In this issue
Welcome Château de Sommesnil in Normandy
Visit the ruins of a family castle
Our Featured Rental: Château Tertre de Belvès
Our B&B Feature: La Borde Maison d'Hôtes
Tour Wine Regions of France with your own Chauffeur
News & Updates from our Members
France's upcoming 2014 Events: Where to Stay
New! Département Maps showing property locations!
JUST CLICK ON ANY ONE OF THEM!]
Meet Our Newest Member
~ we are happy to welcome Château de Sommesnil ~
CHÂTEAU DE SOMMESNIL
2014 is a busy year for Normandy. The 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in June and the World Equestrian Games in late August and September are just two reasons travelers will be flocking to Normandy. We are pleased to add Château de Sommesnil to our list of eight other B&Bs and rentals in the region ~ providing a wide variety of welcoming places to stay in the Manche, Calvados, Eure and Seine-et-Maritime départements.
new owner of this château, David Daniel, has renovated the
to a high standard, offering guests nine en suite bedrooms with several
more to be completed by this summer. The château is rented
by the week for groups of friends and family, and everyone is given
service to make their stay perfect. A group of artists can
for their host to take them to great area locations to paint; a family
celebration can include visits to nearby abbeys or the famous cliffs
coast at Étretat or a day spent at Lac du Caniel at
A special benefit of staying at this historic château, aside from the elegance and comfort it affords, is that the owner offers all-inclusive tours that can begin when he retrieves guests at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in air-conditioned coaches that seat 16 or 30 passengers. Each tour is designed to suit the interests of the group and can include Château de Chantilly, Monet's gardens and the D-Day beaches. This service ensures that your stay at the château begins easy and hassle free.
If you are looking for a château to rent where you will receive every possible amenity for a gathering of your friends or family, escorted tours of historic sites in Normandy, easy access to the amazing channel coast and the experience of life in a château, Château de Sommesnil is the place for you! Visit their pages on our site today for photos, prices and more information.
Photos are © copyrighted by David Daniel. All rights reserved.]
French Quiz 117
Where are we?
Give us the room, the name of the building and the city.
who sends us the correct complete answer
by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
See the answer to the last issue's Quiz at the end of this newsletter.
The answer to this quiz will appear in our Spring 2014 newsletter.
Cold Spring Press. All Rights Reserved.]
de Commarque . . .
The Count and Countess de Commarque are the proud owners of two châteaux in the Périgord Noir, Château de la Bourgonie and Château de la Poujade, both of which are members of this web site and are offered for weekly rental. Château de Bourgonie has been in the Count's family since the 14th century, but in 1972 Count purchased the ruins of the medieval fortress of Commarque, the historic birthplace of his family. Following archaeological research and extensive restoration work, which continues to this day, the Comte opened this amazing castle to the public in 2001.
Situated near Les Eyzies de Tayac, and not far from Sarlat, the fortress overlooks the Valley of the Beune. A natural spring brought people there in prehistoric times. The dramatic keep was erected in 1380, and nearby the ruins of a fortified village, knight's tower, chapel and houses built into the rock were discovered by archaeologists covered in vegetation for over 350 years.
Visitors today can walk on the grounds in the valley to reach the keep (donjon) from April to November 1st. Although there is a fee to visit for the general public, guests of Château de la Bourgonie are offered free visits. It is a listed historical monument in a natural heritage valley and should be on everyone's 'must see' list when in the Dordogne.
Beneath the castle is a cave where Magdalenian man carved animals on the walls, notably a striking life-size horse. To quote from the Beynac-et-Cazenac web site, "Linked by marriage to the lords of Beynac in the 14th century and abandoned 300 years later, the Château de Commarque is finally back into the caring hand of its last family member, Hubert de Commarque. . . If half the site is in ruins, it only adds to the fabulous experience of visiting this very special place hidden into an isolated valley without sight of any modern life."
will certainly enjoy this YouTube
video of the château as well.
Comte Hubert de Commarque. All rights reserved.]
Featured Rental Château:
Château Tertre de Belvès
~ steps away from St Emilion ~
Well, perhaps 'steps' is an exaggeration, but the château, situated in its own wonderful vineyards, is a five-minute drive or an enjoyable walk from that very popular wine village in southwest France.
Château Tertre de Belvès is a weekly rental property with an infinity swimming pool, vines, views and fine gardens. The young owners have recently renovated the entire château and former wine chai that can now accommodate twenty-one people in ten guest rooms, almost all of which are en suite.
For wine aficionados, this is the perfect place to spend a week surrounded by the château's own Merlot vines ~ producing a wine that received a 91-point rating from Wine Spectator. Add the infinity pool, terraces, gardens and spectacular distant views, making this is the ideal destination for a relaxing holiday in Bordeaux wine country.
