Le Moulin has existed, in one way or another, since the 17th century. The Roman aqueduct led the waters of the Camandoule to the mill. The water carried the large paddle wheel, which can be seen behind the window at the entrance to the restaurant, was subsequently drained through a channel under the terrace and flowed into the camandre. The word “doule” is a Provençal diminutive, Camandoule means little Camandre, therefore Moulin de la petite Camandre.
Originally this old mill was probably part of Fayence under the protection of a Monsignor, who resided in the village. When the Arab conquerors arrived in the 16th century, the inhabitants took refuge on the hill where they built the village that we see today, but it is obvious that a mill could not be moved.
In 1834, it was rebuilt more or less in its current structure. The date is engraved on one of the large stones in the living room. These stones, of the same size, were imported from Tuscany and used in all the mills from Menton to Sète.
At the end of 1954, the Mill was bought by the Coste family, who restarted the mill. Mr. Coste was the last Miller of the Mill, in fact the great frost of 1957 caused irreversible damage to all olive trees in Provence, eliminating for many years any hope of a harvest. He continued to exploit the lands of Camandoule by producing melons, apples, and cherries. These fresh fruits were very popular with the locals.
The Coste family sold the Moulin in 1964. Since that date, the “Moulin” part has briefly fallen into disuse. The property was bought in 1968 by a Belgian couple who renovated it and transformed it into a hotel restaurant.
TAll the grinding wheels and presses, all the original machinery is in place and it is said that the mill could be running again within ten days.
Today Shirley Rilla, who bought the Camandoule in 1986, has passed the torch to Nicolas Torremocha and Stéphane Sauner, both of whom are childhood friends and former employees.