Mystery in Mougins - Short Break in Provence
PUBLISHED: 08:33 20 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:02 20 February 2013
Janet Reeder takes a flight of fantasy in the South of France
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Being an 'international woman of mystery' is the perfect role for any gal who visits the South of France. The wide brimmed hat, the stole swept across bare, bronzed shoulders such is the fantasy. The reality is a Jet 2 flight Flight from Manchester to Nice with Pringles and Cup-A-Soup on the in-flight menu.
But in spite of this lack of je ne sais quoi, a relaxing flight of around two and a half hours was followed by a swift transfer to Le Mas Candille a deliciously discreet hotel nestling in the countryside at Mougins, where I was relishing trying out my new, glam role.
Alas! I was beaten to it because a secret celeb had chosen one of the suites as a hideway for a romantic tryst with her new lover. Reputedly Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez. Still, the choice of this Relais & Chteaux hotel proved that, yes indeed it was the perfect place to live out a French fantasy.
After sipping pink champagne in a deluxe room with a mountain view, done out with antique furniture and ultra-comfortable four-poster bed, I made my way down to the terrace bathed in pink Provencale light for a superb meal created by the Le Mas Candille local 'chef celbre' Serge Gouloums.
The food is of course out of this world but so is too the view, with its lashings of countryside garnished with a very dramatic sunset.
A small village filled with ateliers and art galleries is a mere 10 minutes stroll away but Le Mougins is amongst the very best, with dishes on the menu that are simply divine. From the signature dish of Candill foi gras tatin with Armagnac to scallop tartare flavoured with almond milk. These are indeed concoctions perfectly suited to the palate of an international woman of mystery.
A girl can always use another string to her bow and as we were near Grasse, famed for perfume making, we took the opportunity to take part in a Tarinology workshop at the Molinard perfumery. Basically this was a crash course in combining a perfume, leaving with a 50ml bottle of fragrance and a numbered certificate so that at any time I could call up my own creation (I won't be in a hurry!)
The Mas Candille has a beautiful Susheido spa to soothe away any doubts about anything, including one's poor attempt at creating a fragrance.
And further tranquillity was to be discovered a 20 minute boat trip away from nearby Cannes to the lush isle of Saint Honorat, where the Cistercian monks brew exquisite wine and where you can casually dine overlooking the dazzling blue Mediterranean at La Tonelle, which is jointly managed by the monks of the Lrins abbey and Marc Dussoulier. This really is living the fantasy, as light sparkles on pretty pink rose wine and plucked from the menu are delights such as cuttlefish, sea bream, shrimp, salmon and fabulous seafood, pasta.
The Discovering Mediterranean market and cuisine package at Les Mas Candille is priced at 390 per person for a 2 night stay.
Bookings can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org