This magnificent ‘Master’s House’ offers luxury and spacious accommodation for 10. It was built in 1609 (the time of Shakespeare) and has flagstone floors, vaulted ceilings, exposed stone walls, and large light-filled rooms.
As you step onto the flagstone floors of this 400 year old ‘Maison de Maitre’ you’re immediately aware of history and luxury.
From the vaulted hall you enter into a stylish living/dining room which is separated by an archway from the very large and well-equipped kitchen. Both have access to the charming courtyard - great for outdoor eating and use of the barbecue - which leads onto the walled garden. In this oasis of calm you can sunbathe on the terrace surrounding the pool, find shade under the fig or apricot tree or take a dip in the roman-basin style pool.
Throughout the house, the décor is simple and stylish with the original features having been carefully restored with local materials in authentic Provencal style.
Each of the five double bedrooms is very light and airy, and has its own private bathroom with power shower, solid brass fittings and hand made wash basins made to order from the master potter who has his shop and work place next door. Each of the rooms can be made up with two single beds or put together to make up king-sized double beds. Air-conditioning is supplied in the 4 top floor bedrooms. The beds are made up with pure white linen (from The White Company in the UK) which is professionally laundered.
The kitchen on the ground floor has been designed with communal cooking in mind. It has six meters of work surface, two spanish stone sinks, and a ‘La Canche’ five burner piano style gas cooker.
There are two terraces ... one just outside the kitchen as mentioned, the other at the end of the garden. Clients habitually eat all their meals outside. At breakfast time the air is beautifully fresh before the Mediterranean sun becomes intense and the evenings are wonderfully long and balmy. There is a fig and apricot tree in the garden which offer good shade for those that seek it, and delicious fruit when the season is right. There are six comfortable loungers around the pool.
For a photo montage of the property click ... https://youtu.be/mjagfpIWboo
On our YouTube channel there are 11 conversations with previous guests. They are of all ages, situations and holiday expectations. They give their opinions on the house, the garden and pool, village life and the surrounding areas. To listen just search for and click ... https://www.youtube.com/@LaMaisonDuFaiencier
During the summer of 2023 Adele from Rome booked the property for 4 couples and 4 young children. Here is what she wrote after the holiday (translated from the Italian) ....
Ron's house is incredible. Centrally located on a pretty little square, almost the only one in Varages, with a bar with comfortable tables and chairs, tall trees providing shade and the Thursday market for local products, where locals queue with their Wicker baskets to fill.
Around Varages is all countryside, which makes travelling pleasant and relaxing. There are neighbouring villages all with the same characteristics: beautiful colours, nice bars in the shade of the trees, beautiful fountains typical of the area, lots of excellent rosé and local handicrafts. Varages is also a good location for visiting larger towns like Aix-en-Provence or Marseilles.
But Ron's house, with its huge, well-equipped kitchen and its garden enclosed by ancient ivy-covered walls, encourages you to stay half the day at home to relax by the pool and enjoy the spacious, finely furnished rooms and the coolness of the large walls of a 1609 mansion.
Ron is very welcoming and helpful and gave us great advice on what to see, where to eat and what activities to do. Just a few kilometres from Varages are the famous Gorges du Verdon, which add a splash of nature to the trip to the small towns of Provence. A trip to do again without a doubt: same place, same house.
The top floor 4 bedrooms all have air-conditioning.
Beds and bedding
Each of the five bedrooms have two metal-framed single beds manufactured especially for us by the local blacksmith. They are designed to slide together to make a king-size double.
The bed linen is pure white cotton from ‘The White Company’ in the UK. It is professionally laundered.
The property is for a maximum number of adults and children (over 2 years of age) of 10 at any one time.
For young children there are 2 cots, 2 high chairs and 2 children’s beds as well as mattress protectors.
When you’re finished with sun bathing by the pool or walking/hiking/cycling through the endless forrest, olive groves and vineyards that surround the village, there are endless activities to enjoy.
