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Spring 2012

In this issue - 

  Two Exceptional New Members!

  Make your reservation at this Featured B&B

  Our featured Château Rental

  Coming soon: vacation apartments in a Breton château

  News from our Members

 and  more!


 Please Welcome
Château de Saint-Maclou
~  timeless elegance in Normandy  ~

Château de Saint-Maclou-La-Campagne
Château de Saint-Maclou-La-Campagne in Normandy

It is a pleasure to welcome Château de Saint-Maclou to our web site.  This beautiful château, only fifteen minutes from the seaside village of Honfleur, is in 17th-century French Baroque style ~ constructed in 1606 ~ and offers travelers both bed and breakfast accommodations and the opportunity to rent the entire château on a weekly basis.  In addition, it is the perfect venue for a memorable French château wedding and especially convenient from Great Britain and Ireland.

The château sits on six hectares of wood and lawns in a peaceful part of Normandy.  It offers four elegant en suite bedrooms for bed and breakfast guests, or it can be rented by the week in the summer months with a capacity for ten people in five bedrooms.  There are several wood-burning fireplaces in the château, and it also has geothermal central heating.

The Old KitchenSalon with Ancestor's Portrait
Château's 'Old Kitchen' and Inviting Salon with Ancestor's Portrait

Common rooms include lovely salons, a formal dining room, the Old Kitchen and, for those who rent the château, a modern fully-equipped kitchen for preparing meals.  There are lovely gardens, boules, teak garden furniture and a barbecue for outside dining.

Château bedroomLovely parkland
One of the first floor guest rooms and a look at the grassy moat and dovecote

The grounds are superb with a small bridge crossing the grassy 'moat', an ancient dovecote that once housed 5,000 pigeons, and a large expanse of lawns where weddings are frequently held.  Ensure happy memories of your time in Normandy with a few nights or more at this exquisite château.

Please visit their pages on our web site to learn more about the elegant Château de Saint-Maclou.

[Photos are property of M. et Mme Gage.  All rights reserved.]

French Quiz 110

Where are we? 

This Breton town becomes everyone's favorite once they've visited.
Do you know its name?  It's one of France's Plus Beaux Villages.

Quiz 110 - Photo copyright Cold Spring Press 2011.  All rights reserved.

 The first person who sends us the correct answer will receive
a set of our twelve Château Note Cards.

Send your answer by email to

See the answer to the last issue's Quiz at the end of this newsletter.
The answer to this quiz will appear in our Summer 2012 newsletter.

[Photo © 20099-2012 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Our Newest Member in Provence
Château de Picomtal

~ in the superb southern French Alpes ~

Château de Picomtal
Château de Picomtal

Our newest member is the grand Château de Picomtal in Provence whose origins can be traced back more than one thousand years.  Located in the southern Alpes, this delightful bed and breakfast has four guest rooms and four suites, all with en suite bathrooms, as well as an apartment in the Annexe which can be a B&B room or rented for longer periods as a self-catering unit.  Guest rooms are bright and sunny and have views over Lake Serre-Ponçon, the parkland and gardens, or the mountains.

Suite Boniface
Suite Boniface in the 13th Century round tower

Your friendly owners are French and American and devoted four long years to completely renovating the château after purchasing it in 1999.  Today it is still faithful to its roots but modernized just enough for the comfort of its guests.

Château gardens and view

Open from the 20th of April until the end of October, guests are welcomed to share in the history and ambiance of this fine castle.  Tours are given to the guests and can be organized for groups visiting the area. 

Your hosts also organize musical and cultural events (see photo below) as well as conferences and seminars, and about five times a year cooking courses are given with a professional chef followed by dinner at the château.

Evening cultural event

We are very pleased that Château de Picomtal has joined our web site.  It is a fine addition to our list of esteemed members and in a unique location of southeastern France.  We hope that you will consider a stay at this château the next time you are in Provence. 

[Photos copyrighted by M. et Mme Peureux, Château de Picomtal.  All rights reserved.]


Monet's Gardens at Giverny.  Photo copyright 2012 Barbara Babkirk.  All rights reserved.

Barbara Babkirk offers ladies the opportunity to escape to France for a Unique Retreat for Women.
Explore Paris, Giverny (Monet's Gardens) and Chartres for 6 days from May 28 to June 3, 2012.
Limited to six women.  Celebrate a new decade in your life, or an important transition, 
or simply treat yourself to well-deserved time away from your daily routine.
Click on the above photo above to contact Barbara by email for all the details.

