Making it our own
Sometimes staying in a guesthouse or a cottage feels like an invasion of someone else’s space. We felt instantly possessive over the cottage at Montpellier. It felt like our own private villa, a holiday cottage where we could relax and be completely ourselves. The privacy was lovely and we basked in the solitude and stillness. Set up against what felt like our very own mountain, the cottage has plentiful double doors, with views right up the mountain on one side, or down the across the valley to the mountains beyond. The interiors are perfectly complementary to the setting, themed in a French country farmhouse style. There is a constant play of texture and light.
In the open plan lounge there is a grand fireplace, a large comfortable creamy couch and wingback chair, hessian text-printed cushions, thick woven grey rugs and koir matting. There is an oversized basket with firewood. The kitchen has a wooden dining table and chairs, and is well equipped with a Nespresso machine, full sized fridge and oven. The butler’s sink and cool grey screed flooring contributes to the Provencial theme while the sun streams in from every angle.
The cottage has its own private swimming pool with views to open the heart. Grey-green olive trees and rich orange rock set the palette for the exteriors and interiors. There are two bedrooms, one with twin single beds and one with a King size bed. Each bedroom has covered headboards, one in apricot with floral cushions to mirror the vibrant exterior stone. Every piece of wooden furniture and lighting has been tastefully selected to match the country theme. The windows and doors are shuttered. There is air-conditioning in both bedrooms and the beds are dressed in cool white cotton linen.
Each bedroom is en-suite, the main bedroom with a freestanding Victorian bath set up against a window with views straight up the mountain. Both bathrooms have an enormous walk-in shower.
Despite the many fabulous restaurants in the area, we decide to eat in, or should I say, al fresco. We lay the small, round table by the pool with linen napkins and candles, and we fill our wine glasses with a chilled complimentary Chenin Blanc. It has been a hot day, and it is a relief to see the sun set and feel the cool breeze come off the mountain. As we watch the moon rise over the pool and hear an owl gently hoot from the grove of olive trees below, we congratulate ourselves on staying in. It has meant participating in the creation of a romantic memory which I know we will draw on for many years to come.