Our Places To Stay, Epernay to the Dordogne

We stayed in some lovely places this year on our week long drive to Le Cheyssignaguet in the Perigord Noir.

In the salon at Parva Domus

In the salon at Parva Domus

Our first stop was one night at the B&B Parva Domus in Epernay, with M and Mme Rimaire our caring hosts.  As we needed more rooms than were available in the B&B, we took over the gite (holiday apartment) for one night.  What a place! Parva Domus is the only B&B on the Avenue de Champagne (where all the big Champagne Houses are) and in fact it is the former home of the Moet et Chandon family. The gite has 3 double bedrooms with ensuites, as well as an attic mezzanine with 3 double beds, each with it’s own private space, and a huge bathroom. This being the accommodation for the guides (David and me!) we could have chosen a bed each – if we had wanted to! Below was the ENORMOUS salon/kitchen/dining room, where Madame Rimaire had left ample breakfast provisions and arrived in the morning with fresh baguettes and croissants. We’ll just have to keep going back!

Next stop, Nitry, where we stayed at the Auberge De La Beursaudiere, a new place for us, though when staying at Noyers-sur-Surein we did eat here several times. What a welcome we received from Serge, the owner! He greeted me by name, knew David’s name, saw that we had experienced rain in Paris, and asked how we had enjoyed the tennis.  Yes, he had read up on the blog that morning!  What a professional!  Again we were in an attic room, La Couturiere, the dressmaker – complete with a dressmaker’s dummy in the room, clad in period costume. Serge showed us the roof terrace, where he brought us drinks and nibbles, and made us feel right at home. We ate dinner outside, served by staff dressed in regional costume, and ate and drank very well! A very extensive breakfast buffet was served in the old wine cellar, and after spending two nights at the Auberge we left well fed and watered (and wined!) and having experienced a welcome and stay par excellence from Serge and his wife. We can heartily recommend this accommodation and will definitely be back. Thank you, Serge!

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On the roof terrace at Auberge de la Beursaudiere

Off to the Loire and to Chateau de Perreux, across the river from Amboise. Francois and Francoise, the managers, have left for pastures new and we were greeted by Pedro, who had all the rooms organised – we chose the attic room – again! Our one accommodation with a lift, which is always a help if people have large bags! The rooms are large and light, some with a balcony – I’m sure some of you who have travelled with us before will remember. It’s only a pity that we spend the days sightseeing and can’t take advantage of the extensive grounds and the fantastic pool. I didn’t even get to show the others the roof terrace with the caverns in the petrified rock and an old rock & iron staircase leading up to a huge conservatory, which is not renovated yet (or, at least it wasn’t last year). Next time …

Dinner with Marie-Christine at Chateau de la Chassagne

Dinner with Marie-Christine at Chateau de la Chassagne

Last stop St Hilaire Le Chateau, between Aubusson and Limoges, Chateau de la Chassagne and Madame Marie-Christine Fanton. A 15th century chateau, large rooms, large bathrooms ensuite, a winding stone staircase (NOT good for large bags!) and a salon/diningroom filled with antique furniture. As it was a little chilly and wet outside, Marie-Christine lit a fire so we could relax and drink champagne – great ambience. Then we sat around the dining table in huge carved chairs and enjoyed a very convivial meal of regional food. The following night we had a light meal of salmon, which was perfect after our large lunch in Limoges. As we left on the Saturday, the final touch was seeing a new-born foal in the field – had to stop and take photos! And at last we reached our final destination, La Bastide at Domaine de la Cheyssignaguet, where we were greeted by Martine, Pierre and Pascale – our “family” in the Dordogne. It’s always so good to be back. There are four gites here, and we have stayed in all of them, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would be La Bastide. 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, large salon, and kitchen/diningroom. Very quiet, sheltered, a large swimming pool – what more could one ask for? More about La Cheyssignaguet later …

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