“A beautifully restored castle with 6 opulent suites, a freshwater pool and 2 bohemian gypsy caravans, hidden in gardens deep in the Ardèche”
Five of the vast suites are within the castle. Each is uniquely styled, with lofty ceilings, vintage furniture and extremely comfortable beds. Walls are adorned with eclectic artwork, and rich fabrics come in shades of ochre, burnt orange, lilac and dusty pink. Bathrooms have rain showers clad in mosaic tiles or smooth plaster, and some have tubs, too.
Our favourite was the romantic Chambre du Grand Salon, which has a beautiful honeycomb-tile floor and French doors opening onto a private balcony with garden views. The Chambre du Général is similar, while Zéphir, Céleste and Pom et Flore all have a second bedroom. Another 2-bedroom suite, Côté Cour, is set across the courtyard, next to the communal kitchen - which is handy as this suite is let on a self-catering basis. Its privacy means it's perfect for families, and we liked the lime-washed walls, polished concrete floors and huge bathroom.
If you fancy a back-to-nature experience, there are 2 charming gypsy caravans hidden in the gardens, each with a double bed and creature comforts such as proper toilets and air-con. The largest, Philomène, is actually a trio of trailers, one housing the main bedroom and bathroom, one housing 3 children’s beds, and another with a living area and kitchenette.
If you're staying in one of the 5 chateau suites, breakfast is taken in the vaulted dining room or outside on the terrace. You'll find just-baked croissants and crispy baguettes with homemade jams, fresh fruit salads, and a selection of homemade cakes, waffles and pancakes.
The caravans and the Suite Côté Cour are let on a self-catering basis. Philomène has a kitchenette for preparing your own breakfast (and dinner at a pinch), but you'll need to use the guest kitchen if staying in La Vie en Rose or Côté Cour. There's a shop in the village for supplies.
The table d'hôte dinners are casual and convivial affairs around a communal table. There’s no menu; just let Véronique know you'd like to dine in and she'll tell you what’s on offer. We wandered downstairs to find chilled white wine and homemade olive tapenade waiting for us in the courtyard, before tucking into 3 courses of rustic Ardèche fare - soup made with just-picked spoils from the vegetable and herb gardens, chicken in a red-wine sauce, local cheeses drizzled with honey.
If you want to dine out there are good restaurants within a short drive.
Children of all ages are welcome, and kids will love playing in the gardens, exploring the surrounding area and watching movies in the cinema room.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Three of the suites in the castle - Zéphir, Céleste and Pom et Flore - have second twin bedrooms, as does Suite Côté Cour, which is set on the other side of the courtyard; they can also take a rollaway single bed or baby cot. One of the gypsy caravans, Philomène, is a trio of trailers: one with a double bed, a second with 3 children's beds and a third with a living area and kitchenette.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There’s a guest kitchen where you can prepare your own food (particularly handy for those staying in the adjacent Suite Côté Cour), and Philomène has its own kitchenette. Note that breakfast isn't included in the rates if you book either of the caravans or Suite Côté Cour.
The pool is walled and gated, but note that a river runs alongside the chateau