January / February 2006
Château de Canisy hosts a spectacular birthday celebration
Specials from au Château members
Château Saint-Michel de Lanès
Guess the Town and Win a Prize!
Furnishing that Château . . .
ACTIVE LINKS TO APPROPRIATE WEB SITES. JUST CLICK ON ANY ONE OF THEM!]
Happy New Year!
May your travels
A Gala Birthday Party at Château de Canisy . . .
The châteaux on this web site are not simply incredible places to enjoy a French country bed and breakfast experience. Some can be rented in their entirety for a gathering of family and friends; others do both and, perhaps, even offer a small gîte on the grounds for a family's self-catered vacation. The larger properties offer unique services for very special occasions. One such member property is the historic and lovely Château de Canisy in Normandy ~ a personal favorite of ours. We hope you enjoy reading about an incredibly successful event that took place there in August of 2005.
THE BLECZINSKI BIRTHDAY PARTY
As an American living in London, Bob Bleczinski has a diverse mix of people in his life from both the United States and Britain. For his fortieth birthday party, to which he would invite about 50 family members and friends, Bob wanted a spectacular venue for his trans-Atlantic celebration. After reviewing several options with au Château consultant, Diane, Château de Canisy in Normandy's Manche département topped the short list.
The four-day event began on a Friday afternoon as guests were welcomed with refreshments by the staff at Château de Canisy. They then settled into their rooms to freshen up for the evening barbecue. Champagne was flowing in the garden by the Maison Tante Brigitte (a guest house on the grounds of the château) while Chef Christian prepared the barbecue feast.
BOB LEADS THE 'SCOTTISH' CONTINGENT
Guests explored Normandy on Saturday while the château staff set up the gala evening on the grounds of the château. The costumed event kicked off with a lakeside cocktail party featuring a trans-Atlantic theme: all the UK guests came dressed in their favorite US stereotypes, and the US guests were to dress with a European flair! Once again, the champagne was in abundance and canapés were enjoyed as Uncle Sam, Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mouse, and the Village People mixed and mingled with Robin Hood, Renaissance lords and ladies, punk rockers and Coco Chanel.
The gourmet dinner followed ~ a multi-course, silver-service affair, expertly orchestrated by Helen, the on-site business manager for Château de Canisy. Following dinner, the group moved to the English bar for a little country music and line dancing before boogey-ing the night away in the disco until the wee hours of the morning.
Sunday, the chill out day, found the party-goers again at lakeside for birthday cake and tea. The wonderful staff at the château organized a pleasant wine tasting before that evening's dinner, where guests lingered over a casual buffet and enjoyed relaxing in Canisy's many sitting rooms.
The guests who attended Bob's birthday party were still raving about Château de Canisy and the 'party of a lifetime' months after the event. It was certainly, the party of a lifetime for Bob and provided lifelong memories for his guests.
that this wonderful event marks a return to what the grand châteaux
are interested in holding your group event at the beautiful Château
[Photos property of Bob Bleczinski. All rights reserved. Mouse over photos for a description.]
DO YOU KNOW THIS PLACE IN FRANCE?
Tell us, and win a prize!
If you are the first person to contact us by email and identify this town in France, you will receive a gift from us: our Château Note Cards, the very same ones that we have for sale on our web site. The second person to provide the correct answer will receive a beautiful 2006 France Calendar in French and of our own design that includes original pen and ink drawings of places in France and provides official French holidays.
Below the photo are three rather cryptic hints that may help you determine exactly what this place is. As soon as you know, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must provide the correct name of the town. The correct entry will be chosen based upon date and time the email was sent. Only one entry will be accepted per family, so please keep that in mind. Make that first guess a good one!
Subscribers will receive an email with the answer and the 2 winners' names.]
Specials from our Members . . .
Guests booking can enjoy this special: 200 euros per person in a double room with half board + three spa treatments; 250 euros for a person in a single room. This offer includes two glasses of wine and one cocktail. Just book through our web site or mention us when making your reservations.
by the American Friends of Lafayette ~ a tour that will include a stay at Château de Vollore and visits to the Général's own château nearby which is a museum dedicated to his life. Send us an email with your questions to email@example.com.
