A veritable oasis of greenery in the heart of Provence! The grounds of the Domaine Le Vallon whisk you away to a place that’s far from the daily grind of the stresses and compromises of urban living. Here, time stands still. There’s just nothing like enjoying the peace and quiet of these grounds, relaxing beneath the shade of the mighty plane trees, playing a game of pétanque on the white gravelled pathways or daydreaming by the rose garden. The grounds are laid out in the French formal style with at its heart, a central ornamental fountain in a stone basin that provides some welcome coolness, as well as stone benches, fountains and statues hidden behind the twists and turns of paths and avenues. Michèle and Fred have a real passion for Provence and Provençal flora: the bigger trees provide a cooling shade, while the Mediterranean cypress trees, the truffle oaks and olive trees are all iconic symbols of the region. The world-famous lavender plant graces the borders and flower beds beside the rose bushes that Michèle so loves, bringing with it its vivid colours and invigorating scent on lazy summer days.
As a testament to her passion for roses, Michèle has created a rose garden in the western part of the grounds, which she tends with the greatest of care, waiting impatiently for the flowers to bloom and release their gloriously delicate fragrances.
A herb garden is carefully planted out beside the little outbuilding and is replanted each year: these condiments are vital ingredients in Provençal gastronomy and local culinary specialities. Guests are free to use the herbs from the garden to bring a little something extra to their meals and barbecues beside the swimming pool.
In the mornings, you can lose yourself in the sound of birdsong, while later on in the day the cicadas’ song takes over – in fact, the château is a wonderful place to be at any time of the day. If you fancy a quick dip to cool down after a little sunbathing, the swimming pool in the old wash-house is just the thing for you.
The château has a number of vines grown by Fred, producing grapes that are made into lovely rosé and red wine (vin de pays). Guests’ arrival at the château is marked with an aperitif and a glass of this wine by the swimming pool. In his capacity as a member of the Echansonnerie de Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a winegrowers’ fraternity), Fred will be delighted to take you round his vineyard and expand your knowledge of wine-making.
As the grounds may be accessed at all times, why not treat yourself to a moonlit stroll in the cool of the night for proof positive that silence really is golden? Drink in this amazing moment in time that only Le Vallon can give you, before going back to your bedroom and falling into the arms of Morpheus.