Le Maison du Chateau is the stuff childhood fantasies are made of. The beautiful, 9-bedroom, 18th Century French Manor House and 2-bedroom Gate House (available separately) enjoys 24-acres of grounds including a private swimming pool, woodland, sand-fringed riverbanks and its own little island and row boat - an old fashioned adventure storybook in the making!
Thanks to the fact that the Chateau's owners, Nick and Susanna Lyell have eight grand children, aged from 1-10 years old, it is a very child and baby friendly place to stay with adventure safely contained and easily supervised, so parents can enjoy their glorious surroundings with few worries about giving their little ones the freedom to roam. They've also taken care of stocking the place wth some handy baby and kids gear too, see the grey 'Fast Facts' coloumn on this page for full details.
To top it off, bookings come with the services of an excellent chef who lives nearby and is on hand to shop for and cook lunches and dinners during 5.5 days of every week's rental. For total relaxation, maid service is available too.
The Manor House sleeps 6-16 in nine elegant bedrooms, six with en-suites and eight which can be set up as twins or doubles. All the rooms have lent of space for at least one travel cot, many could accommodate several. There is also a 2-bedroom Gate House, ideal for accompanying grandparents or nannies. See the BFB listing and prices here (click).
Downstairs - The main entrance leads into an impressive hallway with doorways into the dining room, formal 'grand salon' and less formal 'Petit Salon' , all of which overlook the lovely lawns. The otherside of the main staircase, is the well-equipped kitchen, with separate larder and utility areas. This leads on to a ground floor double bedroom with ensuite shower room and w/c - ideal for a nanny, although the owner can arrange local childcare staff, so it could be used for less mobile guests. French doors from the dining room lead down a few steps to the suntrap of a pool terrace which is both fenced and alarmed for safety. There's a changing area and lovely covered dining area with BBQ plus plentiful loungers. The former barns are now converted at ground level into a games room which leads on to the south lawn with its sandpit.
Upstairs - The east wing is home to three bedrooms which can be converted into twins or king-sized beds, each with an ensuite bathroom. Whislt a right turn at the top of the stairs leads to the south wing which houses a single, double and king/twin bedroom, with shared use of a large family bathroom. Above the games room, with private access from ground level, are the two 'barn wing' bedrooms, both of which are king/twin and each wth private ensuite bathroom, as well as a central music room with piano and quiet nooks for reading or enjoying music.
La Maison Chateau is set in 24 acres of private parkland, in which guests will find an endless list of things to do. On sunny days when not lounging in the pool or sandy lake banks, adults and tots alike will enjoy exploring the beautiful grounds, whether it be amidst a game of hide and seek or simply an evening walk just before dinner. For aspiring pirates and accompanying parents the house lake is a big draw thanks to the private island and row boat provided, which is also handy for fishing. Back on dry ground little ones are partial to the sand pit and provided toys whilst adults and older children can partake in a bit of friendly competition thanks to the ping pong table, croquet set and tennis court. The local village which is just 100 metres walk from the house gates also has a handy children's play area and bar selling ice cream.
For guests who can drag themselves away from the house, Burgundy as a region, has a lot to explore. Those with an interest in wine can take advantage of the owner's links to a local British expert who will happily organise tours and tastings around some of the areas greatest vineyards, from world famous growers like Micheal Laroche in Chablis, to smaller, undiscovered places like Irancy. With wine must come food and thankfully there is no shortage of delicious meals thanks to the onsite chef Delphine. However on her days off the owners will be happy to recommend a range of great restaurants, from family friendly bistros within 10 minutes drive and more extravagant Michelin star options within an hour's drive (including La Cote D'or (3 star) in Saulieu (50 mins) for those special occasions.
After their own night of pampering, gourmet style frazzled parents may be feeling refreshed enough to treat the tots to a day trip to Euro Disney, which is around 90minutes away by TGV train (3 hours drive) away. However closer to the house mini guests can enjoy a trip to The Centre Nautique Amphitrite, in Montbard (15 mins) which is a collection of indoor pools with slides and water based activities, which comes in very handy on rainy days. For mini explorers, The Grottes (caves) at Ancy-sur-Cure is a collection of 11 prehistoric caves which allows guests to explore the many treasures uncovered their over the years and makes for an interesting historical trip.
For keen shoppers in the party, Paris is an easy day trip being just a 1 hour's TGV train journey away from house (3hrs by car).
Getting there: Montbard, is only 15 minutes drive from La Maison du Chateau and offers direct TGV links to London (4 hrs) and Paris (1 hr). By car, La Maison du Chateau is approximately 5 hrs drive from the northern coastal port of Calais. Alternatively if one takes the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen the drive is again 5 hours. By train on Eurostar: Guests can go direct from London Waterloo (via Lille) to Montbard, just 15 minutes from the House. Or to Paris where there are excellent trains Paris/Montbard. The fast train (TGV) takes just over one hour. Car hire is available from Hertz Rental in Montbard. By air, Guest can fly to Paris with easy links to the train system and car hire. Airports at Lille and Geneva are both within 3.5-4.5hrs drive of the property.