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                                                   Special Edition                             February  2003


au Château Introduces 2 New Members! 

Château de la Roque

A a very popular destination in Normandy is the Cotentin Peninsula, its coastline reminiscent of New England's.  The westernmost three départements of this region are called Basse Normandie,  and the most western of those, reaching up into the English Channel,  is the Manche -- the French word for 'channel'.  And from the Manche come the two most recent additions to our web site, the first of which is Château de la Roque only seven kilometers from St-Lô, a town made famous during the D-Day landings of World War II.

Château de la Roque is a grand, vine-covered Norman manor, approached via a long, poplar-lined drive.  You will be impressed by the building, to be sure, but perhaps equally impressed with the setting including a pond and well-kept gardens.   Inviting you into their home are your host and hostess, Raymond and Mireille Delisle -  he an avid cyclist and past French National Champion, and she famous in the region for her baking skills.  Wake each morning to the wonderful aromas rising from the wood-fired oven the the château kitchen.  Come down to a breakfast of freshly baked breads and brioche.

Château de la Roque at dusk
Dinners composed of local products and produce and carefully prepared by Mireille are also available at Château de la Roque - just be sure to make reservations in advance.  You will find the Delisles interested in you, eager to assist with information about the Cotentin Peninsula, and intent on making your stay with them a pleasure.  There are seven double guest rooms in the château, one single and one suite  ---  accommodations to fit every requirement -- and all with en suite bathrooms. 

There is no lack of things to do and see in the area.  Of course, your host will encourage cycling during your stay.  From the excitement of shopping for all things copper in Villedieu-les-Poêles to taking the ferries from Granville to the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, you will enjoy the ambiance of the Manche.  Restaurants in the region offer delectable fare from the sea, and,  as you are in Normandy, you will find no shortage of creamy desserts and cheeses.

                Château de la Roque at Dusk      [Photo Credits  -  Château de la Roque] 

Guest Room at Château de la Roque

This region also offers a great deal for history buffs, whether one's interest lies in the events here during World War II or in earlier times and the château's  connection to the King of France in the late 1500s.  And for interesting pastimes, don't miss a visit to medieval Coutances and its 13th century cathedral or market day in Carentan.  Whatever you choose to do, the Cotentin is a traveler's delight and Château de la Roque will be a most welcoming "home away from home" during your visit to la Manche.

Manoir de Bellauney

Dramatic and historic, the Manoir de Bellauney is beckoning you to come and stay!  The  drawing below gives an accurate representation of this outstanding Norman structure -- the strong architectural elements and character will leave a lasting impression.  The owners, Monsieur and Madame Allix-Desfauteaux call it home, and enjoy welcoming guests between April 1st and November 1st. 

Manoir de BellauneyManoir de Bellauney has been in the same family for over a hundred years.  The current members of that family have ensured all the modern comforts are available to their guests, while being faithful to the history of their home.  Built in the 15th and 16th centuries on the site of a monastery destroyed by  Edward III  --  son of Edward II and Isabella of France and father of Edward the Black Prince --  the manoir's authenticity is a big part of its charm. [The history of this King and his family intrigues is fascinating].    Guest rooms are decorated in period styles -- Medieval, Louis XV and Norman.  Whichever room you occupy, you will experience the history of this five hundred year-old residence.  The rooms are spacious and yet remain cozy and inviting.  One, the Medieval Chambre, has its own salon and fireplace for relaxing after a long day of being a tourist. 

Visitors to the Cotentin Peninsula will find it an easy drive to Utah Beach and its memorial museum, a mere 33 kilometers away, as well as other World War II sites such as Sainte Mère Eglise,  -- famous as the first town to be liberated by the Americans during the D-Day landings and where the American paratrooper's parachute caught on their church steeple  -- still commemorated today by a parachute hanging from the spire. 

Medieval Chambre Salon

Although dinner is not available at the manoir,  your hosts will gladly direct you to nearby excellent restaurants, as well as provide advice as to the important local sites, including driving directions and other necessary details.  You will probably find yourself in the nearby town of Valognes, referred to as the Little Norman Versailles.  You will find it a pretty and enjoyable village a mere 3.5 kilometers from Manoir de Bellauney - an easy walk if you are so inclined.  And, you might want to visit Cherbourg and its Chantereyne Marina, only one feature of this exciting port city on the English Channel.

Please be sure to include the département of the Manche on your visit to Normandy.  You will be amply rewarded by the sights, tastes and history of this most appealing region of Basse Normandie.  And, remember Manoir de Bellauney offers easy access to the English Channel and the historic beaches that played so great a role in the Normandy Invasion nearly 60 years ago.

[Photo Credits  -  Manoir de Montaupin] 

This newsletter is brought to you, our subscribers, to keep you up to date on the most
 recent additions to our web site.  In the coming weeks we will be bringing new members to our
 web pages -- in particular a grand château in the Ariège of the Midi-Pyrénées and a gîte in the lovely
Vienne.  We hope we have encouraged you to visit our member properties to experience the
 comfort, congeniality and relaxation offered by these diverse properties.  They are all special; 
their history is complex and interesting; their owners are friendly and eager to welcome you; and
each has its own unique appeal.  Most important of all, none are  impersonal as a hotel might be -- 
you will find staying in one of our château or country manor houses is like staying with friends
in a secure atmosphere in these very insecure travel times.   Please continue to visit our web site
for more properties in other regions of France -- your choices of great  places to stay will
 continue to grow as new members join au Château

(Remember - all underlined phrases above are active links to informative web sites.)

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