It was while house-hunting in the Provençal village of Vallabrègues that Benoît Rauzy and Anthony Watson first stumbled upon a perfectly preserved 18th-century hôtel particulier. “It was like a bridge to the past,” says Rauzy of the property, close to Avignon, that they’ve since restored and now call home. “You opened the door and fell into another time.” Though built in 1730, the house had previously been in the ownership of just two families. More exceptional still, among the original murals, fireplaces and paintings were clues to the village’s past – half-made baskets, rattan chairs and furniture sketches – all vestiges of its previous incarnation as a wicker workshop.

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