Doesn't everyone fantasize about living in a chateau in the south of France, looking out from a spacious, elegantly furnished room over a stunning view of the tranquil countryside? Enjoying a great breakfast including freshly-baked baguettes from the local bakery, warm croissants, homemade jams, and a foaming cup of cappuccino as you sit in a beautiful garden?
You can have this experience, with a unique ballet bonus thrown in, at Château Mathias in Virazeil, one hour from Bordeaux in the Aquitaine region, where two recently retired ballet dancers, international star Robert Tewsley and Thomas Gallus, have lovingly transformed their 19th-century manor house, with meticulous attention to every detail, into a luxury B&B which has all the comforts of a five-star hotel combined with the warm and friendly welcome of a guest house.
It's a perfect base if you are going to see the Ballet de l'Opera de Bordeaux in its magnificent opera house, the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. Bordeaux was Number 2 on the New York Times list of the top 52 places to visit in 2016, thanks in large part to its restored classical historic centre, which is the largest Unesco World Heritage site in the world. From Château Mathias, charming Dordogne villages like Eymet and Issegeac (where you can visit the market and learn the artisanal skill of weaving baskets), and the vast vineyards of the Bordeaux region, including the charming medieval town of St-Emilion, are just a short drive away.
We've all heard of the attractions of "A Year in Provence", but I think "A Few Days in Aquitaine" is an even better, more authentic French experience!
You can find out more about Château Mathias on its website, www.chateaumathias.com
and its blog.
There are more fabulous pictures on this website.
If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.
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