Guests can take easy and interesting day trips to the city of Bordeaux, the Médoc peninsula for winery visits, to the Atlantic shore or to the Citadel at Blaye. Also worth visits are Libourne near the Pomerol vineyards and Bergerac in the Dordogne. The château is very convenient to both the Bordeaux-Merignac airport or the railway station, Gare St Jean in Bordeaux.
Head for the sunny southwest this year and Château Tertre de Belvès to spend some time with your family and friends. To read more and see additional photos, please visit their pages on our site today. And be sure to contact us at email@example.com with your questions or to make a reservation.
The château is still available for rent the week of the 2014 Médoc Marathon beginning Saturday, September 13!
[Photos © copyrighted by Craig and Sharon Gooding. All rights reserved.]
Villes et Villages de France
. . we hope to tempt you to visit these marvelous places
The tiny village of Curcuron in Provence
On a lovely September day, we sat at some outdoor tables in the picturesque village of Curcuron in Provence's Vaucluse département. We stopped for ice cream and coffee on our way to stay at Le Pavillon de Galon, only five minutes from here by car. The plane trees reflected in the bassin like a watercolor painting, making this one of the prettiest spots of our entire journey. We enjoyed walking into the village to the épicerie twice during our stay.
at Le Pavillon de Galon was delightful.
had a large spacious room with a great en suite and views from our
over their spectacular gardens. Our days began by enjoying
each morning on the little terrace and we learned that they now grow
wine grapes and olives. There was no doubt that we were in
Gardens from our oval window
Cold Spring Press. All Rights Reserved.]
Featured Bed & Breakfast:
La Borde Maison d'Hôtes
ultra-luxury in Burgundy ~
The region of Burgundy has much more to offer visitors than its world famous wines, although no one will dispute wine is one of the main attractions. The département of Yonne is named for the beautiful 262 kilometers long River Yonne that wends its way from the Morvan hills near Château-Chinon and ends in the River Seine, and it is the closest to Paris of Burgundy's four départements. The Yonne is perhaps best known for Chablis ~ both the village and the wine ~ and its fine capital city, Auxerre.
We have discovered a superb maison d'hôtes ~ La Borde ~ southwest of Auxerre near the town of Leugny. In addition to luxurious and comfortable guest rooms, La Borde offers a swimming pool, tennis court, wellness center, amazing gardens, and even a helipad if someone wants to arrive by helicopter. And only La Borde won the prestigious Most Luxurious Guest House award for 2013 issued by Condé Nast Johansens ~ and it is also in the Guide Michelin 2013. And, as you can see in the photos below, that was a well-deserved award.
Chambre Jonquille Salle de Bain Chambre Rose
The Guest House is at the center of the seventeen-acre estate. There are five spacious and exquisitely decorated guest rooms with en suite bathrooms and high quality bedding. Views from the windows over the gardens and park are an added bonus, as these gardens are very special. Only recently, after fourteen years of dedicated work, the gardens at La Borde received recognition and the coveted classification Jardin Remarquable.
[Photos Copyright Rik and Marieke Klomp. All rights reserved.]
SPONSORING THIS ISSUE
You'll want to visit France in 2014!
Your Own, the web site and
for independent travelers,
You can read the most recent issue by clicking here.
News from Our Members . . .
that au Château gives every inquiry personal,
[Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for availability or reservations at any property
Travel Suggestions . . .
for tastings, a special celebration or to introduce Burgundy wines to your group
of friends and family. Or, take cooking classes with Lynne in their 'old Burgundy farmhouse'.
Contact them through their web site.
Normandy & the Northeast in 2014
If you are thinking of visiting Normandy this year to participate in or observe events commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in World War II, or if you will be heading to Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine or Picardie for events related to the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War I, we would like to suggest that you consider staying with one or more of the following members of our site. They may still have accommodations available. Mouse over photos to see what they offer; click on photos to visit their pages.
Normandy. . .
Northeast . . .
We hope that of the properties shown above, you will be able to find one in just the right location for your visit to France this year. We would be pleased to contact them for you for availability and prices.
Easy Recipe ~ Avocado Vinaigrette
We adapted this easy recipe from the Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook, California ~ it is the creation of Sean Sullivan, the chef at the resort's Aqua Terra restaurant.
You will need 2 avocados (diced), 1 cup lime juice, 1 cup diced red onion, 1 small chipotle pepper, 6 ounces of honey, 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, 2 1/2 cups of grapeseed oil or extra light olive oil.
Combine avocados, lime juice, red onion, chipotle, and honey in a blender. Purée until smooth. While blending, slowly drizzle in the oil until it is all in. Pour into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cilantro. A great dressing for your favorite salad.
Pala Mesa Resort - If you are ever visiting San Diego Country, you can
find Aqua Terra at
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Answer to Quiz 117 - Where Are We? from our Winter issue
Richelieu and the town Richelieu (Indre-et-Loire)