Mayle saying au revoir to his house in Provence


British writer Peter Mayle, whose book ‘A Year in Provence’ popularised the region, is selling his house, writes ORNA MULCAHY, Property Editor

His best-selling tales of village life in Provence helped send property prices through the roof in the south of France, Now, writer Peter Mayle is selling his Provençal home – for €6 million.

The British author, whose stories of life in the Luberon have sold millions of copies, moved on long ago from the farmhouse he restored chapter by chapter in his 1989 book A Year in Provence.

He now owns an 18th-century house on the outskirts of the village of Lourmarin, said to be one of the most beautiful villages in France and the burial place of the French writer Albert Camus who spent his Nobel Prize money on a farmhouse there in 1958.

Located, 50kms from Aix en Provence and less than an hour’s drive from Marseilles airport, Mayle’s property is one of the finest in the area. Three storeys high, the 600sq m (6,458sq ft) house is shaded by enormous plane trees, and has several terraces overlooking either formal gardens or the large infinity pool.

Described by selling agents Emile Garcin as a “a sublime and authentic property away from inquisitive eyes”, the many-shuttered house stands in 5.7 hectares of grounds that include an olive grove, a rose garden, two ponds and a vegetable garden.

There’s an orangery, a dove cote, a summer diningroom and a wine cellar.

The ground floor has a large entrance hall, an immaculately restored kitchen complete with fireplace, an impressive diningroom with a high vaulted ceiling, and a large sittingroom that opens onto a romantic inner courtyard. The house has four bedrooms, spread over two floors, with an additional two bedrooms to renovate. There is also a guest apartment comprising a livingroom, bedroom, dressingroom and nursery, as well as its own shady terrace overlooking the vegetable garden.

Clearly this isn’t the house that Mayle, a former advertising executive who gave up his job to move to France in the mid 1980s, wrote about in his best selling first book. That was a modest farmhouse Menerbes. However, the book was so popular that he found himself under siege from a constant stream of visitors wanting to meet Mayle and his colourful neighbours in the flesh. Privacy became impossible and eventually Mayle moved to America, where he lived in Long Island for several years.

Lourmarin, Louberon, Provence

An 18th-century house on 5.7 hectares, with a rose garden and an orangery, in one of the most beautiful villages in France, owned by Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence.

Agent: Emile Garcin Tel 00-33-442-545227