Fall for France ~ September / October 2005
ACTIVE LINKS TO APPROPRIATE WEB SITES. JUST CLICK ON ANY ONE OF THEM!]
Gracious Guests & Friendly Hosts
Although travelers may be well versed on getting around a foreign country, ordering in restaurants in the native language or finding just the right guide book get to the most interesting sights, they may not be familiar with chambres d'hôtes ~ staying in one is a different experience from being a guest in a hotel.
There is definitely an etiquette to being a guest in someone's home, and we thought we'd pass on some helpful tips suggested by those in the bed and breakfast industry in the US. The same guidelines would apply to staying in a French château.
Use our handy Fax Form
Remember, if you want to contact any member of au Château by fax to inquire about accommodations or to make a reservation, you can easily print out our fax form which provides spaces for all necessary details of your planned stay with them.
Clickhere to open the form, print it out, complete the information and fax it to the owner. Fax numbers are provided on each member's first page at the top left.
Keep in mind that it is very unwise to send credit card information via Email...always telephone or fax that information to proprietors.
Look for our newest symbol...
In our last issue we described the meaning behind each of the symbols you might find on the first page of a member's property. Since then, we have added a new icon representing gîtes that are available on a château property.
If you are not looking for a bed and breakfast but rather a self-catering accommodation on the grounds of a château or nearby, look for this symbol on our member pages. The gîtes or cottages all have fully-equipped kitchens, usually a washing machine and other equipment to allow you to be self-sufficient during your stay. Guests have use of the château pool, tennis courts or other available amenities.
We hope all our symbols make it easier for you to determine at a glance what may be available at our member's châteaux, manoirs or priories. Look for additional symbols as new activities come to light from time to time.
SPONSORING THIS ISSUE:
pen and ink drawings of a dozen French château chambres d'hôtes
business benefit from sponsoring a future newsletter?
New owners . . .
We are always saddened when château owners we have come to know decide to sell their property to someone else. The new owners are, of course, most likely to be lovely people as well, but we still feel a sense of loss knowing we may lose contact with those we have known and worked with for many years.
Such is the case at Château de la Ballue in Brittany. Monsieur Alain Schrotter and Madame Marie-France Barrère sold the château and moved away on August 15th. They spent many years restoring the classical gardens, creating new ones and taking excellent care of the château itself. It became a retreat for their artist friends, and the sculptures in the garden attested to their own love of contemporary art. When we were guests of Ballue, we were very impressed with the pristine condition of the château both inside and out. We wish them both the very best in their new endeavors, and we hope to soon welcome the new owners to au Château.
The château remains on our web site. If you are interested in booking accommodations there and you have any difficulty doing so, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
French Quiz 53
Test your knowledge of geographical France:
(1) Volcanic parks are a main attraction (a) Aquitaine
You will find the correct answer at the end of this newsletter.
We cannot stress enough the importance of transmitting your credit card information very cautiously! As we receive Email copies of many communications between guests and proprietors, in recent months we've been aware credit card numbers sent via Email by travelers.
Email is not secure! There are those who are able to retrieve that information once you hit the 'Send' button, and they are not the people for whom the information is intended.
When providing credit card information, use a secure web site (many of our members have such pages on their own web sites accessible from au Château), or telephone your hosts with the information, or Fax the credit card information to them. Almost all of our members have fax machines.
If you ever have any doubts or concerns about how to provide credit card information to any of our members, you can contact us at email@example.com. But, please don't include credit card information in that Email!
Paris Apartments to Rent or Own . . .
Are you looking for a Paris apartment to rent for either a long term stay in the city or for only a week or two of vacation? Or, are you thinking about buying a Paris apartment of your very own?
American, Glenn Cooper, of A1 Rentals in Paris, might be able to help you on both counts. His easy-to-use web site is an excellent source for those who want to rent, with a fine selection of beautiful apartments, great color photos, and complete descriptions.
Glenn also provides consulting to help Americans buy apartments in Paris. He recently assisted clients who found their dream apartment in the 7th arrondissement near the Eiffel Tower. A visit to the A1 web site will describe services offered which include sharing years of knowledge for purchasing and renovating Paris apartments. He will help you with the real estate issues, dealing with the paperwork, notaries, insurance, and everything necessary to achieve ownership of a Parisian pied-à-terre.
For more information about renting or buying, we suggest that you visit this helpful web site at http://www.rentals-paris.com. You might find the perfect apartment for your next stay in Paris!
French Quiz 54
What do you know about administrative France: True or False?
(1) There are 95 départements in mainland France
You will find the correct answer at the end of this newsletter.
Easy Recipe: Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
This perky salad dressing is the easiest to prepare and adds zest and flavor to any salad.
You will need a half cup [125 mL] of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons [30 mL] of Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons [22 mL] freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed, 2 teaspoons [10 mL] of finely chopped fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Et voila! Bon appétit!
Montignac Recipes and Menus, by Michel Montignac,
We hope you
au Château News.
to Quiz 53 - 1d, 2c, 3a, 4f, 5b, 6e