Luxury, quiet and delight between Alès and Nimes: the Mas d’Alphonse
Easter 2014: this year, we decided to be unfaithful (once will not hurt) to our dear Villa Cassiopée on the island of Skiathos and to Orthodox Easter traditions to visit the French regions of Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon with our three children.
Probably influenced by a well-known French TV program, I wanted to test the formula “Bed and Breakfast” also offering a host table, since it is more convenient for us to take the evening meal on spot, while our youngest son is sleeping.I immediately started looking for a charming place, unusual, aesthetic, luxurious, and preferably at a reasonable price. After hours of surfing on internet, when I was about to throw in the towel and choose the first room I would meet, my wanderings led me to the “Mas d’Alphonse”, in the Duchy of Uzes, between Nimes, Uzes and Anduze. A beautiful and very complete website, great pictures and an unusual mixture of Provence and Thailand which arouses curiosity: good points that caught my attention. A quick glance on Booking.com convinced me: the note and the reviews were excellent.
Let’s be honest: the terse e-mails from the owner had a little cooled my enthusiasm, but the first telephone contact was warm and I decided to go further!
We arrived at the “Mas d’Alphonse” at about 7 p.m. and it was love at first sight. The place, still bathed in the mild sun of the spring late afternoon brought together everything I love. A 19th century winemaker house with azure shutters, with its beautiful stone walls topped by a roof of old tiles, stood proudly in front of its property: at its feet, eight hectares of vineyards and crops, as far as one can see. Under some old trees and a shade sail, a large table announced peaceful breakfasts accompanied by the refreshing song from a nearby fountain. On the table next to the pool or hardly hidden between two flowering shrubs, the soothing and unexpected presence of Buddha …
The owner greeted us kindly and introduced us to his Thai wife, Suwannee. The entire property reflected the image of this couple: a harmonious marriage between Provence and Thailand that will immediately soothed the most recalcitrant stress.
Inside the house we were equally delighted: Provençal stones, tiles and beams and Thai furniture and refinement. We had booked the suite for us and our little boy, the Malisa room for our elder children. Therefore we occupied all the space for the guests and were enjoying complete privacy. The master suite was superb, spacious and decorated with exquisite taste: ceiling vaults, terracotta floors, old stone walls, antique Thai furniture, huge fireplace for cooler evenings and a large French door opening onto a private terrace and the beautiful countryside views. The en-suite bathroom offered luxury and character: bathtub in exotic wood, black stone tiles, soaps, fluffy bathrobes and towels.
While Suwannee was preparing for us a Thai meal and our teens were surfing on the internet, my husband and I went for a walk in this wonderful garden and we discovered … the Thai house. The owners have built on a small promontory overlooking the fields a Thai bamboo house on stilts with a wooden gazebo, which is a haven of peace: not a sound, not a house on the horizon, only vines, flowers an immense sky … Two comfortable sofas, some cushions, a table with books about Thai massage and some candles: a place where you would like to stay forever.
The evening was a little chilly and in the dining room, Suwannee had lit the monumental fireplace. A table laid with refinement was waiting for us and Suwannee took care of us with discretion, but with kindness and constant attention and delighted our taste bud with an unexpected meal: Thai spring rolls with herbs from the organic garden, grilled basil beef and homemade coconut balls accompanied by a little pink in the region. A treat!
She answered our questions and kindly explained to us that the Mas d’Alphonse was originally their vacation home, where they took long breaks away from their Parisian life. Seven years before, they decided to live there permanently, choosing to share with their guests this extraordinary quality of life.
The next morning, a bright sunshine flooded the terrace and we were looking forward to taste the breakfast. Suwannee had prepared the table under the trees and we were served on a slate, pastries, crispy baguette, house-made jams, yogurt, fresh orange juice and coffee. Peaceful nature, kindness and gentleness of our hostess, the beautiful surroundings, attention to detail made this moment unique and I was fully conscious of having found a place that deserves to be recommended with confidence.
The Mas of Alphonse is close to many attractions that we could visit in one day: the Mill of Alphonse Daudet (ah, the stories of my childhood), Les Baux de Provence and the other villages of the Alpilles, Arles, Nîmes, the Pont du Gard.
It is therefore possible to concoct a varied program of excursions and return to the calmness of the Mas d’Alphonse for a relaxing evening..
According to their website, they also offer a “lovers” package, a package “weekend wellness” and “Thai” package: a full program…
Hi, I am Muriel a Belgian-based owner of My Aegean Villa blog offering ideas of travelling in Greece and other nice places in the world. I love writing articles mostly inspired by my personal experience. I am the owner of Villa Cassiopee in Skiathos that I rent. I am also managing other villas owned by friends who trust me and give me the exclusivity of their property.