Day 3 of the Grand Adventure finds us traveling through the Champagne region, with its rolling brown and green landscape down to the Auvergne, just north of Clermont Ferrand, with its fields of gold and green – and sunflowers. Fields with smiling happy flowers, and I know I’m in the south — it’s such a wonderful feeling. Thinking that we knew better than Doris (our in car GPS system) probably added on an extra 2 hours travel time, as we avoided the major routes, so it was with welcome relief that we arrived at the Chateau du Pasredon - our most charming Chambre D’hote – discovered in our book Alastair Sawday’s Special Bed & Breakfasts in France.
The Chateau is petite but perfectly formed in the 18th century style – although the original part of the building dates from the 14th Century. Madame is a graceful French lady and shows us to our wonderful suite – The Reine Margot – with its sumptuous four poster and adjoining Rose Chamber for weeR. This is truly to die for. I am finally at home – and may never leave. We are served coffee in small, delicate cups in the wonderful salon. Dressed with period furniture, this room is sympathetic to the 18th Century – with delicate eggshell paint on the walls, glistening mirrors, and chandeliers and tall grand windows. Madame has personalised the space with family photographs and books and magazines – this tasteful beyond tasteful, yet welcoming and not at all intimidating.
We spend a relaxed evening reading in our rooms, having arrived too late to enjoy the gardens. The morning brings us to the chambre opposite the salon of yesterday. This room is also exquisite, and Madame explains the history of the Chateau over breakfast. It has been their home for 20 years, and certainly hasn’t changed since then. The room we are in is darker than the salon – faithful to the 19th Century style – with lots of wood, decorative and functional. Madame explains the wood is most likely cherry wood, yet the French were fond of painting their wood – so it looks even more like wood! The cats resting on the period chairs eye us lazily as we indulge in home baked gateaux, croissants, breads and confituire.
Madame is generous with her time and between our petite French and her petite English we establish the next part of our journey will take in the Millau Viaduct. Martin is thrilled, as it is one of his top ambitions for the journey – to drive across this engineering masterpiece. I’m pleased it will shave some hours off our journey-time, but somewhat apprehensive – will it be very scary (I don’t like heights).
We pack up and spend some time taking photographs inside and out. Madame is very obliging. I leave reluctantly. Onwards to Spain we must go…
(The Auvergne is a beautiful region of France and well worth the visit. This Chateau really is a special place to stay and we would give 5/5 if rating the facilities, the location and the hospitality.)
Wish you were here…
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