France is such a beautiful and diverse country that it’s surprisingly difficult to pick just a few sights that take your breath away. One moment that will live long in the memory, however, is the drive up to the magnificent Château de la Treyne as you skirt the impressive Dordogne River that snakes from the western French coastline inland. With turrets that reach high into the sky, perfectly manicured lawns and stonework that resembles art rather than masonry, Château de la Treyne is a residence straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Helped, of course, by the abundance of French sunshine and a cloudless sky.
We spend the night here in the Louis XIII suite; gilded in swathes of rouge and gold it was a touch of opulence that befitted the location. Windows opened out onto the river below (birdsong is the only way to wake up in the morning from now on), and the bedroom perfectly blended centuries of history with all the mod-cons you would expect to find in a top hotel. The bathroom was equally as impressive; a full marble bath and shower both exuding a touch of luxury.
As we were only staying the single night, food would be consumed over just two meals; dinner and breakfast. After a quick walk around the gardens, we changed into our finest wear for an evening meal in the Louis XIII room. Covered in green and gold, we were joined by the rest of the guests at the château (all dressed to impress, naturally). Erick, the head waiter, then proceeded to talk us through proceedings. Several courses were to be consumed, all paired with Moet or local wines. The highlights for me were definitely the amuse-bouche of a lentil and milk reduction, and the mains of lamb with confit potato, pastries and stuffed tomato. It took a few hours to manoeuvre through all of the finest food that France had to offer, only interrupted by a brief trip to the terrace to watch the sunset. By the time all the food and conversation had naturally come to an end, it was time to retire to our four-poster bed.
The next morning we awoke to the most serene fog sitting over the Dordogne river outside our window. Over the course of an hour, the sun slowly melted this away, leaving the sky the most brilliant blue once again. After taking Pepi for a walk, we head downstairs for breakfast on the patio area outside the front of the house. Once again this was an impressive eat; several bowls of pastries and fruits served in the warm morning sun. You’ve got to have croissants every day for breakfast in France, right?
Unfortunately, time was against us in the morning as we had to head off to Provence, and so we needed to leave Château de la Treyne by midday. This gave us just enough time to admire the beautiful pool (rather than jump in) and get a few more photos in the impressive Louis XIII dinner room. It’s probably a good thing that we had to leave, otherwise Katie may have easily convinced me to stay. Pepi quite enjoyed herself in the perfectly manicured gardens too.