Places & Spaces Whilst Away

Villa Béatrice Ephrussi De Rothschild

January 30, 2014

Ok, so on Monday I showed you what wonderful weather we had in the French Riviera a couple of weeks ago. Today is an entirely different story! On one of the days I was there, it literally poured from morning to night. I’d already scheduled to visit the Villa Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild so didn’t change my plans.

The Villa and the stupendous gardens, a firm favourite of mine, overlooks the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Beaulieu. It’s located between Nice and Monaco. I haven’t been for a few years and since I only started blogging 2 years ago I wanted to share it here with you. I decided to concentrate on the incredible gardens.

In view of the weather and it being January, you won’t be able to see everything in its full glory. However, I thought it would be interesting to share images of the magnificent gardens in winter and then hopefully again when I get a chance to return on a summer’s day, capturing the gardens in full bloom and colours!

To be honest, I’ve never visited on a day with such torrential rain. Standing at the highest point, utterly soaked through, camera in hand, there was something so magical and romantic about it that for a moment I felt completely at peace and at one with nature! For a brief second I closed my eyes and imagined what Béatrice Ephrussi must have been feeling 100 years ago standing in the same spot!

The entire garden is conceptually shaped to represent a ship (see below). As it’s situated above and with the Mediterranean sea on either side, this is clearly not a coincidence. The garden is an eclectic mix of international styles. You will find Japanese, Florentine and Spanish garden sections amongst it and Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild conceived the entire design and project.

Oh, and imagine, this here was Béatrice’s winter residence from 1912 onwards. Nice little bolt hole, would you agree?

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
The entrance to the Villa.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
This is taken from a sign at the entrance of the gardens.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
The view of a section of the garden from the Villa’s first floor’s terrace.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
A turquoise flower pot.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
These steps lead to further parts within the gardens and the view up and across is just stunning!

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Another bit of intricate design. Everything is layered in the most beautiful fashion.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
Reminiscent of Parisian parks.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
Looking down from a terrace.

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The trees are beautiful.

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One of my favourite angles.

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How beautiful are these turquoise roof tiles? And of course the view.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
The lushes greenery. Everywhere you turn you’ll find a stunning view.

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Again, layers and layers lead to the most fantastic depth of field.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
Hello boys! Standing tall and proud!

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
After you’ve done the round of the gardens, this is the view heading back to the Villa.

villa béatrice ephrussi de rothschild - Colourliving
I think this speaks for itself! Utter loveliness….

By the time I got back to the Villa I was so drenched, there was no point attempting a quick visit inside. To top it, the beautiful tea rooms were closed (only open on the weekend in winter months).

If you’ve never been to the Villa Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild and find yourself on the French Riviera, do make it a destination. I’m sure you’ll enjoy every minute, even if it’s raining!

So, what do you think of this labour of love of a wealthy, eccentric and well-travelled woman of the early 20th century?

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  • Reply Igor January 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

    What a dreamy villa – despite the wet weather this looks so charming, in fact it makes me dream of a bourgeois life, you know the kind of “I live in Downton Abbey but my summers I spend in our villa at the riviera…” 🙂

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 1:02 am

      Dreamy indeed and very pink:-) It’s beautiful and of course in glorious weather this is very different.

      Ha, I like your dream of a bourgeois life….”I live in Downton Abbey but my summers I spend in our villa at the riviera…” PERFECT, I’ll join you:-)

    • Reply Chedva January 31, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Igor, what a great definition! Love it. “Oh, we have this little place at the riviera…”

  • Reply Alison Sye January 30, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Utterly magnificent, Tina.
    Looks like the rain had a good point – you were the only person there?

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 1:03 am

      It’s truly breathtaking….

      Ha. You know, I never thought of that.. of course, everyone was viewing inside the villa and I was THE ONLY ONE in the gardens… and it took me about 24 hours
      to fully dry off and now in London I feel constantly wet yet again:-)

  • Reply Anya Jensen January 31, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Absolutely stunning Tina, even though it rained (became very poetic actually the pictures because of the rain)
    Can’t wait to go to France later this year 🙂 Happy weekend lovely,

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      I have to agree.. it was a little poetic and I found myself being transported into a different era.
      You’ll have such a good time i France.
      happy weekend sweets x

  • Reply Chedva January 31, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Tina, I feel like I just had a 10 minute vacation in the middle of my morning. How beautiful!