In the village itself there is a huge park, which you can see from the house, which offers tennis, boules, table tennis and a very well equipped child’s play area.
Go north 25 minutes and you arrive at the famous ‘Gorge de Verdon’ - Europe’s ‘Grand Canyon’. Spread out at the foothills of the Alps it has 25 kms of lakes and rivers offering an array of water sports - from leisurely boating to white water rafting.
On the way to the Gorge you pass some of the famous lavender fields. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and listen for the ‘hum’ of busy bees - the heady scent of lavender is strongest in the heart of the summer when the purple/blue prairies stretch as far as the eye can see.
But we are spoit for choice here. Go south for an hour and you are surrounded by all that the sophisticated Mediterranean coast can offer, go west to the city of Aix-en-Provence, and you’re in the south’s capital of culture: art, music, exquisite architecture.
In which ever direction you travel take a break to visit the many hill-top medieval villages which offer magnificent panoramas of the area.
Step out of the front door of the house and you know immediately you’re in the south of France: the sights, sounds, obvious slow pace of life where the locals stop at every corner to greet each other and swap the latest gossip. The heat is relaxing, light intense, colours vibrant. A few paces away is the local cafe terrace - the ideal place for a leisurely drink.
But although you are very aware of being in a little Provencial village ‘lost’ in the foot hills of the Alps, travelling to and fro is easy. Marseille airport is an hour’s drive away, Nice is just under two. The TGV train service direct to Paris is reached in an hour and if travelling by car you can join the A8 motorway in 20 minutes, which takes you in the direction of either Italy or Spain.
Restuarants, shops and markets
The village has everything you need: a baker for the freshly baked baguette, a butcher - the French love good quality meat, a restaurant which is frequented by clients from far and wide, as well as a pizzera, bar, grocery shop for forgotten essentials and a pharmacy.
There’s a large supermarket ten minutes away and a huge Hyper-market 20 minutes away. You can order on line.
But Provence still loves its street markets. Right in front of the house, once a week, villagers sell their fresh veg, eggs and cheese. Many of the local towns have markets that take the morning to visit and the city of Aix has so many various market stalls it reserves a ‘Place’ for each of the type of produce - to mention just a few ... flowers, handicrafts, antiques and of course, cloths.
During your stay we like, with your permission, to water the garden and clean the pool on a regular basis. This way both stay fresh and inviting. This can be done at any time convenient to you. However, it often works out that this little bit of maintenance is done early in the morning before anyone is about.
If your stay is longer than one week we ask for a 2 hour slot, habitually on the middle Saturday morning, to bring in a team to do an ‘interim clean’ of the kitchen, bedrooms (plus change of linen) and bathrooms. It is free of charge.
There is an end-of-stay cleaning charge of €200.
Parking in the village is free and easy. Unload and load the car a meter from the front door of the house and then park 2 minutes walk away around the corner from the house where there is free parking for 30 odd vehicles. There is also a double EV (electric) charging post.
On request to reserve the property we will send you two short documents
1) a Booking Form, so you can tell us, amongst other things, how many single-bedded rooms and double bedded rooms you need and
2) a list of the House rules which will ensure the smooth running of the property.
As with the rental of all holiday homes there is a Security Deposit held by the property owner against any damage that may occur during the rental. The €1000 is paid before arrival and refunded within one week of your departure.
I am resident at La Maison du Faiencier (with Duke dog) all year round. I live in a self-contained apartment, out of sight and sound of my clients.
This is a large house and it has been renovated it in such a way as to allow me to have a separate unseen internal staircase leading off the garage to my apartment which comprises of a salon, double bedroom and bathroom.
This means we all share the main outer entrance door, but once in the entrance hall, my guests have their own inner entrance door which takes them through, at ground floor level, to the main part of the house, the garden with pool and to the central stairs with their five bedrooms and five en suite bathrooms on the first and second floors.
Being ‘sur place’ means that I am available should you ever need any help or advice.