They say time is an artist, and in the case of La Baye des Anges, time has provided the most spectacular canvas upon which to paint. Once an abandoned ruin, this reformed Provençal farmhouse has been beautifully restored by owners Meilin and Christophe, into the idyllic retreat it is today.
Overlooking the medieval town of Vaison la Romaine, this is not your ordinary hotel; but rather a home away from home which can be rented in its entirety, offering the ultimate in escapism and seclusion. 5 spacious yet comfortable suites, each named after grape varieties of prestigious Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape wine; breathtaking views and the finest in organic living, guarantee ample opportunities to relax, unwind, and enjoy a simpler way of life.
Equine veterinary surgeon Meilin was always drawn to The Arts. After taking a break from work to raise her children, Meilin threw herself into the restoration of the old farmhouse, inspired by her own interests, travel and a fascination with Mexican haciendas:
“My own style has been strongly influenced by minimalism, not least after having lived in John Pawson's first Notting Hill home! I’m also a real interior design sponge, and always keep any good designs I come across in the back of my mind.”
After a year of renovation, the family moved into the property in 2001, before relocating to Chile in 2005 for more artistic endeavours, returning four years later. Although Meilin, Christophe and their family no longer reside at La Baye des Anges, which has been rented out since 2017, this beloved farmhouse will always remain, at heart, a home.
Meilin’s natural creative flair is clear to see. Motivated by a desire to re-use and repurpose, much of the décor and furniture was sourced from flea markets and antique stores, making the space wholly unique. Recycled antique doors, terra-cotta floors, abstract artwork and an old tractor’s garage turned reception, all contribute to the ambiance of someplace truly special. Meilin has also turned her hand to developing her own line of home and table linens, made from upcycled vintage linen and hand dyed using natural pigments; something she is very passionate about. Having recently attended an advanced course in Japan to study the traditional techniques of the indigo dye of Buaisu - Indigo is known to be the most difficult dye in the world to produce - Meilin looks forward to adding this technique to her collection. Whilst many of her pieces already adorn the property, guests can now look forward to the exclusive pop up shop that has just opened.
Certified sommelier, and Sales Director of the historic Chateau La Nerthe, Christophe, also happens to be a keen cyclist and runner. Christophe’s extensive knowledge on the local wines and gastronomy means guests are in for a treat at this rustic gem. Greeted by a welcome hamper overflowing with fresh local produce including fruit, wine and cheese is just a taste of what’s to come. A fully cultivated kitchen garden awaits, providing seasonally available organic strawberries, tomatoes, green beans, courgettes and more to satisfy the most discerning of chefs. Whilst the hotel’s philosophy is ‘Slow living in Provence’ if, like Christophe, you enjoy a little activity too, you won’t be disappointed. Take a dip in the inviting waters of the house pool, or take to the hills on bike or foot… the Cycle Mont Ventoux quite literally awaits you. Tired muscles are eased away at the hands of ‘magic-hands-Roger’, veteran masseur with the Tour de France. But if exercise seems too much like hard work, simply kick back at one of the perfect view points overlooking Vaison’s medieval town and castles, accompanied by a chilled glass of Champagne! Night fall is when the magic truly happens, as candlelight (along with solar powered garlands) add sparkle to the rooms and terrace. You really can expect an enchanted evening.
Sustainability and eco friendly are no longer buzz words but necessary parts of our vocabulary today. Aside from the organic kitchen garden, Meilin and Christophe ensured all of the landscaping was organic too. Adhering to the permaculture concept (planting species adapted to the climate, eliminating or reducing the need for watering), they’re also looking into thermal isolation of the house, green energy and rainwater harvesting. La Baye des Anges is more than food for your soul, it’s perfectly in tune with the environment too. Come to escape but leave with memories you won't want to forget.
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