After visiting Paris, driving to Provence and spending time in Avignon, Les Baux de Provence and Le Pont du Gard, my 10 year-old grandson and I arrived at the Chateau de la Barben for a two night visit. There were many steps to climb to enter the castle, but my grandson and the patron carried our luggage up to our beautiful room, the smallest, I believe, but fit for a queen. My grandson was amazed at actually staying in a furnished castle decorated with suits of armor, medeival weapons and other items so fascinating to a child--and an adult. Although as guests we were allowed to freely explore all the rooms, we did take the tour which was included in our reservation price. I speak French, but my grandson was given a notebook with descriptions of the rooms written in English. After the tour we explored on our own and even played hide and seek in the centuries old castle. During our stay we visited the zoo which was a short walk from the castle. It was a magnificent zoo with a large variety of animals. One night we dined in a restaurant by the zoo, I believe named Le 7e. The gourmet meal was fantastic and there were some special dishes for children. The price was comparable to a slightly upscale American restaurant. Our final dinner was in the chateau and was a fabulous four course meal which included wine for me and a choice of beverages for my grandson. We had a mild pate de foie gras, which my grandson loved, deliciously prepared leg of lamb and savory vegetables. Next we were served the cheese course which was followed by a grouping of chocolate desserts. The breakfasts served in the chateau were also tasty and filling with fresh croissants, a variety of breads, fruits, yogurt and cheeses. Since our return home my grandson has not stopped talking to his family, friends, etc about his stay in a castle. The price was very reasonable for all that was included and I definitely hope to return.
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