Mas du Clos de l'Escarrat, Jonquières
Tel: 33 4 90 70 39 19
Concierge.com's insider take:
If Charles and Andrée Barail's B&B in a 17th-century stone mas surrounded by unruly flowerbeds, lawns, and gravel terraces shaded by mature trees isn't your Provençal rural fantasy come to life, then you've got the wrong picture. The farmhouse itself has breathtaking views over acres of Rhône vineyards to Mount Ventoux in the distance. Four self-contained apartments (two studios and a pair of two-bed cottages) are decorated in that French Country style of pickled pine and dressers and rag-rolled walls so frequently and desperately imitated stateside, and have kitchens, efficient showers, comfortable beds, TVs, and Wi-fi. Air conditioning was installed in the studios in 2007; the cottages get enough breeze that you won't need it. Breakfast is continental, but superior, with products such as homemade wild fig conserve. There's also a bromide-purified pool with a wave machine for serious cross-current swimming. Being some 20 minutes from Avignon, this makes a good touring base, especially for wine buffs. Given notice, Charles Barail himself will take guests on Châteauneuf-du-Pape tours, visiting his vintner friends you'd never find alone.