Posted on Tuesday, 14 February 2012
|The French Riviera has been trading on its glamorous past for almost two hundred years now and will continue to do so for many more to come because, no matter how much wealth you import, you cannot buy authenticity and the star studded line-up of the French Riviera is nothing if not authentic.|
The kings and Queens, Emperors and Tsars, with their palatial homes and ancient titles, lent a sense of nobility to the Cote d'Azur but it was the dizzying era of the Jazz age that saw the French Riviera really discover its glamorous calling. It is perhaps because the illustrious new pioneers of the Cote d'Azur of this time were not only discovering the gorgeous French coastline but they were also discovering themselves and laying the path for a whole new way of thinking, seeing and doing.
Artists, writers, poets and philosophers were spilling over onto the cote d'Azur seeking respite from the bohemian force of Paris that was the cultural capital of the world during the roaring twenties. Picasso, Stein, Hemingway, Joyce, Beckett, Nabakov, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Henry Miller to name just a few of the greats were all to be found in Paris honing their craft while they wrote the new rules of living.
The devastation of the First World War had inadvertently promoted a lust for freedom, truth, newness and excess. The old ways had been blasted apart in the most dire way possible and nothing was expected to be the same. It truly was a new era, the old one laid to waste by the guns of war.
Naturally the lure of the French Riviera penetrated the cold damp streets of Paris and many of these artists congregated and continued their Parisian party down South. The Fitzgeralds became the darlings of Cannes and Antibes, influencing the start of the long standing jazz festivals in the area. Picasso took to Mougins, Matisse to Nice, Nietzche to Eze, Pound to the Italian Riviera, Coco Channel to Roquebrune Cap Martin.
Many of their homes are now museums honouring their work and lives here but Coco Chanel left an impressive estate that has just recently come onto the market as a private residence.
Chanel commissioned the summer villa with her lover Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, in 1929 and they kept house there until 1953, welcoming a host of famous visitors to pass the summer days with them. Winston Churchill was a regular visitor as well as Noel Coward, Aristotle Onassis, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, Igor Stravinsky and Pablo Picasso.
While the house is designed with Chanels impeccable influence it was modelled in some part on the simplicity of the orphanage that she spent time in from the age of 12 years old after her mother died. That is in no way to imply that the house is spartan or severe, it is a beautiful 7 bedroom villa with glorious views over Menton and magnificent gardens planted with lavender, rosemary, mimosa, lemon and olive trees.
La Pausa's garden has even inspired Madames perfumes and in 2007 her famous 'nose' at Chanel created '28 La Pausa'.
The house is on sale for a staggering €40 million approximately, despite being in need of some renovation. This price tag may seem excessive but it is favourably comparable next to the villas of Villefranche, St Jean Cap Ferrat and Monaco.
Recommended Holiday Rental:
Self catering holiday rental villa
Bedrooms: 9; Sleeps: 17
Price p/n: $6,991.67