peaceful.



Your responses are what makes this blog so special to me. I love hearing from you. Thank you for visiting!

* Comments left on posts two days after publication or more will be published after moderation. So not to worry, they will arrive and again, I appreciate them all so very much...Merci! *

If you prefer, feel free to email me directly at robinsonheather (at)