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The Chateau de Brissac is a privately owned home that had been in the same family since 1502 – May 26th to be precise! It was bought by a French lord by the name of Brissac and it’s lived in today by his descendants. Set in gorgeous grounds in the town of Brissac-Quincé, located in the département of Maine-et-Loire, Loire Valley, this chateau is the tallest in France at a whopping seven stories - a folly of towers and chocolate box pretty. Janine Marsh visits and chats to home owner the Duke de Brissac… Chateau Life The current incumbent of this enormously tall chateau that's been handed down a long line of an illustrious family is the Marquis du Brissac, a charming man who often comes from his apartment on the upper floors to greet visitors and tell them a bit about the castle. "My parents did most of the hard work here, restoring and renovating" he says modestly. He takes his responsibility to this big house seriously and constantly stresses what an absolute joy it is to be able to live in the chateau. His generation, he and his wife have four children, is the first to live there full time. Previous family members lived there only part of the year. In days gone by the Dukes of Brissac would follow the French royal family or live in other homes around France and especially in Paris. "There are many good things about living here" says this amicable Duke, "one of them being that the town is on the doorstep and it’s a lovely town where you can find a friendly bar with great beer!"
The chateau is undoubtedly imposing and grand. History oozes from its thick stone, tapestry covered walls but it's also very much lived in and not just by this likeable family'; here you'll find what must be one of the most prestigious B&Bs in the world. If you've ever hankered to feel like a king or queen then here's your chance to try it out! In the castle there are two enormous suites with stunning four poster beds and ancient wooden flooring walked on for centuries. They're furnished with antiques, tapestries and sensational paintings – and they’re set aside for paying guests. Breakfast is supplied by the Duke who nips to the local boulangerie to buy fresh croissants and pastries. But, the best part is that you're able to wander at will through the chateau and enjoy it in all its glory. From the grand salon to the private theatre and many other rooms to the garden with its vineyards and views, guests are able to appreciate this place in a way that’s unique and a true privilege. A Very Grand Home "It's not easy to say how many rooms there are" muses the Duke "some are very small some are very large... 200, maybe more depending on how you look at it". "What's your favourite room in the house?" I ask and he laughs as I try to rephrase it, house is not exactly the term you would apply to this enormous palace. He can't choose but shows me around and you can tell that he loves every bit of it. "I like the staircase a lot, it keeps me fit" he confides. A seven storey castle will do that I think to myself as I admire the steps that have been trod for centuries. We linger in the private theatre, a rarity in France and he recalls family fun on the petite stage.
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