The story of Le Coin de Manon

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The Carter family fell in love with the South of France in the 1990s and built their dream holiday home in view of the medieval village of Le Castellet.

Richard, Tanja and Emma Carter live in Nairobi, Kenya, where Richard works as a consultant on development issues. Years previously, South-African born Tanja had worked as a diplomat in Marseilles, living in a small town on the outskirts of the city. Despite loving their life in Kenya and raising their daughter, Emma, among the freedom and beauty of Africa, Tanja has always harboured a desire to return to the Côte D'Azur. While courting Tanja in the 1990s, Richard visited the area many times and also fell in love with its charm. Le Castellet had been Tanja's favourite place when she lived here and they bought some some land to which they could come back again and again. They have now created a stunning, Provençal house surrounded by lush gardens of lavender, wisteria and olive groves.


For the Carters, the South of France is a perfect compromise between Africa and Europe. With an African sense of space, light and warmth, this area also enjoys the richness of a European culture, founded on the depths of history: an ever-present sense of its Roman past, with arenas that are still used today; well-preserved medieval towns and villages; the wealth of Renaissance art and the extraordinary quality of light that brought so many Impressionist artists to paint here. All set in a frame of sun-blessed vineyards, olive groves, ancient Mediterranean ports, and the hills and mountains that provided the backdrop to Marcelle Pagnoll's evocative novels. 

"Le Coin de Manon" borrows its name from Pagnoll's novel "Manon des Sources", in which Manon is a beautiful shepherdess with long blonde hair running barefoot over the hills. This exquisite home is where Emma spent her summer holidays as a young girl and, in many ways a child of Africa, loved to run around barefoot, often to the disapproval of the populace of local villages. With her flying blonde hair, she seemed to capture some of the spirit of Manon.