I’ve know Trudy for quite some time as we used to work together at Nike for what seems to be centuries ago. She left the company before I did to go on a trip around the world, to be followed by another trip around the world and then to be followed by another trip to … well, you get the picture. During the course of all those years we stayed in touch. Not on a very regular basis, but she would send a mail when in the Netherlands and whenever possible we would meet for lunch or have a coffee somewhere and she could make me jealous about all those amazing adventures she and her boyfriend Matthieu had.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love to travel. So any good travel stories… you can certainly come to me! Not too long ago Trudy contacted me again and invited me and Tom over for a weekend in Savennes. As it turns out she and Matthieu are on yet another adventure. This time they are staying in France for a period of 2 years to start up a Chambre D’Hote. Chateau de Savennes… Doesn’t the name alone give you the goosebumps (in a good way ofcourse)? They are managing the chateau for the owners for a period of two years until they can come and take it over. In the meantime it is the perfect period for them to see how they like running a chambre d’hote as they might decide to start their own at some point in time. But you never know what the future brings! With a little shifting of our calendars we managed to find a weekend that would be good for all parties to go.
We really had no idea what to expect other then what we had seen on the website but believe me when I say that our expectations were no where near the actual experience. On the outside the chateau de Savennes is a gorgeous old building with well kept lawns (and yes, Matthieu even build a little golfcourse (or driving range; I really know nothing about golf!) in front of the house. Plenty of space! The rooms in the chateau are amazing and a term such as chambre d’hote really does not do it justice. We had one of the “smaller” rooms but it was still about twice the size of our regular sleepingroom at home..Beautiful old furniture but with all the modern comforts you want. The entire inside of the chateau is completely redone; new bathrooms and toilets, everything is freshly painted but still has that old charm. I totally forgot to take any photos of the rooms but there are a couple on the website so have a look their if you’re curious. The biggest room is huge; I think it goes up to 60 M2! What I loved about all the rooms, that each one is painted in a different color theme and they all have little secrets. Our room had a tiny extra room at the end with just a table and a chair. I have no idea what they would have used it for in the days but I am guessing something like a little writing room or maybe even a little chapel? Who knows…
While the chateau is big, there are but four rooms available at the moment for staying in, so it will always remain a very personal affair. This is certainly not a big and impersonal hotel!
The food however was definitely up to a good hotel standards; starting with a lovely breakfast every morning with fresh croissants, eggs, great bread and whatever else your heart desired. Matthieu is the star in the kitchen, while Trudy is more the hostess and takes care of setting the tables, making sure the house runs as it should be.
Matthieu surprised us over the course of the coming days with gorgeous dishes such as caramelized quail on a puree of celeriac and potatoes or a small starter of duck with lamb’s lettuce, home made chilisyrup and little wild strawberries (…) Seriously, seriously good food. I think I can safely say that I had the best meals I ever had in France there over the last few days. It’s not haute cuisine, but it’s definitely cooking of a high standard. Seasonal, homemade and local in most cases.
Trudy and Matthieu are both very warm and kind people who will do whatever they can to make the stay in Chateau de Savennes one you will enjoy. On the program are loads of ideas such as organizing special yoga tours and I do believe that Trudy is brewing on some ideas to host a mystery weekend. Perfect scenery to solve a murder for sure!
The castle itself is in the area Auvergne which is beautiful and green. There are lots of little tiny villages and little tiny markets, brocante markets or flea markets and if you’re ready for a bigger city; Clermont Ferrand is not that far away (about 80 km to drive from Savennes)
All in all; I am sure we will go back for a longer stay as the only downside to our wonderful stay there was the fact that we had to pack our bags again after three days. If you’re in the area; stay the night. You will not regret it!
Chambres & table d’hôtes
+33 (0)965 25 03 41