20 August 2021

Flashback Friday





  

I've always had a thing for châteaux. Exploring the French countryside by car over the years, whenever I saw that there would be one on our route (in France roadside signs signal approaching castles, villages, and cheese), I'd make sure we'd make time in our trip to stop. Then, years later, I found myself assigned to write up some of the most beautiful castles in France, which meant staying as a wined-dined guest - all part of the job, mind you - and one of the most memorable was the magnificent Château de Courcelles. On the edge of a medieval commune within the sights of the Champagne region, the château is renowned for its history, elegance, beauty and for years, gastronomy. While there have been some changes since, even so these photos hopefully give but a glimpse into its timeless luxury. - BPJ

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From, "A Château for All Seasons" © Barbara Pasquet James

 "...The first clue that this was to be no ordinary séjour was our room – a spacious, beautifully decorated suite off the main building, its tall windows and thick wooden beams giving it a charm reminiscent of an artist’s atelier or hunter's lodge. No detail – from the jacuzzi-like oversized bathtub, heated towel racks, sumptuous bathrobes and cozy slippers to period style wallpaper (which matched the upholstery) and writing desk – had been overlooked. The view over the garden tempted us to settle in with the cozy fire that had already been lit and partake of the welcome basket bursting with fresh fruit and champagne from one of the region’s vineyards, but we were eager to explore the château and its sumptuous grounds, and learn more of its rich history as we let ourselves be transported into a time of kings, courtiers and courtesans.


 The Château de Courcelles dates to the late period in the long reign of Louis XIV, le Roi-Soleil. Built in 1690, it has seen a parade of illustrious visitors - philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French film star Daniel Auteuil (Jean de Florette, La Reine Margot) to name but two. Indeed, Courcelles-sur-Vesle is where Napoléon Bonaparte was to first set eyes on the young Marie-Louise, Josephine’s successor and great niece of executed Marie-Antoinette, when she arrived by carriage from Austria, already his wife by proxy...."

 Château de Courcelles
8 rue du Château
02220 Courcelles-sur-Vesles - France

 Member: Relais & Chateaux Group

 

(click all photos to enlarge)

 

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