First stop en route to Côte d’Azur: Abbaye de la Bussière in Bourgogne. Queue all lovely French clichés a plenty! Ancient castle (well, abbey), tick. Lake with cascade, water-mill and row boats, tick. Ornamental gardens with topiary and or course, lavender (but am I right thinking this is English lavender?). Michelin starred restaurant serving frog legs and snails, tick. Winding stairs leading up to an attic room with exposed beams, tick. This and ponies grazing in the paddock near by. I couldn’t take it all in.
I loved the place and I would have loved to stay longer than overnight. There was something very calm and serene about the place. Well, until we rolled up with a toddler demonstrating first temper tantrum after six hours in the car. But that is another story… And the hotel did a fantastic job accommodating us so that we wouldn’t feel awkward interrupting other guest enjoying their relaxing stay. We will be going back next summer.