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Autumn 2014

In this issue 

    Welcoming Château de Courtomer in Normandy

   Our featured B&B:   Château de Longsard in the Rhône

   Our Featured Rental:  Château de la Bourgonie in the Dordogne


Welcome to Château de Courtomer . . .

. . .  in Normandy's Orne département, not far from Paris

The grand Château de Courtomer

Château de Courtomer

Magnificent stairway at the château

Château de Courtomer is less than 2 hours from Paris by train in the Orne département of Normandy and is rented by the week or can host special occasions such as weddings, family celebrations and seminars. 

The château is also happy to arrange wine tastings, tours of the D-Day beaches, area tours, hot-air balloon rides or an on-site chef to prepare special meals for your group.

Fifteen en suite bedrooms allow for a large group to vacation together in this classical 18th century château.  

Guests will enjoy the vast estate including the gardens, lawns and ancient moat ~ and they will appreciate the historic significance of the estate that has been thoughtfully preserved by the current owners.


For those looking for a venue for their family gatherings, weddings or corporate functions, the Orangerie provides everything one could want.  Smaller groups can come together in the more private château meeting room. 
The Orangerie
The Orangerie

Of course, above all the comfort of the guests is important.  There are relaxing salons, lovely guest rooms, a fine dining hall and a modern, fully-equipped kitchen with all the modern conveniences.

Canopied bed  The salonFine dining
A guest room                        The Salon                        Dining Room

It is never too early to book your week at Château de Courtomer.  We are now accepting reservations for 2015 and 2016 ~ early wedding planning is especially important.  Please visit their pages on our site today, and contact us with any questions you may have.

[Photos are © copyrighted by the owners of Château de Courtomer. All rights reserved.]

French Quiz 120

Where are we?

What is this monument and where is it?

Quiz 120.  Photo copyright Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.

Please provide the name of the monument and the city.

The first person who sends us the correct complete answer 

will receive our exclusive au 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 Winter 2014 newsletter.

[Photo © Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

Featured Rental Château:

Château de la Bourgonie

~  in the delightful Dordogne ~

Château de la Bourgonie
Château de la Bourgonie

Its rural setting and Medieval exterior belie the warmth and charm of the interior of Château de la Bourgonie ~ a registered Monument Historique ~ completely renovated to provide all modern conveniences without sacrificing its authenticity and centuries of history.  You may even want to take a tour of the family's ancient home, the Medieval fortress of Commarque.

Comfortably accommodating twelve adults and 2 small children, the château is a weekly rental (two weeks minimum in high season) at very reasonable rates.  The guest rooms are sophisticated and spacious, as are the common rooms, and everyone will enjoy that magnificent swimming pool with views over the Dordogne countryside.

The Dordogne département

find out more, visit Château de la Bourgonie on our site, and contact us with questions, or to make a reservation.

[Photos © copyrighted by Comte et Comtesse de Commarque.  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.

Outdoor theatre in Lautrec.  Photo copyrighted by Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.

The breathtaking village of Lautrec ~ its outdoor theatre

Lautrec is one of our favorite villages in all of France.  We have visited more than once, and we know we will return again - perhaps next year.

Famous for its connection to Charlemagne (he built a church at the base of this wall), today it is still pleasantly off the beaten path so the few tourists who do visit can enjoy a unique and delightful stay without the busy activity of other hill towns.

Charming houses, a fine windmill at the top of some well-worn stone steps, a lovely church, and a village square right out of a French film all combine to make a visit to Lautrec one of the most memorable you will ever have.  And, don't forget to buy some of its famous pink garlic!

The  photo above was taken from the garden of La Terrasse de Lautrec, a very special B&B that you will find on our web site.  They have five en suite guest rooms and a great self-catering gîte for rent by the week.  With gardens designed by Le Notre and a host and hostess who have lovingly restored and preserved their village mansion, La Terrasse is a place you will enjoy and return to again and again.

La Terrasse de Lautrec.  Photo copyrighted by Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.
La Terrasse de Lautrec

Map Tarn departement

[Photos copyrighted Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]


Yabla - learn French online!

 Online French Video Immersion

Yabla French is an online video magazine for French learners
 who wish to improve their language skills. 

Authentic French videos include television programs, music videos,
 interviews, documentaries, and travel. 

Click on the banner to sign up or learn more!

Featured Château B&B:
Château Longsard in the Rhône

Château de LongsardIn the lovely Rhône region, not far from France's gastronomic capital, Lyon, is the elegant Château de Longsard, offering charming en suite guest rooms in the château and spacious apartments in their coach house.  Open from March 1 until December 20, Château de Longsard can host small weddings, arrange for tours of the nearby Beaujolais vineyards, host wine tastings in its 18th century wine cellar, and provide a relaxing and memorable vacation getaway.

The château gardens are exquisite, and spending time admiring them will be very rewarding.  For those who want to explore the region, and in addition to visiting Lyon for its history, charm and fine cuisine, guests of the château can also visit the Abbey at Cluny, take garden tours, enjoy the area's lakes, take river excursions or drive the country roads to see the local villages and their golden limestone houses.

miss the opportunity to spend your next vacation in the bucolic Rhône and Château de Longsard.   Please visit their pages on our site to see many more photos, and contact us for availability at

Map of Rhône département

[Photos © copyrighted by the owners of Château de Longsard. All rights reserved.]

Easy Recipe ~  Red Potato Gratin
from a past au Château News

This dish is a fine accompaniment to any roast meat or baked fish main course.   Although it is best to use potatoes fresh from the grocer, they can be kept in a cool, dark place for some time, preferably unwrapped.  Remember to always remove the 'eyes' or sprouts growing from any potato before using as these are toxic.

You will need 2 1/2 pounds of medium-sized red potatoes that are not peeled, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic,  1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme, 1 can (14 ounces) of chicken broth or 2 cups of homemade stock, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and fresh ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Wash potatoes and cut into thin slices.

Coat  a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with one quarter of the potato slices in a single layer.  Sprinkle with some of the garlic, pepper and thyme.  Repeat this process until there are four layers, ending with a layer of potatoes on top.  Pour broth evenly over potatoes, cover with foil and bake for one hour. 

After an hour, remove foil, drizzle with olive oil and bake uncovered about 15 or 20 minutes until potatoes are tender and the juice is reduced.   Serves 8.  . Bon appétit!

[Recipe courtesy of Jane O'Riordan's  "Rhône Appétit - Food to Serve with American Rhône Varietals " book 
Copyright 1998 and published by Toyon Hill Press  ISBN 0 9642901-3-8]

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

Answer to Quiz 119 - Where Are We?  from our Summer issue  
The Triumphal Arch in Orange

  There were three correct guesses, but the winner was a long-time
reader from London.  We thank him for participating and hope you all continue to do so.

Département maps courtesy of Wikipédia, France

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