Happy New Year!
In this issue you will find
[PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL UNDERLINED ITEMS THROUGHOUT THIS TEXT ARE
ACTIVE LINKS TO APPROPRIATE WEB SITES. JUST CLICK ON ANY ONE OF THEM!]
in the Snow. . .
France experienced a cold and snowy few weeks in late December and early January, and we heard from several of our au Château members about how they were coping with their rather unusual winter weather. Château de Saint-Loup, Château du Guerinet and Château de Montcru are shown here in their wintry beauty.
Many lovely châteaux on our web site were blanketed by snow, and some of those owners have graciously volunteered photos of their estates. (We've also included two photos taken in an earlier year that were just too lovely not to include.) Although the châteaux are magnificent at any time of year, they take on a tranquil beauty under a veil of snow.
There are some surprises as well. We received some photos from Orange in Provence's Vaucluse département ~ the lovely L'A Propos received some heavy snow, and these next photos show both the gardens and the palm trees (at night) under a heavy blanket!
And, finally, photos of the magnificent Château du Fraisse is framed in the bright blue of the sky and the frosty white of new fallen snow in these photos of the château and grounds. We hope you enjoyed our visit to some au Château members in the winter months when few of us have the opportunity to visit them!
[Photos courtesy of respective property owners © 2009 - 2010. All rights reserved.]
Our New Member in Bordeaux . . .
Château La Roque de Bas is our newest member, having joined us in January. Located on the right bank of the Dordogne River just north of Bordeaux and very near Libourne, Pomerol, Fronsac and Saint-Emilion, this lovely château is in the heart of Bordeaux wine country and offers itself as a weekly rental. Guests will have a great home base to visit all the wine châteaux and marvelous villages in the region.
This fine château has been lovingly restored by its Scottish/Irish owners, Jane and Michael Brown, who are eager to welcome you to their charming home. Rent it by the week to take full advantage of the spacious luxury suite and four fabulous guest rooms, two salons, grand dining room, and sun filled terraces. All guest rooms, of course, are en suite with Fragonard toiletries and exquisite linens in both the bedrooms and baths. Off season, the rooms may be let individually as bed and breakfast accommodations.
For tennis players or those seeking a refreshing swimming pool, this château is perfect. A fine hard tennis court and a saltwater pool are waiting for you. Please visit the château on our pages today to see photos and read about the amenities that can make your vacation in France's Bordeaux wine country simply perfect!
of Château La Roque de Bas © 2010. All rights reserved.]
French Quiz 101
first person whose email is received with the correct answer
Send your answer by email to email@example.com
answer to last month's Quiz at the end of this newsletter.
[Photo credit: © 2006-2010 Cold Spring Press. All Rights Reserved.]
The Return of Rouffillac
We are very happy to welcome Château de Rouffillac back to our web site. It has been several years since we've been able to present this property, high above the River Dordogne, to some very lucky travelers. And now, those lucky people could be you!
If you are looking for an outstanding property for a gathering of family or friends, a venue to celebrate a special occasion, or a fairytale location for a wedding, do consider this historic château in the Dordogne of southwest France.
For more about the property, please visit it on our pages. Contact information is provided for your questions or to make a reservation.
[Photo Credits: © 2010 Château de Rouffillac]
SPONSORING THIS ISSUE
informational web site for the independent traveler to France
The luxurious and historic Château de Reignac in the heart of the Loire Valley, is designed for romance...from its exquisite guest rooms to the glamorous salons, this château is the ideal romantic getaway.
Two special packages are now being offered, so do consider them for your next visit to France:
[Photo credits: Château de Reignac. © 2010All Rights Reserved.]
Coming Soon . . .
We are always happy to add a new member to our web site family, and very soon you will be able to visit the pages of Château du Bois Noir in the beautiful Corrèze département of France's Limousin region.
Château du Bois Noir offers four large and comfortable en suite guest rooms, breakfast included, and a fine dinner of regional cuisine by advance reservation. There is a billiards room, a cozy salon with a large fireplace, and a hostess who speaks French, English, Dutch and German. She looks forward to welcoming guests from the world over.
Please return to our site in a few weeks to pay an online visit to this lovely château.
[Photo © 2010 Château du Bois Noir. All rights reserved.]
Armagnac at Château de Pomiro
Perhaps you didn't know, but Château de Pomiro in the Gascony region of southwest France sits amid acres of vines from which the Château Pomiro appellation of Armagnac brandy is produced. Armagnac (distilled once) came before Cognac (distilled twice), and Armagnac is a lighter and less alcoholic brandy from the Armagnac region southeast of Bordeaux, while Cognac is only produced in the town of Cognac north of Bordeaux.
