UK / Europe

Laura Ashley’s estate to become luxury resort

Timeless... Le Preverger

Lauren Arena

Diana, Princess of Wales was flown in for drinks on the terrace and Margaret Thatcher dined here too… but soon you could be Le Preverger’s next guest.

A magnificent estate in the medieval French village of La Garde-Freinet and former home to British designer Laura Ashley, Le Preverger is set to become a luxury resort.

This pre-Napoleonic mansion, and its 150 acre estate, has been snapped up by resort developer John Spence, the CEO and Chairman of Karma Royal Group.

Located just 13 miles from the glitz and glamour of St-Tropez, Le Preverger maintains an air of English country elegance and is slightly reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s Petit Hameau, the mock farm she had built in the grounds of Versailles.

Laura Ashley and her husband bought Le Preverger in 1983 from the French actress Jeanne Moreau, who, like the Ashleys, was renowned for entertaining famous guests such as Orson Welles, Brigitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso.

The estate’s rich history as hospitable reputation was, in part, what attracted Spence to the property.

Magnificent… the estate is nestled among the hills above St Tropez

“When an opportunity arose to entertain in one of the most beautiful places in the world, in a chateau that has entertained some incredible people over the years, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to expand our private residences for the international guests and members of the Karma Royal Group.”

Le Preverger boasts 18 bedrooms, eight reception rooms and 11 bathrooms, and its appeal lies as much in its rustic setting as it’s classic architecture.

The extensive grounds of the estate are home to established olive groves, a vineyard, oak and chestnut woods filled with wild mushrooms and landscaped gardens.

“In many ways, one is always just a caretaker of these beautiful, old historic buildings,” says Spence.

“We see ourselves as curators of a place intrinsic to this part of France. Our hope is that we can keep the integrity of Le Preverger and open it’s doors to guests so they can sample a truly authentic, unique manor house, located in the incredible heart of the French Riviera.”

As well as a luxury resort, the estate will also host special events ranging from an association with Cannes Film Festival, through to supporting local festivals such as Olive Picking and the Chestnut Festival.

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