La Maison du Chateau
The beauties of Burgundy are many and varied and the region is steeped
in history; Philip the Bold and John the Fearless, to name but two of its many
rulers over the centuries. La Maison du Chateau at Cry sur Armancon, set in a
medieval village and surrounded by lush green meadows washed by the river
running through and the Canal de Bourgogne alongside, remains undisturbed by
the passing of time.
So it was with mounting excitement that I returned to this oasis of
tranquillity for a few days of bridge, fine food and wine and good company.
The delights of my first visit eighteen months earlier remained with me and
I couldn't wait to get back for a September visit when summer still has
some life and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is way beyond the
I arrived in late afternoon to find a serious game of croquet taking
place on the lawn and others in the drawing room beside a log fire
(somewhat ominous) enjoying Delphine's lightest of light lemon sponges. It
was a different group from before and although they had arrived a couple of
days earlier, mostly knowing few if any of the other guests, it was clear
that lasting friendships and bridge partnerships were being forged.
The pattern (but not obligatory!) of instructive bridge tuition in the
morning, afternoons to explore, and very friendly bridge both before and
after dinner provided exactly the right mix of improvement, fun and
relaxation. This time two trips were arranged: one to Beaune, covering a
guided tour of the Hospice, wine-tasting in the surrounding famous
vineyards and a traditional meal, was truly a day to remember; the second
to the nearby 16th century Renaissance Chateau at Ancy-le-France, a real
gem. Elegant outside with its garden and courtyard and sumptuously
decorated within, it is certainly one of Burgundy's less known treasures.
This was followed by a visit to the weekly market and lunch in the local
cafe, where we were welcomed with open arms by Valerie and her freshly
cooked (and caught?!) plat du jour of rabbit….delicious.
The highlight, as before, and if possible, even better than before was
the cooking of Delphine. Lunches were a veritable feast, restraint being
the near impossibility, dinners were beautifully presented and served and
if anyone was hungry at any time, the fridge was always available to
raid…….and the wine flowed.
Summer had disappeared for the week, but it was of no consequence: we
had a new wood-burning stove in the bridge room for complete
comfort, and although less sun that we could have expected, two
afternoons of golf, long walks and bike rides were some of the extra-mural
A week of pure enjoyment and those whose bridge at the beginning was a
little hesitant and uncertain, by the end had become Bold and Fearless!
A la prochaine.