Life at a French Chateau
Life at Chateau Roqueperlic was one big pile of awesomeness…..seriously though. Often I forget to talk about the places where we stay and how we stay, so here is the story.
The owners of the Chateau, Matthy and Ellen contacted us through staydu.com last summer. We ended up chatting on Skype and sealing the deal to stay at the chateau before we even left home in January 2013. We flew into a small airport in the south of France and they were there to pick us up in their tough defender….It was love at first sight……and Ellen and Mathhy seemed cool too.
The night we arrived there was a big barbeque dinner with all of the guests. Everyone came from a different country and background. We had French, Dutch, South African, American, Australian, and Spanish. We dined on delicious food and had entertaining conversations, with all the languages mixing together we weren’t always sure what we were talking about but we sure had a good time.
On the next day after sitting down and sharing expectations and discussing responsibilities and personal needs, we got to work learning the ropes. Stripping and making beds, cleaning bathrooms, using the fancy coffee machine, preparing breakfast, and tackling the ever present mountain of laundry.
We would work an average of 4 hours every day, sometimes more or less depending on how many guests we had. In return we got a fabulous place to stay and all the good food we could eat. We took turns preparing breakfast each morning so every one didn’t have to wake up early. We also alternated cooking super and lunch, which we would eat together.
We shared a bathroom, B&B responsibilities, meals, day trips, stories, hikes, and our lives. It is different experience moving in with someone you just met for a committed 9 week relationship. But like any relationship with communication and a good sense of humor, everything went well.
I thought you might like to see inside the chateau, so here is a wee tour.
In the salon we would enjoy an aperitif before dinner with friends, or sit and relax at the end of the day.
We prepared some ah-mazing food in this kitchen. Often before bed we would sit together at the table and drink warm milk with honey or sleepy time tea, and talk about the day. Or fight over who had to do breakfast the next morning.
Here is the dinning room where the guests would enjoy a delicious breakfast.
Every window or door you looked through at the chateau offered up another tranquil view.
The antique and slightly out of tune piano where Clayton and I started practicing. I think we had both forgotten how much we enjoyed playing music.
The coffee machine who became my best friend. I had rich and creamy latte or cappuccino
once three times a day.
Here is the room we stayed in. It was ginormous in comparison to some of our other accommodations. My favorite was sleeping with the windows open every night, cooled by the mountain breeze.
One of the guestrooms on our floor.
My favorite tub! I was able to take a relaxing bath or two when it wasn’t occupied. To bad it wouldn’t fit in my backpack.
This was my favorite guest room, called Printemp (spring). With the green walls and pretty wallpaper it had my favorite decor. But the best part of this room is the view.
Every time I cleaned printemp I would stare out the windows to long and usually snap a few pictures with my phone.
The downside of a grand chateau is….the stairs. It had four levels and the laundry was at the bottom, so we went up and down these all day. I must say my calves look pretty good now though.
We took advantage of the lovely weather to eat lunch and dinner outside nearly everyday. It always made any meal feel a little more special by sitting outside. I guess because in Texas it is usually to hot to enjoy the outdoors. We enjoyed several dinner parties at that granite table and more really delicious food.
Here is the biggest reason we enjoyed the chateau…Ellen and Matthy. We had such good time being in their company. We enjoyed hiking in the mountains together, wine tasting, relaxing at the lake, picking berries, getting to know their friends, and even just doing chores around the chateau.
They tried teaching us some Dutch, the words that stuck were “lekker” which can mean good, or tasty. “Ik ook van jou” which is like “I love you too” And my favorite word “gezellig” which doesn’t translate exactly to English but it can mean cozy, intimate, homey, enjoyable. They also taught us about good fresh food, wine, cheese, the Dutch and French cultures, and they even taught us how to whistle really loud! (Which has come in handy while we are traveling since we don’t have cell phones.)
We had a wonderful nine weeks making life long memories at the chateau with Ellen and Matthy. It is a wonderfully tranquil location to stay, surrounded by trees, mountains in the distance, with hiking trails all around. One being the Camino de Santiago. They are also within driving distance to some charming French towns. So pretty much you should go stay there!
In our experience life at a French Chateau is gezellig… At least when you stay at Chateau Roqueperlic.