We all love a bit of Rick Stein – his cookbooks are a staple throughout homes in Britain and his famed restaurant in Padstow is one of our favourites to visit while exploring Cornwall in the summer. His rustic, hearty ‘unctuous’ dishes are simply mouth-watering, and we love to watch his travel shows which are equally entertaining. So, you can imagine our excitement when the producers of his brand new BBC2 TV Series, ‘Secret France’, approached us to help find a villa to cook his latest series’ recipes. The new show sees Rick exploring the lesser-known spots of France; eating in local restaurants, discovering local towns and villages, and discovering the history in parts of France he’s not familiar with. The first episode airs tomorrow (Tuesday 5th November) at 9 pm, and the villa you’ll see him cooking in is Maison Sebastien… one of our exclusive and beautiful, rustic holiday homes and country houses in the Provence region.
Here’s everything you need to know about the villa in Secret France:
Stand-out features: 360-degree views of the surrounding Luberon National Park, enclosed private pool, and the listed stoneware surrounding the house (it was originally a medieval lookout post in the 14th century!)
We absolutely love this rustic stone chateau in the South of France – it’s the perfect place to live like a local and soak up the French way of life. Not only are you surrounded by the Luberon National Park – which you have unparalleled views of – but you’re also not far from bustling markets and charming villages; the medieval town of Mane, the local market in Forcalquier and the lovely village of St Michel L’Observatoire are all nearby. So, you can spend a quaint morning at the market picking up lots of fresh produce to take back to Maison Sebastien, where you can cook up a storm in the kitchen (we also recommend popping into the local village shop ‘Epicerie’ to pick up one of the baker’s delicious frangipani’s!) Or alternatively if you’re not a whizz at cooking, or you just don’t want to lift a finger, you could even organise a private chef – Rick Stein, perhaps? (We kid, of course.)
The surrounding valley is famous for its mulberry trees – the property has one of the last remaining Roman mulberry trees in Provence – and you can easily while away an afternoon by the pool with a book (or a wine) looking out over the incredible views. And you don’t have to worry about watching the kids, because it’s got a child-safe pool, which is fully enclosed and secure for little ones.
And, if you really want to delve into the local lifestyle, the owners of Maison Sebastien can organise tours and treks, or even sessions with a local yoga teacher.
So basically, there are a million and one reasons why we (and Rick, we’re sure) love Maison Sebastien – but don’t take our word for it. If you want to find properties like this, visit wichitalistings.com/search/.
You can buy Rick’s Secret France cookbook here.
View our whole collection of France holiday homes and chateaux here.
Looking for a full list of villas to rent this year? Check out our villa holidays page here.