A lovely experience with a fascinating bit of history, the Chateau Vouilly is, as others have noted, hard to find the first time after quite a pleasant drive through small french country towns. You will not be going here unless you have a car and are comfortable navigating with a map or GPS. There are only 4 rooms available for guests at the chateau as the rest of them are occupied by extended family. It is quite nice to see young children playing with kittens outside as you approach. Part of the land is a working dairy farm run by James' son but the Chateau and Orangerie are quiet and attractive. The Hamels provide access to a refrigerator and you should bring drinks and snacks if you anticipate wanting them as there is no place less than 15-20 minutes away to buy anything. Breakfast is lovely, including croissants, bread, jams, yogurt, cheese and coffee and is served in the dining room which was used by the war reporters during the D-Day invasions. The room is filled with memorabilia of that time and a portrait of the owner's grandmother who, James explained, was the one who invited the press corps to stay there. The gardens in the Orangerie were a mass of tents to house many of them. James explained that his grandmother had told him that the German's did come by to assess the chateau's usability for German troops but she made sure to tour them through the house in the most inconvenient way possible and they decided to bypass it.
The Orangerie Suite is quite large and would work well for a family as the main room has a queen sized bed, fireplace and table and there are two additional rooms off of the large center room, each with a smaller bed. There is one bathroom with a sink, toilet and gracious tub but as four adults we ended up asking James to rent us an additional room, which he was happy to do. As it was, the Orangerie Suite was much too large for just two people but the other rooms were occupied so we rattled around in it.
If your plan is to spend all day touring the Normandy coast, this is a peaceful place to return to although that would only be for sleep. Dinner requires a return drive to town (Grandcamp Maisy) and requires all eyes to stay on course while driving in the dark! That said, James is able to recommend some nice restaurants and we had two lovely dinners. I think one night would have been enough here but our itinerary worked best to have two. We did not have the pleasure of meeting Marie as she was away but James was warm, gracious and knowledgable (I do speak french however.)
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau De Vouilly Normandy, France