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May / June 2009

Welcome to our 50th issue!

We are very pleased to welcome L'A Propos, our newest member


D-Day Events in Normandy in June
Spa Vacations at member châteaux
Special offer to Rent Château Robert in May

and much more,
including 3 very special wedding venues to consider


We Welcome
L'A Propos in the city of Orange

L'A Propos' inviting gardens.  Copyright Estelle & Thierry Mourier 2009.  All rights reserved.
  The parc at L'A Propos

The city of Orange is in a region of southern France famous for is Roman history ~ and Orange boasts one of the finest examples remaining:  its Théâtre Antique, considered the best-preserved Roman theater in the world and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  A statue of Caesar Augustus adorns the niche on the wall of the theater which is used on a regular basis for a variety of performances. 

Augustus Caesar - Théâtre OrangeAerial view of Théâtre Antique, OrangeEvening performances at Théâtre Antique, Orange

Stature of Emperor Caesar Augustus, Aerial view of théâtre, evening event
[Photo credits: Théâtre Antique's official web site.]

Following ten months of dedicated restoration, the lovely village manor house, L'A Propos, opened its doors to guests at the beginning of April this year.  The owners, avid about art and design, have created contemporary and welcoming accommodations ~ a peaceful getaway in the heart of a bustling small city.

Detail -  Chambre Levant terrasse
Detail of terrasse - Chambre Levant 

There are four spacious, comfortable and cheery guest suites, each with its own salon, and a king bedroom with a private terrace.  All have en suite modern bathrooms, all have been completely updated, and they overlook the lovely private gardens - fulfilling the goals of your hosts to provide both comfort and convenience for all their guests.  A small restaurant offers light snacks, tea and ice cream; a bountiful breakfast is served each morning; a lovely swimming pool and tranquil gardens are there for guests' enjoyment -  these are the amenities that promise a perfect vacation spot in the heart of an historic and charming city. 

Suite ZephyrThe pool through the palms
                     Suite Zephyr                          The Pool seen through the palms

Visit L'A Propos on this site today for more information and photos, and make your reservations soon for a wonderful visit to Orange and a delightful stay at this fine and elegant manoir.

[Photo credits:  © 2009 M. et Mme MOURIER.  All Rights Reserved.]


FranceSolo logo © 2009©

Enjoy Burgundy, Provence and other regions of France as a single traveler
with the help of FranceSolo - your itinerary planner in France. 
Receive a tote bag with maps, tourist information, handy travel items, a cell phone and more. 
Let FranceSolo make your luxury lodging reservations 
(many at châteaux on this web site), a car rental booking, and more!
Contact Marcia at today for all the exciting details!

D-Day Celebrations in Normandy

Saturday, June 6, 2009, marks the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings of World War II - D-Day.  Visitors can become part of the celebrations and join those who took part in that infamous day as they are honored in commemorations and events in France.

Caen Museum of Peace - courtesy the museum.  All rights reserved.The people of Normandy eagerly await their liberators to mark this occasion, hoping that many of the veterans who were there in 1944 will be able to be there again.  Visitors to the region should take time to visit the Caen Peace Museum (photo - courtesy of Le Mémorial de Caen web site) for an overview of France in World War II, including a twenty-minute film, Jour J, 6 juin 1944 by Jacques Perrin.

From the small town of Ste-Mère Eglise where the first American paratroopers dropped from the sky, to the beaches of Omaha, Juno, Gold, Sword and Pointe du Hoc, there will be fêtes and events for all to share.  President Barack Obama will be among the visitors to Normandy, and veterans from Britain, the US and other allied landing forces are expected to attend.

On June 5th, firework displays along all the beaches will light the sky.  On the morning of June 6th, a paratrooper landing will take place, and on June 7th, a re-enactment of the liberation of Bayeux, the first French city freed by the Allies, will take place.  Many other events will follow, including a World War II vehicle parade on June 7, along with concerts and entertainment in Normandy.

Operation Overlord was the grand plan for the invasion of France, and it led to the retreat of the German forces and marked the beginning of the end of Nazi occupation.  There are museums throughout coastal Normandy that commemorate the events of World War II, especially focusing on D-Day and the subsequent Allied victory.  For those interested in seeing many of the sites with a guide, there are several companies in Normandy that take small groups of travelers by tour bus and offer narrations in several languages.

For more information about those tour operators, contact us at

[Photo collage courtesy of Le Mémorial de Caen web site.]

Rent Château Robert in May!

