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                                   March / April 2007
                      Two very special properties join our web site!

                                                                               o   Château des Allues
                                                                               o   Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart

                                                            o  French Immersion at Château de la Barre
                                                        Hurry! ~ classes begin in March!

                                                  Some Changes to our Web Site

                                                                  . . . and more!




Château de La Barre and friend

Hurry!  There are still openings in these classes.
 Take advantage of economical March airfares.

The Countess de Vanssay is of American origin so is fluent not only in English 
but also in meeting the expectations of her guests from 'the other side of the pond', 
making them feel truly at home while immersing them in French history, culture and language.

  Specially-designed French lesson weeks will begin

  March 18, and April 16, 2007

Enjoy two-hour, tailor-made lessons on five mornings, private guided visits of
the Loire Valley chateaux, local XIIth century churches, manor houses
and the old city of Le Mans, as well as a wine tasting in the afternoons.
The package includes 6 nights, breakfast, lunches and dinners
(French spoken during meals, too), wine, French lessons and
tours from 3450 euros per person all inclusive.

(Airfare and ground transportation to and from the château is not included. 
Trip cancellation insurance is always recommended.)

>> Learn more about  Château de la Barre. <<

Make your reservation by sending an email to
To participate in this special offer, be sure to  mention au Château.


Château des Allues

. . . at the edge of the French Alpes

Château des Allues

Château des Allues

Château des Allues is one of the coziest and welcoming properties you will find!  Whether you are a skier, simply like to trek in the mountains in the springtime, or want to enjoy the lush countryside during the summer months, this is the place for you.

Monsieur Stéphane Vandeville is very happy to welcome guests to share his lovely château, serve gourmet dinners and provide charming and comfortable en suite guest rooms for their stay.  Delight in fresh herbs and vegetables from his lovingly-tended  potager, and sample the regional Savoie wines which he will introduce to you.

Chambre Mauve SylvestreGuest rooms are spacious yet cozy, creating peaceful retreats after the day's activities.  All en suite with modern conveniences, the château is a lovely home base for visiting the dramatic and interesting Savoie region of eastern France.  Only a short distance from Geneva (international airport), Lyon (the gastronomic capital of France), and a short drive from Chambéry (filled with interesting sights and activities), the location of Château des Allues is convenient and sure to please. 

We invite you to visit Château des Allues on our pages today to read all about our first alpine region member, to see many more photos, and to think about making your own reservation very soon!

Château des Allues panorama
A Panoramic View Château des Allues and its Park

[Photo credits:  © Stéphane Vandeville, Château des Allues.  All Rights Reserved.]

French Quiz 71 

Match the départements with the regions

                     (1)  Cantal  (15)                            (a) Lorraine
                       (2)  Ardeches  (07)                        (b) Languedoc-Roussillon
                         (3)  Deux-Sèvres (79)                    (c) Rhône-Alpes
                           (4)  Jura  (39)                               (d) Poitou-Charentes
                             (5)  Vosges  (88)                           (e) Auvergne
                               (6)  Pyrénées-Orientales  (66)          (f)  Franche-Comté


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

Villes et Villages de France

 . . . we hope to tempt you to visit these marvelous places
when you are roaming through the French countryside.



 In the fall of 2006 we had the pleasure of spending a week
in a gîte just outside the village of Betz-le-Château in the Indre-et-Loire
département of France's Centre.  Our accommodations were part of a family
home within waking distance of this quiet, pretty little town.  There was a 
church, a bakery (not always open) and a beauty salon, but most of
the rest of this somewhat hilly town was residential as shown in this photo. 
There was a simple hilltop park from where there was a view of the 
château for which the town was known.  All in all, however, it was quiet.  We had to
drive to other nearby towns to find a restaurant or shops...but Betz-le-Château
didn't seem to be interested in competing for anyone's business or expanding its services. 
It was content to be just another pretty face...and that suited us just fine.

[Photo credit:  © 2006-2007 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]


If you've visited our site in the last week or two, you'll will have noticed that some changes were made to our Welcome page, including a new navigation menu on the left.  Also, the main body of our Welcome page has changed somewhat, and we are making our 'Château of Month' a simple link to the property's pages on au Château.

