Life at the chateau

MARDI GRAS IN FRANCE

This blog is being written on the second day of Lent 2023, which might explain the author’s notably happy and equable temperament. On Shrove Tuesday, the kitchen was indeed depleted of its stock of eggs and butter, yet if we were celebrating in French fashion, our...

Valentine’s day

As the 14th of February approaches, reading about various traditions for St. Valentine’s Day is always enjoyable. For example, one French practice known as  “une loterie d’amour” took place at different times of the year, depending on the village. This custom...

A FRENCH HOGMANAY

And a Happy New Year to you all! Many readers will ask how we celebrateHogmanay in the Chateau, and even if you are not, we will tell you anyway.The brief answer is we were in the UK at the start of 2023, but there is no fixedpattern even if we were in the Loire...

CHRISTMAS AT THE CHATEAU

CHRISTMAS AT THE CHATEAU

As we have previously discussed, the Chateau comes to life when hosting families and friends, and never more so than in December. It is also at this time of the year when the writer is prone to contrasting the festivities in the Loire Valley with those of his own...

WINTERING AT THE CHATEAU

Katherine May wrote in her sublime book Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times that " winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible". It is a comforting thought as the grounds change colour and even texture, and the air now...

OFF ON OUR TRAVELS

OFF ON OUR TRAVELS

Those readers of maturity – i.e., old enough to recall Sacha Distel singing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head – may remember the advertising phrase, "Your holiday abroad begins aboard". However, it is our experience that sometimes a sense of discord sets in before...

QUEEN ELIZABETH 26TH APRIL 1926 – 8TH SEPTEMBER 2022

The term ‘Entente Cordiale’ is a familiar one, yet its meaning is often taken forgranted. Put simply, it refers to the pact signed on the 8 th of August 1904 tobring to an end centuries of hostility between the UK and France. In theaftermath of the death of Queen...

TERM STARTS – AVEC BEAUCOUP DE GCSE

TERM STARTS – AVEC BEAUCOUP DE GCSE

I previously discussed the joys of waiting for GCSE results, but on the 26th ourapprehension finally ended. However, it has to be said that among the verycreditable array of grades was a less than stellar mark in a certain language.Yes, with comedy timing that would...

A BIRTHDAY AT THE CHATEAU

A BIRTHDAY AT THE CHATEAU

A gratifying number of readers seem to recall our appearance on Escape to TheChateau; DIY, especially the Australian gentleman complaining about theslavery he regularly endured as part of his lot. This, of course, was a grossexaggeration as Chateau de Bois Giraud...

WELCOME  BACK

WELCOME BACK

It is good to be back. Over the past weeks, I have been spending my time marvelling at the Hades that is British daytime television, re-reading novels, and watching box-sets. For that reason, Venetta for the Saint will forever remain in my memory, not least because of...