Chateau de Codignat, Bort-l’Etang

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Welcome to my castle!

Hotel

Château de Codignat is a beautiful 15th century castle surrounded by 15 hectares of  wooded park overlooking the village of Bort l’Etang. At the north end of the Auvergne, near Clermont- Ferrand, this is a part of France that is a little off the beaten track for many tourists, but  none the less very beautiful. It’s not quite in the Rhone wine region as it’s between Rhone and Bordeaux, but we’ve classified it as this for the blog, based on the abundance on their wines on the menu at the château.

The rooms with their stone walls and antique furnishings, such as four poster beds and chandeliers, felt like you were stepping back in time.  Our room was approached by climbing through a door off of a stone spiral staircase. A hallway led past the bathroom on the left with a huge tub and then into our bedroom on the second floor. The bed was super-comfortable and we had plenty of room with a few tables and chairs to relax on.

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Photo op only – I’m sleeping on the floor!

We made the mistake first of all of booking a two-bedroom  cottage in the grounds as there were three of us plus Barnaby, but then we discovered that there was no second bathroom upstairs. We then asked to move into the main château, and I am so glad that we did! The cottage, although nice, can in no way be compared to staying in the main castle.

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The Restaurant – dog-friendly and 1 Michelin star

The main restaurant is in a beautiful  circular stone room, where a huge fireplace dominates the room. There were six tables in here and then further tables outside (where we ate breakfast in the morning). The restaurant has one Michelin Star, but although the food was excellent, I wasn’t sure it was quite to that standard, maybe marred by the fact that we didn’t actually eat for an hour after we sat down and I was starving! We had mackerel to start, followed by chard with an Asian influence. The cheese board was magnificent and definitely worth saving space for. We hadn’t asked if the restaurant was dog-friendly as Barnaby was very happy to be left (he’s so well practised now that he  didn’t even bother getting up when we said that we were leaving him in the room!). However, when a couple left the restaurant and we discovered that their dog had been under the table for the whole meal, I felt a bit bad and went and collected Barnaby so that he could join us for dessert!

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Dinner is through here!

Nearby walks

Just on the right before you get to Château de Codignat is a large house, and to the side of that is a path that leads you into the woods. There is one main straight path that seems to go on forever, that I followed for the first evening. However, in the morning I went back with Anthony and we took one of the little paths off into the woods and explored the woods a bit more. Barnaby absolutely loved running around and spaniel sniffing! n.b. There are no bins anywhere outside the château for poo bags!

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Let me go!

Nice touches

  • Coffee machine

For more information visit their website: https://www.relaischateaux.com/gb/france/codignat-puy-de-dome-bort-l-etang

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La Cardinale, Le Pouzin 🐾🐾🐾🐾

The Hotel

La Cardinale is a very charming, small and peaceful hotel with a rustic homely feel.   Despite being only ten minutes from the A7, the Autoroute du Soleil, it was totally quiet and tranquil. The hotel rooms are separate from the main restaurant building and each has a little garden with table, chairs and sun beds, with trees offering privacy between the gardens. The rooms themselves are large with big bathrooms with a large tub, walk-in shower, and separate loo and bidet. Barnaby was banished to the bathroom to sleep (no door but we closed the curtain!) as he jumped on the bed in the night!

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What a grand tub!
The restaurant – Dogs welcome

We arrived very late as there had been delays with Eurotunnel. However, we managed to arrive on the dot of 9pm, just as the kitchen was taking last orders! As we were so late and didn’t want to inconvenience them further, we just ordered the set menu which was moules in garlic and dourade (bream) with vegetables. It doesn’t sound very exciting but it was all delicious. Probably the best moules I have ever eaten and we both said that we would have been happy with just the vegetables which were divine…sweet potato puree, roast potatoes with rosemary and a touch of truffle. It was all very relaxed as we were dining outside and, before our first course arrived, we took Barnaby for a quick walk in the garden and gave him his supper. The next table to us had two dogs; Australian shepherds, dad and daughter!

Breakfast is also worth a mention for its delicious home-made pastries served in colourful stripy cases, fresh fruit and smoothies.

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This way to the restaurant
Nearby walks

The hotel has enclosed grounds which are fine for a short walk. It was also very easy to send Barnaby out for his first and last toilet break on the patch of lawn in our little garden!

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Home sweet home

For more information visit their website: http://www.hotel-restaurant-privas.com/fr

Château de Bagnols, Bagnols 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

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Is it really only us here?

The Hotel

This château really has the wow factor! Built over 800 years ago it feels like you are stepping back in time. It was shortly before Christmas when we visited and it was fabulously quiet; it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We made ourselves comfortable in the most enormous stone-walled bedroom and admired the huge bathroom in the turret with our very own throne!

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In France they have thrones!

The Restaurant – 1 Michelin Star

Dogs are not allowed in the aptly-named Restaurant 1217, which boats the largest fireplace in Europe (it’s very impressive).  However, there is the Café du Château in the enclosed courtyard, just outside the restaurant, where you can eat with your pup. Barnaby was able to join us for a drink upstairs in the beautiful sitting room with its brick floor and grand fireplace, before we popped him back in our room whilst we went for dinner.

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But no dogs allowed!

Nearby walks

We took Barnaby for a short off-lead walk around the grounds last thing at night and first thing in the morning. It was perfectly adequate for a young pup but you’d need to venture further afield for a longer walk.

For more information visit their website: http://www.chateaudebagnols.com/en