Exploring medieval Mougins from luxury Provençe hotel, Le Mas Candille
With its spiral of cobbled streets lined with townhouses, Mougins is a picture-perfect slice of Provençe, in the hills above the glittering shores and bustling streets of Cannes. It’s little wonder the town has attracted great artists and silver screen stars throughout the 20th century. Today, its reputation for beauty and luxury continues, with galleries, gourmet restaurants and sweeping views setting the scene for boutique hotel breaks. Our hotel of choice? The contemporary villa elegance of Le Mas Candille.
SINK INTO HOLIDAY MODE
Le Mas Candille provides instant relaxation. Quintessential Provençe fragrances of pine and lavender drift on the air, and blue skies overhead find their reflection in a stunning infinity pool. This is somewhere to truly unwind, from the very first moment.
Once you’ve settled into your room or suite – set either in an 18th-century farmhouse or a collection of modern villas – the fun can really begin. Make a bee-line for the pool, or peruse the treatments on offer at Spa Candille. With a calming atmosphere and luxury ESPA therapies, you’ll soon feel refreshed and ready to make the most of every moment of your holiday.
ON THE ART TRAIL
The striking contemporary sculptures dotted throughout the Le Mas Candille grounds hint at the region’s artistic heritage. To delve into it further, take a five-minute stroll from the hotel gates into medieval Mougins.
Almost every town on the Côte d'Azur has counted a famous artist or two among its past residents. And in Mougins’ case it’s Picasso, who lived here for the last twelve years of his life. You can view portraits of the master and other artists at the André Villers Museum of Photography. Villers himself first met Picasso in 1953, and the two developed a close working friendship.
There’s much more to art in Mougins than Picasso, however. The Museum of Classical Art (MACM) – set in an unassuming townhouse in the village centre – ranks as one of France’s most unique museums. This vast private collection places sculpture, jewellery, armour and coins from antiquity alongside modern art by the likes of Matisse, Chagall and Antony Gormley, to explore the continuing influence of the classical world.
FLAVOURS OF PROVENÇE
Provençe is home to a galaxy of Michelin-starred restaurants, where you can feast your way from the fruits of the Mediterranean to the riches of rolling hills and meadows. At Le Mas Candille, chef Xavier Burelle has claimed his first star with his artistic interpretations of classic Riviera recipes that highlight the superb quality of Provençal produce. The setting, from the elegant dining room to the sun-dappled terrace overlooking Grasse and the Pre-Alps, matches the beauty of every dish.
Go street style
After the rarefied pampering of Le Candille, enjoy the contrast of diving into a lively, no-holds-barred festival dedicated to all things gastronomic. The Mougins Festival is a paradise for food and wine lovers, with so much to see and savour. Every year in June the village becomes one huge restaurant, with over a hundred chefs showing what they can do.
Forget simply about sitting and watching cookery demonstrations. The festival is very much hands on, so why not take a lesson with a master? Sommeliers are on hand too, with tasting tips – and glasses – and food is available to buy and savour right up until midnight every day of the festival.
MADE FOR ADVENTURES
Although you could easily spend a week working your way through the spa menu (or wine lists) at Le Mas Candille, it’s also a stylish base for exploring more of the Riviera.
Work your way slightly further into the countryside to visit Grasse, the perfume capital of Provençe. The iconic lavender fields are in bloom from June to August. In other seasons, while away an afternoon wandering cobbled streets and learning about the history of perfume-making at the fragrance museum. Or, leave the towns behind for a day exploring the Prealpes d’Azur Regional National Park. This popular beauty spot has plenty of hiking trails for all abilities, winding their way through Alpine forests and along dramatic gorges. When you return to Le Mas Candille, you’ll more than have earned a chilled flute of the hotel’s very own reserve Champagne at the terrace bar.