Featured Bed & Breakfast:
Domaine des Faures

Domaine des Faures - Photo copyright Cold Spring Press 2011-2012.  All rights reserved.

Domaine des Faures in the Dordogne

We had the pleasure to visit Domaine des Faures in September and to get to know its cordial owners, Ray and Jacinta Standen.  We had a tour of the lovely house; it just sparkles with sunlight and warmth.  The rooms are decorated tastefully and are immaculate in every way.   Four en suite guest rooms are offered, and breakfast is served in a large, cheerful dining room.

Dining room at Domaine des Faures.  Photo copyrighted Cold Spring Press 2011-2012.  All rights reserved.
The Domaine's  dining room

Yes, this is a bed and breakfast ~ in all months except July and August when it is rented as a self-catering holiday home.  During our visit we were impressed by the large modern kitchen that those self-catering guests will use to prepare meals.  Every modern convenience is provided.  All guests can enjoy the recently installed swimming pool, too.

A guest room at Domaine des Faures. Photo copyright Cold Spring Press 2011-2012.  All rights reserved.

This lovely home offers a warm welcome, tranquil and comfortable rooms, spacious salons and dining rooms, and the perfect location.  Only minutes from the bastide town of Monpazier and a few minutes in the opposite direction to the amazing Château de Biron (open to the public), it is ideal for visiting all that the Dordogne has to offer.

                                        One of the Domaine's guest rooms

Domaine des Faures offers something else!  Garden Tours are schedule at several times of the year.  Click here to read about the tours in great detail.  Those participating become guests of the Standens and will not only enjoy the tours, but breakfast each morning and several lunches and dinners with the group.  For prices and schedules please contact and mention Faures Garden Tours in your email.

Please do visit the Domaine on this web site to read all about it, visit its for booking information or details about their special cultural events and garden tours.

[Photos © 2011-2012 Cold Spring Press.  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.

La Porte du Pont Saint Martory.  Photo copyright 2011-2012 Cold Spring Press. All rights reserved.

                                                                               La Porte du Pont at charming Saint Martory

We fell in love with the village of Saint-Martory which straddles the River Garonne as it flows through the Haute-Garonne département in the Midi-Pyrénées.  This French commune is located 70 kilometers southwest of Toulouse and 60 kilometers north of the Spanish border. We stopped here to visit Château de Saint Martory, a member of our web family.  The château is currently available for rent by the week in July and August. 

From the bridge, Pont Saint Martory.  Photo copyright 2011-2012 Cold Spring Press. All rights reserved.

The magnificent river, lined with trees on both banks, is a wide, blue, gentle waterway that evokes a sense of calm as you stand on the Pont Saint Martory and watch it pass below.  Looking up in an easterly direction as in this photo, you can see a good part of the village of Saint Martory to your left. 

Château de Saint Martory and River Garonne. Photo copyright 2011-2012 Cold Spring Press. All rights reserved.

However, when you stand on that same bridge and look in the opposite direction, there before you is a small glimpse of Château de Saint Martory.  It's a wonderful place to stay ~ it looks down over the river and is hidden away behind locked gates to ensure those who stay here privacy and a quiet holiday.

We hope that you will have the opportunity to visit this region of France.  If you need precise directions, just let us know.  We'll be happy to help.  In the meantime, visit Château de Saint Martory on our site.

[Photos © 2011-2012 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Our Featured Château Rental . . .
Château de Servigny, Normandy

The magical Château de Servigny

The opportunity to gather your friends and family for a holiday in France doesn't come along very often.  But, if you can coordinate everyone's schedule, what better way to spend a vacation than at a magical château filled with history and splendid in so many ways?

Servigny CuisineServigny Dining Room

                                         La cuisine at the château                                      Dining room with massive fireplace 

The Château de Servigny has eight guest rooms and accommodates a maximum of 14 adults and 2 children under the age of three.  As mentioned on our web site, the château offers renters a large, user-friendly kitchen, a spacious dining room with a grand fireplace, a Louis XVI drawing room / library which is especially conducive to relaxation and reading, a smaller Louis XVI games and music room for guests to play the piano or take on an opponent in a game of  backgammon, and a billiards room.  There is even a recreation room for children in the 17th century outbuilding.  Best of all is a delightful swimming pool and tennis court.

