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L’Ancienne Poste is managed by Philippe, Travel consultant.
478 - 580/night
Suitable for 10-12 people

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L’Ancienne Poste - L’Ancienne Poste, in Provence, France
— Philippe: “There isn't actually a letter-box at the house. I get the mail down at the post office! The new post office; I love the idea that the old post office wouldn't have a post box, so I kept it that way.”
Interview By:

— How and when did you end up owning L’Ancienne Poste?

Philippe: “I can’t actually remember, but I know I bought the house as a ruin in 1999. I was walking through the village one day when I saw the old Postale. I thought, ‘Wow! It’s about time I bought somewhere. It has got a great view, I’ll see what they want for it.’ The village is pretty normal and it is not too chichi like many villages in France. So, after a lot of toing and froing, by February 1999 I owned it.

I did nothing with it for a number of years and at one point I said, OK, I’ve got to do something. I talked to a number of architects, who were terrified by the idea. It was a difficult project to develop. I found only one architect who seemed interested and challenged by the project, and basically, we developed it together. It took about three years to finish.”
L’Ancienne Poste - L’Ancienne Poste, in Provence, France
— L’Ancienne Poste

— How would you describe the style?

Philippe: “The style of L’Ancienne Poste is fairly pure, I’d like to say. I love all sorts of styles, but in this particular property because it was such a ruin when I got it, I thought, if I am going to rebuild this in a very traditional provencal style, in some ways that seems like a bit of a lie. So I decided what we will do is, we will realize that we are in Provence, that we are in a very traditional old, crumbly village, in an old post office. But inside, the obvious thing to do is to keep things simple and pure, so that when you come into the house, it is a very light atmosphere, and when you go out, you are hit by sensory overload: the village, the people walking down the street, the views, the smell, all of that.”
View from roof terrace - L’Ancienne Poste, in Provence, France
— View from roof terrace

— What was your most memorable experience at L’Ancienne Poste?

Philippe: “There are many little stories. An English lady once wrote me a letter and said, ‘I’ve been coming to the village for all these years and I often saw the house abandoned. Then I saw that someone had bought it and was working on it over the course of three years.’ She saw it an article in Home & Garden or some magazine about the house and she said, ‘I’m so happy to see how it has evolved.’ It was just the sweetest letter from a woman that I have never met, just saying that it was a nice evolution.”
L’Ancienne Poste living area - L’Ancienne Poste, in Provence, France
— L’Ancienne Poste living area

— Do you have the chance to spend much time in the house?

Philippe: “Because I spend a lot of my time travelling and am based in London, I don’t get to spend so much time at L’Ancienne Poste. But what really gives me pleasure is when people are happy there and they write in the visitors’ book that they had a great time. That is the real satisfaction, you know. If five years down the road I come to sell it or something, the idea that the design, the place and the village, all that, has brought happiness to people will be the best thing.

I mean, renting is good. It is great when I get to cover my expenses each year and the mortgage, but there are other aspects as well. For example, this family in May came for some reunion or something. They just took all these pictures at every window, one person at each window, and they wrote lovely notes, and I was just, ‘Wow! I’m so lucky with that.’ This really very happy, or maybe majorly drug-addicted family had such a great time. They were just totally adorable; it was bizarre.”
 - L’Ancienne Poste, in Provence, France

— What is the first thing you do when you get back to L’Ancienne Poste?

Philippe: “I probably just walk into the house and drop my things. I don’t collect any mail because there isn’t actually a letter-box at the house, which I think is really funny. I get the mail down at the post office, the new post office. I love the idea that the old post office wouldn’t have a post box, so I kept it that way.

What I do is, I dump my stuff and go down to the cafe just 200 metres away from the house and I have a drink, catch up with the news from people there. Because initially, I did want to make it my home I always feel a bit guilty when I just pop back every so often. So it is nice to reconnect and have a drink, go to the back of the bar and just look at this amazing view, which is the same one I have from my house. Don’t think me a heavy drinker or anything, I just like people.”
 - L’Ancienne Poste, in Provence, France
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