A couple of weekends ago we were lucky enough to be invited to a very good friends weddings in France. We merrily packed our cases to the absolute max and set off, dreading the moment easyJet enforces it’s one bag policy and makes your try to squeeze your handbag into your already overfull case.
Chambres d’Hôtes La Sauvageonne
Arriving late from a post-work flight, we stopped the night at Chambres d’Hôtes La Sauvageonne, about an hour from Bordeaux airport just off the D137. It was touch and go, but despite driving the wrong way down a one-way street, we made it there in one piece. Just.
On arrival we quickly learnt that we have left our manners back in London. We were firmly scolded for not calling to say we were arriving later than expected due to our flight and would not be there till post 10pm. Clearly the always on mentality of Uber and Deliveroo has yet to reach the french countryside.
Following our telling off the night before and with only twenty minutes till breakfast finished, we tip-toed sheepishly into the dinning room, apprehensive as what was to follow.
We were relived to be greeted with warm smiles served with equally warm croissants and homemade jam. Our host proudly talked us through her different creations, making us guess the secret ingredients in her jams. From apricot and ginger to rhubarb and white chocolate, we we’re spoilt for choice, all washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee from a silver pot. It was a breakfast of kings and we were relieved our host seemed to have warmed to us.
With our bellies full of french patisseries, we set about exploring our B&B. It is old school french chic. From the outside it is traditional stone building with lavender blue shutters and high ceilings. Inside the curtains match the wallpaper, oil painting donned the walls and the toilet is in a room within the bathroom next to an avocado coloured bath, but we loved the little quirks and would certainly recommend it.
Hotel Relais du Silence Les Jardins du Lac
That evening we move to Relais du Silence Les Jardins du Lac, near the wedding. The hotel itself is a 70’s style building that overlooked a beautiful lake. The modern design and bright coloured bedrooms we weren’t wild about, however the hotels saving grace was it’s food.
A delicious 40 euro three course meal, that was more like seven courses once you had had all the extra amuse bouche and petit fours the hotel threw in. Melon and red wine gratin, followed by roast tomatoes served with tomato and vodka sorbet and whipped mozzarella. Delicious Bordeaux wines, perfectly cooked duck served with peaches, heirloom carrots and red wine jus. A cheese trolly with every cheese under the sun and stunning petit fours. We quite literally rolled our way up the stairs and into bed, only to have to sit up for hours watching movies whilst we digested our food.
The Wedding at Chateau De La Roche Courbon
The following day, we put on our glad rags and headed towards Chateau De La Roche Courbon for the wedding. Fondly known locally as Sleep Beauty Castle, it was simply stunning.
We sat under the shelter of some lime trees overlooking the Chateau for the service. We sang “I say a little pray for you”, listened to “He never leaves the toilet seat up” and wept as the couple shared their hand-written vowels.
Afterward we were thoroughly spoilt with the local champagne and fresh oysters, followed by Aperol and tuna sashimi in the perfectly coutured gardens of the Chateau. White swans pottered merrily on the mirror lake, there was not a cloud in the sky and the couple looked radiantly happy. After a classic french supper (steak chips served rare, of course), we celebrated with sparklers in the moonlight before dancing the night away into the wee hours of the morning. It was a fairytale day that dreams are made of.
The following morning with sore heads, we reluctantly climbed back into the Twingo and made our way back home stopping briefly in Pons for a spot of lunch. A picturesque little square in the centre of the town with a large tower and surrounded with little cafes. Driving through the vineyards that adorn the french countryside, we’re already planing a return to trip wine tasting and cycling the country lanes.
Back at Bordeaux airport we nearly missed our flight by waiting in the wrong terminal, at the wrong gate…
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