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                           A Wedding in France  . . .  July / August 2004


It's the height of vacation season . . .

At this time of year, each and every one of our members is busy providing their guests with fine accommodations, copious breakfasts and, in some cases, memorable dinners.  Because of this, and especially true of the properties without additional staff, you may not get an instant response to your request for room availability or other information.

We first suggest that you contact them by email (only a few must be contacted by phone or fax for lack of an email address) from our web site.  You will find their email link on the first page next the photo of their château or manoir.  By doing so, you are also copying au Château, so we know immediately about your request.

At one time, we were following up on all requests to be sure that the property owners or their agents responded, but there are far too many inquiries now for us to continue to do so. 

Instead, if you don't receive a timely reply (please allow 2 or 3 days), simply send us an email, and let us know.  We will make every effort to obtain a response for you.   Please be assured that the members of our web site are not ignoring you!  They do their very best to respond as soon as they are able.

Remember, we are here to help:  contact us at with any of your questions or concerns at any time.

A Sponsor of Our Newsletter. . .
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a prominent wine estate that offers several quality cooking courses, 
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Perhaps a Wedding in the Chapel . . .

Several of our members have family chapels on their estates -- many dating back hundreds and hundreds of years.  Although most are reserved for private family use, there are a few among them that are available to guests for weddings. 

When you visit one of the châteaux on this web site, even when the chapel is restricted in its use, your hosts may still be happy to take you into the chapel to visit -- your opportunity to see something quite traditional in château life in past centuries, as a family chapel was used, often many times each week, for prayer and Mass and in some cases was the site of interment (enterrement: burial) of family members.

Properties with private family chapels include Château de l'Isle-Marie, Château de Talhouët, Château de Boucéel, and Château des Monthairons - both a Romanesque and a Gothic chapel.

Remember, a château does not have to provide a chapel for a wedding.  Their large parks are perfectly suited to garden weddings.  Such weddings are available at  Château de Canisy, Château de Garrevaques, Le Prieuré au Château de Biron (wedding receptions), and Château de Saint Michel de Lanès, and perhaps many others if you make a special request.

If you are interested in holding a wedding or perhaps renewing your wedding vows in a château chapel in France, you may want to consider one of the following special places:

Chapel at Crazannes
A wonderful chapel at Château de Crazannes can be made available for small weddings, and the new management team at the château will help with arrangements for the wedding dinner and reception.   The château sits on the site of the original village of Crazannes, since relocated nearby, and the château chapel was the church of that ancient town.

Chapel at Rhodes
The large chapel at Château Rhodes in the Ariège has been the scene of many a wedding, and your host and hostess are experts in assisting with every detail of a wedding from finding accommodations nearby for wedding guests (once the château rooms are full), the dinner the night prior to the wedding, catering and flowers to all reception details and tourist activities in the region for guests to enjoy following the wedding.

One of the chapels at Vaulogé
Inquire if either of two chapels at Château de Vaulogé are available for weddings -- they both come with fascinating histories,  and the surrounding parklands will make a grand backdrop for photos!

[Photos:  Crazannes, Lezhildry copyright 2002-2003 Cold Spring Press;
Rhodes, Vaulogé copyright and courtesy of the château owners]

 News from France . . .

We want to be sure you are up-to-date on some of the most recent news from France that affects travelers, thus this feature.

