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Expert: Kathryn Bradley-Hole Kathryn Bradley-Hole

Country Life Gardens of the Cote d'Azur

We are privileged to have Kathryn Bradley-Hole, garden writer and previous Gardens Editor for COUNTRY LIFE, and Kirsty Fergusson to host and lead this special tour. The allure of the French Riviera has long been acknowledged by garden enthusiasts worldwide, and British travellers in particular have been attracted by the exotic perfumes, colours and gentle climate, with many settling here to create gardens of distinction. In this exclusive tour we visit some of these remarkable gardens alongside exciting contemporary masterpieces. Fine dining is an important feature of the holiday, with reservations at the Michelin starred Le Mirazur as well as an invitation to join some of the garden owners for relaxing lunches.

5 days from £5,590pp Departure Dates

Your Tour Includes

  • Return flights from London to Nice Côte d’Azur
  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the 5-star Hotel Maybourne Riviera, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the 5-star Chateau Saint-Martin, Vence
  • 4 evening meals with wine at the hotel plus 4 lunches
  • Services of the Tour Leader and Hosts
  • Detailed programme and garden notes
Experts
Kathryn Bradley-Hole

Kathryn Bradley-Hole

Kathryn is a lifelong gardener and inveterate traveller and was for 18 years the Gardens Editor of Country Life. She is the author of numerous gardening books, including the acclaimed English Gardens from the archives of Country Life, Villa Gardens of the Mediterranean and, newly published, The Naturally Beautiful Garden, which explores contemporary naturalistic gardens across the world. For some 30 years a popular garden writer for the national and international press, she enjoys growing food and herbs for the kitchen and flowers for wildlife enhancement.

Kirsty Fergusson

Kirsty Fergusson

Kirsty studied at the Courtauld in the course of taking her degree in History of Art and French at UCL. She went on to teach French 18th century painting at UCL and literary criticism at the Sorbonne while completing a PhD on philosopher Michel Tournier. During this period she also worked at the Courtauld collection giving tours to specialist groups before spending a year working on the photographic archives of the Sir John Soane museum.

Having exchanged a life in academia for the pleasures of gardening, writing and travel, in 2003 she moved to South West France where she remains captivated by the history, art and architecture of her adopted home city, Bordeaux. 

Kirsty Fergusson

Kirsty Fergusson

Kirsty Fergusson exchanged a career in academia (she is a PhD specialising in French philosopher-novelists) for a life in gardening. Trained at Capel Manor, she was head gardener at Mapperton in Dorset during the early nineties, where a series of fortunate encounters opened the door to garden writing. As well as writing a weekly column for The Express, for many years she was a frequent contributor to Gardens Illustrated, House and Garden, Country Life, The Times, the Telegraph and The Independent. In 2003 she moved to SW France, where she continues to explore the possibilities of her own (very forgiving) garden - when not travelling, writing or organising tours for The Oldie magazine. 

Itinerary

Overview

Your flight from London Heathrow will arrive at Nice Côte d’Azur airport at 14:40. From here we transfer to Le Clos du Peyronnet, a beautifully planted garden created by three generations of Waterfields on an old citrus grove, watered by successive pools and dropping to the Mediterranean below. Continue to Hotel Maybourne Riviera, on the rocky peninsula of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, with time to settle in before dining together.

Includes Dinner

Overview

We start the day visiting La Serre de la Madone. In the 1920s Lawrence Johnston, creator of the world famous Hidcote Garden in the English Cotswolds, made this equally beautiful if not superior garden in a steep valley among the pine-clad hills behind Menton. The garden was sensitively restored in the 1990s.  We then dip a toe into Italy to visit Villa Boccanegra, famously associated with Ellen Willmott, whose lavish style of gardening at Warley Place in Essex and then on the Riviera emptied her ample purse. For the past few decades, Boccanegra has been the home of Ursula Salghetti Drioli, who will host a private lunch and guide us through her garden.  In the afternoon we visit Les Colombières, finished in 1927. Its first owners, Emile and Caroline-Octavie Ladan-Bockairy, asked their friend Ferdinand Bac to create a majestic house and garden inspired by Classical Antiquity and Mediterranean art of living.  This evening we dine together overlooking the Bay of Menton at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Mirazur, crowned best restaurant in the world in 2019. Enjoy the distinctive 1930s style décor and culinary garden before our return to Hotel Maybourne Riviera.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

La Serre de la Madone

Overview

This morning we are joined by James Basson, an exciting new English garden designer working along the Riviera who is greatly influenced by Olivier Filippi, pioneer of the art of dry gardening. James will show us a private garden near Antibes in the morning and, following lunch together in a local restaurant, he will introduce us to a private garden near Grasse. We continue to Chateau Saint-Martin with time to settle in before a delicious evening meal together at the hotel.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Les Colombières

Overview

Three gardens enliven our journey to Grasse. At Domaine du Prieuré, owner, Joanna Millar shows us her charming, terraced garden. On the outskirts of Grasse, we visit La Mouissone as guests of Lady Maggie Locket, who invites us to lunch and to view her developing garden. Nearby is Villa Fort France, originally planted by Lady Fortescue in the 1930s and now owned and gardened by artist Valerie de Courcel, who lovingly tends the narrow olive terraces around the villa. The making of this enigmatically named garden is related in Winifred Fortescue’s bestselling book ‘Perfume from Provence’, published in 1935. We then return to Chateau Saint-Martin with time to absorb the beauty of this very special hotel before an evening meal included at the restaurant.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Villa Fort France

Overview

We spend the morning at the Villa Euphrussi de Rothschild, where the part formal, part wildly romantic gardens created for Baronesse Béatrice de Rothschild in the early years of the twentieth century frame outstanding views of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. An informal lunch at the Royal Riviera Hotel brings our tour to a suitably glamorous, relaxed conclusion. Return to Nice Côte d’Azur airport for your flight home.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Single Room Supplement from £1,700.00 (5 days).

Accommodation

You will stay for two nights at the Hotel Maybourne Riviera and two nights at the Chateau Saint-Martin.

Maybourne Riviera

The striking modernist architecture of The Maybourne Riviera emerges from the rocky peninsula of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin as if forging its way into the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Perfectly positioned near Monaco, you can look out on plunging views out to the azure waters below.

Hotel Facilities

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General
  • 5 Star
  • Restaurant
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool (Seasonal)
Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Free Wifi
Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Chateau Saint Martin And Spa

Perched in the hilltops of Vence, with a splendid panorama of the Riviera hinterland, Château Saint-Martin is a secluded hideaway of priceless treasures and wondrous pleasures. Highlights include the extensive, luxurious spa.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • Restaurant
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool (Seasonal)
Room
  • Free Wifi
Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available