Col de Villefranche – Contemporary 4/5 bedroom 240 m2 villa with gorgeous sea view, pool, terraces, newly constructed with high quality finishings
Access from the Corniche road is via a discreet entrance, with electric gates and door intercom, providing good levels of privacy and security. Beyond the gates lies a pleasant courtyard, with ornamental trees and an immediate view of the bay of Villefranche. There is ample parking for 2-3 cars (as well as the parking available in front of the villa) and entry to the villa is via the main entrance hall on the top floor. The villa itself is arranged over four levels, and feels much larger than its 240m2 would suggest. On the first level is the smart entrance hall (13m2), which immediately creates a first impression of substance, and from there steps lead out to a large open roof terrace (c50m2) with commanding panoramic views out across the bay and the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Descending from the entrance hall via the elevator or stairs, on the next level is situated the main living space, measuring 50m2, a beautifully bright and elegant double aspect room with two separate sets of large glass doors opening onto two good sized balconies totalling 36m2, both with stunning views of the sea. To the rear of this living room is a study/bedroom 5 measuring 12m2, with a guest bathroom/WC adjoined.
On the next level down are the four beautifully positioned bedrooms, each with their own en-suite private bathrooms. The two front facing bedrooms (measuring 25 and 21m2 respectively) have lovely sea views – in fact the layout of these bedrooms has been designed so that the sea is visible from the bed, a wonderful way to begin and end the day – and both have large glass full length doors opening onto a balcony. The other two bedrooms have views out to the private sides of the property, one with access to a pretty area of garden, giving a reassuring feeling of seclusion and calm. All the bedrooms have high ceilings and are bright and spacious, as well as being beautifully appointed, with high class fixtures and fittings in the adjoining bathrooms. The bedroom floor of the villa lends a warm and intimate feel to the property, ideal for family living.
The ground floor of the property boasts a huge living space of 65m2 with an open plan fully equipped kitchen, dining and living space, with full width glass sliding doors opening out onto the lawn area in front of the pool. There are some lovely stylistic touches throughout the property, which has been designed and constructed with a good deal of thought and style – from the retained traditional Provencal stone walls to the fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms, and – perhaps best of all – the hidden door behind the book case on the ground floor leading to a WC and shower room serving as a pool changing space or guest facility.
The pool itself is beautifully tiled and perfectly placed, and of excellent size (11m x 4m) surrounded by ample space for sun loungers and other poolside furniture. Hidden to the rear of the pool on a lower level is a large garden store and pool equipment space, with several other useful nooks and spaces to store garden equipment dotted around the various garden levels.
The local shops on the Col de Villefranche are within easy walking distance – a flat walk with a splendid view – which includes a small supermarket, petrol station, bakery, post office, smaller convenience store, butcher and the obligatory bar-brasserie – very popular with the locals. The old town of Villefranche-sur-Mer and the waterfront are 5 minutes away by car.
Villefranche-sur-Mer boasts one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the Cote d’Azur, sheltered beneath the cliff and with the most stunning views out to sea, and the old town of Villefranche, with its idylic cobbled waterfront is only a few moments away, round the bay from the beach area. Here, you will find restaurants and cafes with one of the Riviera’s most stunning views – across the water to the green slopes of Cap Ferrat, and the beach below the cliffs. The Old Town itself dates from the 17th century, and is without doubt one of the most beautiful places on this coast, vibrant without being noisy, still inhabited by many locals and boasting a wealth of little shops and boutiques, cafes and restaurants, many of which are open year-round.
Villefranche Mairie, or town hall, is situated in an impressive Napoleonic fortress, which stands guard over the two main port areas of Villefranche – La Darse, with its old school ship repairers and pleasure craft (and who’s vaulted stone ateliers appeared in James Bond’s Never Say Never Again) and Port de la Sante, where you can hire boats, moored up next to the local fishermen’s traditional ‘pointu’ painted wooden boats. The clear azur waters of the bay, the relaxed beauty of the old town – some of the houses still bear the dates (c.1640) carved over the doorways – the elegant curve of the bay (recently proposed as a UNESCO world heritage site) and the near perfect beaches with their small cafes and great summer atmosphere, make Villefranche-sur-mer one of the most lovely places on earth.
Villefranche has a mainline railway station, which is only a few stops one direction from Monaco and Italy, and in the other, two stops from Nice Centre, where a tram can take you direct to the airport. There are excellent local buses, running throughout the day along the coast from Monaco to Antibes. For those who like to exercise on foot, there are many local walking paths around the cliffs or down at the water’s edge, and access to the famous St Jean Cap Ferrat coastal path begins at the end of the beach, next to the famous villa once owned by Hollywood Great, Errol Flynn, again part of the view from the terraces of the villa.
Facing the Old Town from across the bay, is the legendary Villa Nellcote, a stunning mansion right on the water’s edge that was home for a short while in the early 70s to Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones, where the band wrote one of the decade’s seminal albums ‘Exile on Main Street’. For generations, the world’s well healed have been coming to Villefranche, to enjoy the discreet beauty and peace of this wonderful village – once you’ve discovered Villefranche, you’ll never want to be anywhere else!
- Sea view