This traditional classic Provencal villa is built on a one acre plateau on the top of a hill, in a large fenced five acres property, with total privacy, and breathtaking three hundred sixty degrees view overlooking the Mediterranean, the Alps and the rolling hills of Sofia Antipolis. The plateau is covered with a large lawn and has an large Californian style electronically secured swimming pool (very safe for the children) surrounded by various palm trees, wild olive trees, and lavender and a lot of open deck space. The large palm trees were a gift from my gardener who asked me one morning if I would be interested in having two full grown palm trees - a couple - free of charge. I would only have to pay for the transplantation cost as the owner of a neighboring estate wanted to get rid of them. I couldn't say no to such an opportunity.
A large fully enclosed outside monastery look like patio adjacent to the house, is the ideal location to keep the children secure and/ or the pets away from the guests during a party or when the adult are gone for a while.
An outside bar and barbecue, an easy accessible pool shower and WC under the outside staircase, plenty of garden tables and lounging chairs and games such as ping pongand, pétanque, make you want to party all day long and gaze at the stars till late into the night.
Standing amidst of all of it, is the white marble Buddha , the protector of the house. This one of a kind Chinese Budhha originates from India and is centuries old. The ball in his hand is known to have all kinds of healing powers might they be physical, mental or spiritual. That Buddha belonged to an American Ambassador in Bombay India at the beginning of the 19th century. When he took his retirement in his villa in St Jean Cap Ferrat, he took the Budhha with him! My mother and I saw it along the roadside oe day in front of an antique shop and mother who had only one more year to live went absolutely crazy about it once she saw it. Overwhelmed, I secretively made a deal with the shopkeeper to have it delivered on her birthday six months later. The presence of the Buddha and the happiness it brought into her life made her live another three years. I believe in quantum physics and how we are all interconnected with the fartest particles in the universe, therefore dont' refrain from caressing the ball and if your heart is pure your good wishes will become real.
The original villa which has the looks of a 19th century manor, is four hundred fity square meter large and has been conceptualized by MonsieurTriquenot who was the architect of Jean Cocteau, is one of the most prominent play writer and film director of the 2o th century. Monsieur Triquenot was very traditional and forbade my mother to install modern double paned windows insisting that the climate did not require them. The hardwood floors for instance were built "a l'ancienne" (the old fashin way!) There is an air gap between the hardwood floors and the base flooring which gives that original little crackling sound when you step on it that is so specific to french castles and mansions. Another traditional specificity of the house is its tile from Salern that is to be found in the bathroom at the floor levels and the one at the top level; on the countertop in the stylish old fashioned kitchen and around the pizza oven; and finally in the bathroom of the "bergerie" at the entrance of the estate at the bottom of the hill. When I was nine, my mother and I carefully picked them up not even being aware that they would become museum pieces on a later day. All those tiles are handmade making it possible to always make new ones even centuries later. Very traditiona is the banister of the spiral staircase that consists of a rope. When Mister Triquenot passed away his son took over and was more tolerant to new ideas that my mother picked up in LA such as closets! Later on was added consequently a Californian style swimming pool, the studio , the Obama room and the "Tunisian" style far East Wing with its tower ans terrace which isn't accessible to the tenants.
The guest have access to eight bedrooms and six baths. There are enough beds and rooms to accommodate up to twenty-four guests. The ground floor consists of: a large nineteenth century style foyer, a cute guest toilet; a marble spiral staircase leading to six bedrooms; a very large eight square meters living room with our traditional hardwood floors, a large authentic wood burning fireplace made from the local stone of Roquefort Les Pins, that can besides the electrical heating system and AC heat the entire house in the wintertime, large French doors that slides within the walls so that the exterior world harmoniously mingles with the interior ; is furnished with rare antiques and comfortable leather sofas with a seating capacity for twenty guests and a extendable oak dining table with a seating capacity up to fourteen guests , a den with a traditional oak table with a seating capacity of eight guests and a very practical gourmet kitchen with a large breakfast nook. A large master bedroom suite with a large bathroom with a tub and shower stall, covered with tile from Salern and a build in closet space and another bedroom in the same classical style which has its own private 3/4 bathroom, have direct acces to the living room. Both bedrooms have hardwood floors and view on the outside monastery look alike patio.
