I have a friend named Mark who was celebrating his 50th birthday, and he decided to rent an entire chateau in the South of France with a dozen of his closest friends. I won’t lie. It was insanely fabulous.
Did I know that the Rolling Stones recorded their most famous album, Exile On Main Street, at a French cheateau while they were tax exiles from England? No, but I am able to sing along with “Tumbling Dice.” Did I know that Elton John followed them there to record Honky Chateau, the album that has “Rocket Man” and “Honky Cat” on it, or that it was such fun he returned to make Goodbye Yellow Brick Road there? No. but despite not actually knowing more about that record than “Candle In the Wind,” “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting,” and the title track. I know now why they wanted to hang out here. Imagine waking up in the morning and having the chateau staff prepare a breakfast feast with freshly squeezed orange juice, champagne, and freshly baked croissants and french pastries. Life was suddenly . . . very good.
That was our daily routine, and we felt like rock stars as we were awakened by the French sunrise that slipped over the window pane. One by one, we descended on the chateau’s grand staircase in our plush robes and commenced in the kitchen to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, which we then ate at the patio that overlooks the vineyards of South of France. What could be more decadent?
The chateau is managed by the prestigious Château de la Treyne, and is located in a very quiet part of the countryside perched on a hill overlooking Durdogne. The setting is quite extraordinary. This chateau is also an ideal base from which to set off and explore this pictuesque region of France. We rented a couple of cars and toured castles, wineries, caves, and quaint villages over the course of seven days.
For a week, we enjoyed breakfast served on the balcony overlooking hills with seemingly endless vineyards. The setting was quite extraordinary. When it was a bit chilly, we would have lunch indoors overlooking the Durdogne River. We also enjoyed a meal at Château de la Treyne’s restaurant, home to Michelin star chef Stéphane Andrieux. The Chateau is very spacious; enough for everyone to find have their own space. The weather was perfect for canoeing and hiking, but a bit too cold to be jumping in the pool. In seven days we all bonded and wondered often aloud, “Why can’t we all live like this 365 days of the year? Why??” When I turn 50, I will do the same. (But I doubt it will happen, cause in my book, I am 35 forever.) Au Revoir!
Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.
Last modified: July 27, 2017