Villa Frida is a hidden gem in the heart of the Var, 15 mins from St Tropez
- English, French, German
About Lucy Darbishire
I first visited the Var nearly 18 years ago and immediately loved all it had to offer. The area enjoys a wonderful climate but yet is still so green and rural in places, it offers such a choice of ways to live and enjoy it. I love having such a varied choice of markets, restaurants and beaches to choose from all within easy reach of the house. I have always wants to spend as much time as possible in France since studying French at university and having a good knowledge of French has been a great help with the management of the house. I visited many other parts of France before finally having the opportunity to visit this area and I never looked back! The area is so inspiring in so many ways and especially good for me are the several brocantes/flea markets within easy reach of the house, the problem is always working out how to get it all home! I have very much enjoyed making the house feel like a real home that has had much thought and love put into it. I have 4 boys, all now grown up and they also love the house and the lifestyle. It is a great place to spend time together, enjoying the pool, the beaches and of course being able to head into St Tropez or off to Pampelonne at a moment's notice!
Lucy Darbishire purchased this Villa in 2001
Why Lucy Darbishire chose Gassin
The Var is a beautiful region with an amazing coast. This house appealed immediately as it is situated just away from the main traffic route in and out of St Tropez, but yet close enough to be able to get there very easily. It felt like a home straight away although there were things we wanted to do to make the place our own. St Tropez is of course legendary and a fascinating place to get to know, both in and out of season. You never tire of people watching at Senequier enjoying a drink as the sun sets yet I find there is much more to it than just the glitz and glamour. There is a very different atmosphere if you go early in the morning and enjoy coffee and a wander round. Our house is situated in a quiet domaine just off the road to La Croix Valmer and we especially love going to the local beaches of Gigaro, Heraclee Plage and Debarquement situated around La Croix Valmer. Heraclee Plage has a wonderful relaxed beach restaurant with sun loungers that I can really recommend. The house has great walks into the surrounding woodland including my favourite 'get fit' morning walk to the top of the hill through the woodland at the rear of the house. The views over to the Gulf of St Tropez and down to Cogolin and across to Grimaud are worth heading up there for. There is a great choice of wonderful towns, villages and beaches around the area - a, you really are spoilt for choice. For those who love polo, or who are simply curious to experience a match, try dropping in informally on a match during the tournament season as this amazing polo ground is only 5 minutes away. I would strongly recommend trying a visit to the house in May, early June or September as the area usually enjoys beautiful weather, in spring the flowers and blossom are all around and in September the days are still hot but it is so relaxing.
What makes this Villa unique
The house enjoys a corner site in the domaine so it has a spacious feel and is cleverly situated so that it feels private although we do have neighbours. It is very green all around as it is on the edge of the woods, which offsets the heat of July and August, it is such a haven to return to from the hustle, heat and bustle. You can still just see the beautiful hill-top village of Gassin from our terrace, the woodland grows taller each year! Gassin is really beautiful and has an amazing terrace of restaurants overlooking the Gulf of St Tropez. It is under 10 minutes drive away and a great choice for dinner out. It really is a treat to experience this. We also love spending days with friends by the pool, and the open plan south facing indoor living space works so well for this and has a light and airy feel. The well-stocked open plan kitchen is conveniently situated for the outdoor dining terrace.
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
Very homely and comfortable. Has everything you need. Weather was superb. Large pool
Had a fantastic week, wish we stayed longer as weren’t ready to go home.
Ten out of ten
From the moment we entered the Villa, we loved everything about it. It far exceeded our expectations. Lucy, the owner, has created a wonderful, tranquil safe haven with her gorgeous interior touches and eclectic mix of style, that make you feel instantly at home. The villa has a beautiful open flow and is bigger than the pictures depict. Ideal for 2 families or a group of adults. I would take care with small children as the steps to the pool are fairly steep. The upper terrace for lunch overlooking the pool and garden has left us with lots of lovely memories and I feel sure there will be another booking in the not to distant future. I feel blessed to have celebrated my 50th Birthday with friends in such a gorgeous place. Until next time...