The upper floor consists of : the "South Wing Suite" with his own large outside sun deck overlooking the mountains, the pool and the Mediterranean. It has a large contemporary style bathroom with a walk in closet and traditional hardwood floors; the "North Wing Suite" has a large very private deck overlooking the Alps and the rolling hills where you can easily sunbathe nude away from everyone. This contemporary bathroom with marble tile is very bright , has its own walk in closet, tub, double sink, separate toilet and bidet. The room has a fridge and a microwave oven and is on the second floor detached from the rest of the house. Finally the "East Wing Suite" has slightly vaulted ceilings and has the capacity to lodge three guests. It has its own walk in closet and a very traditional Provencal bathroom which a shower stall and a sink decorated exclusively with "Salern" tile; The "Tower room " which has a balcony overlooking the alps and the pool; two rustic mansard rooms and one contemporary 3/4 bath.
The decor and the style are as eclectic as the writer owner. One of a kind Antique furniture is combined without any screwples with modern practical furniture adding to the charm and coziness of this estate.
The drapes of the living room and the bedrooms suites were designed by the decorator of the Palace of Prince Albert of Monaco.
The kitchen cabinets have remained the same since the last forty years in memory to my mother who used to spend many hours preparing the most exotic meals from macrobiotic cooking to the most extravagant vegan meals inspired by Ann Wigmore's food recipes. Vistors wonder why there are a few steps right in the middle of the hallway leading to the "South wing". Because it overlaps a large beam that reinforces to entire structure against seismic jilts.
The grounds are surrounded with fences and the grand portal is regulated electronically via remote controls.
There are many outside lights and the pool can be romantically lit at night.
Originally, before the house was built, it was just a steep hill. When I was eight years old my mother and I climb all the way to the top and we could see through a few branches the Mediterranean. My mother fell in love with the location and was ready to buy the property one condition that the sales agent who was also our to become contractor would flatten the top of the hill into into a large plateau. "No problem" he said and against all odds, one night he brought a few guys over and dynamited and flattened the entire thing, When my mother came to inspect the work, she thought the plateau what too small and she asked him to double its size, which he did hoping that he would eventually build the house of her dreams. A few weeks later se was overjoyed to see that one of her dreams had come true. However the contractor was fined by the city of an amount that would be considered ridiculous by the environmentalist if the same infraction was to be done today. Yet mother never used him as her contractor, as he was accused of selling illegally plots of lands that belonged to Pieds Noirs and was encarrated. She was very fortunate to meet Mr. Triquenot one of the most reputable architects in the region, who was recommended by the owners of the inn "Le Colombier".
The old rod iron gate can be opened automatically with a remote control and you can park about thirty cars around the plateau and about sixty throughout the entire estate. Originally there was a narrow road going around the plateau. Yet about ten years ago a brush fire set up by the kids of the neighbours almost reached the house. The cleaning maid was brave enough to stay on the premises and call the fire department. Her courage has saved the entire area from burning down into flames. Upon recommendation of the fire department officer, I enlarged the road which gave more space for the firetrucks to move around and hence to park more cars. Believe it or not, some of theclerks in city hall were not aware of the story and wanted to condemn me for illegally having enlarged the road not knowing that I did it upon recommendation of the officers of the fire department.
At at the bottom of the hill, when driving up the dirt road a little all in stones house catches one's attention. Being part of the estate, it is centuries old and used to be an old ruin that an old Portuguese artisan Victor rebuild from scratch. Every stone is from the land of Angel Hill.