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Mansion : sleep 8 - 12   5 bedrooms 300 m²  
       
Number of rooms: 7
Open-plan kitchen
Living room
Dining room
Balcony
Terraces
2 bathrooms
3 shower rooms
5 W C
Bedding: 2 double beds 8 single beds  
Indoor facilities:
Kitchen:
Gas cooking stove
Trad. oven + microwave
Fridge / freezer with ice dispenser
Heineken Beertender
Coffee maker + Nespresso machine
Dish washer
Misc appliances, toaster, kettle, etc.
Bathrooms:
Hairdryer
Shaving Sockets
Mirrored Cabinets
Showers / baths en-suite

 

Multimedia:
Free, unlimited telephone
Free WI-FI Internet connection
Satellite TV

DVD player
Radio, CD player
Other:
Laundry machine
Tumble Dryer
Vacuum cleaner
Iron + Ironing board
Bed sheets, towels and linen provided
Air conditioning
Board games
Books
Outdoor facilities:
Swimming pool:
12m X 6m
Depth: 1.0m to 1.4 m
Electronic alarm system
Deckchairs, pool games

Open-air Jacuzzi
Sit 5-6
Heated water
Lawn poolside

Terraces for garden parties
Gas barbecue-plancha / oven
Tables & chairs for 20 +
Private Tennis Court

Compound surface
Competition grade 


Boules playcourt

Picnic area

Garden / park
1 hectare
 
Other:
Private parking lot
Private tennis court
Pétanque
Gas barbecue
 
Outdoors furniture
Parasols
Bicycles
Boules for pétanque 



Building:
Year of construction: 1750
Year of renovation: 1994
Aspect: south
View of: trees opposite
Altitude: 100 m
Detached house
No visible neighbour
Additional services:
Towels provided
Bed linen provided
Departure tidying included
   
In the area: Orange : 20 Km
Motorway A7 : Bollène exit 10 km 
TGV train station : Avignon 50 km
Local train station : Bollène  6 km 
Airport:
Marseille 110 km

Village centre: 3 Km
Cash ATM: 3 Km
Hypermarket: 7 Km
Supermarket: 3km
 
Sports:
Boules
Horse riding
Canoeing
Trecking
Cycling
Culture:
Theatre festivals
Roman historical site
Opera and music in Orange
Avignon
Other:
Forest
Ardèche
Food and wine
Goat cheese
Camargue
Notices:
Pets allowed (prior arrangement)
Non indoor smoking

French "chèque vacances" accepted
   

Provençale mansion offering 250m² of living space

A large park with swimming pool, tennis court, Jacuzzi and boules playground 

Presentation of La Rabassière

‘La Rabassière’ means ‘the truffle grove’ in the Provençal language. A “rabassier” is also a person that knows how to find truffles.

This ancestral farmhouse was built on the southern slope of a hill so as to shelter it from the mistral, the dominant northern wind. It housed a poor rural autarkical dwelling on its 10 acres of cultivated and wooded land.

The house well was fed by streaming rainwater in the fall, while in spring the snowmelt from the Ventoux was also collected in a trough at the bottom of the property. Barley and durum wheat grew in the upper fields and vegetables were cultivated in the lower irrigated terraces.

We acquired the property in 1989 from a winegrower from Châteauneuf du Pape who had lifted his vines in order to retain the right to replant elsewhere. The lower terraces that were unfit for wine growing had become derelict, and the useless unoccupied farmhouse was abandoned. The ancient tiles had been stolen long ago and the decaying carpentry put the feeble walls in danger of collapse. 

The reconstruction of the house and the redevelopment of the land took roughly a decade from the early 90s to the turn of the century. The house warming party took place in 1994, the truffle grove was planted in the winter of 1997-98 and the tennis court ready for players in 2001.

We endeavoured to use traditional materials and techniques in respect to the ancient character of the building and to the environment, without sacrificing either comfort or longevity:

On the ground left bare by the former landlord, we planted local species of trees here and there such as almond, nettle tree, olive, sycamore, mulberry trees, fig, apricot, etc ... The oaks and holm oak grow here sui-generis and gradually replace the maritime firs that pose a riskier fire hazard.

The buddleia attracts butterflies and tamarisk catches birds…

The south façade is cooled by an arbour of bignonia, Virginia creeper and creeping vines.

That action is greeted by the return of the original fauna, a wide variety of birds, owls, bats, red squirrels, foxes and unfortunately the destructive wild boars.

La Rabassière was neither designed nor furnished for rental but for our own use, which carries the benefit to be perhaps better equipped, but also the disadvantages of non-standard equipment. We hope that you find it welcoming, that you feel at home, and take care of it as if it were yours.

