A heroine from a novel
Nestling in France’s Luberon region and sitting in grounds of five hectares, Peter Mayle’s iconic house, which has come to symbolise a world-unique lifestyle, has been sold to a young American couple. This 18th century house is the quintessential embodiment of Provençal heritage.
We visited the house in the morning and by dinnertime, in our minds, we had already moved in. It was located at the crest of a country road connecting the two mediaeval villages, each perched on a hillside, at the end of a dirt trail snaking its way through vines and cherry trees. It was a traditional farmhouse built from the local stone, bleached to a pale honey and light grey colour by 200 years of wind and sun." This is how it all started, back in 1988, for the British advertising executive Peter Mayle, for whom it was a case of love at first sight for this Provençal house, left untouched, with its one metre-thick walls, three wells, sturdy sycamores, slender cypress trees, rosemary hedges and giant almond tree. "Sitting in the afternoon sun," the writer adds, "with its wooden shutters half-closed like eyelids heavy with sleep, it was irresistible".
The new owner has no intention of contradicting the most famous of all Provence’s adopted sons, whose book "A Year in Provence" has sold six million copies and been translated into 27 languages… Today, he has come to symbolise a global yearning for a unique lifestyle, defined in his books, where daily happiness is the ultimate ambition… "Why be vaguely happy in England when you can be very happy in Provence? This is my entire philosophy," says an amused Peter Mayle, the witty writer of a book "conceived by coincidence, written by accident and published by mistake"! He is also the recent happy owner of a "more intimate" farmhouse, tracked down courtesy of Emile Garcin…
Agence Emile Garcin 22 rue Mazarine, Aix-en-Provence/ +33 (0)4 42 54 52 27
“ with its shutters half-closed, like eyelids heavy with sleep, it was irresistible”