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Hahaha. That put a smile to my face. Thank you. Have a nice weekend.

  • Reply Lindsey January 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Gorgeous! And hardly looks like France 🙂

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you Lindsey.. haha:-)

  • Reply Mel January 31, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Just beautiful, I love that view over looking the turquoise rooftops and then the stone carved stairs that are curved. Every detail is exquisite actually. The French really excel in man made beauty in all aspects. M x

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      It’s amazing that she designed everything herself (am sure she had help) but it’s so contemporary, in some ways.
      I agree, they do it very well x

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily January 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    How wonderful-even in January Tina. I know so little about France-shameful-mainly because food is such an issue for me there. Wonderful pics of an amazing trip and certainly makes me want to explore the country more. Have a lovely weekend sweetie xx

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Oh, it’s beautiful in January and Feb… I mostly go and come back feeling I’ve been to a much warmer climate.

      I didn’t know you had issues eating in France. Isn’t there much vegetarian stuff? Surely… a sushi place I went to had vegetarian options but I guess it’s
      probably not that easy… have a great weekend. May this rain stop!!!! xx

  • Reply Jocelyn Casey January 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Wonderful post, dear Tina. So many things came up for me reading your words and admiring the photographs. First, I think we need to bring the trend back of turquoise tiles…the roof you captured is pure magic. Secondly and most importantly you have reminded me that going out in the rain is essential sometimes. I always try and find a way to not get soaked or even a little drizzle on me. And why do I do that? Maybe if I spent more time in the rain the other things in life would soon appear not so uncomfortable. I say we bring back dancing in the rain as well as turquoise tiles and pots. THAT pot! Oh my. I could go on and on. I am so glad it rained when you were seems like you were just fine with it too, so refreshing and I can almost smell the rain just looking at your images. Thank you! Jocelyn x

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Ha. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve ALWAYS loved turquoise tiles… it’s so alive!

      Interesting point. I do think that always being in beauty, sunshine et cetera can have a different view of life. Being in heavy rain is uncomfortable in the beginning, but it soon turns into something completely different. By the end I didn’t realise how soaked I was. I only noticed when people stared at me once I returned to the Villa (I didn’t care) I just had had the most magic moment…. much more important than social acceptance:-)

      The funny thing is that I didn’t even register that I was the only person outside… it felt so natural and I was able to really go within (without distractions)
      Precious!! xx

  • Reply Liza January 31, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Despite the rain, these photos are gorgeous! To me the wet even adds something to the atmosphere which is very pleasant.

    • Reply tina January 31, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Liza,

      I so agree with you and know if you were there with me you would have also come on the exploration of the gardens, despite the weather:-)
      Thank you!

  • Reply Catherine@farmhousehome January 31, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I think these gardens are utterly stunning and I love the splashes of turquoise in the garden pot and the roof tiles. I have a stunning turquoise and gold beaded necklace I will tweet you a pic of that I must wear at the next opportunity, which will remind me of this post. The rain made your visit look even more magical than if the weather had of been sunny, would love to visit this villa if I’m ever on the french riviera.

    • Reply tina February 1, 2014 at 12:54 am

      It’s amazing how a bit of turquoise can lift the mood and make everything look so vivid and alive.
      I’d love to see your necklace and as it’s summer in Australia, it’s the perfect time to wear it.

