Some years back, Vincent decided that we would drive from Paris to the south. Although the drive can be done in a day, he decided to stop for the night midway into our journey. Keeping his choice a surprise, I think he was skeptical that my American tastes in hotels wouldn’t mesh with his fondness for an out-of-the-way historical find.
Driving through the small village in Burgundy, I wasn’t thinking about where we were going or what sort of accommodation we would have. Instead I was enthralled by the little stone homes, churches and lavoirs scattered throughout. One turn led to a street so narrow, it was more like an alley. At the end of the street we turned into an even narrower dusty driveway and the sight of the building ahead literally left me speechless.
Château d’Igé. A small 13th-century château (pictured top) converted into a hotel to make anyone feel like royalty. The grounds alone made me feel as though I had crossed time barriers into a magical land of beautiful trees and little rustic stone walls enclosing a garden to rest in and read a book…or to walk over to the tiny adjoining meadow to watch the sheep grazing.
Entering the château is just as mesmerizing. Stone walls, ancient marble stairs that spiral at a dizzying rate. And the biggest surprise – the most ridiculously insane suite I’ve ever been in. It was festooned with raspberry and white colored fabric walls, draperies and bed linens to match. It was still tasteful without bordering on garish.
The little window in the bed area lent itself to a view of a tower from which I could imagine Rapunzel letting down her golden stair of hair! The only noises heard were of doves, frogs and the sheep in the meadow. This WAS my medieval dream and I was the princess! Thankfully, though, the plumbing and bathroom were totally modern and up-to-date – big garden tub, separate shower…. I do like being a modern princess!
We had aperitifs on the terrace at the back of the château. A relaxing spot overlooking an old little bridge, a pond filled with lily pads and swans which seemed to realise that they were living the good life!
The restaurant at the château serves meals fit for royalty. All organic and locally grown, it was a pleasure to dine on great food and wine that the Burgundy region is so well known for. It was such a pleasure to have excellent service as well. With breakfast the next morning too, it was one magical night that I will remember for a long time.
In fact, Vincent surprised me this summer! I had no idea, but we would be driving from Paris back to the Château d’Igé for a return trip…and like a fine wine, this château just gets better with age!
I would like to add a little side note here. The Château d’Igé is such an incredibly affordable place. We stayed one night, had an amazing meal – everything from aperitifs and an amuse bouche, to a full-course dinner and dessert – AND breakfast the next morning. The bill came to less than €400. If you are considering a little trip to Burgundy, you really should check out the Château d’Igé. You will not be disappointed!
©2014 Catherine Urbanski