A villa in Provence-Alpes is perfect for a hen party, intimate wedding celebration or mini-moon
If you’re looking for an intimate wedding venue or an upmarket hen destination, Le Mas De Vinci is the answer. This idyllic villa, offered through Oliver’s Travels, is less than an hour from both Marseille train station and Marseille airport
A rail journey to a villa in Provence-Alpes is a romantic, relaxing (and environmentally responsible) choice for a stylish hen party, wedding or mini-moon
When you’ve exchanged your vows and partied through the night, do you really want the hassle of airports and flights the next day? Increasingly, the answer is no. Far more appealing is a leisurely train journey through the sun-drenched French landscape before spending a mini-moon together hidden away in a private, oh-so-chic villa.
Between the Med and the mountains, Provence-Alpes is a one of the most scenic spots in southern France and an idyllic choice for a romantic celebration. Steeped in history and culture, there’s an unspoilt beauty to the landscape (which inspired the impressionist movement) and so many things to see and do, from wine-tasting to exploring historic sites, you’ll want to return every anniversary to discover more.
Where and why
If you’re looking for an intimate civil wedding venue or even an upmarket hen destination, where your guests can conveniently hop on a train in London mid-morning and be in the South of France by the afternoon, Le Mas De Vinci in the heart of Provence-Alpes is the answer.
This idyllic villa, offered through Oliver’s Travels, is within walking distance of the bustling and characterful village of Lambesc and a short drive to the centre of Aix-en-Provence, a chic town with wide, leafy boulevards, buzzing markets, art galleries and sun-kissed squares.
From the moment you arrive at Le Was de Vinci you’ll be swept up in a world of luxury and romance – from the sparkling green-tiled swimming pool to al fresco suppers beneath the stars.
Stay in style
With seven individually designed bedrooms and bathrooms, you can invite up to 14 guests, making it the perfect choice for a classy hen party or civil wedding with family – it’s notoriously tricky to have a religious ceremony in France unless one of you is a resident.
Its sandy stone-built exterior is charmingly rustic and looks like a holiday home on a movie set, think shutters, terraces, arched windows and vines. Inside, there are plenty of authentic elements, such as the wooden ceilings and stone fireplaces, and you’ll fall in love with all the special touches, like the cinema room for curling up and watching your favourite film, super-comfy four-seater sofas, vases of flowers everywhere and hotel-soft bed linen.
A private chef service means you don’t need to lift a finger when it comes to entertaining. That’s right, a personal chef will come to the villa and prepare a delicious three-course meal in the beamed kitchen and serve with local wines. Parfait.
Tying the knot
If you’re planning an intimate wedding, this is the perfect place: cosy enough to fit the vibe, yet with enough space and special touches to make it feel like a magical venue for your big day.
Say your vows in the pretty garden surrounded by flowers and then celebrate and feast at the 14-seater table on the terrace, though the garden can house up to 50 guests if you want to expand the party.
It’s also a hassle-free option, as Oliver’s Travel ’s wedding consultant can help deal with all the finer details, like paperwork, while you get on with the fun stuff, like finding your dream dress and plotting menus.
La Mas De Vinci’s idyllic countryside setting is conducive to relaxation, days can drift by lazing in a hammock by the pond, taking dips in the hot tub or snoozing in the sun by the pool. With the option to have a fully-stocked fridge on arrival there’s no need to leave this love bubble, but it would be a shame to miss out on sightseeing in the area.
Handily, the villas super close to all the area’s famous towns, like Aix-en-Provence (Aix is pronounced X btw), Marseilles and Cassis, while Nice is a couple of hours’ drive away.
If you have to choose one, make a beeline for Cassis, where the shopping is good and the living is easy, particularly on the terrace of restaurant La Villa Madie overlooking l’Anse de Corton. Take a boat trip from the town’s charming fishing port lined with bars and cafés, then cruise along the coast drinking in the beauty of the Calanques, a national park between Cassis and Marseille famous for its soaring limestone cliffs and rocky coves.
Another must-visit is Chateau La Coste, an extraordinary winery situated between Aix-en-Provence and Luberon, offering way more than the usual tours and tastings. Nearly a decade ago artists from around the world were invited to visit the Chateau and create something inspired by an area of the grounds that ‘spoke to them’. The result is a stunning art and sculpture trail winding through the landscape of vines, hills and woods, at the centre of which is a modern eatery designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, where you can tuck into a lunch of the finest local produce.
Seven nights from £6,386 (April 2023) for up to 14 people, book though Oliver’s Travelsor call 0333 888 0205. A private chef costs from €55-60 per person (minimum of 5 people) in high season, excluding drinks. Eurostarfrom London to Marseilles takes around six hours and costs from £120 per person.
About Oliver’s Travels / Ask the experts
If you’re considering a villa-based honeymoon or wedding, it’s worth going with experts. Oliver’s Travels has a team dedicated to helping you find your ideal destination and accommodation through it’s hand-picked portfolio of villas, holiday homes and chateaux.
Understanding that some couples want more privacy and intimacy than a hotel but still demand luxury, the villa company’s carefully curated villas offer the best service and facilities, whether that’s a private chef or a terrace with panoramic ocean views.
Best of all, a free concierge service means your every whim can be catered for right from the start, from stocking your fridge with favourite foods to housekeeping, childcare and tours.
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