Château Robert chambreChâteau Robert chef and dining roomChâteau Robert chambre
Elegant dining and guest rooms at Château Robert

The beautiful Château Robert in Aquitaine is one of our 'green' châteaux.  This property is available for the month of May.  Most of the remaining holiday weeks until September are booked, but there are some still available, so don't be discouraged!

Not only is this a catered rental property (a chef is available for guests), but wine appreciation and tastings, cooking classes and fresh produce from their organic gardens make your stay even more enjoyable.  And, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a swim in the fantastic pool shown in the photo below.

Château Robert pool
Château Robert from the Pool at Sunset

Visit Château Robert on our pages today, and don't lose any time making your booking for a week in May!  Contact right away!

[Photos courtesy of Château Robert, 2009.  All rights reserved.]


French Quiz 96

Match the artists with their birthplaces - 

                        1. Camille Pissarro           a - Paris, France
                          2. Pablo Picasso              b - Gruchy, France
                            3. Claude Monet              c - Charlotte Amelie, Virgin Islands
                              4. Jean-François Millet     d -  La Rossinière, Switzerland
                                5. Balthus                     e -  Malaga, Spain
                                  6. Georges Braque          f -  Le Havre, France
                                    7.  Raoul Dufy               g -  Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France


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

A Wedding at Château du Fraisse

Château du Fraisse sits on an estate of 1500 acres in the Haute-Vienne département of the Limousin.  In the thirteenth century it was the noble dwelling of Demoiselle Quitterie du Fraisse who became the bride of Urbain des Monstiers in 1220.  Eight centuries later, this fine château is still in the same family.  Comte and Comtesse des Monstiers Mérinville are eager to welcome bed and breakfast guests to their historic home.  But, in recent years, the specialty of Château du Fraisse has become weddings, and they host them to perfection.

Château du Fraisse at night
The Elegant Château du Fraisse at Night

There is a grand reception and wedding hall in an adjacent eighteenth-century building which opens onto the Court d'Honneur for cocktails.  The hall itself can seat up to 320 guests for dinner or up to 500 people for cocktails indoors.  Photographic possibilities are endless, so the bride and groom will find themselves with dramatic backdrops and lavish garden spots to preserve the memories of their wedding day.

Cocktails in Cour d'Honneur

All the details of the wedding day can be arranged with the assistance and advice of the Countess and those who work with her to make each wedding day special.  Catering is elegant, music can be provided, and a family chapel on the grounds can be the site of a small ceremony. The château also offers 5 guest rooms for the bridal party and parents, and additional lodging is available not far from the château for other guests.

Wedding Hall early evening
                           Cocktails in the Cour d'Honneur

Do visit Château du Fraisse on our pages today to see many photos and learn more.  Please contact (and specify 'Fraisse wedding') with any questions or for more information about a wedding or a bed and breakfast stay in this historic family home.

            The Wedding Banquet in the Grand Hall

[Photos courtesy of Charles des Monstiers, Château du Fraisse.  Copyright 2009.  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.

Vestiges of the Royal Château, Senlis
 Vestiges of the Royal Château, Senlis

About 40 kilometers north of Paris you will find Senlis, in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional Oise, a large town with narrow and winding cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered houses, a fine cathedral from the 12th century (Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Senlis), a 10th-13th century chapel on Place Saint-Frambourg, and the remains of the Château Royal with its park and hunting museum.  

In early Roman times Senlis was known as Augustomagus and was an important town. In the third century a wall was built around it to ward off the Franks, and it stood in use for a thousand years.  Senlis is historically important: at the highest point in town, the ruins of the chateau remind us that for many hundreds of years there was a royal presence here.  In 987 Hugh Capet became King of France in Senlis.  In the twelfth century the palace was constructed by Louis VI.  One can still see the remains of the chapel and the massive tower that served as a dungeon.

Today, Senlis is a quiet place, still attracting visitors and there is much to see and do here ~ from fine art and archeological museums with Roman and pre-Roman (Celtic) artifacts, to a museum in a typical Senlisienne house dedicated to the North African cavalry, complete with uniforms, flags, and photographs ~ and then there is the medieval part of town, the promenade along the wall and peaceful walks along the River Nonette.  For visitors, Senlis has two gastronomique restaurants among its dozen places to dine.

For those who would like a guided tour of Senlis, they can contact Arthur Gillette who takes two or three people on day-long visits to Senlis, a city whose layered vestiges stretch back 17 centuries.  Contact him at for further information.

[Photo credits:  © 2007 -2009 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Marriages at Château du Guerinet

Bride on Grand StairwayFor those looking for a Loire Valley venue for their wedding, Château du Guerinet is an elegant location for a marriage ceremony and reception.  The Clemence family can make all arrangements for a perfect event.  They will provide professional local artisans to do catering, photography, flowers and music and can arrange for horse-drawn carriages and, perhaps, hot-air balloon rides! 

