An afternoon of Pure Indulgence in Villefranche-Sur-Mer, South of France

This summer I was lucky enough to spend a week in the South of France with some good friends, and explore some new villages close to Biot and along the coast. While there I was invited to have lunch one afternoon by ONE Authentic property, to see an exceptionally stylish and architecturally designed private luxury villa – The villa Bayview -‘Domaine de Castellet’ in Villefranche Sur Mer.

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We arrive ready for an afternoon of swimming, sunbathing and sipping cocktails over lunch and are met at the gates by the charming in-house Manager Bernard Costa. Villa Bayview is located within a gated entrance at the top of a private road, the property appears to be carved into the rock face and is made from rough stones and glass throughout. This place is on another level with a spectacular roof garden leading down from a sculpted stone staircase in the heart of the property and a lift down to the pool house. It also has the most captivating and stunning panoramic views of Villefranche Bay and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat opposite, from its magnificent terraces.

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Stunning outside lounge area

Stunning outside lounge area

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I’m there to review as part of a new exclusive luxury partnership with aircraft charter specialist Chapman Freeborn and ONE Authentic Properties, have come together to combine their unique talents to offer a seamless fully-inclusive travel service in breathtaking destinations.

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ONE Authentic Properties is a privately owned exclusive collection of super-prime villas in the South of France, chalets in Courchevel 1850 and stunning apartments in Paris. Originally selected for their superb locations and breathtaking views, all the properties have been architecturally renovated and remodelled to a high spec.

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The property sleeps 10 with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and offers every contemporary comfort and state of the art technology – including an uber cool car-turning table; well this is the South of France darling! Our afternoon of pure opulence is truly magical and we enjoy our secluded escape for the day. For those who value their privacy and want to escape the masses, this is probably one of the best ways to truly indulge your family and friends. The property is perfect for entertaining on a grand scale, relaxing or simply enjoying private family time.

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The team of professional and discreet staff at the property are very skilled with years of experience working with high profile individuals and their families. A Chef or Butler can be provided at all times for guests or simply when required. The aim to ensure each stay is a seamless, relaxing and supremely comfortable and luxurious experience.

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The Bayview villa is totally enchanting, set in one of the most stunning locations in the South of France. It offers the perfect retreat for a special vacation or celebration; with a la carte services, it seems nothing is too much to ask. ‘Encore verre du vin c’est vous plait!’

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ONE Authentic properties can arrange specified flight times to and from any airport on request for their guests and at the most convenient times for their guests. Conveniently they also offer all types of aircraft – including private jets, helicopters and VIP configured airliners – anywhere in the world.

It’s a unique and memorable experience, from seamless travel arrangements to and from your chosen destination, to an incomparable level of service at your selected property, with every conceievable desire already anticipated by the in-house staff.

To book one of these properties or check for rental availability on request.

No ordinary restaurant – The Brigade, Fire Station, Tooley Street

Meal for two: £50 per head including wine (excl service).

The Brigade on Tooley Street, London Bridge, is buzzing when we arrive – there’s a busy bar area with city workers and diners waiting to be seated. We’re greeted straightaway by a waitress who seats us in the open plan restaurant, which is a contemporary modern offering and open plan kitchen area.

The Brigade is not just a restaurant it also has private dining rooms, a cookery school upstairs and a wine club. And it doesn’t stop there they are working together with the ‘Beyond Food Foundation’ and ‘Babcock International’ to make a difference to young people who have been at risk or have experienced homelessness are offered an opportunity to take part in a unique apprenticeship programme called United Kitchen.

The Brigade restaurant

The Brigade restaurant

The food concept is seasonal British produce and the menu lists the best produce for the month, which is a nice touch from sesaonal vegetables to seasonal fish.

The wine list is excellent at The Brigade with a wide selection of some lovely new and old world wines and fun cocktails and ales.  We started with a glass of  Rias-Baixas Bodegas Castro Martin Albarino matched to a salad of  spiced seared tuna and a glass of New Zealand, Spa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc with the Wiltshire Venison Carpaccio with truffle oil and aged winchester cheese.

The spiced seared tuna salad whilst perfectly seared and fairly tasty lacked the wow factor of the Venison carpaccio, but perhaps I’m being slightly bias as I can’t get enough or truffle oil recently which is rocking my taste buds world.

For the main my companion chose a roasted monkfish with parmesan gnocchi and glass of rioja rosada and I chose the seared British beef fillet and glass of Argentinian Catena Malbec. The British beef was excellent quality but I had requested it medium rare and it was closer to medium, while disappointing it’s not unusal for British restaurants; so for my next steak in the UK I’ll be requesting rare and see if that works!

What I particularly loved about The Brigade is there charity concept working with people on the apprenticeship programme and making an concrete contribution to people struggling in the UK, it’s refreshing and great to see, may other restaurants folow their lead.

Overall the meal was excellent and is in a convenient spot for weekday post work drinks or dinner and even a good reliable weekend choice if you have visitors.

http://www.thebrigade.co.uk
http://www.beyondfoodfoundation.org.uk