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March / April 2009

A spectacular château has joined our family of members,

Château du Grand-Lucé in the Pays de la Loire

and we also bring you

  some great ideas for other accommodations in the 
Loire region ~ all so easy to reach from Paris!


Château du Grand-Lucé is here!

Château du Grand-Lucé

  Château du Grand-Lucé

What words are there to adequately describe this phenomenal property?  Grand French gardens, a pleasant little lake, an ideal location not far from Paris, and a truly sensational interior recently renovated to create a sublime vacation getaway.

Rented by the week, Château du Grand-Lucé offers eleven luxurious en suite bedrooms and beautiful salons and dining rooms for the use of guests.  Owned and decorated by American interior designer, Timothy Corrigan, the château is the epitome of elegance and style.  A week or longer spent here will take you to another place and time ~ and château life will be an experience you will never forget. 

The entire estate is listed as a French National Landmark, and you will understand why when you visit it on our pages or see it for yourself.  Set on 65 acres (30 hectares) of gardens, meadows and woodlands, the estate offers plenty of room to meander on daily strolls, visit with the swans and geese in the lake or swim in the heated pool.  Bordering the small town of Le Grand-Lucé, those who stay at the château will have the added benefit of seeing French village life.  Walk into the town, sit at a table at one of three cafés, stop in at a boulangerie, or pick up a paper at the convenient newsstand.  For history enthusiasts, there is a fine 12th century church worth visiting.

The region of the Sarthe where the château is located offers incredibly charming villages, the gentle rivers Sarthe and Loir, and it abounds with historic attractions, fine cuisine and wines.  Not far from the grand châteaux of the Loire, Château du Grand-Lucé is the perfect home base for wonderful day trips in the area.
Luxurious guest room at Grand-LucéInside the château, exquisite rooms complete with museum quality art and antiques will certainly impress you.  Recently photographed for an upcoming article in Architectural Digest, the château's rooms have drawn praise throughout the interior design industry.  It may be grand and elegant, but Mr. Corrigan's talent lies as well in his ability to create comfort for those who stay here.

Rent this magnificent château with your family and friends for as little as $1818 US per week per couple!  This is an amazing value, and promises to be the travel experience of a lifetime.

Please visit Château du Grand-Lucé on this site today, and consider it for your next holiday in France with friends and family.  You won't be disappointed!

[Photos courtesy of Timothy Corrigan 2009.  All rights reserved.]


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current happenings in France, complete with thoughtful and enlightening articles
about France ~ from shopping in Paris to exploring places off the beaten path.
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  Château de la Barre
invites you for Easter!

Take a break ~ in France!  The spring holiday is coming and Château de la Barre has some ideas for you.

Château de la Barre

The warm and welcoming Château de la Barre

In fact, Leonardo daVinci invites you and your family or friends to celebrate an authentic
Renaissance Easter in his Priory during your stay at Château de la Barre.

It all begins on Thursday, April 9th with a Champagne welcome, continues through Good Friday with a visit to the gardens of Château Villandry, and is followed by a tour of Château Chenonceau on Saturday. Attend an exceptional Easter Sunday Mass, visit a market and enjoy a fine gourmet dinner.  Easter Monday is equally as interesting as you tour the gardens
and estates of the Loir, and don't forget you will be served brunch on Tuesday before departure!

This is a spectacular short break in France.  Contact the Château  now for all the details.

[Photo courtesy of Château de la Barre.  All rights reserved.]

Visitors to Paris will want to see  . . .

. . .the Italian Primitives exhibit at one of our favorite Paris museums, the incredible Musée Jacquemart-André, where you will find amazing treasures in an authentic mansion just a stone's throw from the Champs Elysées. Open every day! 

A special exhibit you won't want to miss is coming in March.  If you will be in Paris then, please be sure to visit the Museum ~ and see the wonderful permanent collection of art left for visitors to enjoy by Edouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart.

