We fell for these Lords of the castle, our hosts, in their sumptuous residences, just 2 hours from Paris.
Le château de Prye: not far from Nevers (photo)
It’s an impressive seigneurial residence since the Middle Ages and the property of the Queen of Poland in the 17th century. The castle is located in a vast estate listed as a historic monument, surrounded by a 7-kilometre wall. The existing park was designed by E. André and H. Duchêne 150 years ago and the stables, panelled with marble, are unique in France. Warm and comfortable bedrooms and lounges receive guests and we were welcomed by the owners whose children already know the basic art of hospitality! In the park, animals are running free and on a sunny day you can go on a canoeing trip on the Loire river or explore the Pouilly or Sancerre vineyards!
Château de Prye – 58160 la Fermeté – Phone: 03 86 58 42 64 – www.chateaudeprye.com
Le château de Bonnemare: for Nature and History lovers
The lords are receiving! Just like Nicolas Leconte, friend of the French King Henri II, who built the castle between 1555 and 1563. You’re not the first, even if the warm welcoming and the privilege you’ll enjoy will almost make you believe it… but you will soon understand when passing the entrance, the long driveway with poplars, and discover the arch flanked by two turrets that has come to symbolize this protected monument. Pure delight. As for the bedrooms, 5 are set in the property, of which 2 suites have their interior design listed as historical monuments. Ah, life in a château!
990, chemin de Bacqueville – 27380 Radepont – Phone: 02 32 49 03 73 – www.bonnemare.com
Tucked into a wooded hillside overlooking the Seine estuary, this 18th century Norman manor is just outside the old port of Honfleur. If you want your eyes to experience these legendary lights so attractive to the impressionists, this is the place to be. Ten cocoon bedrooms, a spa and a restaurant facing the sea, an outdoor swimming pool… In short, anything you need to enjoy and relax!
23, route de Trouville – 14600 Honfleur – Phone: 02 31 81 63 00 – www.manoirdesimpressionnistes.com