  • Recently, we published (in another newsletter) the fact that Ocean Airways would begin direct service between New York and Nantes in western France by May 28th -- a boon to those headed for the western regions and wanting to avoid Paris airports.  Unfortunately, Ocean Airways has run into some snags with this particular route and is now scheduled to begin the service next winter.  They suggest anyone making plans check back with them in the autumn.  Email at that time. 
  • Pages Jaunes (the Yellow Pages), part of Wanadoo, a division of France Telecom, has launched on-line service.  Long awaited, you can now access the information at
  • SNCF, the French national railway company, is going to prohibit smoking on the TGV!  A blessing to non-smoking train travelers, the rules are already in effect on some of the high-speed trains.  However, in view of the growth in reservations for non-smoking seats, the objection to smoke by so many travelers and the increasing sensitivity to smoke by so many riders, SNCF has decided to make non-smoking the rule on all TGVs by mid-December of this year.  Bravo! 
  • Père Lachaise, the prestigious cemetery in eastern Paris has just celebrated its 200th anniversary.  Home to the final resting place of many famous French citizens such as Edith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Marcel Proust and many equally famous non-French such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, the beautiful and tranquil Père Lachaise is a must see for anyone visiting Paris.  Visit their web site at for further information. 
  • Do an on-line search for Fête Nationale celebrations (Bastille Day - July 14th) in your city if you can't be in France for the real thing this year!   Celebrations are taking place everywhere, many of which are sponsored by Alliance Française.

Speak English and Moving to Paris? 

Where do English-speakers who’ve moved to Paris find out about the pleasure, opportunities and nuances of living in France?   For 34 years, thousands of them have gone to Bloom Where You’re Planted (BLOOM), a newcomers’ orientation program dedicated to giving English-speakers practical insights and thoughtful guidance on daily life in their new French home.  BLOOM is a project of the Women of the American Church of Paris.

Taking place on two consecutive Tuesdays, October 5th and October 12th, BLOOM offers newly-arrived English speakers of all nationalities and affiliations a crash course in cultural transition.  For many years, BLOOM has assisted men and women in adapting to their new life while providing an opportunity to meet new people and start new friendships. Both full-day seminars will be held at the American Church in Paris (65 quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris). 

BLOOM Where You're Planted covers such subjects as: adapting to change, accessing healthcare, cultural information and activities, tips for daily living, community involvement, children's activities, and enjoying France through food, travel, and fashion. Childcare is available. 

Participants are encouraged to register early for a discounted fee!  Pre-registration is possible until September 30th.  After that date, you can register at the door.  For registration forms or more information, send an email to

French Quiz 39

Can you match these recent and no-so-recent non-fiction books 
about the French and French life with their authors?

        1. Two Towns in Provence                     A   Louis-Bernard Robitaille
          2. Savoir Flair!                                     B   Michael S. Sanders
            3. French Fried                                    C   Peter Mayle
              4. And God Created the French               D   M. F. K. Fischer 
                5. Acquired Tastes                                E   Carol Drinkwater 
                  6. Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes  F   Harriet Welty Rochefort
                    7.  From Here, You Can't See Paris           G   Polly Platt
                        8. The Olive Season                               H   Robert Louis Stevenson


You will find the correct answer at the end of this newsletter.


Village View:  Sainte Marine, Brittany

Sainte Marine as seen from Bénodet

Summer is a wonderful time to be in Brittany --
if only to soak up the charm of the region's waterside villages and marinas. 
Naturally, dining on the abundant local seafood mustn't be overlooked 
as one reason to visit, but the waterways, coastline 
and the endless delightful towns and villages make Brittany special. 
Above is the village of Sainte Marine across the mouth of the River Odet
from the larger Bénodet.  South facing, both towns are ideal for pleasant strolls
 to gaze upon the sturdy granite-built Breton houses made all the more
picturesque by the pleasure boats bobbing up and down on the river.
Just off the D44 along the Finistère coast between Pont-l'Abbé and 
Concarneau, these villages offer travelers a peek into Breton life
as it is today and has been for a very long time.

[Photo:  Cold Spring Press copyright 2003-2004]

A Sponsor of Our Newsletter. . . 

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French Quiz 40

    Shopping in France:  Match the items with the region

             (1) ceramic ware                             (a) Limousin
                (2) cutlery                                      (b) Côte d'Azur
                   (3) chocolates containing seaweed      (c) Poitou-Charentes 
                      (4) artisanal paper                             (d) Limousin
                         (5) santons                                       (e) Brittany
                            (6) Limoges porcelain                           (f) Centre
                               (7) tapestries                                    (g) Auvergne
                                  (8) orange marmalade & pétanque balls   (h) Provence


You will find the correct answer at the end of this newsletter.

