To be King and Queen for a day you must have a castle and it should be the finest castle in all the land. A note of warning though, you must choose wisely. An interesting quirk about the French language is the word “chateau”. Not every chateau is a castle though that is often how it is translated.
Chateaux de Bagnols en Beaujolais truly is a castle. Dating back to the 13th century, Bagnols is currently the finest 5 star vineyard chateaux hotel in the world. Restored to its originally glory by the Lady Hamlyn, the chateau features all the signature elements of a castle of childhood dreams; towers that a fairytale princess likely slumbered in, a moat to fend off ne’er- do-wells, a dramatic drawbridge, ramparts surrounding the castle and the largest gothic fireplace in France where the coat of arms of King Charles VIII commemorates his visit in 1490 and gardens of manicured glory fencing in a retinue of cherry trees jeweled with perfectly ripe to eat fruit along a centerpiece of a fountain to quench your romantic fantasy come to life.
Accompanying the architectural grandeur are appointments throughout the halls and apartments that allow the indulgence of believing you are descended from a royal blood line. The embodiment of “art de vivre”, all the habitats are associated with a noble that was part of the history of the chateau and are adorned with hand selected antiquities from the renaissance.
Indulging in the royal lifestyle also requires activities suited to your new found bloodline. A roman swimming pool is at your disposal along with horse carriage excursions, horseback riding and hot air ballooning for the more adventurous.
The rigors of royal activity will beckon a royal appetite. Breakfast at the chateau is best enjoyed in the Salles des Gardes where a buffet of fine French cheeses, meats and pastries will break all resolve of New Year’s resolutions.
A simple testament to the attentiveness was noted when ordering a soft boiled egg. The chef inquired about the preferred number of minutes wished for cooking and also recommended the time best suited to meet the guests taste. Dinner allows you to revel in the famed gastronomy of the Beaujolais region, which is noted as premier in all of France. If there could be more that you wish for you need only ask.
Only the best kind of fairytales come true at the Chateau de Bagnols.
- Jeffery Owens
Photographs by Jeffery Owens for Socially Superlative