Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2706: Moulin de la Roque, La Bergerie
apartments and cottages on an estate near Avignon, Provence
Sepember. 2007, two weeks
Moulin de la Roque is made up of a series of several cottages/apartments created from an old flour mill complex (moulin). The grounds are gorgeous - lawn, boules court, swimming pool, nut trees, very peaceful but only about five km from Avignon and in a wonderfully central location for exploring Provence.
The little town of Noves is within easy walking distance (though it was a bit of a long walk for our 2 1/2 year old), and a great place to get your obligatory morning baguette(s)/croissant(s). There was a little grocery store in Noves as well as a Super-U and organic produce market within easy driving distance.
We stayed in the "La Bergerie" cottage (3bed/2bath) - it used to be a sheep shed! Lovely thick stone walls and exposed beams, but with all the modern conveniences inside you could ask for - nice little kitchen, dishwasher, clothes washer, etc. There was a gorgeous stone fireplace in the living room, which we didn't use (too warm still in September) and an outdoor grill, too. The house/grounds were incredibly peaceful while we were there - there was another apartment in the other half of our particular building, but I never heard a peep out of anyone from it (those thick stone walls).
We had a lovely terrace, complete with teak furniture, and ate dinner there every evening - and quite a few breakfasts, too. There is a large open garden area - great for our toddler to run around in - and a secluded pool, too, which we used on nearly a daily basis.
The furniture was in good shape - a little utilitarian (apart from the gorgeous trestle table in the dining room area) but very clean and comfortable. Definitely enough seating and ample dishes/utensils, etc. as well.
The three bedrooms ranged along the hall upstairs and each had lovely deep casement windows looking out onto the grounds - you could hear the church bells ringing in Noves each morning, it was lovely! The beds were fine - low to the ground, but fine. Lots of bathrooms - a half bath on the ground floor, a full bath on the second floor, a separate toilet room on the second floor as well, and the master bedroom had it's own shower and sink, too. (Lots of bathrooms in this particular house.)
The kitchen was nice. A little tight with two people in it, but serviceable. We cooked dinner in it every night for six people, no problem. Adequate pots and pans and dishes - it could do with a good sharp knife or two, but that's quibbling.
Problems or Bonuses
The owner, who lives on site, has the best behaved dog I have ever met. He's a lovely Newfoundland - which, if you've never met one, are HUGE and very, very sweet dogs. This particular Newfie makes the rounds each evening and is so darn well trained he will absolutely not come up to you to be petted no matter how much you try to coax him (that's a feat for Newfies, they're big love muffins). My husband stopped by the owners apartment/house for directions once and when Guy (the owner) said it was OK the Newfie was typically lovey to my husband, but only when he got the OK. Wow! I'm impressed!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked through email, directly with the owner, Baron Guy. He spoke English beautifully and was wonderfully helpful/friendly. The website is dead on - the pictures there are really what the Moulin looks like. Once we arrived, Guy was wonderful about giving helpful hints about the best places for food shopping, the best local markets (St. Remy!), how to get to the Calanques, etc. Prices are posted on the website, too.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I absolutely recommend the Moulin de la Roque, with no reservations. It was a wonderful home base for exploring Provence.
Things to do in this area
All of Provence is basically at your doorstep. The St. Remy market is wonderful, Pont du Gard is less than an hour away, Avignon is about a ten minute drive, Les Baux, Tarascon, the Luberon, the Dentelles, the Calanques - all were easy morning drives. (We had to be back every afternoon for our toddler's nap time and we still managed to see so much!)
Normally, we are foodies when we travel, but since this was our first trip with a toddler in tow, we weren't this time - but we had a wonderful time exploring the local markets and gathering filberts (nuts) right on the estate. We did eat an awful lot of fresh bread from the local boulangerie...
All in all, the Moulin surpassed our expectations. It was amazingly calm and relaxed yet very close to everything we wanted to see on our first trip to the area. We will definitely return!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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