A HOME FROM HOME IN PROVENCE
TEXT: KATIE TURNER | PHOTO © YANN CHRISTIANSEN
‘Familiar and intimate’, are words often used to describe L’Hostellerie Le Beffroi (the bellfry) in Provence, and with very good reason. “I was born in this house,” says the current owner Yann Christiansen. “I grew up here and played in these very corridors. I know it like the back of my hand.”
Spread across two listed buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, the 22 room L’Hostellerie Le Beffroi lies between the mountains and the sea, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the medieval town of Vaison la Romaine in Provence.
The town itself has been described as an open air museum. You can amble through the streets taking in sites that date from Roman times, including a first century CE amphitheatre, which is still in use. “Given our incredible location, I have to tell you, there is a certain old world charm about getting here, laughs with Christiansen who runs the hotel with his wife Christine. “Although many years ago a guest did manage to get a Rolls-Royce up here.”
“A lot has changed of course, we’ve totally modernised everything,” he continues, “from the en suite bathrooms to the wifi. But each bedroom retains a unique identity.” Outside, the pool, terraces and lush gardens look out across the seven hills which surround the town and there are cycling and walking paths nearby as well as paragliding.
The hotel’s restaurant La Fontaine is open to guests and non-guests alike. “Our menu really focuses on local produce, showcasing dishes whose ingredients we source directly from suppliers across the region,” says Christiansen, “And given how rich the tradition of food and wine is around here, that’s obviously a good thing.”