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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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Silent French Treasure

French Hospitality,like any other,comes in two flavors: Personal and commercial.You will experience beaucoup of the personal in your daily interactions with the friendly froggies.But the commerical variety is a matter of personal taste and choice.One you’ll make according to your definition of “luxury.”

Is it five star-antique furnished-sunken jaczucci-bedroom fireplace-three star restaurant-wi-fi-in-every-room?

A cozy five room country inn,decorated by the owner’s wife? With the owner behind the stove churnin’out the best local goodies on a patio with a killer view?

Something in between?

This is my friend Count Devogue’s definition:

“If luxury is to be measured in the thickness of the
carpets or the weight of the silver,then I think there are many places much more luxurious than ours. I think we have a very unique luxury–and that is to visit an historic place that was built by the family that is still living in it.”

OK-so whatever your definition,the Treasure of  French commercial hospitality is not to be missed.

My definition,as you,dear reader have no doubt devined,is closer to “cozy country inn.” Here ,the commercial hospitality is decidedly personal.

And,along with the killer view,comes a very rare Treasure.One that’s impossible to find in a city,and difficult elsewhere. SILENCE.No cars,no trains,boats,planes,heavy machinery,barking dogs,or quarreling neighbours.

And it can’t be jus’ da “DA BG who’s into this silence thang. Because there is an association(not a “chain”) of French hotels,whose idea of luxury is to offer Silence onthe silver platter. They’re called: “Relais du Silence.” (“relais, pro-“row-lay”, basically translates as “country inn”)

One of my personal favs is the Hotel Maronne in the
exquisitely beautiful Cantal region.

Here,in a storybook location with no immediate neighbours(wide open space time)Alain Dekoek,and his wife serve up more silence than ya could ever use,plus great Madagascar influenced grub.(His wife’s homeland.)

Their email: maronne@cfi.15.fr

A few more “Relais du Silence” -(not yet visited by da BG):

1.hotelsmascasa@wanadoo.fr in Collioure,on the Med.,a stone’s throw from the Spanish border.

2.madieres@wanadoo.fr – near Montpellier.(my notes say“major castle with views.”)

3.hotel-le-rivage.jpb@wanadoo.fr Orleans,on the Loire.

Anything else I can help with?


What are ya thinkin’?
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14 Responses to “Silent French Treasure”

  1. harvey pastillo says:

    A nice change from your “deep thoughts” posts. Although i did enjoy those as well.

  2. patricia martinez says:

    really appreciate the contact info here.can’t wait to visit there in person. thanks again for “sharing the dream!”

  3. carly senderman says:

    like one of the other commenters, i liked your deep thoughts posts but this is some relly good meat ‘n potatoes info. very tasty!

  4. barry lockton says:

    First time ever hearing about that region.It’s now on ;y “place not to be missed” list. Many thanks!

  5. laurence courbet says:

    i don’t know how you keep coming up with all this great stuff -i’m just glad you do. don’t stop!

  6. carson kylest says:

    Came here as a result of reading your article in the Huffington Post on the female French chef Sophie Pic.I’ve read through almost all of your previous posts and am happily amazed by the quality of the writing and the subject matter. Glad I found you!

  7. stephen tristen-scott says:

    as far as luxury is concerned – i’m with you!

  8. karen mulroney says:

    glad to know i’m not alone in valuing silence at the top of my “must have” holiday list. can’t wait to start exploring france this way. thanks to you. keep the good info coming!

  9. madison fothright says:

    I’m totally with you on the silence! and also agree with the definition of luxury given by count devogue.

  10. francine legrand says:

    what i really like about your posts is that you manage to find the most incredible place(and have the most incredible adventures!) in places i never see profiled anywhere else.much appreciated.

  11. lawson roddins says:

    just when i think you can’t possibly top your last “french treasure” you do it again! don’t stop!!!

  12. regina phelps says:

    I never knew France had big mountains except for the alps. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. Want to go to the mountains in your photo!

  13. stanford whitelaw says:

    While I agree with Count Devouge’s(and your) definitely of luxury, looking at his “front porch” gives the impression that his “homestead” certainly doesn’t lack grandeur!

  14. winnifred marbelston says:

    the picture you paint with your words and images is in such a stark, but beautiful contrast to the current economic and social problems in france that i see reported on the news. Good to know the “dream” side of france is as real as the reported problems.

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