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Summer 2012

In this issue - 

Greet our 2 Newest Members!
Château de Bénéauville & Château de Bouillon

  Our Featured B&B - Château Talaud

Our featured Château Rental - Château du Grand-Lucé

  News from our Members

 and  more!


 The Inviting
Château de Bénéauville
~  a unique destination in Normandy  ~

Château de Bénéauville park view
Château de Bénéauville as seen from the park

This incredible château has added so much interest and charm to au Château.  We are really so happy that it is now available to travelers visiting our site.  Not only are beautiful guest rooms awaiting visitors, but the parkland, swimming pool, and horse stables make it all the more appealing.

We all know that location is everything, and Château de Bénéauville could not be better located.  It is near the city of Caen ~ an important Normandy center that offers so much to the visitor.  Caen, the birthplace of William the Conqueror, suffered extensive damage during the Battle of Normandy in 1944.  Although the old city no longer exists, visitors can explore the Château de Caen built by William in 1060, the city's Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Musée de Normandie, as well as the highly-acclaimed Memorial de Caen erected in 1988.

A listed historic monument for over fifty years, the château is surrounded by 25 hectares of parkland and forest.  Guests will be amazed by the hand painted ceilings in several of the rooms ~ some date back to the mid-1600s and look as though they were painted yesterday!  The salon, library and dining room are all exquisitely furnished for the comfort of their guests.

Château guest roomChâteau suite
The two elegant guest rooms offered at Château de Bénéauville

A feature of the château which will add to the enjoyment of one's stay is the beautiful, heated swimming pool.  There is also a small pond where guests can try their hand at fishing, a sauna for a spa-like experience, and bicycles for wandering the nearby countryside.  There is really something for everyone!

The heated swimming pool at Château de Bénéauville
The château's inviting swimming pool

Please visit their pages on our web site to learn more about the warm and welcoming Château de Bénéauville and how it can ensure that your time in Normandy is exceptional.  And, for those of you who will be attending the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy from August 24 to September 7 that year, book early for a room at the château.  The owners will be happy to reserve a few of their stables for visitors' horses.  Half a million attendees are expected at the Games!

[Photos are © copyrighted property of  M. et Mme AUGAIS.  All rights reserved.]

French Quiz 111

Where are we? 

This massive château dominates the village below with the same name.
Can you identify it?  Hint: it's in département 24.

Quiz 111 - Photo © copyright Cold Spring Press 2011-2012.  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 Autumn 2012 newsletter.

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

A Delightful Château in the
 Béarn Basque region of the southwest

~ hosted by a wine expert ~

Château de Bouillon
Château de Bouillon

We are quite excited to welcome Château de Bouillon as a member of our web site.  The château is not only in a very special part of France, but your hostess, Mini Constant, is one of fewer than 300 people in the entire world who is certified as a Master of Wine.  Currently, guests can participate in short Wine Breaks courses that include wine tastings and discussions, meals, lodging and visits to wineries in the Southwest.  The château is also offering Specials for 2- and 3-night stays.

Chambre Chinoise
Chambre Chinoise at Château de Bouillon

Three guest rooms are available to guests, two of which have claw foot tubs and showers, and the third (with a balcony) has a shower room.  All are comfortably furnished and provide a retreat for an excellent night's sleep.  Guest are greeted when they arrive with a cup of tea or cool drink on the terrace or in the salon, and before going to dinner they are offered a glass of fine wine as an apéritif.  On certain evenings candlelight dinners can be booked at the château. 

Chambre Jaune salle de bains

The Béarn region of southwest France is brimming with activities for vacationers.  The main attraction is the city of Pau, known as the Ville Anglaise for its popularity among wealthy English, Scottish, American and Eastern European travelers who came here in the 19th century.  Pau offered mild winters, so these visitors introduced golf, horse racing and hunting to the region ~ all of which continue today. 

Your hosts organize wine events and outings, so be sure to read about them on our web site.  A stay at Château de Bouillon will delight you for the history of the château, the amazing Béarn region and the insight you will gain into the wines of the southwest.  Book your room today! 

[Photos © copyrighted by M. et Mme Constant, Château de Bouillon.  All rights reserved.]


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FRANCE On Your Own (the web site and the quarterly newsletter) is directed at the
independent traveler offering travel & transportation tips, articles by expats and experts, 
an in-depth look at Paris, regional visits and so much more.  Best of all, the newsletter is FREE!
Subscribe today at or visit our site at On the web since 1998!

Featured Bed & Breakfast:
Château Talaud in Provence

Beautiful Château Talaud.  Photo © copyright Château Talaud 2012.  All rights reserved.

The elegant Château Talaud in Provence

This fine château has been a member of au Château for ten years.  It has maintained its elegance and high standards to provide guests with the finest accommodations and wonderful meals in a rejuvenating and relaxing atmosphere. 

Suite Jaune at Château Talaud. Photo © copyright Château Talaud.  All rights reserved.
The spacious Suite Jaune at Château Talaud

Guests will never have a complaint about their bedrooms and en suite bathrooms at Château Talaud.  No comfort has been overlooked, and each room exudes charm and warmth.  The suites include large salons adjoining the bedrooms.  Apartments at the château are also available, as well as the very special cottage dating from 1770 which is ideal for families who are interested in a self-catering accommodation for a week or longer.

Chambre Verte.  Photo © copyright Château Talaud.  All rights reserved.

This is Chambre Verte, currently being offered the 19th and 20th of June at the special rate of 220 euros for the first night and a discount of 50% for the second night.  This is a great opportunity to experience the luxury of Château Talaud at a great savings.