When you examine this new navigation menu, you will see that we have made it easier to locate just the right accommodations for you by offering three ways to do a property search with Find a Château.  This is sub-divided into three choices: 

-  by Maps (using our always helpful Château Maps),

-  by Name (using our Château List page which indicates the variety of options from simple bed & breakfast accommodations to weekly rentals for wedding and family gatherings) and, finally, our newest offer and

-  by Photos, which makes it easy to view all the properties on our site on one page, sorted by region, to see just what they look like.  Many times, people have an idea in mind of the kind of château they want to visit...this new link makes finding that 'dream' château much easier. [This page is best viewed with a Mozilla, Firefox or newer Netscape browser.  It does not appear correctly with Internet Explorer.]

Finally, another new link has been added which we call Châteaux for Sale, a short listing of a few of the bed & breakfast properties we are presenting for sale in several regions of France.  Currently, there are four beginning up north near Paris down to the Gers in southwest France and two in between.  We will be happy to provide more detailed information upon receipt of serious inquiries.

We hope these changes improve the ease of navigation of the au Château web site for you, and that they are improvements that will make it more fun to explore our member properties and find just the perfect one or two for your next visit to France.

Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart

Prestige Champagne producer ~ now, also a Bed & Breakfast 

Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart

Domaine Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart

We are very happy to add Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart to our web site ~ our first member in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.  But, not only is it a charming and inviting bed and breakfast, the Domaine is renowned for its quality Champagnes served in France's finest restaurants and in fourteen other countries!

Chambre SavaneChambre Provençale
Two of the cozy and comfortable guest rooms at the Domaine

This stunning château has a long history in the production of Champagne, and those guests who choose to avail themselves of dinner at the Domaine will have the opportunity of drinking this high quality wine with their gourmet meal.

Visitors to the Champagne cellars encouraged the proprietors to offer chambres d'hôtes on the estate ~ something they knew would appeal to lovers of Champagne as well as those who appreciate staying in a fine family residence.  So, five guest suites and rooms are now offered, from a cozy twin to suites, all with en suite bathrooms and lovely view from their windows.

We hope you will visit Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart on our pages very soon to see for yourself how this lovely estate near the historic city of Reims and the Champagne capital of France, Epernay, can fit into your travel plans.  Don't delay!

[Photo credits:  © Domaine Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart.  All Rights Reserved.]

French Quiz 72 

More Geography:  Match the Côte (Coast) with the Region

                  (1)  Côte d'Émeraude           (a)  Basse-Normandie
                    (2)  Côte d'Opale                (b)  southern Bretagne
                      (3)  Côte Vermeille              (c)  northern Bretagne
                        (4)  Côte d'Albâtre              (d)  Aquitaine
                          (5)  Côte Fleurie                 (e)  Haute-Normandie
                            (6)  Côte d'Amour               (f)  Pays de la Loire (formerly Brittany)
                              (7)  Côte Sauvage             (g)  Nord-Pas de Calais
                                (8)  Côte d'Argent             (h)  Languedoc-Roussillon


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

Easy Recipe: Sweet & Tart Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

This sweet and tart salad is the perfect meal in itself or, served in smaller portions, a fine accompaniment to a fish main course.

You will need 3/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed out), 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, two small cans of Mandarin oranges, about 16 cups of arugula, 3/4 cup of dried cranberries (unsweetened), one 5 1/2 oz package of soft fresh goat cheese (crumbled), 1/3 cup finely diced red onion.

Whisk the first five ingredients together in a medium bowl until blended.  It is suggested that you make it one day ahead, cover and chill overnight to concentrate the flavors.  Bring to room temperature and whisk again before serving.

Put oranges (drained of all juices) into a large serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (arugula, cranberries, goat cheese, onions) and toss very gently with sufficient dressing until nicely coated. 

Serves 10 to 12 people as a side salad or 6 people as a salad alone.  In the latter case, serve with crispy baguettes.  Bon appétit!

[This recipe is an adaptation of one offered many years ago by 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 answers are: 
Quiz 71 - 1e, 2c, 3d, 4f, 5a, 6b
Quiz 72 -  1c, 2g , 3h, 4e, 5a, 6f, 7b, 8d
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