Newsletter Banner

Spring 2015
In this issue . . . featuring  lodging in France's northwest

    Coming soon:  Château de Gauville in the Eure département

   Our featured B&B:   Château de Bénéauville in Calvados, Normandy

   Our Featured Rental:  Château de Caillotière in the Pays de la Loire

   News and Offers from our members

and more!

It's a good time to begin plans for your visit to France in 2015!
We hope this newsletter gives you some ideas.


Coming Soon . . . Château de Gauville

. . .  weekly rental offering luxury and comfort

Château de Gauville.   Photo copyright M/Mme Knoll. All rightes reserved.

Château de Gauville, Haute Normandy

Château Salon.  Photo copyright M/Mme Knoll. All rightes reserved.

Château de Gauville is a classic château  in the style of Louis XV and on the register of Historic Monuments in France.  Built in 1732 on 25 acres, the parkland surrounding the château affords guests a most relaxing holiday while the château itself provides luxurious and authentically French accommodations.

With nine spacious and tastefully-appointed guest rooms, six of which are en suite, the château can comfortably accommodate 18 people, and extra beds can be provided for additional small children.

                                       Elegant Salon

As shown in these photos, the common rooms are elegant and inviting.  Ample seating for your group's dinners is provided, or smaller numbers of people can enjoy a more intimate setting for taking their meals.

Château de Gauville dining room.   Photo copyright M/Mme Knoll. All rightes reserved.

Please return to the au Château web site soon to visit Château de Gauville's pages for detailed information, photos, and prices.  If you are interested in reserving the château now, don't hesitate to contact us.

Map of the Eure département, Normandy 

[Photos © Mr and Mrs Mark Knoll.  All Rights Reserved.]

French Quiz 122

Where are we?

Hint:  A place like no other . . .

Quiz 122

Please provide the exact name of this historic site in France.

The first person who sends us the correct answer will receive our exclusive
 French Château Note Cards with our artist's original drawings.

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 2015 newsletter.

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

Featured Rental Château:

Château de Caillotière

~  in the Pays de la Loire ~

Château de Caillotière.  Photo Photo by David Daniel.  All rights reserved.
  Château de Caillotière

Château de Caillotière is a stately and elegant 19th century architectural jewel located in the tranquil Pays de la Loire of western France on more than 70 acres of parkland, woods and gardens.  It was built over 200 years ago by French Ambassador, Augustin de Vernouillet, an ancestor of the present owners.

Chambre Bleue.  Photo copyrighted M/M de Noblet.  All rights reserved.

The château is rented by the week and can accommodate up to thirteen people in six bedrooms, four of which are en suite.  There are two kitchens, one small and a larger formal dining room, a games and music room, and a Grand Salon.  Groups renting this château will find themselves surrounded with every amenity and comfort to ensure their time here is perfect in every way.

                                                                                                                                                    Chambre Bleue

Moving to the outdoors, guests can ride the horse or pony on the miles of riding trails on the estate, play tennis on the new court, swim in the new swimming pool, fish in the pond, or try their hand at pétanque (boules), badminton or table tennis.  There are bicycles available for leisurely rides in the surrounding countryside as well.

Tennis court.  Photo copyrighted M/M de Noblet.  All rights reserved.Swimming Pool. Photo copyrighted M/M de Noblet.  All rights reserved.

  Tennis court and Swimming Pool

Many times travelers heading for France are hoping to take some cooking classes.  At Château de Caillotière two options are available:  classes can be organized with Chef Tempereau in his nearby workshop, or classes can be arranged at the château with chef Astrid de Beauregard who runs à la table d'Astrid.  Just request a cooking course when you book your week at the château, and the owners will make all the arrangements.

The region around the château has many attractions for pleasant day trips to Angers and the royal châteaux of the Loire, Fontevraud Abbey, golf courses and antiquing at architectural salvage shops that will ship your purchases to your home.


Maine-et-Loire.  Wikipedia
Gather your friends and family and start planning that wonderful week together in a history-filled French château for a vacation you will fondly remember for years to come. Visit Château de Caillotière on our site today, and contact us with questions, or to make a reservation.

