Sunday, 31 July 2011

Exploring Château Saint Paterne

We arrive at Château Saint Paterne in torrential rain.
It is rain that splashes up from the gravel
soaking you from the ankles upwards
as you run from the car across the drive.

Inside the château we are shown our room...
through a door in the panelling
and up 52 steps to the top of a tower.

When we come back down it is dark outside
but every room sparkles with candlelight.
MrM is entranced by the aperitifs
which are more gin than tonic.

Dinner is prepared by the owner of the château
and it is simple but delicious.
The next day I persuade him to give me the recipe
of the extraordinary melting asparagus mousse.
He says it is nothing special.
I disagree.

After dinner we walk through the candlelit rooms
and go back to our Chambre de Mystères.
We have discovered that the last guest
proposed to his girlfriend in the bath.
I admit that I decided to have a shower instead.

In the morning the sun is shining
and we are alone in the dining room.

We explore the gardens before we leave.
When we return to Saint Paterne
I shall swim in the pool surrounded by lavender
and drink a kir on the terrace.

And we shall return one day.
It is not far from Dieppe
and a perfect place to start a holiday in France.

This is exactly what you imagine
staying in a château should be like:
you are welcomed as guests in a family home
and great care is taken to ensure
that you are comfortable and enjoy your visit.

with many thanks to
Charles-Henry et Ségolène de Valbray
owners of the Château Saint Paterne.


  1. WOW now that is what I call an overnight stay - Scrummy.

  2. Well, that does sound rather heavenly.

  3. AnonymousJuly 31, 2011

    Goodness, not your average B & B then! How nice to indulge yourselves.

  4. You just made this all up, right?
    It was a dream, right?
    Please send your fairy godmother over to teach mine a thing or two. And how to take photos while having such a fabulous dream...

  5. A delightfully sophisticated, envy-making review of a place that sounds like paradise. Zephyr's comments added a funny full stop to this lovely dreamy scene!

  6. I was never in France.
    Maybe time to think about it.

  7. vaut bien le detour - rain effect not to be underestimated though - why MrsM chose to compound it with a shower mystifies me.

    Would thoroughly recommend a repeat visit which has to be ultimate assessment. We did stay at another chateau which was very interesting but don't think MrsM will be in a hurry to revisit.

    MrsM did accuse me of organising too much on our trip to France but then on the other hand we might not have been able to stay at a number of different places. I suspect that like most husbands that there will be times when I cannot win :( despite my best intentions

  8. PS - I think that some people go there just for the food. We would never do that of course


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