Speaking of Shopping . . .

The  marvelous Château de Canisy, luxurious and grand, is a member of our web site.  We hope you will visit them both virtually and in reality very soon. 

But, if you are in Paris and are interested in bargain hunting and shopping in little known (by tourists) antiques shops or want to locate the best finds at the Paris flea markets, perhaps you should get in touch with the Canisy connection! 

Count Denis de Kergorlay and his wife are the proprietors of Château de Canisy and the Count's first cousin, Elisabeth de Kergorlay, a Parisian woman with taste and style, is the owner of and collectibles expert at So French, a fine- and decorative-arts shopping service based in Paris.

With a respectable background as a former associate at Christie's Paris and coming from a family that truly knows how to locate a fine objet d'art or two, Elisabeth or one of her expert staff members will take you on a shopping run next time you are in Paris.  To quote their web site, they "will escort you throughout the city and will organise private visits to the hidden studios and workshops of . . . artists and craftsmen, not usually accessible to the public: silversmiths, leatherworkers, embroiders, glassblowers, fashion and furniture designers, jewelry and fabric creators, to name only a few."

Visit the So French web site at  And follow up with a direct contact by Email at, by phone at 33 1 53 75 22 53 or by fax at 33 1 40 76 06 51.  They will quote prices depending upon your desired itinerary.

 Dessert Recipe:   Soufflé au Citron

With summer upon us, a light, cold dessert seems appropriate, so we are bringing you this recipe for Lemon Soufflé -- not cooked but refrigerated!

You will need 5 eggs, 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, the juice of three large lemons (about 3/4 cup), the rinds of those lemons (grated), 1/2 cup water, 1 separate teaspoon of sugar, 2 packages unflavored gelatin, pinch of salt, 2-3/4 cups of heavy cream, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/4 cup toasted ground almonds, 2 tablespoons crushed pistachio nuts, a 1-1/2 quart soufflé dish.

Prepare the soufflé disk with a collar of waxed paper that has been coated with vegetable oil and dusted with sugar (do not use butter -- use oil), securing the collar around the outside of the disk with string so that it increases the height of the sides by about 1-1/2 inches.  The oiled and sugared side of the collar faces inward.

In a small saucepan containing the water, sprinkle the gelatin to soften, add the teaspoon of sugar and stir over low heat.  Allow to cool once it is completely dissolved.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites, and set the whites aside.  Beat the yolks with the 1-1/2 cups of sugar and grated lemon rind, then gradually add the lemon juice, still beating until the mixture becomes the consistency of mousse.  Be sure to beat enough to reach this consistency.  Add the cooled gelatin to this mixture and combine completely.  Partially whip 2 cups of the heavy cream and fold it in.  Set aside.

Beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until you have stiff peaks.  Fold into the lemon mixture and turn all into the prepared soufflé dish.  Chill in the refrigerator until completely set.  Remove the soufflé from the dish and coat the sides with the ground almonds. Fully whip the remaining 3/4 cups of heavy cream as a topping and sprinkle on the crushed pistachios.  Serves 8.  Bon appétit!

Note:  Be aware that this recipe is not cooked and, therefore, the eggs used in it remain raw.  It is strongly suggested that you use very fresh, preferably free-range eggs.  If you have any hesitation or doubts about a recipe using eggs that remain uncooked, please remember that the ultimate decision about preparing this dish is always yours.

[Recipe courtesy "French Cooking", 
copyrighted and published  by Galahad Books, New York, 
using recipes contributed by 'La Bonne Cuisine', Paris, France.]

We hope you have enjoyed au Château News
If you have,  please forward it to friends and encourage them to subscribe.  It's FREE!

[The answer to Quiz 39 is 1D,2G,3F,4A,5C,6H,7B,8E and to Quiz 40 is 1f,2g,3e,4c,5h,6a,7d,8b.]

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