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...
...as 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: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p546551a
Pour le louer chez Abritel en Français: http://www.abritel.fr/location-vacances/p546551
Owner's website for 360° views of both houses: http://les-romans.pagesperso-orange.fr/
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...