If you're like me, and you love all things French and all things old but time and your purse strings won't always extend to an overseas holiday, my partner and I found the most fantastic alternative the other day.
I had, had a particularly hectic couple of months the week before heading overseas for a buying trip and in some desperate need of down time. My partner hunted around for somewhere not too far away that we could do literally nothing for three days, and much to both or surprise he stumbled across the most beautiful little chateau in none other than just outside the very modest town of Alstonville.
A CHATEAU IN ASTONVILLE!!! I laughed my head off when he told me and and was quite concerned about what I was in for. All I could think of was the tacky, oversized, gimmicky period style accommodation that I had seen around Australia previously.
Well long story short I had to eat humble pie for dinner that night when he showed me their website. Gorgeous! And the reality was even better. I love hearing stories of people who have taken a sharp career turn to do something that they're passionate about. The couple who owned 'Deux Belettes Guesthouse' had both worked in both engineering and interior design. Their passion though was France and antiques, and they decided to make it an everyday reality for themselves, and built Deux Belettes themselves over the course of 20 years.
The time they've taken has really paid off as well. You enter the property via a tree lined driveway, and drive through the most beautifully manicured gardens to the chateau. We were greeted with champagne and strawberries by the fire and they gave us a tour of their home which they have opened to the public as a bed and breakfast and wedding venue. And wow what a place for a wedding!!!!!!!!!!
They have not scrimped on anything, the walls look as if they've been there for 1000 years and the rof is moss lined and gorgeous. We stepped into our section of the house, only to be greeted by a warm fire, a beautifully 'Frenchly' decorated room and a big four poster bed.
It didn't stop there either, we arrived back from dinner only to find home made cakes near the fire and a tour of the garden the following morning. The drawing room had been decorated in a formal French Louis style and the kitchen looked like a big cosy French country Farmhouse.
I don't think I have ever seen a home look so antique and French that's actually not. Really worth a visit and you can check out their website at http://www.deuxbelettes.com/
We couldn't resist taking a few photos for the album!