Newsletter Banner

                                       May / June 2007
               Please welcome two very exciting new additions to our site!

                                                                               o   Château de Reignac
                                                                               o   Château de Servigny

                                 ** Cooking Classes at Château de Vaulogé in the Fall
                        ** Visiting the Médoc département of Aquitaine



 Château de Reignac

Enchanting luxury living in the Loire!

Château de Reignac

The stunning Château de Reignac in the morning sun

The Château de Reignac is elegant and luxurious, and it is located in the heart of the Loire Valley for those of you who are seeking superior accommodations while visiting the grand châteaux of the region.

Beautiful Guest RoomGuests will be in awe of the beauty and tasteful elegance of each and every room in the château.  The spacious bedrooms with en suite bathrooms envelop their occupants in warmth and luxury.  The common rooms, stunning and comfortable, provide places to sit and talk, read or play a game of chess. 

To be a bed and breakfast guest at Château de Reignac is more than just a wonderfully cozy and comfortable experience.  It is also an historic introduction to a château that played a part in the life of the General Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American war of independence, without whose assistance the United States of America may never have come to exist.   Inherited from his mother, Marie Julie de la Rivière , the Marquis and his wife, Adrienne de Noailles, stayed at Reignac frequently until 1792 when they relinquished their ownership of the château. 

Salon Zanzibar

The nine guest rooms and four suites offer visitors a variety of accommodations for their stay in the Loire ~ all rooms overlook various aspects of the estate to provide guests with beautiful vistas to enjoy from their windows.   The château dining room is open only to château guests and offers exquisite cuisine and fine wines in an atmosphere of elegant luxury.

Be sure to consider Château de Reignac for your next stay in the appealing Loire Valley of France.  You won't regret your decision!

[Photo credits:  © Erick Charrier, Château de Reignac.  All Rights Reserved.]


for Guests at the Wonderful Château de Vaulogé

Tha landscape at Château de Vaulogé

For guests interested in cooking classes, Chef Jean-Marie Barbotin will take you through the steps to creating fine French cuisine. Classes will be taught on the following dates:

  September:  A multi-course meal including an entrée, main course (fish or meat),
                     cooked cheese and dessert.
                      Dates:  8th (meat) 22nd (fish)
  October       Fois Gras
                      Dates:  6th and 20th 
  November    Loire Valley products
                      Dates:   3rd and 24th 
  December:  A multi-course meal including an entrée, main course (fish or meat), 
                     cooked cheese and dessert.
                      Dates:  8th (meat), 15th (fish)

Vauloge Flower GardenClasses are four hours each and are organized for either 5 or 10 participants.  For a class of 5 people, the cost is 60 euros per person plus products and room rates from 230 euros to 250 euros per night.  For a class of 10 people, the cost is 55 euros per person plus products and room rates as above.

Please visit the château on our web site to see many photos and all the amenities offered.

To make reservations or inquiries, please contact


Did you know . . .

that France has the cleanest air of any industrialized nation? 

Much of the reason is because 80 percent of its power
   is derived from the 58 nuclear plants located throughout the country.
located throughout the country.  France reprocesses its 
 spent nuclear fuel (and that of several other countries) 
and then stores its own with plans to eventually
put it into long-term clay or granite deep geologic sites.
France is also able to send excess power to Britain, Germany and Italy.

French Quiz 73 

Match the towns and cities with the départements

                     (1)  Autun                    (a) Aveyron (12)
                       (2)  Orthez                   (b) Savoie (73)
                         (3)  Cancale                 (c) Saône-et-Loire (71)
                           (4)  Trouville-sur-Mer     (d) Loir-et-Cher (41)
                             (5)  Perpignan               (e) Pyrénées-Orientales (66)
                               (6)  Vendôme                (f)  Calvados (14)
                                 (7)  Albertville               (g)  Ille-et-Vilaine (35)
                                   (8)  Millau                     (h) Pyrénées-Atlantique (64)


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

Château de Servigny

A Normandy jewel at the center of history 

Château de Servigny

Château de Servigny's vast estate

Château de Servigny awaits those who wish to rent an entire château for a family group or gathering of friends.  Located in the convenient Manche département of Normandy, very near the ferries to and from the UK at the port city of Cherbourg, this historic and beautiful castle is a self-catering venue that will make you feel like the lord and lady of the manor.

Dining Room and FireplaceNear Bayeux, Le Mont Saint-Michel and the D-Day landing beaches, this château also has its own historic significance.  The Treaty of Servigny, signed in a room of the château, marked the Surrender of Cherbourg to the Allies in June of 1944. 

