Background: We rented La Pépiniére for a week-long family get together and wedding celebration in August. We hosted 15 adults and 7 children ranging in age from 2 to 13 years.
Our hosts: Linda and Pierre were attentive and helpful from the moment we made the reservation until our 5AM departure. Prior to our arrival, they helped us with the logistics of sleeping for seven families. At no time did we feel cramped—their facility could easily host more people.
We worked closely with Linda and Pierre to design a memorable wedding reception dinner. Neither of us speak French—Linda and Pierre are fluent in English. They sent us menus, which we discussed by email and by phone. It was clear that their desire was to understand and provide exactly what we wanted. They sent us additional information regarding La Pépiniére, including a detailed floor plan so that we could allocate bedrooms appropriately and judge where to hold various events on their property.
Facilities: La Pépiniére is an easy 90-minute drive from Charles de Gaulle airport (we flew directly from San Francisco), but once you arrive, you will feel as if you are in a different century. La Pépiniére is a wonderful, peaceful, rustic property with comfortable bedrooms and ivy-covered walls. La Pépiniére is very clean and well maintained without feeling sterile. The “Luxury Barn” which sleeps at least 15 deserves special mention as a magical space for children.
The house has plenty of space for people to congregate, including a modern kitchen that was fully at our disposal, a grand salon where we could enjoy conversations or play cards, and a wonderful shady garden with outdoor seating, plenty of room for kids to play, and fruit trees (two types of cherry, apple, and plums). La Pépiniére is great for kids—they have indoor and outdoor games for all ages (the big trampoline was our favorite.)
In addition to the garden, we enjoyed walking around the neighborhood, which includes a duck pond and a private lake (about 0.7 km) suitable for an impromptu picnic.
From the moment we arrived, Linda and Pierre made us feel welcome and relaxed in their beautiful home. Pierre welcomed us with fruit juice, beer, and a snack. They had stocked the kitchen so we did not have to worry immediately about groceries.
Food: Linda & Pierre worked with us to design the menu for our reception and to select the drinks. They were clear in describing what they could provide and worked with us to achieve the informal and relaxing family-style atmosphere that we desired. Some of our guests had dietary requirements (gluten intolerance & vegetarians), which they accommodated respectfully and thoughtfully. We lacked knowledge of local wines—they helped us taste and select choices that everyone enjoyed. The food service was discrete, on time, generous in portions, and tasty. Some of our international guests remarked that this was the best meal that they had eaten in Europe! Our overall ranking is that the food and wine were memorable and very affordable.
Linda and Pierre were not just generous with their time. They presented our party with complementary champagne after our wedding and organized a surprise event with floating Chinese lanterns.
Although weddings have a reputation for being overpriced, we never felt taken advantage of. Linda and Pierre’s estimate of the total cost was very accurate. Given how happy we were with their service, we would have gladly paid more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- After discovering the splendid medieval city of provins or visiting the french style royal gardens of fontainebleau, we offer you a relaxing stay in our guesthouse. Enjoy the peaceful setting in a small and quiet village with great views over the countryside landscapes enjoy wintertime cosiness by the fire or summer sun in our orchard garden. Take the time to visit the charming french villages in the neighbourhood with their old castles and abbeys or go for a panoramic walking / biking tour. ... more less