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July  / August 2008

This issue will be short and to the point . . .
we know many people are currently traveling and
summer activities are keeping the rest of our readers
preoccupied.  Therefore, we will attempt to provide
some useful information for those of you 
still planning a trip to France in 2008. 

We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of our newsletter. 

Happy Summer!
                                                                          - Editor


   Villes et Villages de France

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

The marina at Port Leucate

 Port Leucate marina

 This is the view we enjoyed from the little terrace of our rented
apartment in Port Leucate last autumn.  In the département
of Roussillon, this coastal town is a boater's paradise ~ but equally 
enjoyable for those just enjoying the marina, inexpensive
restaurants, and convenience to such places as Collioure,
Perpignan, the Spanish border and Barcelona.

Catalan is the prevailing culture expressed in the cuisine, the patois
and the rugged individuality of the people.  It is an interesting region
and a Mediterranean holiday that will be different from 
anything you might experience on the coast a bit farther 
north in Languedoc or eastward in Provence.

[Photo credits:  © 2007 -2008 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Last Minute Availability 

 in July

We have never seen a last-minute rush for reservations as we have this year!  We are actually receiving requests for rooms for this weekend or next week!

Château Coulon Laurensac

The elegant Château Coulon Laurensac

If you've found yourself unable to find accommodations because so many fine properties are solidly booked through the summer, perhaps you will find this opportunity the perfect solution!

Château Coulon Laurensac, located in the beautiful Bordeaux countryside, has one available gîte:  Margaux is still available for 2 weeks from July 19 to August 2 due to a cancellation.  This gîte will not last long, and it can be rented for one or both of the two weeks.

This elegantchâteau is owned and operated by wine experts Ronald and Margaret Rens, so wine aficionados will find themselves immersed in conversations and tastings and can take guided tours of some of Bordeaux's most renowned vineyards.  Near St-Emilion, the city of Bordeaux and all the château wineries on the Médoc peninsula, Coulon Laurensac couldn't be more centrally located.  And, there is a marvelous swimming pool to enjoy at the end of a busy day!

Suite Margaux

The spacious and comfortable Suite Margaux

The Margaux Suite provides two or three guests with all amenities including a spacious bedroom and bath, a kitchen with all conveniences, a dining area, comfortable salon and their own private entrance and terrace.  Heavy beamed ceilings, golden limestone walls and fine old tiled floors add to its authentic charm and coziness.  The deluxe bathroom has a Jacuzzi and separate shower, along with double washbasins and WC. 

Contact the château directly at to take advantage of this hard-to-find accommodation during France's high season!

[Photo credits:  2008 Château Coulon Laurensac.   All Rights Reserved.]

French Quiz 87

Guest etiquette . . .true or false

(1)  When sending an email to a property owner for a reservation, you should always begin with 'Bonjour Monsieur et Madame' and never by the owner's first name which you may have seen on their web pages.

(2)  If dining in a French home with your host and hostess, it is acceptable to refill your own wine glass.

(3)  It is polite to assist your hostess in clearing the table after each course or at the end of the meal.

(4)  When arriving at a property after 4 PM, you should phone the château to let them know you are going to be late.

(5)  If you have a well-behaved small pet, it is fine to bring it along with you without notifying the owners in advance.

(6)  Leaving a tip at a château bed and breakfast for the chambermaid is not expected nor encouraged.

(7)  Because the châteaus are historic and very interesting properties, you might want to have a tour.  Always ask your host to escort you if tours are permitted, and never go wandering around on your own.

(8)  Only address your hosts by their first names  if  that is how they introduce themselves to you.  In return, you should ask them to use your first name as well.


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


FRANCE On Your Own

 FRANCE On Your Own is our 'sister' publication...a great web site
and free quarterly newsletter for the independent traveler to France.  If you are
like us and want to make your own discoveries without the rigid schedule of a tour
or the confinement of bus rides, this site and newsletter are for you!  Each issue
is filled with articles from expats and experts, a regional feature to take you into
areas of the country you might want to explore, and so much more.
Subscribe at today!

The next issue will be sent in August.

Where are we?  We had a winner!

The Panthéon, Paris - Copyright Cold Spring Press 2007-2008.  All rights reserved.

We had a winner of a free packet of our Château Note Cards
who correctly identified this beautiful building
as the Panthéon in Paris.

 [Photo credit:  2007-2008 Cold Spring Press.   All Rights Reserved.]

Easy Recipe:  Olives Vertes au Piment

In keeping with the brevity of this newsletter, we are providing a quick and easy recipe taken from a wonderful new book (just published) entitled, The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook:  Danyel Couet's Guide to the City's Ethnic CuisinesA complete review of the book will be found in the upcoming August issue of the FREE newsletter, FRANCE On Your Own.

This truly beautiful book with amazing illustrations and exquisite photography provides recipes found in Paris' ethnic neighborhoods.  But, in keeping with our French theme, we've drawn this recipe from the chapter Markets and Street Food ~ a recipe for marinated green olives.

You will need 7 ounces of large green olives, 1/2 roasted and peeled red pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried chili flakes, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves.

Mix the pepper, chili flakes, sugar, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor.  Place the olives in the marinade.  Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.

Bon appétit!

The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook:  Danyel Couet's Guide to the City's Ethnic Cuisines 
is published in the United States by Interlink Books, 
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, Massachusetts 01060,
ISBN 978-1-56656-723-7

Subscribe to the FREE newsletter, FRANCE On Your Own by sending an email
to, with 'Subscribe' in the subject line, and
you will be able to read the entire review of this book in their August edition!

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 87 - 1 True, 2 False: never pour your own wine! 3 False:  never unless you are asked, which is very unlikely! 4 False: call if you will arrive after 6 PM,  5 False: you must have permission in advance, 6 False:  a tip is proper and should be based on number of guests and days in the room, 7 True:  Your host must escort you!, 8 True: First names are not to be used unless you are asked to do so.  Always err on the side of formality.

From the May / June issue :  Quiz 86 - The Panthéon in Paris

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