The château's construction began on the foundations of a Gallo-Roman estate and the remains of a 16th century manor of which all that is remaining are arrow slites and the turret. Owned by the Meurdrac family of knights in the 14th century, the château was reconstructed by them after being burned by the British in the Hundred Years War.  The centuries of construction since that time, blending various architectural styles, has resulted in a lovely French château.

Guest rooms, of which there are eight, will accommodate 14 adults and two babies under the age of three. The rooms include a telephone outlet and en suite bathrooms.  High-speed Internet access and television are available at the château, and a cook can be hired if requested.

Château PoolThose who rent the château in the warmer weather will love the beautiful swimming pool surrounded by lounge chairs and conducive to many hours of relaxation and time with family and friends. 

Be sure to visit Château de Servigny on our web pages for more detailed information and photos about this incredible destination.

[Photo credits:  © Arnaud de Pontac,  Château de Servigny.  All Rights Reserved.]

Villes et Villages de France

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

Châteauneuf in the Côte d'Or of Burgundy

 The château at Châteauneuf

 There are six towns in France named 'Châteauneuf' and many, many others whose
names begin with Châteauneuf...but this one is in the Côte d'Or département 
of Burgundy and belongs to the Association des Plus Beaux Villages de France
We were fortunate to add it to our list of Beaux Villages visited.  The 
Association lists this particular town as 'Châteauneuf-en-Auxois',
but our Michelin map simply calls it Châteauneuf, which is good enough for us. 
Michelin maps have saved us from many about-to-become-lost moments,
so we are not going to dispute anything they say!  This photo
 shows the massive château that gives this town its name.  The 
 largest part of its defensive fortification is the 12th century square keep, 
accompanied by round towers and external walls that were constructed
between the 13th and the 15th centuries.  It was Philippe le Bel, the Duke
of Burgundy, who, in the mid-1400s, gave the château to his seneschal (Royal officer)
Philippe Pot, who then built a Flamboyant Gothic residence here.  When you
visit, be sure to go inside to see the rooms.  They are quite impressive.

Royal  Chambre at the château of Châteauneuf

A tapestry-lined chambre at the château

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

Let's visit... the Médoc !

Land of Vineyards and Ocean Breezes

The Médoc peninsula of western France is a part of the Gironde département in the region known as Aquitaine.  Invoking romantic recollections of Eleanore of Aquitaine and her famous royal sons, this destination has lost little of its charm over the centuries.  Dotted with magnificent châteaux and their vineyards, it is also famous for its Atlantic coastal resorts, magnificent sandy beaches, a temperate climate and easy access to the city of Bordeaux at the source of the Gironde estuary. 

The left bank of the Gironde estuary in the département of the Gironde (33), is where you will find the area known as the Médoc, famous the world over for its red wines.  The vineyards of this and the larger region surrounding it were planted by the Romans in the first century.  Monasteries took over the vineyards when the Romans departed and, eventually, in the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, the Plantagenets ruled all of Aquitaine.

This region was important to the English for many reasons, not the least of which was to provide abundant red Bordeaux wines for their tables.  Known to this day in England as 'claret', the term originated in monastic times when it was call 'clairet'.  The wine of today is much improved over that of medieval times, as Médoc wines benefited greatly when aging could take place ~ a process made possible in the 18th century with the introduction of mass-produced bottles and corks.  Many of the châteaux in the region are still owned by English and Irish families who have been in the business of winemaking for centuries.

The Médoc is bound by the Gironde estuary on the east and pine forests and the Atlantic Ocean on the west.  The eastern portion along the estuary from Blanquefort in the south up the peninsula north to Saint Vivien-de-Médoc is planted in vineyards ~ nearly 260 properties ~ many of which you can visit.  The D2 into the Médoc from the east (Bordeaux) is a pleasant drive through vineyards and small Haut-Médoc villages. 

From the sparsely populated Haut-Médoc in the south, you can cross the peninsula to discover the beautiful sandy beaches of the Atlantic.  Or, drive north through St-Laurent-Médoc and Lesparre-Médoc to Pointe de Grave at the northern tip of the peninsula where you can take a ferry across to the bustling resort town of Royan in the Charente-Maritime.  At Pointe de Grave is a monument documenting the landing of American troops in 1917. Another option, instead of crossing on the ferry, is to turn your car southward onto the D101 to Soulac-sur-Mer, and enjoy dinner across the road from the beach.  As you enter Soulac from the north, you will see a miniature Statue of Liberty.  This little town has a long history dating back to Roman times when it was called Noviomagus, and the British used Soulac as a landing spot near the end of the Hundred Years War in an attempt to prevent the French from taking Bordeaux.  A former Benedictine abbey, the twelfth century Notre Dame de la Fin des Terres, eventually buried by drifting sands, has been uncovered and restored ~ its name means Our Lady of the Ends of the Earth.

