One of the previous reviewers had a good phrase: the timeless elegance of a bygone era... yes, it definitely has that about it: a beautiful chateau, sweeping drives, magnificent grounds and gardens which swoop and tumble away into the valley beyond.
The timeless quality was enhanced for us as virtually every other guest on the night was driving a vintage Bentley of one model or another (it's probably the only time my ten year old MX5 has been the newest car in the car park). The Bentleys (and their owners, mostly the same 'vintage' as their cars!) were having a tour around for a week or two, prior to attendance at the Circuit des Remparts weekend in Angouleme. This became an unexpected 'win' for us - in order to accomodate them all together, Madame upgraded us to a superior room on the first floor at the rear of the chateau, which had two huge bay windows looking out over the gardens, pool and the valley beyond. Comfortable bed, well equipped bathroom, free wi fi, and those stunning views. Excellent! This would normally be around the 120 euros mark as opposed to the 95 euros we paid, but I have to say it would be worth the extra if you decide to visit this hotel in future.
The journey across had been very warm indeed, and we decided to take advantage of the pool in the rear gardens. It is not large, but big enough, and we had it to ourselves (the older clientele having done some 'toe dipping' and deciding it was 'a bit fresh' for them..!). The pool has an infinity edge, facing out down the gardens to the valley beyond. After a cooling swim, we lay back on the sunbeds in the sun... it was one of those defining moments on a holiday where you realise you are both completely chilled out and it's perfect.
Our original plan had been to head into Cognac for the evening, but having already seen the hotel restaurant, with its crisp white table linen, silver, and hand written menus, we made the decision to stay put and enjoy the setting and the views. Although the 'Bentley brigade' was having a 30 strong soiree in the adjoining room, we had a delicious relaxing 3 course dinner, together with a bottle of Gascogne Brumont, mineral water, coffees and Grand Marnier, for a little over 90 euros. Service to table was prompt and attentive throughout.
They have every conceivable cognac at the bar - including my favourite Hine, produced locally at Jarnac. Later, as we lay in bed with the casements open wide, watching the lights twinkling across the valley, we could hear the sounds of bon vivant continuing downstairs. I am nowhere near ready to retire yet, but when I do, I hope it's like this.
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- Also Known As:
- Domaine Du Breuil Cognac