Location 

The tumultuous Rhone river dug a relatively narrow valley between the mountains of the Ardèche to the west and the Tricastin Plateau to the east. This natural passage connecting the North-Western Europe to the Mediterranean Basin has been in use since history was written, pushing people in search of safety towards the foothills and plateaus.

Today, the flow of the Rhone river is a domesticated waterway that provides energy, irrigation and passage to major communication routes such as the Nationale 7 highway, the motorway, the TGV, etc.. On the hills and plateaus, the castles were dismantled by order of the absolute King Louis XIV. The ruins of the old Mondragon castle form a backbone on the hills reminiscent of the back of a dragon, which gave the village its name. Housed in the cliffs overlooking the village, the dragon comes out once a year in late May for the Fête of the Drac, spitting flames to the delight of children.

Life on the higher lands is quiet as it’s exclusively rural: vineyards are ubiquitous, olive and truffle groves are gaining ground on lavender, while oilseeds, sunflower and rapeseed, give a touch of bright colour to the landscape. You find the Wine University in Suze-la-Rousse, the main French truffle market in Richerenches, a Lavender Festival in Sault, La Maison de la Truffe in Saint Paul Trois Châteaux, etc..

Although the Mondragon village is built across the old Nationale 7, in the river plain, its territory stretches from the banks of the Rhone to the hills of the Drôme Provençale. To the west, on the right bank of the Rhone, Pont Saint Esprit commands the entrance to the Gorges de l’Ardèche. The village of Mondragon is protected from the wrath of the Rhone river by the large ‘Donzères to Mondragon’ canal, navigable by very large carriers. To the east, the Departmental 152 meanders up all the way to the stunning castle of Rochegude, through the winegrowing hills.

La Rabassière is located near this D 152 road to Rochegude, 3 kms away from the village centre, on the small but tarred Chemin des Fumades. The house is surrounded by woodland in a district that was depopulated of its farmers a century ago. Eastwards are mostly vineyards, Côtes du Rhone Village and Massif d’Uchaux. At the back of our land runs the GR 4 trail for trekkers. No neighbour is visible from the house, but the Verdoulet goat farm is at a short walking distance to buy excellent cheese.

If the village of Mondragon has no particular interest, it is located in the heart of a country of ancient civilization. We cross the Rhone at Pont Saint-Esprit by a medieval bridge to be at the mouth of the Ardèche; upstream its magnificent gorges, at Vallon Pont d'Arc, the Chauvet Cave has the oldest rock paintings in the history of mankind, dating from 30,000 years BC. (They cannot be visited, so please refer to the Werner Herzog 3D film.)

Grotte Chauvet, the ‘tigers’ panel

We are equidistant from the Roman towns of Nîmes and Vaison; the Theatre Antique d'Orange nearby can still accommodate 10 000 spectators at the Chorégies open-air opera performances without a single microphone.

Extraordinary places to visit are countless, either by walking, biking, by car or horseback as the stables are also nearby La Rabassière.  Not to be missed:

                  

‘’Vallis Clausa (Vaucluse), les muses, revenues de l’exil, habitent avec moi dans cet asile chéri’’  Pétrarque

On a rainy day, if any, you may visit some other places of great interest:

While in Provence, visiting a market is a must; the local best are:

You should beware of tourist traps, easily recognizable by their hard sell attitude.

The cultural life is vibrant:

You will not have time enough to do and/or see all of them !

The mansion house

At garden level

Upstairs

Would  you wish to change this configuration of beds, we would need to know in advance in order to organize the sheets accordingly.

In the attic: A children’s dormitory with 5 individual adult beds and a sink; an additional folding bed is also available.

Outhouse

A laundry is in the garage next to the kitchen, with washing machine and dryer. Linen line in the garden.

From the kitchen a staircase leads to a natural cellar where once can keep fruits and vegetables.

The house is surrounded by terraces, shaded or in the sun, accessible from the living room and from the kitchen. There is a gas barbecue with plancha, a 2 burners gas stove and several large tables at which 10 – 12 persons can seat.

In the garden is a special corner for roasting big pieces of meat, such as asado or mechoui, not to be used in case of strong wind.

The kitchen

The worktop and the breakfast table are made out of green granite. Solid fitted cupboards with wooden doors.

A 4 burner vitro-ceramic top, a large oven, a combi microwave, a built-in deep fat fryer,

An American-type fridge with ice dispenser, a dish washer.

Squeezer, toaster, kettle, mixer, slicer, Percolator coffee maker, Nespresso coffee machine, beer cooler, etc.

About three dozens of each item, plates, forks & knives, glasses, etc.