[Photo © M. et Mme de Noblet. 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.
Pleneuf Val Andre.  Photo copyrighted by Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.

Our hilltop view of Pleneuf-Val-André toward the sea

Pleneuf-Val André on the Côtes-d'Armor of Brittany was a place we had never visited before and one that turned out to be a very happy discovery.  Perched high above the residential area of the town, this westward view of the shoreline was from the balcony of the bedroom at our B&BThe next day, from this same spot and when the marine layer was gone, we watched a paraglider stay in the air for nearly twenty minutes before coming down onto the beach.

Sailing at Pleneuf-Val-André Brittany.  Photo copyrighted Cold Spring Press. All rights reserved.

around town at our host's suggestion was great fun. Not only did we enjoy the village and a lovely lunch on the boardwalk above the west-facing beach, but we also saw people sailing or boating along the pristine shore.  Not a touristy spot, most of the people we did see were locals enjoying the great weather with their children or out for strolls along the water.


                                                                                        Boats out for a warm September sail at Pleneuf-Val-André

Tennis club and park at Pleneuf-Val-André.  Photo copyrighted Cold Spring Press. All rights reserved.

took leisurely strolls around town admiring the flowers hanging in baskets from poles and lightposts, the charming architecture of the homes, and this sign for the tennis club at a little park in the center of the village.  Restaurants in Pleneuf ranged from small cafés to more elegant dinner spots. Our dining experience was exceptional with good service and fresh cuisine at two different restaurants.

Next time you are in Brittany along the Channel, don't miss the opportunity to visit Pleneuf-Val-André for a few days.  It will appeal to anyone who loves the sea, the salt air and the opportunity to slow down and attempt to imitate the relaxed lifestyle of its local residents.

Map Côtes-d'Armor

[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 de Bénéauville
  ~  in Calvados, Normandy
Château de Bénéauville.  Photo copyrighted by Philippe Laugais.  All rights reserved.
Château de Bénéauville

uniquely lovely Château de Bénéauville has been a listed historic monument for the past 50 years and dates back to 1589.  Situated on 25 hectares of woodland and park, this incredible château has much to offer its bed and breakfast guests. 

Chambre Hercule.  Photo copyright M/M Augais.  All rights reserved.

extraordinary king and twin guest rooms and suites, all with their own bathrooms, provide total comfort in an atmosphere of rich history and refined décor.

The common rooms of the château include a quiet salon as well as a library and dining room each with remarkable hand painted beamed ceilings. Every corner of this château exudes warmth and timeless charm.

Guests will also enjoy the park at Château de Bénéauville with beautifully-tended gardens and a natural pond.  Of special appeal is the heated swimming pool, infrequently found at châteaus in Normandy, and certainly a welcome amenity in the warmer months.

Heated Swimming Pool.  Photo copyright M/M Augais.  All rights reserved.Delightful pond.  Photo copyright M/M Augais.  All rights reserved.

Heated Swimming Pool and Delightful Pond

Map of Calvados, Normandy
Château de Bénéauville's pages on our site, and then contact us with your questions or to make a reservation at  In addition to being a guest at this fine bed and breakfast, you will enjoy its convenience to the D-Day landing beaches and Caen - the city of William the Conqueror - among all the other historic and enjoyable attractions of beautiful Normandy.

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

News from Our Members . . .
with several special offers

  • Château Allure du Lac, an enchanting château on a lake in the bucolic Maine-et-Loire département, has a very special offer for your group rental:  It is their "Cancellation Special".  Save € 3732 per week in May! This special discount applies to all 7-day bookings for stays between May 1 and May 21, 2015, and results in a discounted 7-day rental rate of € 9750, including taxes, intead of the regular rate of € 13,482.  Contact us to take advantage of this special offer.

  • Château de Courtomer in Normandy invites you to its Cultural Highlights and French Art of Living tour, April 17-23, 2015.  Exclusive tours of the Bayeux Tapestry, the cathedral and open air market at Sées, the National Stud farm at Haras du Pin, the D-Day landing beaches, Monet's Gardens at Giverny, a visit to Versailles and more are included. This elegant château will be your home away from home for the week where you can relax, enjoy a cooking lesson, learn about French wines and cheeses with Pascal, the sommelier, take a hot-air balloon ride and so much more.  There are limited places left, so please contact us very soon for more information and availability.

