Meet the owner: Villa Joya
This South of France villa’s proud owner Elahe Afshar praises the beauty of the modern property and its equally good-looking views
Reading time: 5 minutes
A&K: The South of France is blessed prodigiously with natural beauty. Villa Joya’s design seems to blur the line between the indoor and the outside to make the most of the fantastic views – tell us about them.
Elahe Afshar: The rolling hills behind the French Riviera are a gorgeous sight that can be enjoyed from each room in the house. The Mediterranean can be spotted in the distance, and on a clear day, it makes the perfect backdrop. The most exceptional view comes at a specific time of the day – sunsets at Villa Joya are a beautiful and very romantic experience.
Q. Which is your favourite space for enjoying its pretty setting?
A. The two large bedrooms have the most amazing views of the hills and the glistening sea in the distance. For me, there’s nothing better than waking up in the comfy beds, opening the electric shutters and drinking in those views. Can you think of a more serene way to start your day?
Q. Villa Joya makes the right – and a lasting – impression on guests. Tell us how it stands out from the crowd?
A. We believe the renowned architect who worked on the project has done a fantastic job integrating some features typical of old Provence into what is a very modern building. The front garden is also designed with the idea of this juxtaposition in mind. The space is very welcoming, warm and peaceful.
Q. Tell us the three words that best describe your villa?
A. Location, serenity, and Zen.
Q. Tell us about its location?
A. In general, it benefits from the best of the South of France, including the sea, the proximity to the region’s cities and big villages (renowned for food and art), but at the same time, it feels very Provençal. More specifically, St Paul de Vence – with its 16th-century ramparts, arcades and wells – is a very famous town. Chagall is buried there, and Churchill liked to visit the village to paint.
Q. Where would you recommend that guests visit during a stay?
A. There are many beautiful historical villages within a 30-minute drive of the property. The towns of Nice, Cannes and Monaco are less than an hour from the house by car. All are well worth a visit, but I recommend having at least two days to enjoy the villa and the village of St Paul de Vence.
Q. Do you enjoy any of the regional delicacies, and where can guests try them for themselves?
A. The bread! The local artisanal boulangeries make some of the best bread anywhere. There is a food market nearby in Vence and another, larger one, in Nice. There are also fantastic specialist food shops in these towns. Go exploring and be sure to buy a fresh baguette, some local cheese, purple tomatoes and olives for the most delicious breakfast or lunch by the pool.
Q. So that’s dining at the villa sorted, what about eating out?
A. La Colombe d’Or is walking distance from the villa and, it’s probably one of the most famous restaurants in the South of France. It’s a charming, family-run auberge with a museum-worthy art collection (thanks to the likes of Matisse and Picasso paying their bills here with art). A lunch of Provencal dishes and French classics in its walled-garden is a must-experience. Also, Alain Llorca’s Michelin-starred restaurant is a local institution, and there are many charming restaurants just waiting for guests to discover.
Q. Bellies sated, where would you recommend people feed their souls?
A. The Fondation Maeght is a mere stroll from the villa. It’s a private museum of modern art (in all its forms), whose collection includes works by Braque, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti and Léger.
Q. What’s the ideal time of year to visit and enjoy the villa and its location?
A. In the winter, the pace is slower, and the light is unique, but you can still eat alfresco quite often. Spring is gorgeous as orange blossoms fill the air with their extraordinary perfume. From Easter through summer, the surrounding area becomes more vibrant. It’s magical all year-round – it just depends on the type of holiday and atmosphere you’d like.
Villa Joya is a four-bedroom property in St Paul de Vence in the South of France. To book your stay, speak to one of our villa specialists today.