A lovely stay in a French chateau

The Chateau de Sarceaux as viewed from the little lake in its sprawling grounds

I must have been a royal in previous life to have this extreme fascination for castles and palaces and anything royal and regal. Looking for a place to spend overnight somewhere in France, midway to our camping destination came easy with the many choices available through Booking.com. My husband outright told me that we should choose for something outside town because of parking consideration — our car is full with stuffs and we cannot take them out except for the overnight bag.

The chateau we’ve chosen was pretty secluded, with a good amount of wooded area and meadows to be traversed before we could reach it. Not a huge chateau but pretty cozy, we learned from its owners (a marquis and marquise) that they are already the 6th generation of inhabitants to this chateau. We were led to our reserved room which was really charming especially given the fact that the furnishings were still all original. It felt like a step back in time for us. The only seemingly modern feature in the room was the bathroom which was updated to modern times and had plenty of warm water, something uncharacteristic of typically spartan chateaus.

The marquis asked if we would like to have dinner at the chateau so we immediately said, “Oui”. Who wouldn’t want to dine in such a setting? Dinner was at 7:45pm but we first assembled in the living room where together with the other guests, were served aperitif and little snacks. It was nice to meet the other guests — an English couple who live near Cambridge and two old ladies (one Dutch and her English friend who was married to a Dutch man).

It was a lovely evening with lively conversation flowing over drinks and food. Dinner was served in the stately dining room which Francesca found wonderful especially with her faux jewels, feeling every inch the princess of the chateau. ;-)

If you want to know more about this chateau, here’s link to some information: http://www.france-hotel-guide.com/en/14878-chateau-de-sarceaux-valframbert-en.php?langue=en

Another angle of the chateau

Father and daughter

Me and the chateau in the background

Our little princess

She became friends with this lovely dog

Lots of open spaces and new friends to make ;-)

Good boy!

Chase me Mam!

I love the simplicity of this chateau

Very old rose vines and the roses with the most amazing scent I’ve ever smelled

The living room where we assembled for aperitif and small bites later

The small room for Francesca which was connected to our bedroom

The fireplace in our bedroom — not in use anymore because the room in updated with modern heating system

Our bedroom

The bathroom

Simple and cozy feature of the bathroom

The scent from these fresh roses filled the room

The hallway at the first floor

Ground floor hallway

Another living room in the chateau

Small bites

Original pieces of period furniture

Father and daughter playing cards at the living room before dinner

The little princess at the dining room, feeling pretty much at home ;-)

The dinner guests

Salad of greens, avocado and shrimps

Dinner of veal stewed in white wine with chervil served with baked potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms

Dessert of green apple sorbet drizzled with Calvados

The marquis serving the cheese platter

After dinner entertainment — we all went back to the living room for a bit of singing while the marquise played the music on the piano

The very enthusiastic marquise also led us into acapella singing of “Auld lang syne”

At the breakfast table with the other guests the next morning

French breakfast fare

Father and daughter

The chateau just before we left

Bitter sweet parting

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

102 Responses to A lovely stay in a French chateau

  1. What a lovely event, Malou. Or should I say ‘Milady Malou’? ;) I enjoyed reading about the chateau and seeing the photos.

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Marion. There are plenty of chateaus which are open as bed and breakfast that it is now very much possible to live out that royal fantasy even for a day. ;-)

  2. newsferret says:

    What a lovely place and oh that menu coming from the kitchen looks exquisite. So glad the baby angle enjoyed the dogs.

    • Malou says:

      Times have changed from the old days to the present. This time, the marquis and marquise toiled in the kitchen to prepare the dinner for their guests (at a price of course). ;-)

  3. Ivan Weaver says:

    Very lovely Pics, I would love to some more travling myself some time.

  4. anoopvk says:

    I liked very much.nice work…..

  5. Lovely photos, looks like a great trip!

  6. Don says:

    Loved the chateau and that food, wonderful.

  7. aedpad says:

    Great post which brought back lots of memories when my husband and I stayed there in October of 1994 when I believe the Marquis’s father was there (his wife was in Paris during our stay) who my husband enjoyed immensely – they shared a love of history.

    • Malou says:

      Wow! Great to know that you’ve been to this chateau too! The experience there was very personal. While having drinks in the living room before dinner, the brother of the marquis who is a priest dropped by and also joined in the conversation. Wonderful conversation! ;-)

  8. wvfarm2u says:

    What a wonderful way to experience how the other half lives!

    • Malou says:

      I wouldn’t trade places with the marquis and marquise nowadays as they have to work hard to just maintain the chateau. GOne were those days when they were being served hand and foot. ;-)

  9. What a lovely experience for your family. That brown dog looks just like my dog that I found that was dumped as a puppy! But, mine is not lucky enough to live in a chateau, he sleeps in the barn.

  10. Sartenada says:

    Fantastic place. I enjoy every photo.

  11. avian101 says:

    Your daughter looks like a real princess Malou! Wonderful essay of your vacation! :)

  12. jelillie says:

    Absolutely beautiful. This is whetting my appetite for another trip to Europe!

  13. viveka says:

    What a wonderful place … the little princess isn’t that little anymore – she has really grown tall since this spring. She are in her environment with big park, dogs … pond. What a wonderful holiday – have never stayed at a chateau even if I spent quite a few holidays in France – we rent a small chateau in Normandy one time, but it was only us .. there. One of those Gite ones … and it was so cold, it rained every day and the it took ages to heat the place up – the walls was so thick. We should have done same as you did here .. stayed on a chateau with the owners in house. Thanks for bringing me along.

    • Malou says:

      Being with the owners of the chateau made the whole experience more personal. And it was glad to also meet the other guests over the dinner table. Next time you go to France, check this out Viveka. ;-)

      • viveka says:

        I will but my car holidays in France is history – now I fly no driving anymore – but I look into it … is there a special website or ???? Your little princess are has gone to be a tall one. She are so pretty.

  14. I love your vacations, because as I follow along, I get to be a princess, too. What wonderful memories you are creating for your little girl and for yourselves!

  15. Audrey says:

    Beautiful photos! It’s like a fairytale come true!!

  16. lucindalines says:

    How beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. This is the best part of blogging, seeing things that we have never seen before.

  17. RoSy says:

    Oh my – A beautiful adventure! Love your pix – especially the 1st with the reflection of the chateau & sky on the pond & the last one with your princess & the dog.

  18. Wow! It looks stunning both inside and out. Looks like a great time was had by all!

  19. Malou!! It’s been a while! So good to see you are all doing great and that little princess of yours has grown even lovelier and so tall and willowly. Lovely shots and what a fab holiday. Sharon

    • Malou says:

      We are all doing fine, Sharon. Busy times after the holidays but that’s life and couldn’t complain. We enjoyed our times in France seeing different facets of this lovely country. ;-)

  20. Such an amazing experience for you! I love the photos as always – thanks for sharing Malou!

  21. edebock says:

    What a lovely place to stay! I would love a place like that.

  22. sybaritica says:

    Nice little Cottage … the food looks great!

  23. Jack says:

    Where are the pic’s of the Wine Cellar?

    • Malou says:

      I forgot to ask the marquis to show me the cellar. He advised us to check out Pauilliac when we get to our camping destination in Lege, Cap Ferret. Pauilliac apparently has some of the best wines in the Bordeaux region. ;-)

  24. Looks like a wonderful family vacation! Your daughter is so adorable…looks like she made fast friends with those pups :)

    • Malou says:

      This was just the start of our holiday, Maura. She’s into pets these days and would love to have a dog and a cat. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to both and with our busy lives, can’t have the additional responsibility for them. ;-)

  25. Colline says:

    What an amazing experience.

  26. Theadora says:

    Dear Malou!! Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. I also dig the tiara. I am GREEN with jealousy. Beautiful shots!! Theadora (Say, where is your tiara? Just asking.)

    • Malou says:

      Your country is just amazing, Theadora! Still my top holiday destination. I also need to get myself a tiara or my daughter will get mad every time I borrow hers. ;-)

  27. likeitiz says:

    Looks like a great place to visit, Malou. Will keep it in mind for future jaunts. Thanks!

  28. Michael Zoll says:

    Beautiful :-) !