Château de Pomiro's vines also produce Floc, a wonderful apéritif ~ a specialty of the Gers region of southwest France.
The château is designated one of our web site's 'green' properties, as the owners grow organic vegetables in the château's kitchen garden, collect honey produced by bees thriving on the property's acacia trees, and have delicious fresh eggs from the estate's free-range chickens. There is also an environmentally-friendly swimming pool treated with ultra violet light for purification.
Of course, the wine cellar provides a selection of local and regional wines and Armagnac. So whether you are a guest at Château de Pomiro interested in Armagnac production and tastings, or you are looking for an environmentally conscious property for your next vacation in France, do consider this beautiful little château with all it has to offer.
[Photo © 2010 Château de Pomiro. All rights reserved.]
de la Barre
The warm and welcoming Château de la Barre
There is something for everyone at Château de la Barre in the beautiful little Loir Valley.
Perhaps you want to race a luxury sports car ~ a Lamborghini or Ferrari ~ on the track at Le Mans; you may enjoy a Renaissance Easter at Leonardo DaVinci's Priory; or, perhaps, you would like to take advantage of a Heritage Highlights package this year. Stay at Château de la Barre, and choose from so many exciting ways to experience France!
Of course, French immersion classes, garden tours, cuisine and wine appreciation, and more are offered at this fine château. Keep in mind that you can enjoy bed and breakfast accommodations at the château or rent one of their two wonderful apartments in Le Cottage by the week.
Do visit our Special Offers page for details of all the offerings at Château de la Barre. Make this year's visit to France very special!
[Photo credit: © 2009 - 2010 Cold Spring Press. All rights reserved.]
Villes et Villages de France
. . we hope to tempt you to visit these marvelous places
This delightful town is just a brief walk from Château des Allues in the Savoie. The church bell tower can be seen for miles, and from the château it stands out against a backdrop of the local mountains.
The church dates back to the 14th century, and was enlarged in 1768. It is said that it received the Holy Thorns in 1803, brought back to Saint-Pierre d'Albigny by Jacques I of Miolans from Palestine in the 15th century. (The thorns were stolen from the church at the end of the 20th century.) The current bell tower dating from 1926 replaced the original erected in 1830. Worth seeing are the superb paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries inside the church.
The village is charming and peaceful, and we not only recommend that you visit, but we suggest you consider spending a few nights at Château des Allues where you will enjoy lovely guest rooms, a friendly and welcoming host, and superb meals.
© 2007 - 2010 Cold Spring Press. All Rights Reserved.]
Once again, there is mention in The Wine Spectator (December 31 - January 15 issue) of Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart's fine Champagne. The Tasting Report rated its 2000 Brut Champagne a 90!
We had the pleasure of spending two nights in the Domaine's chambres d'hôtes in October, just after the harvest, and enjoyed a tour of their production facilities. [See our last newsletter for more about our stay.]
It's always nice to see wine and Champagne producers, who are also members of au Château, receive well-deserved recognition in respected industry publications. Our congratulations to Laurence Ployez!
Cold Spring Press ©
2009 - 2010. All rights reserved.]
In a Balloon over Château de la Vigne . . .
What could be more exciting than floating over the French countryside in a hot air balloon? After all, it was France's Montgolfier brothers who invented the hot air balloon, so this has to be the perfect French experience.
If you simply want to spend a few nights at the marvelous medieval Château de la Vigne to enjoy the ambiance, the fine cuisine and the stunning countryside, why not have a hot air balloon ride included on your itinerary provided by Montgolfier Salers?
Or, perhaps you are planning a family get together where a hot air balloon ride would become the highlight of the event! The proprietors of Château de la Vigne, Anne and Bruno de la Tour, can make it all happen.
Contact us for details and to ask questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you so that you can go 'up, up and away' in a beautiful balloon!
Montgolfier Salers / Château de la Vigne ©
2010. All rights reserved.]
Easy Recipe: Mediterranean Lentil Soup
Try this hearty soup on a cold winter day.
You will need: 1 cup of lentils, 6 cups of water, 1 sliced onion, 2 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped), 1 carrot (finely diced), 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 bay leaf.
Rinse the lentils. In a large pot, simmer the lentils in the water with the onion, garlic, carrots, olive oil and bay leaf for one hour. Discard the bay leaf.
[Optional: you can add a can of diced tomatoes to the finished soup, and heat for another 5 minutes to make a tomato lentil soup.]
Your soup is done! Serve with crusty French bread. Bon appétit!
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Answer to Quiz 100 - Where Are We? from our November/December issue: