NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

La Belle France

ashleyd's picture

La Belle France (post #52846)

I've been meaning to post these since we went to celebrate my "milestone" birthday when we decided to treat ourselves to a couple of nights at the Chateau de Mirambeau on the way to party with friends. I like decent hotels (especially if I pay low, low prices) but even then this was something special.



The chateau (our room had the centre and centre right windows above the terrace room - 2nd floor in the US) is set in beautiful grounds), all the bits you expect. As we drove up several people rushed up to unload our car and while they took the car away they invited us into the lounge to have coffee and check in.



It is a truly spectacular room, not exactly my taste, but magnificent in its own way, they had somebody going round each evening lighting all those candles!


Formalities over we were taken on the grand tour of the facilities including the terrace room, a recent addition where we had a couple of our meals, looking out over the landscaped gardens, lovely at sunset.



From there were taken to the spa with an indoor pool which had a revolving current, swim against it and you hardly moved, swim with it and you felt like that Phelps chap, laps in record time! It also had a gym, saunas, jacuzzi and that sort of stuff.



From the indoor pool you walked out onto the terrace to play in the outdoor pool, or just sit there and sip coffee.



After the tour completed (which included various other dining rooms and the Cognatheque - the Cognac tasting room) we were shown to our air-conditioned bedroom with this rather splendid bed and antique furniture.



That might look like fancy wallpaper but it isn't, it's fabric, high quality woven fabric, as were all the wall decorations throughout (except those that had beautifully painted murals).As we were taking it all in they brought us a welcome tray complete with nibbles, a cooling drink, flowers and a hand written letter of welcome (in English) from the manager.



After freshening up in the luxurious bathroom we drifted down for pre-dinner cocktails (actually pink champagne!) before being escorted to the Terrace Room for dinner.



Even the table decoration was a work of art, fresh for every meal, such a great ambience.


The food, as you would expect in a place like this with a Michelin star, tasted fabulous and was very stylistically presented, as shown in this example of salmon and oyster terrine.



The staff were friendly and attentive, without being in your face and over familiar, not that common in France, especially to the rosbifs! A great couple of nights to rest and recharge the batteries after the long drive and before meeting up for party activities. Not the sort of thing we could afford to do too regularly, but as an occasional treat it was just the ticket, money well spent!



Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.


Edited 8/3/2009 1:54 pm by ashleyd

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

MadMom's picture

(post #52846, reply #1 of 26)

Looks and sounds lovely!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

evelyn's picture

(post #52846, reply #2 of 26)

Am I permitted to be green-eyed with envy, or do I have to arrange a visit with Jen to get coloured contact lenses?

Everything looks fabulous...but that terrine...I would love to taste it!LOL

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
evelyn's picture

(post #52846, reply #3 of 26)

I expect the yellow dots to be some kind of a mustard sauce, but what are the green dots?

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
ashleyd's picture

(post #52846, reply #8 of 26)

If I recall correctly they were some kind of wasabi mayonnaise.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

thecooktoo's picture

(post #52846, reply #9 of 26)

I am totally consumed with envy!  Glad you had the opportunity to really enjoy the trip.


Jim

ashleyd's picture

(post #52846, reply #10 of 26)

You would so enjoy the food down there. At a local restaurant we had a six course lunch for 26 of us for 12.50 Euro per head (around $19) with all the (red) wine you could drink and bread you could eat. No choice, but who cares? All prepared fresh on the premises. On Sunday you get a couple more courses (usually including sanglier - wild boar stew) and a choice of red or white wine and the price rises to an astonishing 15 Euro!


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Barbara48's picture

(post #52846, reply #11 of 26)

Where is this,exactly? I want to go ...

ashleyd's picture

(post #52846, reply #20 of 26)

Gary has pointed at the TripAdvisor site, but the chateau is between Cognac and Bordeaux, a cognac tasting was included as part of our package. The hotel website has an English version.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

thecooktoo's picture

(post #52846, reply #12 of 26)

I'm working on a possible barge trip in France sometime next year...too early too tell if it can come together, seeing how next year is our 50th anniversary.


Jim

Gretchen's picture

(post #52846, reply #21 of 26)

We took a wonderful barge trip in Burgundy in 2001. It was a real treat in every way.  Ours was booked through Abercrombie and Kent, but the actual barge was French Country Waterways. I recommend the one we were on in particular--Lafayette.


The food was just stunning. The service was marvelous. ANYthing you wanted (Johnny Walker Gold, special gin, etc.) would be found the next day. They have a little bus that accompanies the barge for sightseeing, wine tastings during the day, and the young woman who led the tours was excellent.


Gretchen

 

I had a little trouble finding "our" barge, and it makes me think it is no longer the same type of trip. A&K used to charter it for the season and it was a very nice cruise with everything included. This may not be the case now, from the quote I see here. But the barge is beautiful. Good luck.


 


Edited 8/4/2009 8:02 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
evelyn's picture

(post #52846, reply #18 of 26)

that is really a great price!

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
evelyn's picture

(post #52846, reply #17 of 26)

ha! I thought it might be wasabi! ;-)

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Adele's picture

(post #52846, reply #4 of 26)

I want to be you when I grow up.


Sigh.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

leonap's picture

(post #52846, reply #5 of 26)

So very lovely. Thanks for sharing.

gardencat's picture

(post #52846, reply #6 of 26)

Congratulations on finding such a sweet spot to celebrate your special date! It sounds like a very pampering place.

AnnL's picture

(post #52846, reply #7 of 26)

Very lovely!  Glad you had such a stylish birthday celebration!  :-)


Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

dorcast's picture

(post #52846, reply #13 of 26)

Lovely. What a wonderful way to celebrate, glad you enjoyed.

Florida2's picture

(post #52846, reply #14 of 26)

Wow! Spectacular--what a wonderful memory you will have of the special occasion. Where exactly is this place? It might have to go on my bucket list.

Gary's picture

(post #52846, reply #15 of 26)

Bordeaux
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1006900-d291574-Reviews-Chateau_de_Mirambeau-Mirambeau_Poitou_Charentes.html

The people who gave us golf and called it a game are the same people who gave us bag pipes and called it music and haggis and called it food.

ashleyd's picture

(post #52846, reply #19 of 26)

Nice to see my review on page 1!


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

kathymcmo's picture

(post #52846, reply #16 of 26)

Wow, I am stunned by the photos! What a wonderful place, thanks for sharing the photos.

RuthWells's picture

(post #52846, reply #22 of 26)

Sounds perfectly heavenly, Ashley! When I was young, I was lucky to spend several days as a guest at the Chateau La Napoule -- it was similarly luxurious and breath-taking. Thanks for bringing up those memories!

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com



www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabId=1182&ParticipantID=316&Type=1

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

ashleyd's picture

(post #52846, reply #24 of 26)

Were you doing some of the arty things they do there?


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

RuthWells's picture

(post #52846, reply #25 of 26)

Nope, this was back when it was owned by the University of Pennsylvania, and as a professor there, my dad gained access for us as a family while we were living in France in 1979. Looooooooooong time ago, LOL! We ate wonderful breakfasts on open verandas, swamp in the private lagoon, and spent a lot of time browsing the Klee collection, which was fascinating. Wonderful experience.

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com



www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabId=1182&ParticipantID=316&Type=1

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

shoechick's picture

(post #52846, reply #26 of 26)

Hmmm, hadn't planned on hitting that side of France next year, but might have to rethink that...lovely photos.

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

BarbaraK's picture

(post #52846, reply #23 of 26)

What an incredible place.... Staying there would definitely make birthdays feel good!  Thank you for sharing the experience.


Barbara