‘The overall feel to this place’, writes our latest inspector, ‘is elegant and discreet’. A quiet, orderly, elegant retreat from the bustle of fashionable Mougins, its imposing entrance is found in a residential suburb; thereafter a winding drive leads to the extremely pretty 19thC manor house. Pale stone, white shutters, a thick covering of virginia creeper. Inside, the reception area doubles as sitting room, with an open fireplace, strong colours and country furniture. The adjoining restaurant overlooks the swimming pool, and there is a tiled dining terrace for summer eating. Views are low-key: gentle, green, rolling Southern countryside. The colourful garden is filled with different Mediterranean plants and trees.
  Bedrooms, split between several buildings, are individually decorated and stylishly à la mode, with fresh fabrics, white walls, wood floors and contemporary wrought-iron and pale wood furniture; some are large with private terraces. Crisp Egyptian cotton sheets cover the beds and bathrooms are attractively tiled.
  The management is hands-on and the staff attentive and friendly. Their restaurant, Mathieu Soler au Manoir de l'Etang, is generally very well regarded.