48 Avenue Henri Dunant, Grasse, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
"Is it your time for a plunge into the beauty and luxury of Provençal romance? Well, you can’t top what you get at the Bastide Saint-Antoine in Grasse. The dappled shade from the ancient olive trees and immaculately manicured gardens are graced by a sparkling pool used only sparingly by the mostly chic and well-traveled guests. The rooms are absolutely pristine with top quality fittings and design that would challenge anything in Condé Nast or Architectural Digest. Service from the professional staff is friendly and discreet, never over-the-top or with too much bonhomie. As the local saying goes, “il n’y a pas de roses sans épines” (no roses without prickles) and a standard, luxury room, is pretty stratospheric but not out of line with the cost of other Relais Chateaux. Breakfast, on a fairy-tale balcony, at €28 a pop is eye-watering but so is the fare: but steer well clear of the watery scrambled eggs: at this price, they should be prepared individually. (Just gently and continually fold-over the eggs, slowly, with a spot of cream…et voila!). The highlight of any stay at the bastide is dinner. The terrace dining area is simply lovely and the staff are charming, knowledgeable and attentive. The menu from Jacques Chibois was inventive and beautifully presented with three (or was it four?) entrées and plats pricipals. We chose the risotto d’Epeautre and and Ricotta du Tignet followed by le Saint Pierre (astonishingly original sauce verte) and the spring Provençal lamb chops, so small and pampered that they melted in the mouth, a veritable triumph. With some water, a well-chosen bottle of Minervois (or was it Corbière) white, and coffee, you won’t get much change out of €200 a head. It’s worth every centime. Chapeau, Jacques."
"If you’ve got a bit of spare cash, or more particularly a large stash of it, and you want to celebrate a particular event in style, good humour and gorgeous surroundings, then go to the Bastide. The food is of a grand, creative finesse, served in a series of moderate portions each one as good as the other. What’s more, unlike some other gourmet restaurants, you won’t leave your table still hungry. In fact you won’t necessarily want to leave your table. There’s a large selection of excellent wine, much of which is good value for money, the staff are helpful and polite and the service impeccable. A place to go to and remember. But check the prices first."
"The room was lovely. The service delicious. The location special. But on the downside the restaurant is over-rated. This is a French countryside hotel that has refined the food until it is a performance rather than food. It was interesting, but French cooking has more flavour and less pretentiousness when at its best. The most fun thing was watching a nearby table with a middling short man about 40 and a super-model pretty woman 15+ years his junior. I guess he was really tall when he stands on his wallet. And if you are someone who gets your stature from standing on your wallet you might really love this place. I would prefer better food with less show."