      There was something magical about the rain, the mist and me being totally alone there!
      You must visit if you travel to the french riviera xx

  • Reply Louisa February 1, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Wow Tina what an amazing post. It reminds me of villa feltrinelli with such beautiful gardens and views. The hoots you took are so atmospheric, I love the way you,right, I felt I was right there with you. Perfect escapism! Thank you x

    • Reply Louisa February 1, 2014 at 12:05 am

      Ok! Photos not hoots. Write not right. And I probably spelt feltrinelli wrong. Tired! Xx

    • Reply tina February 1, 2014 at 1:00 am

      Gosh I LOVE VILLA FELTRINELLI…. I’ve only visited but would like to stay there. Am in love with Lake Garda, it’s so beautiful.
      Hahaha, it is late and you’re allowed spelling mistakes… thank myou for clarifying ‘hoots’, I didn’t quite know what that meant!
      And thank you for the compliments:-) Glad it gave you some escapism xx

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine February 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    What a beautiful place, despite the rain. I can imagine what it’ll look like when in full bloom on a sunny day. It reminds me a bit of the places i have visited around lake Como in Italy with my dad. Kind of the same architecture.

    • Reply tina February 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      I didn’t think I would like it in the rain but there definitely was something special about it.
      Of course, when it all blooms it’s rather spectacular!

      Lake Como is wonderful and I’m sure you have many great memories visiting with your Dad.

  • Reply monsterscircus February 2, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Such lovely photos. I’ve seen lots of pictures of the Villa Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, but without the rain. I really love yours, the weather give some sort of deeper impression and even more interesting touch. Have a lovely week

    • Reply tina February 3, 2014 at 12:33 am

      Hello Mette,
      Ha. I never thought about this aspect. Of course, the Villa is well covered and photographed but very few would tackle the gardens in heavy rain:-) Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey February 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Never heard of this place Tina but it is beautiful. I especially love the views you’ve captured over the sea. That shot with the turquoise roof tiles is divine.

    You really are a slave to your art. I can see you there determined to get some great pics despite the rain.

    Thanks xx

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey February 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Me again… being Irish & used to the rain (though it is bloody annoying at times), there is something both mystical and magical about being in a beautiful place with the rain coming down. It kinda cleanses mind and spirit xx

    • Reply tina February 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Haha. Thanks for noticing. I did think I must be passionate about blogging and my readers because it would have been oh so easy to give in and go to a warm cafe and have a hot drink instead….I’m glad I didn’t though and as you so rightly said, there was something ‘both mystical and magical about being in a beautiful place with the rain coming down. It kinda cleanses mind and spirit”. It was really like that and I didn’t even notice how soaked I was.

      Thanks G, glad you liked it xx

  • Reply Judith February 4, 2014 at 12:25 am

    What a beautiful and eccentric garden, Tina! I love it in the rain, somehow it’s more real, less pristine & polished. And you rarely see gardens in picture like this. And as a bonus you probably had the entire garden to yourself 😉 I hope you found yourself a warm cozy place and some dry clothes afterwards!

    • Reply tina February 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Amazing, right? Just what my #urbanjungle friends like:-)

      You know how after the event you realise things.. I had no clue if, a:) the photos would come out shot in that weather b) I would be able to last that long. What no one knows is that after every shot I had to clean my lens dry as the rain was so heavy! It really took a couple of hours to walk round. Now, looking at the pictures and reading everyone’s comments I realised how rare it is that these places get photographed in such weather conditions… and why not? I also think it makes for a more atmospheric result and I do really like them. I will though repeat the exercise in bright sunshine and then we can compare:-)

      I was also due to re-visit the Jardin Exotique but ran out of time…

      Hahaha. Took ages, went to the cinema and then met friend for dinner arriving ‘wet’…

  • Reply Doris February 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you so much for braving the rain. Your photo’s are as usual lovely. I think that rain just makes the garden look so much more magnificent, I mean if it looks great in this weather, imagine what it would be like in sunshine! xD

    • Reply tina February 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      You are very welcome..:-)
      I think we are all in agreement here. There’s a special quality to it in the rain.

      Still up for going back in sunshine and showing you guys.
      Thanks Doris x

  • Reply Holly February 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Winter residence?! I’ll take it!!

    It’s almost unbelieveable this place. And I love this misty quality your photos have thanks to the weather. Very story-book like.

    Thanks for letting me learn a bit more about Béatrice Ephrussi 🙂 Interesting lives we humans have.


    • Reply tina February 21, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      You, me and the rest of the bloggers, no doubt!

      yes, I agree, story-book like….:-)

      Ha. She was an interesting character… with an interesting holiday home! LOL x

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