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Château de Flée
It has been said that France is a country that never changes and yet, each time you return, it never seems quite the same! Château de Flée is one such place – it has looked much the same for the last 300 odd years but in fact it is always evolving.
So, for a real French experience, head to the château, just five minute’s drive from exit 23 Bierre lès Semurs on the A6 autoroute. This listed French monument has been painstakingly restored by Marc and Danièle Bach who will offer you a warm welcome at their 18thC home. And, in keeping with the traditions of the French cavaliers of old, Marc will take his sword and open the champagne in style.
You won’t get bombarded with too much French history here, although of course there is a lot to tell. Marc is an action man with interests ranging from aviation and classic cars to château renovation big time. The ex-French air force flyer has turned to helicopters and he has cars ranging from an E-type Jaguar to a Willy’s jeep. His passion is restoring châteaux and, as if he hasn’t got enough on his hands, he also helps out other owners in the area. Some years ago he did have a second pile in Switzerland which burnt down. Daunted no, Marc says, ‘like Phoenix rising out of the ashes, you have to get on …’
So, for nearly 30 years, Marc and Danièle have been putting Château de Flée back together again. Built in 1760 and home to the Chancellor to Louis XV, the building fell into disrepair in the revolution and was occupied by the Germans in the war. One whole wing fell to bits and was sold off for the stone. There were bushes growing on the roof and a life-time’s work ahead.
The Bachs offer two suites at the château for guests: the Marquis de Boulois, and Marquis de Sainte Maure. The furnishing is eclectric: each suite has a double bedded room with living room off it, and they have large airy bathrooms kitted out with good plumbing and all mod cons. There is a TV, minibar and safe in each suite, and breakfast is served in the salon or on the terrace on a fine day. Nearby at Lac de Pont there are two restaurants, and should you arrive without a car (see below) Marc will take you and pick you up from the restaurant there.
At the château you can swim in the pretty circular pool and walk in the extensive grounds or through the countryside to the Lac de Pont. This is also an excellent setting off point for touring some Burgundy’s best: the medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois is 8 km away, the Abbaye de Fontenay, Alésia, Château de Bussy-Rabutin and Flavigny-sur-Ozerain are within easy reach for day trips.
Montbard TGV station is 20 minutes drive away and Marc will meet you if you don’t have a rental car. Visitors often arrive by helicopter, landing on the back lawn, and don’t be surprised to find classic car owners there too!
A suite at Château de Flée, including breakfast for two costs 230 euros per night. Two nights or more, 210 euros per night. The château is open from April 1 to October 31 each year. Dinner, brunch and cocktails by arrangement and car hire on request.
00 33 (0)673 200 406 firstname.lastname@example.org