Picture yourself happily ensconced at Le Club 55. One hand is shading your eyes from the fierce midday sun; the other hand is clutching a cloudy pastis; and your toes are happily kneading the silky sand underfoot. Or perhaps you see yourself striding down La Croisette Boulevard — decked out in several cubic metres of finest linen.
There’s an irresistible, Gatsby-esque allure that hovers around the South of France — particularly during these heady summer months — and there can be no denying that it’s an allure made all the greater by the prospect of your very own Riviera home. Hotels and villa rentals have their place, certainly; but purchasing a home in the South of France is a dream of an elevated variety, which has a curious hold over most Englishmen. Here are some properties that might just make that dream a reality.
Traditional elegance is a winning choice
Pure elegance is hard to find; but we’re happy to report that we’ve found it here. Symmetrical white shutters, delicate balconies and sweeping staircases will usually do the trick: throw in a heated swimming pool, a tennis court and almost an acre of exquisitely landscaped gardens, and you’ve got pure elegance wrapped up in bountiful luxury. That’s the kind of gift wrapping we like to see.
Nestled in the charming Grimaud neighbourhood and within easy access to glittering Saint Tropez, this is a dream Riviera home in every sense. All it would need to cement its perfection are some sweeping sea views; and luckily, it’s got those in abundance.
Opt for a castle in Cannes
If a traditionally spectacular (or, indeed, spectacularly traditional) bourgeois property is what you’re after, then this truly is the one for you. Its grace and elegance is triumphantly encapsulated in 545,49 square metres (to say nothing of its lusciously landscaped, 15,079 sq.m. gardens), spread over two floors and a basement.
Jaw-dropping luxury abounds at every turn: from the richly detailed interiors that were surely curated after Marie Antoinette’s own heart, to the tantalisingly inviting swimming pool just visible from the resplendent terrace. Opulence is this property’s middle name, and it’s an opulence we can most certainly get on board with.
Get out of your comfort zone with your very own vineyard
Spanning an expanse of 71.66 acres, this magnificent property truly is a dream come true for any aspiring vineyard owner; or any Englishman desperate to escape to the deepest idyll of rural Southern France. A happy owner will enter through the cast iron gateway and make his dapper way along the drive, past the umbrella pine trees, before arriving at his spectacular chateau: nestled in its landscaped parkland.
Water features abound, the beautifully proportioned rooms are perpetually filled with sunlight and those vines are ripe for the plucking. Whether keen to embark on a second life as a winemaker, or simply keen to get away from the hustle and bustle: this is a dream home, indeed.
Go contemporary with this exquisite Saint Tropez villa
If ‘oasis of tranquillity’ is a phrase you need to hear to put an offer in — then consider it not a phrase, but a promise. This newly constructed villa is utterly state-of-the-art, with the utmost contemporary comforts and sleek design: to say nothing of its Balinese style inspiration, which is particularly evident in the generously proportioned swimming pool.
Clocking in at 350 square metres, this stunning property is perfectly poised in one of the most sought-after locations in Saint Tropez, nestled between vineyard and sea. Should you ever wish to venture out, you won’t be short of options; but from the looks of that pool, why would you wish to venture out?
Immerse yourself in rustic opulence in Cannes
‘Rustic opulence’ isn’t an oxymoron; we promise. This particular dream home has been inspired by the very best of Tuscan design; and the myriad olive and cypress trees lovingly dotted around the grounds lend a delightful rusticity to the property. But make no mistake: this villa is decked out in opulence, from the rippling, deep-blue swimming pool to the elegantly apportioned terraces.
The interiors may initially belie the exterior; equipped as they are with every sleekly honed modern convenience. But this is just the feather in the luxury cap; with elegant rusticity outside and contemporary refinement inside, this is a home that’s sure to turn hopeful dreams into blissful realities.
Plump for a Belle-Époque mansion in Cap D’Ail
If you’ve always felt you were cut out to surround yourself with resplendent splendour as far as the most discerning eye can see, then your luxury-oriented prayers have finally been answered. The glorious optimism of the Belle-Époque era is apparent on all four floors of this sublime period mansion; and those plunging sea views are ripe for gazing out onto the horizon, reflecting on the beauties of your bountiful Riviera home.
With an elegantly landscaped garden of 1,200 sq.m. — not to mention a room for virtually every activity under the Riviera sun (we’re talking home cinemas and hammams) — this is a property that ticks every ‘dream home’ box, and then some.
An enchanting Auribeau estate that pulls out all the stops
Ultimate privacy is one of the most sought-after phenomenons of our age. Luckily, that’s what this property can offer in abundance: and that’s just the start. A breathtaking stone exterior — complete with those quintessential French shutters — gives way to an interior so charming that we can’t imagine ever doing anything other than wandering around open-mouthed.
With 2.25 acres of gardens stretching down to the Siagne river, and each bedroom boasting its own private entrance (whoever heard of such a thing?), this is a dream home of epic proportions. If ever a property encapsulated rustic, authentic charm with chic, bountiful luxury: this would be it.
Let all your cares wash away at this stunning Saint Tropez villa
We’ve been pretty free and easy with our superlatives when waxing lyrical about Riviera sea views, consummate luxury and exquisitely landscaped gardens; and quite right too. We’re big believers in stunning properties being given their due wordy diligence. But if ever there was a moment to go big on those superlatives, it would be where this particular Saint-Tropez villa is concerned.
It’s a masterpiece. A sublime haven where gentlemen (or, indeed, anyone) can wander the vast, gleaming floors, stroll in the lavish 9662 sq.m. gardens and stand squarely on one of the property’s two terraces: drinking in the panoramic Riviera views, soaking up the fierce Mediterranean sun and thinking himself a lucky, lucky man.
Continuing your tour of sunny Europe? Step inside an Italian paradise on the beautiful Reschio estate…
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