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January / February 2009

Happy New Year!

New members have joined us -

Classical Château de Prauthoy in Champagne,
Domaine des Faures, an inviting B&B on an organic farm in the Dordogne

and we have much more news in this issue!




EasyToBook online!

Finding a hotel in Paris can be daunting - where do you begin?
A click on the link above will take you to EasyToBook's Paris pages where you 
will find a selection of fine hotels all offered at the lowest prices available.
EasyToBook also offers hotels in other cities in France and Europe. 

  Château de Prauthoy 
in the

A stunning classical jewel from the 18th and 19th century is Château de Prauthoy, centrally located between the vineyards of Champagne and Burgundy and near the historic sights and charm of Lorraine and Franche-Comté.  This bed and breakfast offers beautiful guest rooms and suites with air-conditioning and a just-completed apartment for three to five persons.

Château de Prauthoy

Château de Prauthoy

The heated swimming pool and small pond are just two of the attractions on the grounds of the estate.  More surprising might be the 'grotte' ~ an incredibly realistic recreation of a cave complete with stalactites and stalagmites ~ which is also the intriguing route to the château's wine tasting room!

Château de Prauthoy's location provides guests with a wide range of things to do and see in a variety of landscapes. For example, in Burgundy one can easily visit Dijon and its fine Musée des Beaux Arts, or Beaune and the historic Hôtel Dieu, or perhaps follow the Burgundy wine route from Beaune to Dijon.  In Champagne enjoy visits to and tastings at the famed vineyards and Champagne houses.

Guests will enjoy the opportunity to have dinner at the château with prior reservations, and, of course, breakfast each morning is included in the room rates.  Don't hesitate to learn more on our web site about this amazing château and imagine yourself as a guest here in 2009!

[Photo courtesy of M. et Mme Mailfait.  All rights reserved.]

French Quiz 92

Test your knowledge of French verbs!

                        1. s'inquiéter                  a - to break
                          2. déranger                    b - to disturb
                            3. rêve                     c - to knock, to tap
                              4. toquer                      d - to worry, to be upset
                                5. pousser                    e - to dream
                                  6. casser                     f - to push


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.

The church and paratrooper at Ste-Mère Eglise
 Sainte-Mère Eglise, Normandy

 The coast of Normandy has long been the destination of travelers to France,
most especially those interested in the history of the last World War 
and the famed landing by Allied forces in June of 1944.

Among the sites worth visiting are the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer,
the landing beaches of Utah, Gold, Omaha, Sword and Juno, the museum at 
Caen, as well as the peaceful village of Sainte-Mère Eglise.

Sainte-Mère Eglise has the distinction of being the French town where
American paratroopers first landed with the Normandy invasion...and where
one paratrooper's chute became entangled on the roof of the village church.
As he hung suspended, occupation soldiers walked below, and
townspeople hoped he would not be seen by them.  It was not long until he
was spotted and taken prisoner.  Soon thereafter, the Americans marched into
Sainte-Mère Eglise, driving the enemy forces out and freeing their brave comrade.

Today, a 'paratrooper' hangs suspended by his parachute as a memorial
to this historic event and to the liberation of this lovely little village.

Some Places to Stay: 
Château de l'Isle Marie
Manoir de Bellauney
Manoir de Berthouville
Château Canisy
Hotel Tardif

[Photo credits:  © 2006 -2009 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Domaine des Faures
in the lovely Dordogne Organic / Earth Friendly

Domaine des Faures

Domaine des Faures 

This newest member of our web site, Domaine des Faures,  is an inviting bed and breakfast on an organic farm in the popular Dordogne region of southwest France.  The warm honey-colored residence offers guests several en suite guest rooms, an apartment and the possibility to rent the entire property by the week between April 1 and December 26, 2009. 

Open all year as a B&B, guests will find the swimming pool delightful, the surrounding meadows very peaceful and the small herd of organic cattle a unique touch.  This property is one of our 'green' members, focusing on protecting the environment.

The guest rooms are simply decorated and very comfortable ~ and air conditioned for those who want to visit in the warmer months of the year.  Your host and hostess have renovated the property to a high standard incorporating geothermal heating and hiring local artisans to ensure that the renovation was in keeping with the historic nature of the building which was a former bastide.

If your destination is southwest France, you won't want to miss a few nights or more at Domaine des Faures!

[Photo credits:  © 2009 Domaine des Faures.  All Rights Reserved.]


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Special Offers at Château de la Barre

Le Mans!  Just the name conjures up images of sporty little cars racing around a track for 24 hours!  Well, you can do the same following a 200-kilometer drive along scenic routes, ending on the Le Mans circuit ~ go any number of laps from 4 to 24! But, you won't be driving just any car ~ you'll have your choice of a Ferrari 430 or 599 GTB, a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 530, or perhaps a Porsche 997 GT3! 

This three-day package of fun, exquisite accommodations and fine cuisine can be yours.  Visit our Special Offers page for more details and then contact for available dates and prices.  You will be glad you did!

~  and  ~

For those of you who are more inclined to want to experience a Renaissance Easter, including a visit to Leonardo Da Vinci's Loire Valley home, Château de la Barre has just the package for you!  This 5-day adventure begins with a Champagne welcome on Thursday, April 9 and ends with a delightful brunch on Tuesday, April 14th.  In between you will visit the gardens at the magnificent Château de Villandry, tour Chenonceau castle, enjoy dinners at Château de la Barre as well as a unique Renaissance Gala dinner with musicians and magicians, attend Mass at a cathedral, go to market in Le Mans and tour the picturesque Loir Valley including the troglodyte village of Trôo.

Do contact Château de la Barre today  info@chateaudelabarre.comto make your reservations for this exceptional 5-night stay in an historic family residence. 

   French Quiz 93 

More language questions:  French nouns and their meanings

                        1. grenouille               a - intersection, junction
                          2. laverie                   b - receipt
                            3. sommeil                  c - laundry
                              4. croisement              d - skirt
                                5. quittance                e - frog
                                  6. jupe                       f - sleep


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

February at Château de Challain

Romantic Château de Challain

...enjoy a WINTER LUXURY GETAWAY in the Pays de la Loire, exclusively for the month of February.  It is a three-night stay,  including breakfast each morning, one Champagne dinner, chocolate and flowers.  Choose from any available suite that is normally 200-250 euros per night, and receive a total savings of up to 200 euros.  That's a 33% discount!

For details and availability, please contact

Easy Recipe:   Cold Cream of Asparagus Soup

This is a simple, make-ahead recipe that is so delicious your family and friends will think its preparation was quite complex!

You will need 2 pounds (900g) of green asparagus, peeled, 1 medium onion thinly sliced, 3 cups (750 ml) of defatted chicken stock (heat first, let it cool and then skim fat off the top), 1/2 cup (125 ml) of plain yogurt, a pinch of celery salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Cut the asparagus into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.  Place in saucepan with onion and stock, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Put the mixture into your blender or food processor and purée.  Push the mixture through a sieve or strainer to remove any fibrous pieces.  Transfer back to the blender and add yogurt.  Season with celery salt and cayenne pepper and process until well blended.  Check the seasoning.  Refrigerate for two hours before serving.

This recipe, in small portions, will serve four.  Bon appétit!

This recipe courtesy of  Michel Montignac Recipes & Menus 
 published in Canada 1999 by Michel-Ange Publishing 
ISBN 0-968-4039-2-5

We hope you have enjoyed au Château News
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The answers are: 
Quiz 92 - 1d, 2b, 3e, 4c, 5f, 6a
Quiz 93 - 1e, 2c, 3f, 4a, 5b, 6d
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