Getting the news!
    Château de Challain has a special discounted offer:  Book between now and May 1st and all bed & breakfast rooms will be
    € 200 per night including breakfast.  OR rent the whole château for 30 guests (2-night minimum) for € 1950 per night.  Contact us today for further details. These special rates are only valid if booked through au Château!
Château de Détilly is offering special discounts if you book their château for the week of April 16 to May 2 for € 5100.  If you prefer, you can book the weeks of May 2 to 8th or June 7 to 13th for € 5875 per week. This represents a 33% discount off their 2015 rates.  (The Coach House is not included in these offers.)  Contact us today with questions or to make your reservations.  Don't miss out on this lovely Loire Valley château that will sleep up to 18 guests!  These special rates are only valid if booked through au Château!

Be sure to visit our Special Offers page often to see what other properties are discounting their rates or offering guests a special bonus for booking with them. 

Please remember that  au Château gives every inquiry personal, prompt attention ~
 and we are here to answer your questions, unlike the automated online booking services.

[Contact us at  for availability or reservations at any property
on our site or mentioned in this issue. Please be sure to put the property name in the subject line.]

Easy Recipe ~  Moules (Mussels) with Shallots, Pernod & Saffron

This recipe is courtesy of the wonderful book, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves:  Culinary Adventures in the Dordogne by Kimberley Lovato with recipes by Laura Schmalhorst. It is a book filled with insight into the charm and warmth of the Périgord, exploring the villages that are like no others in France, and finally delving into a cuisine rich in tradition and relying on locally-sourced produce and products.  This particular recipe reaches farther away to the sea for the mussels, but the result is nonetheless delicious.

You will need 8 pounds (4 kg) of fresh mussels, 1/2 pound of unsalted butter, 3 cloves of garlic minced, 4 shallots minced, 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads crushed, 2 medium tomates chopped, 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine, 1/2 cup (80 ml) Pernod (pronounced pear-no - a French anise liqueur), 1 teaspoon white pepper, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon.

Place the mussels in the sink and run water over them to remove any sand.  Remove stringy fibers attached to the shells and discard any mussels that are open or cracked.  In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the garlic, shallots, and saffron, and cook until fragrant - about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, wine, Pernod and white pepper and bring to a full boil for 2 minutes.

Finally, add the mussels, cover, and cook - occasionally stirring gently - until most of the mussels have opened - about 5 minutes.  Add the tarragon and cook until all of the mussels are open - about 1 minute longer.  Discard any that have not opened. Divide mussels among large soup bowls, and ladle the broth over the top. Be sure to serve with crusty baguettes.

Serves four people.  Bon appétit!

[Recipe from Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves.
Copyrighted 2009 by Kim Lovato and Laura Schmalhorst,
and published by Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
ISBN 978-0-7624-3799-3]


Click on the Amazon banner to buy your copy of this travel and cookbook treasure!

  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 121 - Where Are We?  from our  Winter 2014 issue

It was the  ancient Breton city of Vannes founded over 2000 years ago, and the monk born there
was Saint Emilion, after whom a great wine area of Bordeaux was named.
  The winner of our France 2015 Calendar was a subscriber from North Yorkshire England.

Département maps courtesy of Wikipédia, France

Disclaimer: Cold Spring Press, au Château© and/or any persons associated with either organization do not take any responsibility for errors and/or omissions in any edition of au Château News© and no guarantees are given or implied with regard to the contents of any au Château News©.   The disclaimer on the au Château© web site at, applies in its entirety to all au Château News© editions.  Cold Spring Press and au Château©  take no responsibility for the contents of any web sites to which links are provided on our site or in any editions of au Château News.  Subscribers receive this newsletter because they have requested to be on our Opt-In mailing list.  To have your email address removed, simply send an email with 'Unsubscribe' in the Subject line to
Our address is Cold Spring Press, P O Box 26098, San Diego, California USA 92196-0098.

© 2000-2015 au Château - Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved