Every summer thousands of brits flock to the seaside resorts of the Cote D’Azur, but in my opinion the truly magical parts of Provence are the inland hills and forests where you can hear the crickets purr and the air has a woody honey-tinted fragrance.
Mougins is the perfect example of a quaint Provencal town, small and artistic with little to do but wander and admire. If this sounds like your ideal holiday spot then you would enjoy Le Mas Candille, a five star Relais & Chateaux hotel, restaurant and spa on the outskirts of Mougins. Utterly removed from the bustle of town yet just 20 minutes drive from Nice airport, it is blissfully isolated but thankfully convenient.
The hotel blends traditional and modern architecture and the rooms follow suit dependant on the building they are found in. There are 46 bedrooms in total; authentic French-style rooms in the 18th century converted farmhouse Le Mas and more modern spacious rooms in La Bastide, the newer part of the hotel. In 2009 La Villa Candille opened offering six new contemporary suites, an even more luxurious and exclusive option.
We were very at home in our La Bastide bedroom which was decorated in muted shades of beige and blue. The decor, though slightly dated, felt smart but not fussy, with antique furniture adding character. The huge bed was very comfortable and the big bathroom was equipped with a bath, shower and marble sinks, with toiletries all by ESPA.
When it comes to dining Le Mas Candille are the proud recipients of a Michelin star restaurant, where the chef produces beautiful plates of food, inspired by the flavours of the area. Highlights of our meal included rich and velvety Pressed foie gras with forest fruits and peanuts, and a summery Clafoutis dessert with pistachios and cherries. The meal was accompanied with a glass of refreshingly cold Provencal rose wine.
For something a little more informal, guests can also dine at La Pergola which offers a range of lovingly prepared Mediterranean dishes including fresh fish and light salads.
We couldn’t resist ordering breakfast to the room, eager to eat whilst enjoying the panoramic view from our balcony. It was a feast of flavours and fresh produce. The sweetest orange juice and most vibrant fruit salad provided a healthy kick, whilst buttery croissants and eggs on toast were a bit more decadent. It was lovely to have a leisurely breakfast overlooking the hillside below.
Many visit Le Mas Candille just to experience the heavenly spa. Complete with hydrotherapy pool, outdoor relaxation area and ESPA treatments, it really is the type of spa you could rest and recuperate in all day.
I felt very lucky to be sampling a 60 minute bespoke spa treatment, half facial, half back massage. My therapist carefully tended to the areas of my back and neck which had deep tension, and patiently massaged with nourishing ESPA oils to relieve the knots. On my face she used replenishing moisturisers and a herbal spritzer to balance my skin and add moisture to my pores. It was the most perfect hour to ensure I left Le Mas Candille feeling much more calm and relaxed than when I had arrived 24 hours before!
More information and book a stay at Le Mas Candille here.