Over the years we have come to know and love the Crawley Family, so The Luxury Travel Bible cannot wait to see the latest in the Downton Abbey franchise when it is released on April 29th. 'Downton Abbey: A New Era' will see the family leave Highclere Castle and visit the South of France after Lady Violet Crawley mysteriously inherit a villa for an old suitor.
Along with the usual Downton Abbey stunning locations, costumes and drama, in this latest big-screen adventure we are excited for the glamourous cocktail parties on the terrace and stylish jaunts along the Riviera.
Here are six of the finest villas on the French Riviera from Red Savannah to see in the summer, Crawley-style.
LA CASELLA, COTE D'AZUR – 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10CHATEAU MARGUI, COTE D'AZUR – 18 Bedrooms, Sleeps 38
Set within the rolling French countryside, La Casella is just a stone's throw from the bustling Riviera and the peaceful villages of the Côte d'Azur's arrières-pays. Once the home of former Colefax & Fowler Chairman Tom Parr, La Casella is a neoclassical pavilion with one of the most exceptional gardens in the region. The drawing room bathes in sunlight and opens onto a charming terrace - perfect for pre-dinner drinks, followed by a walk along pathways marked by scented roses and fragrant lavender to dinner under the pretty, wisteria-draped pergola. The villa boasts one of the most renowned gardens in the South of France, created by Claus Scheinert, and it provides the most exquisite backdrop to a family celebration to remember.
This is an estate of palatial proportions. Within easy reach of the boulevards of Aix-en-Provence and the beach clubs of St Tropez, this 18-bedrooom estate's 115 hectares are dedicated to an award-winning vineyard, oak woodland and swathes of olive groves. The Chateau itself is a masterpiece, with accommodation divided between the Bastide, Moulin and Bergerie. The Chateau’s shaded terrace sits proudly above the surrounding gardens and vineyards, making it the perfect place for entertaining long into the night. There's also a wine cellar, games room with pool table, gym, sauna, tennis court, glorious pool and yoga studio. Pride of place belongs to an 18-seat movie theatre. Staffed on a par with a five-star hotel, Mr Carson would have nothing to complain about…
VILLA MONT CHARLES, NEAR MONACO – 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
Located three miles from the glamour of Monte Carlo, Villa Mont Charles is an elegant six-bedroomed villa nestled into the dramatic hills of Cap d'Ail with views to the Cap Ferrat peninsula and sparkling Mediterranean Sea. A team of staff pampers guest from breakfast served on the terrace to sunset cocktails as the sun falls over the Mediterranean. Living areas are bright and modern with direct access onto a terrace with heated infinity pool and landscaped lawns. All bedrooms have private en-suite bathrooms. Three bedrooms are located in the main house, with a further three located in a guesthouse offering further privacy. There's a state-of-the-art fitness room with cardio machines, treadmill, stepper, upright fitness bike and Satellite TV; a Philippe Starck shower bathroom ensures luxurious pampering after an afternoon workout. The villa also has its own private cinema for evenings in. For evenings out, bright young things will enjoy the famous Casino de Monte Carlo, Alain Ducasse's Michelin three-star restaurant, Le Louis XV à L'Hotel de Paris, and some of the most exclusive nightclubs on the Riviera are all within a few chauffeur-driven minutes.
LA BERGERIE, COTE D'AZUR – 8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 16
A grand, double-height entrance sets expectations sky-high on arrival at La Bergerie and it does not disappoint on further discovery. The triple-aspect drawing room is elegantly furnished with a blend of carefully chosen antiques and contemporary pieces. The wine cellar, cinema room, open plan kitchen and living area are equipped with the latest touch-pad technology and Sonos music system. All six bedrooms in the main house are ensuite and exquisitely furnished; there are a further two bedrooms in La Petite Bergerie for extended family or guests seeking privacy. Outdoors, 1.4 hectares of landscaped gardens comprise lawns, fruit trees and a kitchen garden. There's a shaded dining area, pool house, outdoor living areas and 18 metre pool surrounded by cosseting daybeds. www.redsavannah.com/europe/france/cote-dazur/villas/villa-la-bergerie
VILLA BAYVIEW, VILLEFRANCHE - 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
The Dowager Countess would undoubtedly raise an eyebrow at this modern masterpiece. Contemporary Villa Bayview commands breath-taking views over St Jean Cap Ferrat from its plum position – one of the very best on the Côte d'Azur. Just a few minutes' walk from the chic restaurants and boutiques of Villefranche, Villa Bayview is a state-of-the-art showpiece of a villa with monochrome interiors combining stone, glass and floor-to-ceiling windows with occasional splashes of vibrant colour. There is an infinity pool with stunning Mediterranean views, south-facing landscaped gardens hewn into the hillside and even a vehicle 'turntable' to turnaround guests’ supercar. Staff includes a chef, housekeeper, butler and concierge.
VILLA NAPOLEON, ST MAXIME, NEAR ST TROPEZ – 11 Bedrooms, 22 Bedrooms
Just the place for a Crawley-style family gathering, Villa Napoleon occupies an enviable position close to the bustling marina of Sainte Maxime, with its indulgent beach clubs, restaurants and endless white sandy beaches. Spread over three floors with numerous terraces looking out over the Gulf of St Tropez, there's ample space for entertaining. All eleven bedrooms are generously proportioned, with ensuite bathrooms and private terraces. There's also a games room and gym, three dining terraces, a cinema / media suite and outdoor kitchen, pool table and table tennis. The heart of St Maxime is within walking distance. www.redsavannah.com/europe/france/cote-dazur/villas/villa-napoleon
Awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2020, Red Savannah is a luxury travel company that creates ruggedly exciting African safaris, beautifully designed private journeys across the Americas, Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia & Australia, idyllic restorative holidays on palm-fringed Indian Ocean islands and the most stunning portfolio of hand-picked journeys and luxury villas in Europe & the Caribbean – all delivered with charm, passion, integrity and style. Founded in 2011, the team of extraordinarily knowledgeable travel designers - most of whom have 15-20 years' experience and whose address books range from Kings to Concierges - offer only the most superlative life-changing travel. www.redsavannah.com