Then enjoy the collection of Baron Bernard von Lindenau (1779-1854) of Italian Primitive art on loan to the Musée Jacquemart-André from The Altenburg Museum Collection in Germany. 

For more details about this exhibit, please contact

French Quiz 94

Wines of France...match the grapes with the region

                        1. Grenache               a - Burgundy
                          2. Cabernet Franc       b - Alsace
                            3. Mourvèdre             c - Côtes du Rhône
                              4. Chinon                  d - Provence
                                5. Chardonnay           e - Languedoc-Roussillon
                                  6. Sylvaner               f - Bordeaux
                                    7. Carignan              g - Loire


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.

Marina at Goury, Normandy
 Goury, Normandy

 At the very end of the D901, at the northwestern most tip of the Cotentin 
Peninsula, is the Cap de la Hague where you will find the small and charming 
community of Goury, looking out toward the Gros du Raz lighthouse.
 Directly to the west in la Manche is the smallest of the Channel Islands, 
Alderney (known by the French as Aurigny).  Places are seldom found
 any more peaceful than this ~ at least when the weather is good for tourists.
 We know, of course, that in inclement weather it can become quite
blustery, but the strong, stone houses certainly appear to be up to the challenge.

The protected marina is perfect for boat owners who ply the Channel or sail
around Normandy's north coast in the spring, summer and early autumn.   The
area around Goury is known for is randonnées or hikes though wild
landscapes, cliffs, moors and fine beaches.  Goury's landscape itself is more
gentle as the cliffs flatten out. The village is known for the octagonal
hut that houses the lifeboats of the French lifeguard society.  The entire
coast here is dramatic and picturesque, so if you visit, don't forget your camera!

Raz Blanchard, one of Earth's strongest and most dangerous tidal currents, lies
just off the coast and has been the scene of many a shipwreck into the
sharp rocks hidden just beneath the surface. The Gros du Raz lighthouse is certainly
well placed here to warn sailors of this treacherous sea at any time of year.

The peaceful village of Goury, however, and the magnificent sunsets as one
looks toward the lighthouse, belie the dangers off shore.  You mustn't miss this
tip of Normandy on your next visit to the Cotentin.

Some Places to Stay nearby: 

Château de l'Isle Marie
Manoir de Bellauney
Manoir de Berthouville
Château Canisy
Hotel Tardif
Château de la Roque
Château de Servigny
Manoir de Caillemont
Château les Hauts

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

Château Life at Cottage Prices

Le Cottage at Château de la Barre

Le Cottage at Château de la Barre

Entrance to Ground Floor Cottage ApartmentThe owners of Château de La Barre in the bucolic Sarthe département have just completed a total renovation of Le Cottage, the extension of the château shown at the right in the above photo.  This three-story building houses two separate apartments; one is on the ground floor and offers a living room/bedroom with a king-size bed, a great stone fireplace, a brand new Italian walk-in shower, a WC, an equipped kitchen, and a door out to the garden.  This apartment is available for 350 euros per week plus end of stay cleaning.

The first and second floor apartment, with its own private entrance offers a living room/twin bedroom on the first floor, where you will also find a kitchen, a second stone fireplace, a bathroom with an en suite shower and WC, an infrared sauna, and the stairway to the second floor. On this floor is a spacious double bedroom with a Jacuzzi bath and WC.  This apartment is available for 600 euros per week plus end of stay cleaning.

Kitchen in Château de la Barre CottageThere are few places where you could spend a week in France ~ at a château ~ for such a reasonable cost. In these difficult economic times, why forego that holiday in the French countryside or stay in an ordinary rental villa when you can be at the beautiful Château de la Barre?

Contact Count and Countess de Vanssay today at for your château stay at cottage prices!

[Photo credits:  © 2009 Château de la Barre.  All Rights Reserved.]


Photo Tours in Paris

Customized Guided PHOTO TOURS IN PARIS!

