After having to rebook a volcano-delayed vacation of a lifetime, my wife, 5-yr old daughter and two friends stayed a full week at Beau Sejour. We weren't sure what to expect as the booking had been last minute and I picked it based on Maureen's thoughtful email and a host of impressive recommendations. So the minute we walked in, our senses were immediately filled with a relaxing aura. The house is finely decorated French country with an English flair and displayed throughout the house are touching excerpts from memorable dinners and fine wines of years past. Even the smell - of potpourri and spring tulips - were enough to close the books on the intensity of Paris from where we had arrived.
With a handshake and an apertif, Maureen and Jon were waiting for us at the gate and welcomed us as if we were old friends. It was easy getting to know them and hard not to like them from the get go. We settled into our rooms on the second floor in Chambre Rouge and Plaisance - both wildly spacious rooms with completely upgraded bathrooms. We had the privilege of eating Maureen's fabulous cooking the first night. Even simple dishes like the rice were savory and left you wanting more. Breakfast was included everyday - since we stayed 7 days we thought it could have had a little more variety but it was more than adequate. The french press coffee is something I'll surely miss - it's the way coffee should be made.
Throughout our stay, Maureen and Jon offered the perfect mixture of being available to help yet without being too intrusive on our privacy. If we wanted a restaurant recommendation, she would print out directions and call for reservations. If we wanted quick driving directions, she would write it out on paper for us. She also gave us a cooking class and took us to a farm to buy the foie gras. I felt that the culmination of the stay was during the local Chateau Bonhoste festival where both Jon and Maureen with us and other guests enjoyed local food, wine, music and fanfare. It provided an valuable glimpse into the true heart of the Saint Emilion valley and it's people on a relaxing weekend.
The house is a fair drive to Saint Emilion but once you know your way, it's a short 15-minutes, which is just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of your typical touristy destinations. If you don't want to drive that far, there are also good eateries in nearby Rauzan and Branne. The surrounding landscape is filled with world-class vineyards as far as the eye can see. If you happen to be a runner, you will be delighted in gently rolling hills and small roads offering tranquil views and utter solitude.
If you love wine, Jon can talk for hours about right bank appellations and his wine stories are priceless. Maureen is equally rich in experiences and recommendations on what to drink, eat and sight see during our visit.
I would not hesitate to recommend staying here for a second. We are so grateful that we found this place after taking a chance on other's recommendations. If you are reading this, we hope you take that chance too, before they become too popular. You will find the experience at Beau Sejour the highlight of your stay because of the hospitality, the food and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Most important of all, when all was said and done, we arrived at Beau Sejour strangers and we left as good friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beau Séjour is a beautiful early 18c large stone house built in the classic style of the region. We are situated in a small village in the heart of the Bordeaux wine making region and the house has a large peaceful garden, secure car parking. We are passionate about our home and we strive to provide for our guests the best possible introduction to our beautiful region of adoption. You can be assured that we will do all we can to make your visit to Beau Séjour as happy and enjoyable as possible. ... more less
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