The little village of Lacoste in the heart of the Luberon is short on hotels. But instead it boasts some very attractive B&Bs, of which Le Clos des Lavandes is one of the best.
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This pretty, provençal villa with its own locked car park is located near the Château de Lacoste at the top of the village - especially convenient if you're here for the summer music festival.
It's set in large grounds - a mini-park, really - crammed with local plants and shrubs, including, as you'd expect, seas of lavender, all neatly labelled in beds around a central fountain.
We visited Le Clos des Lavandes in a freak mid-March snowstorm, so hardly saw them at their best! But they must be gorgeous in summer and gardeners will have a heyday exploring them. Note, however, that there's no swimming pool.
The complex offers five bedrooms, all with private terraces. Three look out on to the garden. The other two are round the side and the back of the main building: their terraces are more secluded, if without the garden view. They're also more exposed to traffic noise though this street should be quiet, particularly after dark.
The rooms are all quite spacious (the largest, Glycine, has an open fireplace) and furnished in traditional rustic style, each one differently.
The walls have been treated with a tinted beeswax finish: ours, the Luberon, pictured, was a streaky bright blue that made you feel as if you were underwater. Apart from that, the decor was muted, romantic and wonderfully relaxing.
So we slept well in the large, comfortable bed with high quality bedding. A little desk area with power points is handy for anyone wanting to work. The wi-fi has a router in the bedroom and is fast and efficient compared to the usual unreliable French standards.
Also present: a one armchair (plus a stool), a very small television screen, a fridge and tea-making facilities. The bathroom is large, with a good shower and plenty of hot water and a hair dryer, though a shelf above the washbasin for your potions and unguents wouldn't go amiss.
You're not meant to eat in the bedrooms, which is a slight disadvantage given that the centre of Lacoste is a 15 minute walk down the hill - and, when we visited, the only two cafés in the village were closed for the winter. Hungry in the evening, we snacked on nuts, hoping they didn't count!
Next morning the plentiful buffet breakfast made up for it. While Michel Bordier, the owner, gave us some tips on touring the region, we stoked up for the day on plenty of coffee, juice, yoghurt, cheese, cooked meats, fruit, cake, bread and decent croissants. (We're fussy about croissants - and nice ones are harder to find in France than you'd expect.)
Where: Le Clos des Lavandes, chemin de Saint Hilaire, route de Ménerbes, 84480 Lacoste. Tel: (+33) 4 90 75 62 67. Website for Le Clos des Lavandes.