    CU Michael

  29. Wow, that looks so amazing and great fun. Love the small bites shot especially!

  30. I always enjoyed reading your posts.

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Jenny. In my future posts, you may find inspiration for your business venture. I’m a big fan of French local products which I think can be copied in concept out there in the Philippines with proper presentation and marketing. ;-)

  31. So lovely and memorable for your family! Gratitude to you for sharing these precious moments.

  32. ShimonZ says:

    Looks like a holiday filled with fun. And I suspect that it is a lot more fun to visit in a castle than to take care of it for the long haul. Loved your pictures as usual.

    • Malou says:

      I agree with you completely, Shimon. Having this chateau is a big responsibility and in this day and age, more of a burden. I prefer a visit and being served by the marquis and marquise. ;-)

  33. Loved your post!!!

    Great venue. Exquisite photos! I will be definitely consider it for our next spring vacations!

  34. hugr5 says:

    I like the concept of you being royal in a previous life… :-) I like castles, because it is like an echo of times past in the stones of those particular edifices! ;-)

  35. Oh I would so love to stay somewhere like that…no I take that back, I would so love to LIVE somewhere like that. What a beautiful place & as always fabulous photos. Thank you for the tour.

  36. frenchfry36 says:

    Staying in a chateau in France is definitely on the bucket list!!

  37. I missed your posts. This was completely charming. I’ll be nominating you for another of those blog awards soon; I hope it wins you a few more followers. Your posts and your photos deserve to be seen.

  38. Java Girl says:

    I love living vicariously through you in your travels in Europe. Such gorgeous pictures and the little princess is as cute as ever! Glad to see you post again! I’ve missed your blogs!

    • Malou says:

      I know that these past weeks, my blog went on a stand still. I hope to be able to post regularly again and share places I’ve visited and adventures I had in France and in other places too. ;-)

  39. Sally says:

    What a wonderful place Malou… green with envy! I especially covet the wooden floors, what I would give for floors like that in my tiny two-up two-down Victorian cottage…. grrr.

    • Malou says:

      It was a wonderful place and we were happy with an overnight stay. No need to be green with envy as your Victorian cottage must be also a lovely place full of character and history. ;-)

  40. EllaDee says:

    Amazing photos and chateau. I love seeing Francesca’s affection for the dogs of the places you visit, and the way she adorns herself with jewels to dress up :)

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, EllaDee. She would love to have a dog and a cat which unfortunately we cannot have because of my allergy and our busy lives. The princess stage is still very much on with her so she’s so much into dresses and faux jewels. ;-)

  41. Reggie says:

    Ah, this was soo lovely – what a gorgeous place to visit for an overnight stay, I didn’t know that it is possible to book a night’s accommodation in such a lovely, elegant castle. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

    • Malou says:

      Well, you’ll be surprised that quite a lot of chateaus now are opening their doors as bed and breakfast. Have to be pragmatic with the huge cost involve in maintaining these structures especially in this day and age when there are no more fiefdoms and other sources of wealth that can sustain them. ;-)

      • Reggie says:

        That is an interesting observation, Malou, I hadn’t thought of that!

        We don’t have castles down here in South Africa – well, apart from the Castle of Good Hope, but that isn’t someone’s ancestral home, as is the case in Europe.

  42. Wow! What a fabulous thing to do. It is wonderful that so many Chateau’s are B&B’s, it gives us all a chance to taste what it is like to live as an aristocrat.

    • Malou says:

      The experience of staying in a chateau is invaluable. I grew up reading those Barbara Cartland’s romantic novels and staying in a chateau makes those imaginations of mine come to life. ;-)

  43. travelindia says:

    Amazing amazing.. experience. I love castles..

  44. What a lovely place to stay! Lucky!!!

  45. lynnwyvill says:

    The photos are beautiful. What a lovely place to stay. The food looks fabulous!

  46. These are beautiful! The reflection in the first one took my breath away :)

  47. Jean says:

    My partner was cycling solo with his gear for about 3 wks…he didn’t stay at a chateau. But enjoyed the countryside, winery areas (Burgundy, Provence areas). You’ll see it in my upcoming post…in about 3 days. (I’ve just parked it.) Looks like you really interacted with the owners! (Having a child helps..)

  48. julietchook says:

    Beautiful photos! I can’t wait to use your blog as inspiration for our upcoming trip to Europe in March 2013.

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