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...

Château de Couches,

Château de Couches, Saône-et-Loire The 12th century Chateau de Couches was a former home of the fabulously wealthy Dukes of Burgundy. These days we can all take a guided tour and enjoy the wonderful views from its high walls. You can also rent a gorgeous apartment, take a guided wine tasting, book a wine course and join in the events. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy lunch at the Chateau, where the fresh, home-made menu and local wines combined with beautiful views are fantastic (Thursday-Sunday, 12h-14h – reserve online at their website below). Chateau de Germolles, Saône-et-Loire This ancient chateau is really quite extraordinary. Not just for its good looks and its ancient history but because in one of the rooms the original wall decoration dating to the 14th century is still intact and very beautiful. It once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy and was home to Philip le Bold and his wife Margaret of Flanders, the richest heiress in Europe in her day. Though they owned around 50 properties including 20 palaces, this is the best surviving property of the immensely wealthy Duke. He gave it to Margaret as a gift, at that time it was more of a fort. She had it renovated to look much prettier. She also kept animals in the fields, put swans in the moat and made perfume from the roses that grew there, much like Marie-Antoinette escaping the problems of daily life in her hamlet at Versailles. On a guided tour of the house, owner Matthieu Pinette urges “don’t touch the walls” in one of the bedrooms and it’s easy to see why.

Above: 14th century wall decor; above right: entry at the Chateau de Germolles Amazingly the letter M for Margaret and P for Philip, are painted on the wall, and they’re original, dating back to the winter of 1389-90 according to the records. The black colour that you see is glue holding what would originally have been gold. It’s very romantic and absolutely astonishing to know that more that 650 years ago, the nobles who lived here would have gone to bed at night looking at the same walls and décor we can see today. Very much the keeper of the castle, Matthieu ensures the maintenance, restoration and renovation of the home that has been in his family for 150 years. Guided visits are available

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