Many thanks Dee, so glad you had a great holiday, 50th birthday celebration and enjoyed the house and pool. It always feels like a peaceful green haven to return to after being out and about we find!
We have just had a week in this lovely home near Gassin. The villa is stylish and comfortable. The pool and garden are idyliic. Everything is as described and even better than we had imagined.
The local agents were very helpful and really lovely.
We enjoyed every minute: croissants and pain au chocolat from nearby bakers, every meal outside with fresh produce from local markets and day and evening swims in the gorgeous pool. We cannot fault anything [except an ice bucket would have been nice to keep the champagne cold!!] Best holiday we've had in along time. can't wait to go back!
Excellent Séjour !!!
Nous avons passé un excellent séjour dans cette très jolie propriété. Charmante villa décorée avec soin, environnement très calme et verdoyant.
Très jolie piscine.
Maison bien équipée, cosy et conviviale.
Merci beaucoup, je suis très heureuse que vous avez passe de bonnes vacances et que vous avez aime la maison! Lucy
The nearest sandy beach with choice of beach restaurants with sun loungers is 5mins away at Port Cogolin. Port Grimaud is under 10 mins with many family activities and restaurants and ferry to St Tropez. St Tropez's best known beach is Pampelonne,at Ramatuelle is 20 mins away with a huge choice of beach clubs and restaurants (Club 55 and Nikki Beach and many more).
Good choice of beaches within 15 mins at La Croix Valmer leading to Cavalaire-sur-Mer. Gigaro, Heraclee, Pardigon, Debarquement, the latter providing opportunity for water sports and sailing.
There are great coastal walks from Gigaro to Cap Lardier and L'Escalet to Cap Esterel.
Nice airport 1 1/2 hours, allow more in high season for airport return.
Worth knowing: You can take a train to St Raphael from Nice airport and pick up a bus that drops you at the La Foux roundabout near the house or else there is a bus from Nice airport to Frejus which is 35 mins away.
Toulon airport 45 mins. (From London City airport, great for our house) There is a bus from Toulon airport to La Foux roundabout.
Approx 12 hour drive from Calais.
Car hire essential.
St Tropez with twice weekly market(Tues & Sat) & much more is only 7km away. The hilltop village of Gassin is under 10 mins by car with beautiful terrace of restaurants overlooking the Gulf of St Tropez. Port Grimaud 10 mins has many well priced restaurants. La Croix Valmer under 10 mins by car useful for general shopping, friendly French town. Good for eating out locally. The Sunday market is excellent.
The hilltop village of Ramatuelle is 10 mins away and has a market on a Thursday. Likewise the beautiful village of Grimaud is 10-15 mins away and has a market on the same day. Further inland is La Garde-Freinet. This is also worth a visit and has some nice boutiquey shops and restaurants. There is a market on Sunday.
There is a huge brocante near Port Grimaud - Le Jas de Robert, about 10 mins from the house. This is on a Sunday morning and is well worth a visit if you like flea markets.
The property is also 5 minutes from the St Tropez polo ground which has a restaurant and regular tournaments during the summer months
Please do ask for any further information you would like.
Further Details: food shopping etc.
There is convenient local shopping within 5 mins of the villa by car or 10-15 min walk. There is a small supermarket, boulangerie with small cafe and take-away rotisserie. Geant Casino is a large supermarket 5 mins away on the St Tropez La Foux roundabout. Also E Leclerc supermarket in Cogolin is very good and Grand Frais has newly opened on way to Cogolin with amazing fresh vegetables and produce. Cogolin is 10 mins away and a very useful local town with twice weekly market - Wed and Sat. Wed is the larger market, Sat is more for food shopping. There are also some very good restaurants in Cogolin
There are many local domaines selling the local wine within easy reach of the house, you will see these as you explore the area.
Further afield: Aix-en-Provence is 1 hrs 30 mins.
The town of Hyeres is 45 mins or so away - the peninsula has many beaches and the Villa Noailles is well worth a visit situated above the town.