Table clothes and sub-webs, oil-clothes,

            Pots and pans are available in numbers + a wide variety of utensils.

The Garden

As is common with ancient Provençal country houses, La Rabassière is south-facing, sheltered from the northern wind. Doors and windows are therefore facing south with an overview on the garden which is gently leaning southwards. An electric gate at the top of the hill gives access to a path that runs along the northern wall of the house

A stone wall stabilises the terraces south of the house. To the west a terrace was built on top of a rotunda that hosts the garden and pool tools. A walking path goes southwards towards Les Lançons, beyond the fenced area through a gate.

Lower down from the house is the tennis court to the east and the pool + Jacuzzi to the west. All these areas are planted with lawn, including part of the poolside. 

A watering system runs through the flower beds without needing intervention.

Lawns, pot flowers (geraniums, mandevillas, bougainvilliers), the citrus tree on the balcony and the little kitchen garden (that grows parsley and chives for your benefit) will all appreciate your evening visit with a cantilever.

Aromatic plants such as rosemary and thyme (‘la frigoule’ in Provençal) grow naturally in the park and require no attention. Don’t miss to clip and use them for your Provençale cooking. There is also a bay tree  in the kitchen garden; mint grows along the western wall.

The tennis court is valid for competition. Its porous cement all-weather surface is immediately dry as soon as the rain is over.

The 12 x 6 m + half-moon pool is shallow enough so that adults can stand in it everywhere.

Chaises longues and pool games are plenty. On its west side, the open air 2 x 2m heated water Jacuzzi can accommodate 5 to 6 persons.

The pool zone is fenced with an electric wire and the pool side is also equipped with an infra-red alarm system for child protection.

The truffle grove starts south of the swimming pool. You may find some summer truffles ‘tuber aestivum’ if you are lucky….

View from the balcony

The little woodland next to the tennis court is ideal for picnics. In the one close to the entrance gate one can find the boules (‘Pétanque’) playing field.

The boules playing field

Bed sheets and linen

The rent is inclusive of the supply and laundry of bed sheets, pillow cases, bath and tea towels, table cloths and napkins. If and when needed, the equipment for laundry is available in-house.

Car park

The garage is nowadays occupied by a collector’s car and will not be available to you, but there is vast parking space north of the tennis court and in the shade of the park.

Security

Intruders visit us very seldom, therefore the house does not have any alarm system. Doors and shutters are ‘ancient-style’ solid. When properly shut, they don’t risk to be broken-in.

The entrance gate closes with an electronic system and the back gate has a locker.

Telecoms

Mobile phones receive a weak signal outside and none inside, except on the balcony.

You can be called on the land line +33 (0)4 90 40 93 77, that phone stays on the bar next to the kitchen. WI-FI is accessible only in the sitting room and on the rotunda. As the box stays in the western office, the thickness of the walls impairs further propagation.

Keys and inventory

Keys are available on Saturdays after 4.00 p.m. either from ourselves or from the neighbour lady who is in charge of the house cleaning and maintenance.

A €1 000 guarantee will be remitted to her once the inventory is agreed upon. It will be remitted to you after inventory checking on the Saturday of your departure before 10 a.m.

House cleaning

The house cleaning on departure is also included in your rent.

Please let us know if you wish house cleaning help during your stay.

Booking procedure

A down-payment of € 1 000 p/week is requested for any booking. The balance of the rent is due at least 30 days before the starting date of the occupancy.

Upon receipt of the balance, you will receive a ‘tenancy voucher’ and a copy of the inventory.

Cancelation

In case of cancellation more than 60 days before the starting date of the occupancy, the monies sent with the bookings are returned to the proposed tenant without indemnity.

In case of non-confirmation by payment of the balance 30 days before the start of the occupancy, the booking is cancelled and the monies retained.

Accepted methods of payment

·         Bank cheques in Euro to the order of ‘SKI 3000’                                               

      sent by post to

Michel Rostaing,

La Rabassière, Chemin des Fumades   

84430 Mondragon

      France

·         Wire in € to the account of SKI 3000 snc

at Crédit Agricole des Savoie, Tignes branch                   (73320 Tignes)

        IBAN :    FR76 1810 6008 1072 8449 7305 019

        BIC :       AGRIFRPP881

·         Credit Card payments soon to be accepted

·         Possibility of commercial invoicing by SKI 3000  + TVA.

Thank you for your interest.

We remain available for any additional info that you may require.

Michel Rostaing (France)                             Robert Stein-Rostaing  (UK)

Tel.      +33 4 90 40 89 24                                           +44 7958 777 917

e-mail : mrostaing2@wanadoo.fr                            rob@steinrostaing.org

Skype : mrostaing                                                     robsteinrostaing