WE ARE SURE YOU WILL ENJOY THE NEWSLETTER
AS WELL AS
Château de Saint-Michel de Lanès
Found at the edge of a marvelous little commune of the same name only 35 minutes from Toulouse and Carcassonne, the château offers delightful bed and breakfast accommodations in three beautifully-appointed en suite guest rooms. The building itself is a classical example of French architectural symmetry and quite beautiful. A stay at Château Saint-Michel de Lanès will make your visit to this 'other south of France' perfection!
To learn more about what is offered at the château and in the region, visit their pages on our web site at Château Saint-Michel de Lanès. You can book your reservations or make an inquiry by sending us an email from their page.
15th you will be able to complete a simple form online to request a room
at the stunning
Château de Saint-Michel de Lanès.
Please visit their pages on our site at that time where you will see
In the future, we hope to have this form available on the pages of several of our other members. But, please don't hesitate to fax, phone or email any au Château proprietor to make your reservations or ask for further information!
of Vicomte & Vicomtesse de la Panouse ~ Château Saint-Michel
Sponsoring this issue . . .
Cézanne in Provence 2006
of the 100th anniversary of the artist's death, Aix-en-Provence
If you are
interested in advertising with au Château,
French Quiz 57
A look at a few French artists ~ match the painters with their work.
(1) Claude Monet
(a) Le Viaduc à L'Estaque
You will find the correct answer at the end of this newsletter.
Villes et Villages de France
It has been
some time since we included a photo of a village, city or town in France
ninety kilometers south of Orléans, is a most picturesque town
is dominated by the ruins of its château Keep dating back to 1010
by Cold Spring Press 2005. All rights reserved.]
Sponsoring this issue . . .
** Exclusive offer for readers of au Château News **
Furnishing that French Château . . .
If you've ever stayed at a French manor house or château, you must have been curious about the source of all that beautiful furniture. In many cases, when you are a guest at a home that has been in the family for many years, you can assume the furnishings were passed down from generation to generation. But, what about the person who is new to château ownership? If they are fortunate, some good pieces might 'come with the house', but where does the new owner find grand sleigh beds or traditional French chairs and tables to fill the rest of the rooms?
Julie Thirkettle moved to France from the UK a few years ago and discovered that furnishing a lovely home with good furniture from finds at a brocante (secondhand shops) or trocs (exchanges) just wasn't very successful. To quote her, "although the style was right, the furniture was often scratched or damaged, chairs needed reupholstering, and every piece had one thing in common – woodworm." New furniture, she soon discovered, was of either of inferior quality while overpriced or of good quality but much too expensive to furnish an entire house. What was she to do?
Well, she realized that she had discovered a void in the furniture market and decided to do something to fill it while at the same time enabling herself to furnish her own manor house which will open in March as a bed and breakfast! She opened Le Verger Handmade Furniture in Bourganeuf offering beautifully hand-carved mahogany furniture. Every piece she sells is customized for the buyer and upholstery is done by a craftsman in the UK.
To read Julie's story about her move to France and what Le Verger offers, do visit the Style de Vie page of the FRANCE On Your Own web site. To contact Julie with your questions or to learn more about Le Verger's furniture , you can send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and do visit her web site at www.leverger-france.com.
French Quiz 58
About the Loire and the Loire Valley...
(1) The river's source
You will find the correct answer at the end of this newsletter.
Easy Recipe: Seafood in Tarragon Cream Sauce
This is somewhat of a 'secret recipe' of ours that everyone just loves. This sauce over salmon or any other firm fish makes the meal!
You will need 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 pound of fresh mushrooms sliced thinly, 2 cups of dry vermouth, 4 salmon or sole fillets (or fish of your choice), 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a sauté pan on medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms until tender (no more than 5 minutes). Set aside the mushrooms and juices. In the same pan, pour in the vermouth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the fish fillets. Cover to poach the fish until opaque (approximately 8 minutes for salmon and somewhat less for white fish). Transfer the fish to a warmed plate and cover to keep warm.
In the same pan, raise the heat and reduce drippings to a glaze. Stir in the mushrooms and juices; add the cream and tarragon and cook for about 2 minutes to reduce further. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon mushroom sauce over fish and serve.
Serves four. Bon appétit!
We hope you
au Château News.
to Quiz 57 - 1g 2h 3f 4c 5e 6d 7a