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Terre Blanche: The Provençal Resort Bigger Than Nearby Monaco

Located within the rolling hills of Provence, Terre Blanche is a luxury hotel, spa and golf resort steeped in nature.

To stay at Terre Blanche is to feel a world away from reality, where days are filled with long lunches, Michelin-starred dinners and trips to the nearby vineyards.

Only 30-45 minutes from Cannes, this swish hideaway also feels a world away from the bravado and opulence so synonymous with the coastal Riviera, favouring authentic pleasures and traditional Provençal design over anything too bling. This is the spot for pool days and spa visits alongside long walks and bike rides in a Cézanne landscape.

The Lowdown

Set among the endless lavender fields of Tourrettes, this estate spans 750-acre (that’s bigger than Monaco) and was formerly owned by a French aristocrat, before being snapped up by Sean Connery. In 2004, an art-loving German tycoon transformed the grounds into a tasteful country retreat complete with two 18-hole championship level golf courses, a knockout infinity pool, four restaurants – including the Michelin-starred Le Faventia headed by Christophe Schmitt – and a sprawling two-storey spa. Today, Terre Blanche remains a firm favourite among the Monaco set in search of a relaxing reset, as well as a hush-hush hideaway for families and couples.

The Vibe

Privacy seems to be the name of the game at Terre Blanche. Whether you’re venturing to the infinity pool or checking out the spa, there’s a sense of space and calm at all times, allowing you to adopt a slower pace and become fully immersed in the Provençal lifestyle. Blending into rolling hills and endless fields, the resort’s 115 suites and villas are scattered across the fragrant grounds to create a village feel, with winding outdoor pathways that lead to the main restaurant area and reception. On-demand golf buggies are available to shuttle you from restaurant to restaurant, or to the furthest reaches of the golf course.

The Rooms

Perched at the end of one of the many sun-dappled pathways, the village-style entry to your villa-style suite sets the tone. The secluded private terrace draws you in first, revealing uncluttered views of the foliage followed by the elegant medley of apricot and yellow hues to complement the terracotta tiles. The dressing room and gleaming marble bathrooms have been designed to flow seamlessly into one another, complete with free-standing bathtubs, walk-in showers and twin basins. For families, villas with connecting suites and plunge pools are available.

The Food + Drink

Elegant and low-key, Le Faventia serves Michelin-starred cuisine with vast views of Callian, Montauroux and the soaring hills of the Pays de Fayence. From the moment you arrive, the mood is experimental, starting with the use of a deconstructed plate made by a local ceramist based in Tourrettes, right through to the striking presentation of each dish. Led entirely by the seasons, the menu includes red mullet with decorative petals and a melt-in-the-mouth wagyu beef bejewelled with red berries. Halfway through, Chef Christophe Schmitt makes an appearance to prepare the buttery king prawns on a floating hot stove, concentrating with an eagle eye on each step. For the grand finale, a silky chocolate soufflé arrives in a playful egg-shaped cup followed by an incredible cheese board made up of soft and hard cheeses from the likes of Domaine Pré-Lavit in Fayence and La Ferme de l’Escaillon in Thorenc.

For a more relaxed affair, Le Tousco’s shady terrace is a lovely lunch spot perched by the infinity pool and serving up a kaleidoscopic tuna niçoise salad and tempting scoops of homemade ice cream. Or there’s Les Caroubiers, a clubhouse restaurant with views of the golf course. Breakfast is convivial and lively with families at Le Gaudina. Have yours at the main restaurant on the partially-shaded patio or simply stay put in your suite, order room service, and retreat to your terrace for a more private experience.

The Little Extras

The crowning glory of Terre Blanche might just be the 34,000 square-foot spa, a short walk or golf buggy ride away from your suite through the landscaped gardens. A grand staircase on arrival leads up to an art-strewn corridor suffused with the scent of aromatherapy oils. Choose the candle massage and you’ll start off being cocooned in warm towels before the massage segues into a full body experience, hot wax included. A gentle head and face massage are both included in this treatment, or there’s the Signature de la Ruche if you prefer something slightly more knot-busting – a full-body massage that uses a honey-like beeswax from Provence. Post-massage, guests can swim laps in the 20-metre indoor pool surrounded by immense windows that frame the manicured gardens, or bask in the heated vitality pool.

The To-Do List

For fans of rosé, Terre Blanche is a short drive away from Château d’Esclans, the home of Whispering Angel – an internationally acclaimed wine that’s said to have started the rosé renaissance. Before 2006, rosé used to be the cheap and cheerful option, then Sacha Lachine came along from Bordeaux to change perceptions by creating a flawless and easy to-drink alternative. Guests are invited on a tour of the estate to learn about the chateau’s slick operation, from harvesting the grapes right through to cooling, pressing and storing them. Various high-end contraptions have been invented to make the painstakingly-detailed process of achieving the wine’s pale hue as smooth as possible. Magnums of Garrus and Les Clans decorate the tasting room, where you’re invited to sip and compare the estate’s extraordinary selection, ranging from The Pale (a new picnic wine) to Rock Angel, which has a more structured profile than Whispering Angel, followed by the eponymous Chateau d’Esclans – a new favourite.

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