The château offers a spring-fed swimming pool, acres of vineyards from which they produce their own acclaimed wines, and occasional dinners at the château.

Of utmost importance is the location of Château Talaud.  Those who stay here will find easy access to  Avignon, Carpentras, Arles, Nîmes, Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (Wednesday market), Les Baux de Provence, Marseille, Orange, Gordes, Vaison-la-Romaine, Isle sur la Sorgue (famous antique markets and fairs at Easter and in August), and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (vineyards, wine tastings).  Roman ruins are abundant in this region, including the arenas at Orange, Arles and Nîmes, the dramatic Pont du Gard,  Glanum near Saint-Rémy and others.

Please visit their pages on au Château soon to take advantage of their June special offer or contact us for further information at  Please mention 'Talaud' in the subject line.

[Photos © 2012 Château Talaud. 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.

Lively St Jean de Luz.  Photo © copyright 2012 Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.
Lively and colorful St-Jean de Luz on the Basque coast 

We returned after a long absence to St Jean de Luz, the charming seaside resort on France's southwestern Atlantic coast ~ and it has really grown!  The boardwalk is still there, but it seemed to now be longer, wider and bordered by many more shops than we remember from several years ago.

In the 11th century St-Jean de Luz was a whaling center due to its naturally deep harbor, but today, fortunately, the industry that thrives here is fishing for tuna, sardines and anchovies.  Visitors can not only enjoy the shops, restaurants and fine beach, but they should be sure to sample the macaroons and espelette peppers ~ piment d'espelette.  These peppers originated in Basque country and are the only spice in France to have received classification as AOC/AOP/PDO, the quality label for products with protected geographical origins.  These peppers are used in so many Basque dishes; they can be roasted, but are more commonly dried and ground into a powder.  Their mild flavor is compared to paprika.  Often hung from windows in Basque country to dry, the display above the entrance to Maison Adam in the photo is not a surprise, and it reminds us all of those yummy espelettes!

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

Our Featured Château Rental . . .
Château du Grand-Lucé

Château du Grand-Lucé

Exquisite is the best word to describe this beautiful château in the Pays de la Loire.  Offered by the owner to groups for their celebrations and vacations, the château is both beautifully decorated and conveniently located not far from Paris.  The tailored and simple exterior belies the luxury and richness of the interior, professionally designed by its American owner, Timothy Corrigan.

Luxurious guest roomSplendid dining room

                              There are  fourteen en suite bedrooms                                     One of two elegant dining rooms

The château is rented by the week or for shorter stays for special occasions such as weddings and family gatherings.  The common rooms such as this splendid dining room are furnished with great taste and style, keeping with the 18th century château's architecture.  Fourteen spacious bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom, allow for twenty-eight guests to stay at the château, and quarters for staff are provided in another building on the estate.

Grand-Lucé boxwood gardensGrand-Lucé rose gardens
The boxwood and rose gardens on the estate

Set on seventy-four acres of gardens, woods, and parkland ~ and with a heated swimming pool and its own lake ~ the château offers its occupants the opportunity for many outdoor experiences.  They can also walk into the small adjoining village.  The gardens of the château are sure to please everyone.  Peaceful walks through the meticulously tended boxwood or rose gardens pictured here will add to a relaxing vacation.                                                 

Please visit Château du Grand-Lucé on our site for more photos and to see what is offered to create the perfect venue for a special occasion.   To ask questions or for booking information, please contact and mention Grand-Lucé in the subject line.

[Photo credits © 2012 Timothy Corrigan.  All Rights Reserved.]

News from our Members . . .

Château Coulon Laurensac in Bordeaux offers private and exclusive wine tours to the most significant and important wine producers in the region.  Here is an excerpt from their most recent newsletter, Bordeaux Wine Magazine.

"Not just a wine tour; it's a Bordeaux Wine Experience

Just imagine visiting Bordeaux and tasting at the world's most famous chateaux like Pichon Baron or Haut Brion. Picture yourself in the famous round aging cellar of Lafite Rothschild or visiting the palladian palace of Chateau Margaux and see their cooper at work. Imagine sipping a properly aged Mouton Rothschild in our Chateau's private dining room. Every wine lover in the world would like to visit these places but they are not easy to get in to as Bordeaux doesn't offer open tasting rooms. Allow me to open these doors (and bottles) that usually stay closed for outsiders. I will guide you through the entire experience like an insider! When you tour with me, you'll taste more Classified Growths than on any other Bordeaux wine tour! And we will have a lot of fun with the excellent and humorous guidance by yours truly, Ronald Rens M.Sc. Wine Master.

Last spots still available

June and September are sold out, but there are two last rooms available on The July Grand Tour of Bordeaux.  And, in October we have still some spots for the outstanding Bordeaux Harvest Experience, including visits and tastings at Haut Brion and Yquem. All tours combine superb food and exquisite tastings.  Ronald and Margaret would love to welcome you at their chateau."

Bordeaux Wine Experience tour group.  Photo copyright Ronald Rens 2012.  All rights reserved.
A gathering of food and wine enthusiasts

For more information about accommodations, the tours and how to make a reservation, please contact us at  Mention "Bordeaux Wine Tours" in the subject line of your email.  Merci!

Easy Recipe:  No recipe this issue.

Look for our Autumn Easy Recipe in September!

  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 110 - Where Are We?  from our Spring issue:

The answer to last issue's quiz is the village of 
Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany.
No one guessed the location!

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