News, Culture & Society

Tourrettes-Sur-Loup provides the perfect family escape

Tourrettes-Sur-Loup might just be the perfect French village. 

It’s film-set pretty, starred in To Catch A Thief with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant with panoramic views over the Loup valley and Provencal countryside.

It’s quiet with Cotswolds-coloured streets, well-tended window boxes, dozing cats, sage green shutters.

However, the shutters are open. Shops are doing business, selling violet flavoured ice cream (there’s a museum dedicated to the purple flowers), pom-pom covered wicker baskets and twee ceramics.

Comfy: Bastide des Virettes is part of Scott Dunn’s well-curated villa collection

On a Wednesday, there’s a market plying Provencal soaps in scents from verbena to liquorice and rose, every olive under the sun and a baby goat (for stroking, not eating).

Yes, it is perfection for tourists, but it’s not Disney does France.

The businesses are run by locals who are passionate about what they do. The village has a history of craft, weaving and, of course, vineyards.

We spend an afternoon wine tasting in Clovis, which has a fittingly cave-like interior with wines displayed in circular shelves like barrels.

We are seated around a great big wooden table which has a chandelier of wine glasses gleaming overhead. You can eat in Bistrot Gourmand Clovis, its unassuming Michelin star restaurant, next door.

But we stuff ourselves with mimolette (meaning like the moon) cheese, which has been aged for 24 months, orange tomatoes and hams. And learn the technical term for a very drinkable wine: ‘glug-glug’. 

Wheels of fortune: Tourrettes-Sur-Loup may be 'the perfect French village'

Wheels of fortune: Tourrettes-Sur-Loup may be ‘the perfect French village’

If you want to imagine yourself a local, or moneyed second homeowner with some style, then stay at La Bastide des Virettes, a 15-minute walk away, and part of Scott Dunn’s well-curated villa collection.

This is the sort of place you could bring a group of friends or family (it sleeps eight) for a special celebration and struggle to fall out with even the most trying among them.

It’s because Scott Dunn doesn’t just provide the villa – you’re given a chef and host, too. No one will be fighting over who does the washing up.

It’s quiet with Cotswolds-coloured streets, well-tended window boxes, dozing cats, sage green shutters… 

The food is wonderful. Smoothies, eggs and croissants for breakfast, vibrant salads, fresh fish, poached pears for supper.

They’ll even tempt you with chocolate dipped strawberries.

You won’t work it all off doing laps in the pool, but you could stomp up and down the hillside. Or just admire the lovely surrounding view and hope for the best.

The villa is elegantly kitted out with palm tree lights, the sort of antique furniture you long to find in Sunday markets and floral bed linen. The master bedroom is of regal proportions with a fantastic terrace.

There is plenty to enchant families — a playroom, games console, pool alarm.

And, for those with a car, lots to explore. If you want to yacht spot, Cannes and Antibes are only 8½ miles away.

Or top up your glass and pour yourself into the spa bath. You’re on holiday, after all. 


Scott Dunn (020 8682 5080) offers seven nights at Bastide des Virettes from £1,600 pp including private chef and host, flights and transfers.