A Provençal weekend in slow life mode at the Mas de Cinq Sous

Mas De Cinq Sous

Nature rumbles under the onslaught of tourists... What if we got out of the ambient hubbub for a timeless parenthesis, as if we were alone in the world in a secret refuge? Entirely renovated and accessible by a solitary and bumpy path, a few minutes from Saint-Rémy-de Provence , the Mas de Cinq Sous promises a zen and bucolic stay, ideal for resetting the counters.

An ultra-confidential address…

Every summer, the picturesque village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence , land of predilection and inspiration for Van Gogh , Cézanne or Gauguin , loses its tranquility. However, off the beaten track sometimes nestle beautiful finds. Formerly the home of the Swiss painter Georges Item before becoming a youth hostel in the 1990s, the Mas de Cinq Sous was recovered and then completely renovated by a couple of discreet entrepreneurs, to make it a real hidden treasure.

The facelift was entrusted to the brothers of the Bosc Architectes firm and the decorator Marc Abelin , who does not hide his penchant for clean lines, perspectives and the mixture of raw and precious materials. Stone, wood and steel thus celebrate the marriage of old and modern, Cattelani & Smith suspensions highlight the reflections of labradorite from Madagascar or blue granite from Norway, while mirrors conceal television screens... The architects have made appeal to endangered craftsmanship such as the Anastay marble factory (frequented by 3-star chef Glenn Viel ) or the Sarragan quarry . Moreover, do not hesitate to meet these passionate craftsmen, to discover the soul of Provence.

… with 5-star services

On site, your contact is Laurene Bosc: a local child, video editor converted into a holiday fairy and a total fan of her stronghold. She will tell you better than anyone: “ In Provence, all the seasons are delicious. The cicadas enchant the summer and the grazing lights of autumn are spellbinding ”. If this is not her house, she is in any case the guardian who bends over backwards for the 8 guests installed in the 4 suites, all different with breathtaking views of the mountains and nature. The kids are with you? It is possible to erect tents on the estate which stretches to the forest.

Here, a shady petanque court; there, a vegetable garden where you can pick old varieties yourself, forgotten vegetables and juicy fruits; further on, a bar and an outdoor kitchen planted under majestic olive trees where one likes to come and have an aperitif after a splash in the natural swimming pool... A paradise on earth fashioned with materials that respect the environment, until at the brazier in the living room dug into the ground, which you reach after crossing through the lavender. Fancy a massage ? From a chef at home ? From an excursion ? Laurene pulls out her address book, including a few rare gems.

Price of rural luxury? In low season, rental for 3 nights €3,500 (for 8 people) with a welcome basket, breakfast the first morning, daily cleaning for 2 hours, an " aperitif box " with 2 bottles of wine and a end of the stay cleaning.

How to get there ? By train to Avignon TGV station (2h30 from Paris) then 30 minutes by car (with driver or rental car).

Mas de Cinq Sous , reservations by phone on 06 74 55 95 95 or by email masdecinqsous@gmail.com.

And around, what do we do?

A short hike from the farmhouse: head for Lake Peiroou , a picturesque site surrounded by cliffs and the starting point of a route leading to Mont Gaussier .

A footpath in the Val de l'Enfer at Baux-de-Provence: erosion has given the limestone rocks of Baux-de-Provence totally original shapes, creating striking landscapes and troglodyte constructions. An easy 2h30 circuit starts next to the tourist office and goes through the Carrières de Lumières .

Further on: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for its Sunday flea market , its antiques village and also the astonishing sculpture park of the Villa Datris foundation , with free access.

The activity to do: learn to weave a spindle of lavender (a Provençal tradition) with Elsa Lenthal directly in her field. About 2 hours, €55.

Shopping to bring back

Head to the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence market (Wednesday and Saturday), which can be reached on foot via a small hidden path, to bring back organic fruits and vegetables fromFabien Dumont , market gardener distributed at Terroirs d'Avenir. Possible to go directly to his farm .

The cheese cellar of Monique Mayer , the queen of the goat cheese but not only… She also knows a department when it comes to wines, which can be tasted in her vaulted cellar accompanied by a farmer's delicacy ( 1 place Joseph-Hilaire, Saint- Remy-de-Provence ).

Love in St Rémy , a brand of candles created by Laetitia Labrune De Luca in homage to the scents of Provence ( 1 bis rue de la Commune, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence ).

The oils of Moulin Castelas : take the opportunity to take a free guided tour, a tasting of black, green and flavored oils, all as delicious as they are different, in the company of the daughter of the founders.

The creations of Ln Boul that caught our eye: the ceramist, based in Eygalières, custom-made all the deep blue crockery of the Mas des Cinq Sous ( on sale at Pampa, 5, rue Nostradamus, Saint-Remy-de-Provence ).

The wines of Mas de la Dame , an estate managed by two women, Caroline Missoffe and Anne Poniatowski, and located at the foot of Les Baux-de-Provence, sheltered from the mountain barrier where the wines benefit from a unique terroir and of a very specific microclimate.

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