Chambre MontgomeryChâteau swimming pool

                                 One of eight château bedrooms                                   The large swimming pool

For those who can't forego their connection to the world of technology while living in an historic residence, the château is equipped with satellite television, and Internet connections can be found in the guest rooms.

Day trips to the landing beaches of World War II, lovely towns such as Barfleur, le Mont St-Michel, Bayeux (do see the tapestry), and so many more interesting places are easy.  And, if you are coming from the UK by way of Cherbourg, it is only a twenty minute drive to the château.

Please visit Château de Servigny on our site to learn more.  To obtain further details and booking information, please contact and mention Servigny in the subject line.

[Photo credits © 2012 Arnaud de Pontac. All Rights Reserved.]

News from our Members . . .
  • Château de la Barre, in the beautiful Sarthe near the Loire Valley, is offering two enchanting musical weekends this summer:  July 26 - 30 and August 2 - 6 when guests will be welcomed with a Champagne reception and spend that day and the next days visiting the royal Loire châteaux, enjoying teas and wine tastings as well as exclusive dinners at neighboring châteaux, lovely lunches and, of course, classical and jazz concerts - and so much more!  For more information and a detailed itinerary, please contact us at and please mention Barre Concerts in the subject line.
  • The incredible Medieval Château d'Agel in Languedoc still has four weeks free in July (June 30 to July 28) for that special group self-catering holiday.  Rent the château for one, two, three or all four weeks ~ a special rate is being given for the first two weeks in July.  This lovely and much-loved family château will be all yours ~ including a refreshing swimming pool.  Area vineyards offer wine tastings, and you can visit Carcassonne, the Canal du Midi, Narbonne and the Mediterranean beaches for enjoyable day trips.  Contact us for more information and availability at, and put Agel in the subject line.
  • Château de Pomiro in southwest France's Gascony region welcomes guests to experience its three new activities:  Polo, Hawk Walks, and Clay Pigeon Shooting.  Visit their pages on this web site to read details and see photos.  This is a lovely B&B in Armagnac country ~ and it is becoming one of southwest France's most popular wedding venues.  For information about any of the above opportunities at the château, please email with Pomiro in the subject line.

Coming Soon  . . .

We will soon be welcoming the restored 19th-century Château de Locqueran in Brittany's Finistère département ~ it is in a splendid location overlooking the River Goyen and is divided into several apartments that can be rented for holidays.

Garden and views from the châteauChâteau de Locqueran

Look for it on our site in the coming month.  Until then, if you are interested in details, prices and availability, contact us at, and we will get information for you.

[Photos courtesy of David Evans, Château de Locqueran.  All rights reserved.]

Easy Recipe:  Leeks with Tomato & Olive Oil

Jacques PépinOur favorite French chef is Jacques Pépin, as we mentioned in our last newsletter, so we are going to include one more of his easy recipes in this issue.  We love leeks, so this recipe is especially appealing. [Note about leeks from the chef:  cook leeks in unsalted water; use most of the green part of the leek, trimming away only the tips of the leaves and any wilted or damaged outer leaves; be sure to open the leeks and wash them thoroughly before using.]

You will need 4 medium leeks (about 1-1/4 pounds) trimmed and washed; 1 ripe tomato (about 7 oz.) peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces; 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil; 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

In a stainless steel saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the leeks, bring back to the boil and cook gently (covered) for about 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain (reserving the juice for  soup, if you wish) and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the leeks to extract and reserve most of the remaining liquid.

Cut the leeks into 2-inch pieces and arrange the pieces in a gratin dish, mixing them to combine the white and green parts.

Mix together the tomato, oil, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Spoon the mixture over the leeks.  Serve lukewarm or at room temperature. 

Serves four.   Bon appétit!

You will enjoy reading the bestseller, Jacques Pépin's autobiography, 
The Apprentice:  My Life in the Kitchen, available at 
Learn how this man, educated at Columbia University in the fields of 
philosophy and literature - and working toward a Master's degree and PhD.
in French literature - returned to the kitchen and to food, his first love.

Click here to buy the book!

  We hope you have enjoyed au Château News.
If you have,  please forward it to friends and 
encourage them to subscribe.  It's FREE!

Answer to Quiz 109 - Where Are We?  from our Autumn issue:

The answer to last issue's quiz is Pont Alexandre III in Paris.
We received several correct answers, but our winner hails 
from Massachusetts.  Congratulations to her!

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