International award winning photographer, Randy Harris, will lead 
your small group for a concentrated and productive photography experience ~
whether for just an afternoon or for three days in the City of Light.
Click on the banner to visit the web site,  or email Randy at

Green Vacations from au Château

We are pleased to introduce a new designation for some of our member properties ~ that of a green accommodation.  This means that properties with the above symbol on their au Château page may provide guests with hypoallergenic bedding or linens made of natural fibers or heat their properties in an Earth-friendly way or provide organic foods or organically-produced wines from their own estates. . .or any combination of the above. 

Please take some time to visit each of the properties below to see what they offer to provide you with a greener holiday in France:

     Le Pavillon de Galon in the Vaucluse of Provence
     Domaine des Faures in the Dordogne of Aquitaine
     Château Soussac in Bordeaux of Aquitaine
     Château Robert in the Landes of Aquitaine
     Château du Guerinet in the Loir-et-Cher of the Centre
     Domaine de Moulin Mer in the Finistère of Brittany

If we've missed any member properties, we do apologize.  If you find that we have, please let us know.

Live like Royalty at Château de Challain

Challain's Tower Suite

The opportunity to stay in a fairy tale château in the Loire region of France is not beyond your reach.  Exquisite Château de Challain, professionally decorated by its owner, awaits you with guest rooms as enchanting as the Tower Suite in this photo.

Known as the 'Petit Chambord', this strikingly beautiful château was built in the mid-nineteenth century in the Neogothic style.  Gardens and a two-hectare lake are part of the estate, and it is the perfect location for a French château wedding.  A gazebo will be added this spring for garden weddings.

The salon at Château de ChallainThe amazing Château de Challain

Each bedroom is luxurious with an en suite bathroom complete with robes, slippers and a hair dryer.  Breakfasts are copious and delicious and are included in the room rates.  Dinner meals taken at the château include fresh local produce, wines from the château's extensive cellars, and cuisine prepared with culinary expertise by a trained chef.

Please visit Château de Challain on this site ~ perhaps it will become the dream destination for your 2009 visit to France. 

[Photo credits:  © 2009 Château de Challain.  All Rights Reserved.]

   French Quiz 95

Where are we? 
Name this Paris landmark.

 The first person whose email is received with the correct
answer will receive a package of twelve assorted exclusive
Château Note Cards.

You will find the correct answer in the May/June au Château News
[Photo credit:  © 2009 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Easy Recipe:   Vanilla Flan

This recipe will serve eight to ten people and comes to us from Danyel Couet's The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook.  There are two things quite special about this recipe: first, it is his grandmother's and, second, the pudding itself contains no sugar or cream but allows the caramel to provide all the sweetness.

You will need 4 cups of milk, 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped out), 6 eggs and 2-1/4 cups of sugar, water.

Boil the milk and vanilla bean, then remove from heat.  Allow to cool for ten minutes.  Stir the eggs into the vanilla milk. Strain. Pour 2/3 cup of water into a pan, add the sugar, and boil for about 15 minutes or until it turns a golden brown caramel.  Do not stir during that time.

Next, stop the cooking process by adding an additional 1/2 cup of water.  Distribute the caramel among 8 to 10 individual three-inch ramekins.  Let set for five minutes.  Distribute the milk and egg mixture among the dishes. 

Pour boiling water into a deep baking tray or heatproof glass baking dish.  Place the individual ramekins into the water, and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven (170 C) for about 15 minutes until the crème has set.  Remove from the oven and cool in the refrigerator.

Turn the puddings over onto serving dishes and serve!  Bon appétit!

The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook: Danyel Couet's Guide to the City's Ethnic Cuisines is published by
Interlink Publishing Group, Inc., 46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
ISBN 978-1-56656-723-7

Click on the Amazon Link to order yours today!

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 94 - 1c, 2f, 3d, 4g, 5a, 6b, 7e
Quiz 95 - the answer in our May/June au Château News
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