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              Enter Our Contest  . . .  November / December 2004


Win 2 Nights in a French Château and more!

As you might expect, one of the goals of the au Château web site and its newsletters is to encourage visits to France that include staying in châteaux instead of hotels.  Another aim, however, is to introduce visitors to regions of France they might not otherwise consider as places to visit.  To this end, we have decided to sponsor a contest for our newsletter subscribers and visitors to our web site -- one that will offer not only two nights in a château and some free use of a rental car but will take the winner to some incredible French countryside. 

First, we want to tell you how to enter.  Anyone booking a two-night reservation for a stay between March 15 and October 15, 2005 at any property on our web site is eligible to win.  Simply book and confirm your reservations with a deposit, and then let us know about it.  Tell us where you will stay and the dates of your stay.  Your name will then be placed in our drawing!  There will be only one winner whose entry will be selected in a random drawing on February 14, 2005. [If your visit to France includes multiple 2-night bookings at any other of our member properties, you may enter the contest once for each booking.]

Second, we want to tell you about your prize:  two nights for two (one room, double occupancy including breakfast each morning) at Château du Fraisse, a magnificent thirteenth century château in the tranquil Haute-Vienne of France's Limousin region -- not far from Limoges famous for its porcelain, the Monts de Blond scenic area, the River Vienne, the Aubusson and Felletin tapestry centers and the memorial village of Oradour-sur-Glane,  among other attractions.

Your host and hostess, Count and Countess des Monstiers Mérinville, are warm, welcoming and very charming.  They will ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed in their historic family home, and they will give you recommendations for and assistance with activities to occupy your days in their part of France.

Third, we are happy to offer you one day free on a three-day car rental (or two days free on a five-day rental) compliments of the Limoges location of France Car Hire,  our partner in France.

That's all there is to it!  So, if you are planning to visit France during that seven-month period next year, do enter our contest!  If you have any questions, please contact us by email at with the word 'Contest' in the subject line.

A Sponsor of Our Newsletter. . .

Paris Through the Ages Strolls

Paris Through the Ages Strolls . . . 

... your personal guide to the many historic neighborhoods and
attractions most visitors to Paris never see.  Click here for details 
on the strolls offered by writer and historian Arthur Gillette.

[Would your business benefit from sponsoring a future newsletter?
Please contact us at]

American Women's Group, Paris
December Calendar of Events

The American Women's Group in Paris invites you to take part in events scheduled for this December.  For complete details, they can be contacted at 32, rue du Général Bertrand, 75007 Paris (in the 7th arrondissement), by phone at, by email at or visit their web site at


        2           Girard Chocolate Tour
         3          Fête de Noël ** see details below
         6          Treasures of the Louvre
         7          Cordon Bleu - "Hands-on Chocolate"
         8          Estelle's Flowers
      9 - 10      Beyond Paris:  Strasbourg
        10         Nativity Scenes at the Louvre
        13         AWG Coffee -  Christmas Potluck Lunch
        14         Tea at the Plaza Athénée
        15         Lunch Around the World

** Fête de Noël  - This event will take place at the Hôtel de Talleyrand, American Embassy in Paris on Friday, December 3 from 7 to 10 PM.  It will include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, musical entertainment and the AWG Woman of the Year Awards.

 Château du Breuil:   Our Newest Member in the Loire

Château du Breuil is ideally located for those who wish to visit some of the great Loire châteaux and vineyards while having the added pleasure of experiencing a bit of château life.

Château du Breuil

Château du Breuil

As a guest of Château du Breuil, you will have ample opportunity to relax and take advantage of the landscaped park and comfortable common areas within the château, or become more active by renting a bicycle for the 'Castle by Bike Tour'.  Guests will also find horseback riding, golf and tennis nearby, and, come the spring of 2005, they can take a swim in the château's new pool.

Just a few minutes distance from Château de Cheverny, and very near Chenonceau, Chambord, Blois, Amboise and other famous French châteaux, Château du Breuil is a perfect base from which to explore the region.   Wake each morning to a fine French breakfast, and return each evening to a dinner of French country cuisine in the château's lovely dining room.
Guest Room

Guest rooms are elegant and comfortable, all with en suite bathrooms that include hair dryers for guests'  convenience.  Two suites are also available.  Rooms have views over the park -- a peaceful location for a Loire valley vacation.  Gather with friends in the lovely salon to plan the day or to relax after returning from sightseeing.  Stroll the grounds and visit the little chapel or get a better look at the incredible six-hundred year old tower that takes you back to medieval times! 

                       Lovely Guest Room
Chapel Fleurie

An added feature of a château stay will be your introduction to Loire Valley wines.  The château offers extensive information about the viticulture of the Loire, local specialties and various programs for tours and wine tastings.

                                                                                             Flowers line the chapel wall

Château du Breuil  is easily reached by train from Paris to the Blois railway station (15 kilometers away) or by car from Tours (70 kilometers away), or by auto from Paris, which is about a two-hour drive.  We hope you will visit their pages on our web site soon to see additional photos, prices and more information about this outstanding château.

