The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 19

Delicious sunshine cocktails and scrumptious recipes, brilliant features and tons of information and gorgeous photos to inspire your visits. The secret life of castles in Burgundy, the Abbey of Senanque in Provence, Sainte-Denis, Lourdes, Calvados in Normandy, Paris, Grenoble and more...

The Secret World of

The Secret World of Castles… Not all chateaux are open to the public as grand museums, in fact the majority of them are still lived in. Their owners see them as a responsibility and a privilege, with a duty to keep the ancient and often enormous homes safe for future generations. Burgundy has more chateaux than any other region in France. It’s neighbour and now partner since the 2016 regional shake up, Franche-Comté also has its fair share of castles including the incredible 17th century Citadel of Besancon. Go chateau-hopping in Bourgogne-Franche-Comte and you’ll find chateaux galore to explore and stay in… Here are a few favourites: The chateau was built in the Renaissance style. Set in 123 acres of parkland, it is one of the first French castles to have been built to a plan that was set out on paper. It was the work of Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio who went to France to work on the Chateau of Fontainebleau and the Louvre. Before then, castles tended to be designed as they went along. The Chateau was once owned by the husband of Diane de Poitier’s sister and there have been claims that the ghost of the famous mistress of Henri II, who had an apartment here, roams the rooms. The castle changed hands several times and fell into neglect before being bought by a Paris real estate company which has Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc, Yonne undertaken a long and very expensive restoration of the chateau. Inside beautifully renovated and furnished rooms and the once glorious 16th century murals painted by the great masters of yesteryear are coming back to life as experts restore the colours. In the chapel which took 8 years to paint, the ancient walls are being revealed for the first time in centuries. Wine fairs and concerts are held in the beautiful grounds and the sumptuously decorated courtyard and grounds are the perfect place to wander and enjoy the orangery, 18th century folly and gorgeous gardens.

Chateau stay: Chateau Vault de Lugny, Yonne Channel your inner King and Queen at this stunning moated chateau hotel – you can even book the room once reserved for kings. Built between the 13th and 17th centuries the chateau Vault de Lugny oozes charm and history and is now owned by charming couple Elisabeth and Pascal Bourzeix. Expect roaring open fires on cold nights, fabulous food in a gastronomic restaurant and wonderful service. And the rooms. You seriously feel like royalty in these exquisite rooms that look just like they must have to the nobles who stayed in them centuries years ago. The hotel pool has been voted the most beautiful in France and believe me, there’s nothing quite so special as taking a dip in a pool in an ancient but warm cellar that feels cocoon like. It can be hired for a private dinner a deux – how romantic is that?

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