French Country Hideaways
“Francophiles rejoice: writer and journalist O’Brien Blondes will spirit you to France to confirm your passion for châteaus‚ food‚ wine‚ and the beautiful countryside.” —Library Journal
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French Country Hideaways

Vacationing At Private Châteaus & Manors in Rural France

In a Nutshell

Francophiles, rejoice: writer and journalist O’Brien Blondes will spirit you to France to confirm your passion for châteaus, food, wine, and the beautiful countryside. Thirty historic châteaus, recently made available to the public as lodgings, are showcased by area: Brittany and Normandy; the Loire, Vendée, and Berry; Dordogne and Aquitaine; and, of course, Provence. Lifestyle and architecture photographer Cardon’s 150-plus exceptional color photos bring each site to life. Each château entry offers information on the history of the building and grounds, types of accommodations, background of the owners, and sightseeing in the vicinity. An excellent appendix of practical information supplies contact information and details on the château. Room rates are not indicated but are designated from moderate (70-150 euros/double) to luxury (120-300 euros/double).  Library Journal

In selecting the destinations, my bias was authenticity and intimacy over grandeur and formality.  There is a range of amenities and pricing but every maison d’hôte here guarantees both the discovery of a living heritage and an encounter with the past.  None of the destinations have more than a dozen guest rooms and most have fewer than six—to ensure you truly feel at home and benefit from your hosts’ savoir faire while exploring their pays. An essential criterion in the selection process was a bond with the land—whether that means raising livestock, producing foie gras, or planting truffle oaks.  Every destination is a haven from the hustle of routine where you can revel in the natural beauty of exceptional gardens, potagers, parks with rare specimen trees, forested hunting territory, vineyards, or acres of pasture and farmland. Because property owners are passionate about produits du terroir, most offer table d’hote dinners featuring the best of indigenous produce—frequently from their own property.

Book Specifications

Format: Hardcover
US Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-0-8478-2682-7 (0-8478-2682-1)
Publisher: Rizzoli
Trim Size: 9 x 9

About the Photographer

Stephanie Cardon is an artist and photographer of French-American origin currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. Her photographs have been published by House & Garden U.K., National Geographic Traveler, Le Monde newspaper and Côté Ouest magazine, among others. She exhibits her personal work in the USA and Europe, and recently graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. www.eyesupsidedown.com.

Now for my subjective take… The multi faceted Stephanie’s sophisticated and subtle eye was formed by her cross-cultural heritage, education and passion for literature. She has a special talent for seizing the spirit of landscape, from urban to wildly remote.

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