We stopped over in the Ardeche on a 2+ weeks driving tour of France. I had booked 2 nights here in advance having seen on Alistair Sawday and thought that it would earn me lots of brownie points with my chateau-loving wife.
A few emails and calls with the delightful Marie-Antoinette secured the 'duplex' penthouse apprtment and table d'hôte dinner on the Saturday evening. A previous reviewer likened a stay at Chateau Clement to a country house party, and I can find no better description.
Where do I start?
The location is stunning - high on a hill above Val-les-Bains. Not a particularly special town, but the views from our windows were of the wooded mountain tops and absolutely breathtaking, particularly during one dramatic night of lightning storms.
The Chateau has been beautifully restored to the most exacting levels and we loved the juxtaposition of original details and contemporary styling. It just works.
The food, prepared by Eric, was of an exceptionally high standard and he and Marie-Antoinette delighted in sharing both his creations and bought-in local produce with us as if we were lifelong friends.
Every aspect of the service was impeccable, and there was a real ease in the way in which it was delivered - much of it by Marie-Antoinette as she dealt with the not-inconsiderate demands of her own young family.
We left after two days, saddened by the unavailability of our room to extend, but heartened by the feeling that we had discovered something very special. We will surely return.
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