The wedding party will have exclusive use of the château, and guests are limited to 50 - 60 persons.  The sweeping staircase in the great entrance hall is perfect for wedding photography, and the Hall can be used for dancing.  Two lovely reception rooms, a commercial kitchen and the magnificent park and gardens will add to making any wedding a spectacular occasion. 

As shown in these photographs, a wedding at Château du Guerinet is a very special event.  There are six elegant suites for accommodating the wedding party and some guests, and further lodging is available not far from the château.  An ancient chapel, currently under renovation, offers a lovely photo opportunity.
               Bride on Grand Staircase

Suite PompadourBridal bouquetChapel and garden flowers
The Pompadour Suite, A Bridal Bouquet, Chapel & Gardens

Contact Madame Clemence for more information about having your wedding at her château, and visit Château du Guerinet on this site to see many more photos and read all about its charm and history.  Email:

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

French Quiz 97

Where are we? 
Name this Loire château.

Where are we photo Quiz 97

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

Send your answer by email to

We had a winner from our March/April issue.  The correct answer was 
Le Train Bleu restaurant at Paris' Gare de Lyon.

[Photo credit:  © 2009 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

   Spa Vacations  

Several members of our web site offer different levels of spa treatments to their guests on on their estates.  For those of you who want to include a massage, sauna, or similar relaxing therapies in your next vacation in France, please visit the properties listed below to see what is available.  Look for the spa symbol shown above on our Château List page when you are seeking just the right place for a relaxing holiday.

Châteaux offering spa treatments on site are:

  Château des Monthairons in Lorraine
  Château de la Roque in Normandy
  Château Sallandrouze in the Limousin
  Château de Pomiro in Gascony
  Château de Garrevaques in the Midi-Pyrénées
  Château de Matval in the Loire 

Some members have saunas at their châteaux.  These are

  Château de la Coutancière in the Pays de la Loire
  Château Meyre in Bordeaux
  Château de la Barre in the Sarthe
  Château du Guerinet in the Pays de la Loire

Many other members are near spa towns, and you can find that information on their au Château web pages.

   Get Married at Château de Détilly!

Chapel next to Château de Détilly
The Chapel at Château de Détilly

Château de Détilly is the ideal venue for a lovely garden wedding, and its Loire Valley location makes it convenient for guests and the wedding party to arrive from Paris.  Exquisitely landscaped grounds, abundant with flowers, trees and expansive lawns, are perfect for guests, wedding photos and an totally enjoyable event.  A marquee can also be provided for the wedding if required.

Garden WeddingWedding BanquetGarden Wedding

Garden Wedding at the Château & Reception Banquet

This elegant château can accommodate 17 guests in double and twin rooms, while an additional seven guests can be lodged in the lovely Coach House. 

The owners of the château and their manager are experienced in hosting weddings.  Four wedding options are offered with supplemental charges for required event services.  A refundable security deposit is required.  Gill Wilson, the château's wedding coordinator, is available to help with wedding plans, as are clergy of various faiths.  For more details, please contact and specify 'Détilly Wedding'.

Please visit Château de Détilly on this site to see for yourself what a lovely property and perfect wedding locale it is ~ perhaps it will be the site of your dream wedding in the near future! 

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

Easy Recipe:   Candied Lemon Zest

A lovely garnish for many custard desserts is Candied Lemon Zest.  It is simple to make your own.

Use three or four lemons with a smooth and blemish-free skin.  You will also need 1-1/2 cups water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons Grade A pure maple syrup.

Remove the peel from the lemons with a sharp knife, and then cut the skins into julienne strips about 2 inches in length.  Bring one cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and add the lemon strips.  Boil until soft, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain in a colander.

When the lemon skins are cooled, carefully remove the white pith to leave only the yellow peel.  Back in the saucepan add the 1/2 cup of water, the syrup and the sugar.  Gently stir in the peels and cook over a medium heat until the liquid is clear.  Check with a candy thermometer...the temperature should be about 230 degrees F.  Drain on paper towel and then set aside until you want to garnish your dessert.

Bon appétit!

     Special note to our readers:   

There are 27 châteaux on this web site that host weddings, including
the three we showcased today and some we have presented in past newsletters.
We will feature others in future issues, but please visit our Château List page, 
and look for the bride and groom icon ~ here you will find châteaux throughout 
France where both small and large weddings can be held.

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 96 - 1c, 2e, 3a, 4b, 5d, 6g, 7f
Quiz 97 - the answer in our July / August au Château News

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