Although winemaking is the primary interest of those living and visiting the Médoc, there are also charming and peaceful villages, small resorts and marshlands.  The main wine route is the D2 which takes you past such famous wineries as Château Siran, offering free daily tours, and Château Margaux, offering tours on weekdays except in August and during the harvest.  At Château Margaux you will be able to watch coopers building barrels for wine storage, and north of the town of Pauillac is Château Mouton-Rothschild whose chai (above-ground wine cellar) and caves (below-ground cellars) hold over 100,000 bottles in moss-covered, vaulted chambers.  At Mouton-Rothschild visits to the Musée du Vin de Mouton are offered by appointment.
Peacock at Château de Foulon - photo ©  Kerry Brookshire
The Médoc, with its easy access to vineyards and beaches, is also a pleasure for casual cyclists.  Cyclists can rent bicycles for reasonable rates by the day, weekend or week, and they can enjoy the relatively flat landscape and bike trails through the vineyards.  The Médoc is also an ideal destination for family vacations, especially due to the growing popularity of the lacs, inland from the ocean, with sandy beaches offering more safety than the seacoast for families with small children.  There are waterways connecting lakes together and canal cruises are also available.  Abundant sports facilities can be found in this region from Bombannes on the shore of Lac d'Hourtin-Carcans in the south to Lac de Lacanau. 

Be sure to visit our web site to see Château du Foulon and Château Meyre ~ both on the Médoc peninsula and both eager to welcome guests to their historic properties.

[This article is reprinted with permission from FRANCE On Your Own, the web site and
free newsletter for independent travelers to France.]

We bid adieu...

It is time to say good-bye to Château de Rouffillac, a rental château in the Périgord that is no longer on our web site.  The château is now for sale and completely booked by its present owner through 2007.  By 2008 it may be in private hands.  We wish Madame Grassé the best in her future and hope that the new owners will appreciate this magnificent château perched high on the banks above the River Dordogne.  Also, we must bid adieu to Château de Sombrun in the Midi-Pyrénées which is no longer a member of our site as it, too, is being sold.

French Quiz 74 

More Geography:  Each town is on which river?

                         (1)  Blois                       (a)  Charente
                           (2)  Mantes la Jolie         (b)  Rhône
                             (3)  Caen                      (c)  Lot
                               (4)  Saintes                   (d)  Orne
                                 (5)  Grenoble                 (e)  Aude
                                   (6)  Avignon                  (f)  Loire
                                     (7)  Carcassone             (g)  Isère
                                       (8)  Amiens                   (h)  Seine
                                         (9)  St Cirq Lapopie        (i)   Dordogne
                                           (10) Bergerac               (j)   Somme


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

Easy Recipe:  Smoked Salmon Mousse

Mousse is synonymous with France...for who better can create this whipped delight in so many varieties?  This easy recipe is completely assembled in your food processor and couldn't be easier to make.

You will need 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, broken into pieces, 6 ounces of smoked salmon also cut into small pieces, three tablespoons of sour cream, a half cup of heavy whipping cream, salt and lemon juice to taste.

Put everything but the whipping cream into your food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.  Pour into a bowl and very gently fold in the whipping cream.  Divide into individual small bowls or ramekins and cover each with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for two to three hours.

When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and lightly garnish the tops with finely chopped chives and a small amount of red caviar.  Can be served with thinly sliced and crisply toasted baguette slices and a light cool wine.

Makes 4 half-cup servings.  Bon appétit!

[This recipe is of unknown origin.]

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 73 - 1c, 2h, 3g, 4f, 5e, 6d, 7b, 8a
Quiz 74 -  1f, 2h, 3d, 4a, 5g, 6b, 7e, 8j, 9c, 10i
Disclaimer: Cold Spring Press, au Château© and/or any persons associated with either organization do not take any responsibility for errors and/or omissions in any edition of au Château News© and no guarantees are given or implied with regard to the contents of any au Château News©.   The disclaimer on the au Château © web site at, applies in its entirety to all au Château News© editions.  Cold Spring Press and au Château ©  take no responsibility for the contents of any web sites to which links are provided on our site or in any editions of au Château News.  Subscribers receive this newsletter because they have requested to be on our Opt-In mailing list.  To have your email address removed, simply send an email with 'Unsubscribe' in the Subject line to
© 2000-2007 au Château - Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved