DOMAINE DE MANVILLE PROVENCE, FRANCE
DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE TRADITIONAL SKY-BLUE SHUTTERS
And crumbling walls of this former farmhouse’s exterior. Inside, Arles-based interior designer Annie Zeau has created a warren of flamboyant suites decked out in bright velvets, studded leather and theatrical chandeliers. But it’s not the interiors people come here for. Chef Matthieu Dupuis-Baumal (who earned his stripes under Michel Roux at The Waterside Inn in Bray) brings Provençal fare to life in so many exciting ways. Ingredients include spring lamb from Les Alpilles, local artichokes, tomatoes, peas, cèpes and fresh herbs from the garden.
DOMAINE DE MANVILLE PROVENCE, FRANCE Photo Gallery
Among the standout dishes are marinated smoked deer with juniper berries and burnt quince, and crispy sweetbreads with carrot and pink grapefruit. Breakfast is served in a soul- lifting, cathedral-like glasshouse bathed in morning sun, and is a veritable love song to freshly baked pastry. To ease the stuffed-to- the-gills feeling, the hotel’s estate lends itself to rigorous hikes and guided rambles in the Alpilles National Park – cue lavender, beehives and fields of wild fennel. Bliss. The nearby Château d’Estoublon is also worth a visit to find out how olive oil is made by hand.
OUR KIND OF LUXE
The wide expanse of countryside in the surrounding area is the highlight here. Throw away the map and cycle for hours through cypress tree-lined fields and rocky hills to cobbled hamlets where 20€ menu formules and steaming bowls of moules frites await. GO Domaine de Manville (domainede manville.com) offers stays from £215 a night, including breakfast, based on two sharing.
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