Special Edition December 2003
In this issue: Château de la Motte, France in the News
to France to stay at . . .
Château de la Motte d'Usseau
We cannot say enough about the charm and warmth of le Château de la Motte looking down on the tiny Vienne village of Usseau -- it is a delightful place to stay for as long as you can! Each guest room is a treasure of medieval design and 21st century comfort. The bathrooms are all modern with newly tiled floors and walls -- the décor in all cases selected and implemented by your charming hostess, Marie-Andrée Bardin. Her impeccable taste and skills as a craftsperson are evident throughout the château, and guests will find themselves immersed in the place and wishing it were their own.
Perched above a green and rolling countryside affording commanding views in all directions, the château and its dependencies can be seen from a great distance making it one of the easiest properties on our web site to locate. The front of the château, where guests arrive and park their cars, is very deceiving as it looks relatively small yet nonetheless perfectly inviting. We walked up the wide stone steps adorned with gourds and pumpkins in celebration of the coming Halloween holiday to be greeted with a smile and handshake by the charming Marie-Andrée. Immediately we were shown to her studio -- just beyond the foyer -- to see the tuffeau carvings which she was currently creating. Her studio faces the drive so she can keep busy with her creativity while keeping an eye out for her guests. Classes in carving are offered at the château, as are workshops in picture framing and medieval calligraphy.
Up a flight of stairs and you find yourself in the salon and next to the very appealing dining room with its roaring fire. Another flight, this time ascending an ancient winding stone stairway, takes you to the guest rooms of which there are five. Each is exceptional in its décor and spaciousness -- and each boasts comfortable beds and modern heating units that guests can easily regulate until they reach their notion of comfort. Most extraordinary are the views from every window! The château's high position affords guests sweeping views of the vast countryside of the Vienne in all directions, so you at once feel cozy in your room yet never closed in.
We were lucky enough to be allowed access to the ramparts which reminded us that medieval châteaux and fortresses had tumultuous histories -- all too often forgotten when they become 21st century luxury accommodations. Another pleasant distraction is the raised garden behind the salon which is perfect for sitting in the sun, experiencing the country silence and calm or taking in the views.
do have dinner au château. Marie-Andrée is multi-talented,
and not the least of her talents is her ability in the kitchen.
The Bardins spent six years in Québec where they owned a fine restaurant,
and Marie-Andrée was the chef. Her skills returned with her
to France -- dinners are a culinary delight. Only the freshest ingredients
are used, and the best of wines accompany a meal. If you are a guest
at Château de la Motte, do not hesitate to make reservations
for dinner there -- we know you will not be disappointed. And, of
course, breakfasts at Château de la Motte are complete with croissants,
fresh breads, homemade preserves and jams, excellent coffee, juice and
yogurt. On a crisp morning, the fire may be crackling in the background.
The location of Château de la Motte is almost perfect. Just south of the hustle and bustle of the Loire Valley tourist attractions and the city of Tours, the château's nearest big neighbor is the lovely city of Châtellerault. Market day is on Thursday and, as with all the markets in France, it is very lively and interesting. Nearby, and certainly worth the short drive, is the village of Angles sur l'Anglin, designated one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France -- and it is! With its ruined château, lovely River Anglin, winding hilly streets and buildings with character, time spent in Anglin is a worth an entry in your journal to be sure. Also, you may want to enjoy a great lunchtime meal in La Roche Posay, where shops and small restaurants line the streets and there isn't a tourist to be found.
The château is near several beautiful rivers, too, primarily the Vienne and the Gartempe -- both tranquil and lovely. There is also the historic Roman village of Chauvigny down river from Châtellerault, a notable attraction in the region.
Château de la Motte is a very welcome addition to our web site -- perfectly located in the eastern part of the Poitou-Charentes, not far at all from the attractions of the Loire Valley, yet a great stopover on the way to nearby Limoges or the Dordogne. Best of all is the warm and sincere welcome you will receive when you become a guest. Please visit their pages on our web site for details about accommodations, additional regional pastimes and historic information about this fairy tale château.
make reservations please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
France in the News . . . not all good
If you are keeping up with news from France, you will already know what we are about to tell you. Otherwise, you might find these updates from France of interest.
hope you have enjoyed this Special Edition of au Château News.
course, if you have questions or need help with reservations at any
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