First of all, please forgive the technical difficulties I’ve been having. It’s a combination of different things – mostly the just released Windows 8 doesn’t seem to want to work with my blogging platform, Windows Live Writer. You would think Windows 8 would “talk” with Windows Live Writer, but no, it’s never that simple!! On top of that, I am working on a new blog design that should go live in just a few weeks.
One other subject I would like to discuss with you is how you “read” the blog. This topic comes up in emails to me, over and over again, so I thought I would talk with everyone about this! Right now, there are around 17,000 subscribers who receive notifications of blog updates by email. If you are one of those – please do NOT read the blog on your email!!! You miss out on so much if you read the blog from your email. It doesn’t really scroll properly and it’s just not intended to be read this way. Plus, you can’t leave a comment or properly enroll in contests. The best way to read the blog if you get an email notification from Cote de Texas, is like this:
Below is a picture of what your email might look like. When you open the email, place your cursor over the words “Cote de Texas” OR the title of the story – and click. This will take you directly to the blog site.
Click on either the “Cote de Texas” or the title of the blog story where the red arrows are!
When you click on your email, it will take to the true blog address. If you read the blog at the proper address, it will scroll correctly and it will fit your computer screen. By doing this, the pictures will be bigger, brighter and more focused. The blog is designed to be read at www.cotedetexas.blogspot.com and not on your emails. I get so many questions about the blog not scrolling properly or not being able to leave comments, and this is so simple to correct. Just click on your email and you should have no more problems!!
Please trust me on this – you will enjoy reading the blog at its proper address so much more than reading it off your email.
On to the new story. A reader, inspired by the pictures shown here from France and England, wrote me about a beautiful hotel in Provence. She was right – it really IS beautiful! Today, we will visit the hotel, Le Castelet.
The stone bastide sits high above the swimming pool. Underneath the house are two large open rooms that are used for entertaining and parties.
Le Castelet is an original bastide in Provence on the Cote d’Azur. The bastide, surrounded by centuries old cypress trees, sits in the middle of an olive grove with views in all directions. Le Castelet has been totally renovated and is quite luxurious. There are two main buildings, two swimming pools and an outdoor spa.
The countryside of Le Castelet
Le Castelet’s name comes from its origins as a castle. There are stone walls of the bastide that were erected during the Roman period. Most other parts of the bastide were built during the medieval period. Over the years, various owners have added onto the buildings – erecting a terrace and enlarging the stables. A round tower was built in 1841. None of the windows match and some have the year 1863 carved into them. The lead and copper pipes installed long ago have also been replaced. One owner built the garage in 1946. Many authors and movie stars have lived in the area and the very popular actress of the 50s, Bridgett Bardot, visited Le Castelet. She almost bought it, but her mother found a less expensive property for her to purchase. After this, a Swedish family bought the bastide and though they maintained the vineyards and the olive grove, the property was not really cared for properly. In 1997, the Swedes sold Le Castelet to the current owners who completely renovated the property, keeping the past visible, but providing all the mod cons for its visitors.
The map of Le Castelet showing its two main houses, the bastide and the guest annex.
Le Castelet is 30 minutes from Cannes and la Napoul/Mandelieu beaches. There are nearby golf courses and a ski resort is just 40 minutes away. The bastide is near two small villages Cabris and Peymeinade (walking distance). The famous perfume town Grasse with its old picturesque town is only 10 min away. The nearby mountains are perfect for hikes, climbing and canoeing. And you can walk along the real Route Napoleon starting close by behind the house.
The cypress lined drive up to the bastide.
The gate to the main bastide, with the circular tower on the right.
The bastide and its terrace overlook the lower level with the open air rooms and swimming pool and spa (hot tub.)
The two open air rooms below the bastide overlook the swimming pool which overlooks the vineyard.
The open air rooms can be set up for large parties or weddings, making Le Castelet a perfect wedding destination.
The terrace off the bastide is laid with slate tiles. The tower can be seen on the far right.
On the terrace of the bastide, the original swimming pool is now a Zen like reflecting pool.
The original bastide with stone walls, light green shutters and lanterns. Lemon trees are grown in pots.
The original bastide with its tiled roof and copper gutters.
Stone walls and tiled roofs – so French!
Off the tower, wisteria grows. Above is an open air balcony. Since this picture was taken, the area under the balcony was enclosed with a French door.
Atop the tower is an original metal sign signifying 1841, when the tower was erected.
On the left side of the bastide, under the balcony is a covered dining terrace. This section of the bastide is newer than the rest of it.
The dining terrace under the balcony is perfect on cool nights because of hidden heaters!
Inside the bastide is the main salon, with the stairs inside the tower that lead to the second floor.
Looking down from the stairs at the main salon. The floors are tiles, the walls are paneled and stone. The ceilings have original beams.
Beautiful Louis XVI fireplace and paneling.
Behind the salon and past the stairs is the stone hall that leads to the kitchen.
The kitchen in the bastide with its built in armoire. So charming!
At the other side, the incredible La Cornue range and antique tiles that came from a French chateau.
French Provençal table and chairs.
At the top of the stairs in the round tower.
The red salon and bedroom on the second floor.
The suite’s bedroom with taffeta curtains, along with taffeta lined closets.
Another bedroom in the bastide.
An English bathtub from the early 1900s.
This bathroom has incredible marble walls and tiled shower, along with terracotta floors.
Close up of the gorgeous faucets and tiles.
Iris mixed with herbs and stone walls.
The vineyard, bordered by a row of lavender and a walkway along the stone wall.
Roses line the stone walk between the bastide and the smaller guest annex.
Up the stone stairs to the guest annex.
The guest annex is set up to be completely independent of the main bastide. Both houses can be rented at the same time.
Another swimming pool overlooking the countryside and the vineyard.
Stucco walls and cream shutters. Limestone tiles.
The main guest room in the annex. So cute!!
Another view of the guest suite looks out on the terrace and swimming pool.
At the lower level of the property near the vineyard is the newly built Cabanon. The Cabanon can be used in the winter – because it has a fireplace and heated floors. There is also an outdoor kitchen at the Cabanon for dinners.
The Cabanon at night, perfect for dinner parties overlooking the vineyard.
A covered porch sits under the guest annex’s swimming pool. The boule court is to the right.
I can’t imagine how wonderful it would be to stay here with your extended family!! To book Le Castelet, go HERE.
Attention: The six winners in the Aidan Gray contest have all now been notified by /email!! More information about the winners will be coming soon!