[Photos courtesy and copyrighted by M. et Mme Gattolliat]

French Quiz 43

Facts about the grand châteaux of the Loire.... True or False?

 1.   châteaux were not built of stone until the tenth century
 2.   Flamboyant Gothic is an early Renaissance style and is purely French
 3.   Charles VIII died in the very château of his birth, Château d'Amboise
 4.   found in many châteaux built during the reign of François I is his emblem, the salamander
 5.   the concept and design of Chambord is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci
 6.   Charles VIII married Anne de Bretagne in Château de Langeais
 7.   Château d'Ussé on the Indre River is privately owned and still a family residence
 8.   Gothic style was in fashion until the end of the 15th century in France
 9.   'Ligerian' is a world meaning 'in the Loire Valley style' 
10.   all that remains of the château Chanteloup is a 130-foot pagoda


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

New for your bookshelf . . .

Just published, Stephen  B. Tanner's third book of humor, Tours de Farce:  Travel Travesties, is now available from the publisher, (,), and will soon be available through, Barnes and Noble, and Ingram. 

Written for enjoyable and easy reading, Tours de Farce is a compilation of international travel tourist experiences, faux pas, gaffes and absurd situations collected from tour guides, travelers and the author and his own friends.  Tanner, who served in World War II in Europe,  has also taught at Yale, served in the U. S. Foreign Service in Germany, Italy, Finland and Belgium, and then remained in Europe as an importer-exporter and tour guide.

For us Francophiles, the book provides several pages of amusing French mispronunciations and fractured phrases in the chapter entitled "Parley-Vous Fransay?"

The book's illustrations, clever and well-suited to the books hilarious anecdotes, are by Umberto Tàccola, who lives in his native Italy and is a close friend of the author.  The book says of the artist that he "shares the same demented imagination" of the author as well as years of delightful collaboration. 

You might find that this book is the perfect holiday gift for that international traveler on your shopping list.  It sells for $15 plus shipping and handling, and you can request copies signed, inscribed, and gift wrapped by sending an email to the publisher.

Village Views:  Usseau 


This is the serene village of Usseau as seen from the ramparts
of Château de La Motte in the Vienne.  Usseau, with only 586 inhabitants,
is a center for local farmers to bring their grain for milling.  It's main attraction
these days is the Château, prominently situated on a hill north of town. 
  Both the château and the town are pleasantly located at the southern 
reaches of the Parc Naturel Régional Loire-Anjou-Touraine
and convenient to the southern Loire Valley and the cities of 
Châtellerault and Poitiers.  The countryside is peaceful and scenic
and a great vacation destination.

[Photo credits:  Cold Spring Press copyright 2003-2004]

A Sponsor of Our Newsletter. . .

XIX Century Château for Sale

This romantic XIX century château -- currently in use as a bed and
breakfast with 3 rental cottages, stables, heated swimming pool, and longère 
for large events such as weddings, seminars and family gatherings -- 
 on 32.5 acres of prime real estate in western France is for sale
Currently, this property realizes a substantial annual income. 
Seriously interested inquires invited.  Please contact

[For information about sponsoring a future newsletter, contact us at]

French Quiz 44

    What do you know about France's rivers?   Match the following:

             (1) Loire           (a) begins in Lozère and flows into the Garonne at Aiguillon
                (2) Lot              (b) flows past the largest number of prehistoric sites
                   (3) Seine            (c) La Roque Gageac is on its banks 
                      (4) Verdon           (d) market gardens and canals line its route
                         (5) Somme           (e) France's longest river
                            (6) Vézère             (f) has its source at Lake Léman
                               (7) Dordogne          (g) carved out Europe's most dramatic gorge
                                  (8) Rhône               (h) its source is in Côte-d'Or of Burgundy


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

 Easy Recipe:   Mushroom Omelette Soufflé

Mushrooms are a delightful part of so many dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  This omelette, which serves four, is quick and easy and comes to us from Michel Montignac's  Recipes & Menus,  published in Canada by Michel-Ange Publishing.  We thank Monsieur Montignac for his recipe.

Gather 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cups (500 mL) sliced mushrooms, 2 green onions (thinly sliced), 1 large clove of garlic (peeled and crushed), 4 large egg yolks, 1/3 cup (75 mL) milk, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley, 4 large egg whites, and salt and pepper to taste.

In a non-stick skillet over mediuim heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Add mushrooms, green onions, and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate, and reserve.  In a bowl, beat egg yolks with the milk and parsley.  Set aside.

In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. With a spatula, gently fold whites into the egg yolk mixture.  Using the same skillet over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of olive oil.  Pour in eggs and cook for one minute or until eggs start to set.  Cover with the mushroom mixture.  Season with salt and pepper, and cook one minute longer. 

Using a spatula, fold omelette in two and slide onto a serving dish.  Bon appétit!

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 43 - all are True;  Quiz 44 1e, 2a, 3h, 4g, 5d, 6b, 7c, 8f]

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