The joy of discovering France by driving: one reader's story

One Connexion reader shares her story of a 'relaxing stop off in the Vineyards of the Languedoc'. If you've made any discoveries, share them with us too...

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With the relaxing of Covid rules and regulations, you still may not fancy passing through an airport or sitting close to people on a plane. Should you decide to take a road trip through France, as we did this week, whether on your way back to the UK or visiting friends and family in Europe, then the Chateau St Pierre de Serjac in the Languedoc is certainly a place to stop en route for some quality relaxation in the most stunning surroundings.

Coffee and papers on a French morning

We used to live close by in the village of Pouzolles and every Sunday morning would venture out to the Chateau for coffee and papers. The Chateau’s promotional material describes it as ‘A perfect combination of an intimate place, a casual chic atmosphere, the authenticity of a vineyard with the service and comfort of a luxury hotel’. This is a very apt description.

Last year I took one of their wine tours and I must say the selection was really interesting and varied both in taste and price. I am not a wine buff at all, but I enjoyed the choice of different varieties with the Rosé so light and delicious and not at all expensive at about 10 euros a bottle for something really good. The hotel is part of the Bonfils Vins & Chateaux in the Languedoc with another hotel, the Chateau les Carrasses near Capestang and the soon to be opened Chateau Capitoul near Narbonne.

We had always promised ourselves that we’d stay over one night to enjoy the outdoor elegant terrace bar and restaurant overlooking the infinity pool dropping down to the hectares of vines. Being nearly the end of June, the vines are now full of luscious green leaves. The moment we turned the corner and saw this vision before us, all our stresses from a hot journey through Spain, just disappeared. We changed into our swimmers and dived into the pool then lay on a double cabana bed sipping the aforesaid Rosé.

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Chateau St Pierre de Serjac

The hotel has only 8 rooms but they also have 36 luxury self catering houses with private patios and some with private pools, all restored from the original outbuildings. Everywhere is beautifully furnished in a contemporary warm grey palette with such comfortable beds with crisp white linen that you don’t want to get out in the morning. Thick white bath towels to dry yourself after a luxurious bath in an enormous tub together with sweet smelling toiletries.

I was really pleased to see the real coffee machine with pods and complimentary water. The little ‘gateaux’ to go with our coffee just melted in our mouths. There are tennis courts, a boules and barbeque area, bikes, an indoor/outdoor gym and a spa. At the moment the spa isn’t open because of Covid but I guess that will re-open soon.

Eating al fresco & Covid rules

As it’s warm currently, dinner can be served on the terrace overlooking the pool so there was no other decision to be made. They serve a Mediterranean menu from home grown and locally sourced ingredients. It was a little bit too ‘nouvelle cuisine’ for me, but we certainly appreciated the deliciously delicate fragrances. The red chilli ice cream though certainly had an interesting if not a little spicy flavour.

The staff are very friendly, all speak English in case you don’t speak French and couldn’t be more helpful. The hotel adhered to strict Covid rules with hand sanitisers everywhere, staff wearing masks and tables disinfected before and after use. Price wise it’s a little more than we would normally want to pay but for the experience, it was worth every penny and at the end of the day, we are all just making memories and this is one I won’t forget.

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Written by Sue Sammon - Chase Management +44 7775 683955 - Email - Instagram @modelplanchasetalent