Chateau de Craon
B&B * Weddings *
Honeymoons * Special Events & Seminars *
* 1 Hour St-Malo * 2/3 Hours Cherbourg or Le Havre *
Le Chateau de Craon, a magnificent white stone confection, built in 1770 just prior to the French Revolution by the Marquis d'Amaille opened its doors to the public for the first time 3 years ago and now invites you to come and live the life for one night (or more) within the boundaries of its private domain.
The main part of the Chateau containing the former state rooms and most of principal bedrooms has been reserved for the use of guests while the present family, the Comte and Comtesse, Loik and Helene de Guebriant, live a cosy family lifestyle with their six instantly likeable children in one of the wings. A kind of modern day 'Upstairs-Downstairs' arrangement but in reverse.
You will wake each morning in one of its soaring, elegantly furnished bedrooms each with its own en suite antique bathroom cum dressing room. All the bathrooms have retained their original fittings installed in the 19th century and are equipped with marble topped washbasins and clawed foot bathtubs so deep a wooden step is provided to help you get in and out.
The furnishings have been selected as much as possible from the ancestral stock remaining faithful to the original décor and family history. All of the bedrooms are spacious and distinctive but the Baldaquin Suite with its sumptuous canopy bed and Louis XVI salon seating is not surprisingly most often the choice of newly weds.
Loik and Helene clearly enjoy the company of their guests and their good humoured, easy going manner will soon make you feel at home in their home. This is helped not least of all by their fluent English and their willingness to speak it. In the evening you will be invited to join them for pre-dinner drinks in the chateau's beautiful Music Salon lined in red silk and furnished with an Erard grand piano which guests are invited to play.
When there is a chill in the air a fire is lit filling the room with the aroma of the park's aged oak. The Music salon looks out onto Craon's French style garden created in 1930 by the Marquis d'Andigne, step-uncle to the present Comte. When completion of the chateau's grounds was cut short by the Revolution they remained so until the dedication of the Marquis made his contribution to the history of Craon by finishing the formal layout as he believed it was originally conceived. The small town of Craon lying at the end of the vista makes an unforgettable sight at sunrise when seen through the morning mist.
Breakfast is served communal style around a large oval table in the stately dining room encouraging conviviality amongst the guests. The Music room has also been reserved for this purpose where you can relax in the evenings when you return from your evening meal.
Being a listed historical site of
interest, the chateau is open from April to October in the afternoons to
day visitors who wish to come and view the ornamental gardens or walk
through the extensive 40 hectare parkland. Laid out in a romantic
English style in 1830 it was considered the height of fashion at that
time when the idea of symmetry had fallen from favour. Within the park
there are over 5kms of footpaths and riverside walks in which to wander
freely, a wood of ancient oaks and a small 'secret garden' containing a
rare species of palm, Nandina domestica, adapted to northern climates by
its particular resistance to frost.
Help yourself to a little rowing boat moored at the bank or hop onto the pedalo and just take off for a lazy meander downstream. For those who ride, horses can be arranged and for those who don't cycles can be provided to further encourage the exploration of the vast park and grounds. Having ironed out some of the kinks from underused limbs you may now be ready for a game or two of tennis followed by a swim in the chateau's pool…. Whatever takes your fancy. The byword at Le Chateau de Craon is laid back informality.
From the secret garden planted on the site of the old quarry 3 steep staircases have been cut in the rock. Here you may climb up to the Allee des Rouliers or Waggoner's Walk that leads back to either the chateau or the kitchen garden. This highly ornamental walled vegetable garden (Potager) of over 12,000sqm around which Loik delights in conducting tours for his guests is complete with three 19th century greenhouses restored in the 1990's. The first is an unheated 'lean-to' type structure while the second was heated and used for 'propagation' before growing on the seedlings in the vinery or orangery. Today the garden supplies vegetables for the household and the cut flowers that decorate many of the rooms. The original Orangerie essential to any chateau of its time for guarding its orange trees from frost during winter was converted into a house in the 19th century when the green houses were build in the kitchen garden. Today it provides additional accommodation for wedding parties or self-catering accommodation for short breaks.
A number of other old outbuildings tucked away within the grounds make interesting stops along your walking tour. Be sure to visit the Bakery with its huge oven and grinding stone and the Ice House that stored snow and ice from the river in winter to be used during summer as the Chateau's refrigerator. Every great household relied on its Washhouse to deal with its innumerable pieces of dirty linen. Here it was brought by cart to be dealt with by a team of washerwomen over a 4 day period two or three times a year before being rinsed out in the river and laid out to dry on the neighbouring meadow.
The stables built at the same time as the Chateau contain a few bedrooms above the huge haylofts used for the staff. Later in the 19th century a coach house was added to hold the family's numerous carts and carriages some of which are still in use when the Chateau hosts a wedding. A staircase between the 2 coach houses leads to the old Bakery and the Chateau.
Cte Loik and Ctesse Helene de Guebriant and their children
Outdoor Swimming Pool *** Tennis Court *** River Pedalo
1 Hour Le Mans * 50 Min Loire Valley *
Chateau Craon is the memorable spot for that very special
break you have been promising yourself.
South and need an over night stop or a few days break?
The Chateau is open to guests for B&B, by reservation only, from mid March to mid November. Most of the guest rooms are located in the main part of the castle and are en suite. There are 4 double bedrooms including the Baldaquin Suite, 3 single and 2 children's rooms. Two of the double bedrooms can be arranged as family suites with the children's rooms above approached by an integral private staircase. Breakfast is served in the principal dining room and guests are invited to relax in the silk lined Music Salon that opens on the terrace of the formally laid French garden. The Chateau's 40 hectares of parkland are at your disposal - your very own private domain in which to walk, cycle or ride in over 5kms of footpaths, take a leisurely paddle downstream, play a game of tennis, swim in the pool, or float overhead and get a bird's eye view from the basket of a hot air balloon! Come and spend a day or two within the peaceful world of Chateau Craon and return to this one totally refreshed in spirit and mind.
For those staying a few days longer it is only an hour's drive to Angers at the start of the Loire Valley. Visit the famous chateaux of Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Vouvray, Amboise, Chenonceaux and Blois sampling as you go from the numerable roadside kiosks offering 'tastings' of their wines. Make sure there is plenty of space in your boot! Just a short drive away are the towns of Laval with its medieval centre and Chateau-Gontier both with an interesting choice of restaurants for you to discover. The Automobile Museum de la Sarthe/Le Mans with 120 cars from the Le Mans 24hour race on display is also a short circuit away. Three golf courses are within easy reach and in less than two hours you can be at the resort of Le Baule on the southwest coast of Brittany or at its more rugged northern coast around St Malo, Dinard and Mont St-Michel.
Craon is Ideally placed for those needing an overnight stop or a few days break. Spend a minimum of 2 nights on route in our accommodation and you will qualify for our exclusive low cost rates on your ferry crossing.
king size bed (120E)
Bleue twin beds (160E)
room with basin & bidet
Chidren’s bedrooms @ 35E per childSpecial offer available on stays of 3 nights or more. VISA and MasterCard accepted.
(5 Bedrooms– Sleeps 13)
* OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOL * TENNIS COURTs * BOATING *
The extremely spacious old Orangerie normally used during the summer weekends as ‘overspill’ accommodation for wedding guests is now available for weekly rental the first 2 weeks of August. For larger parties the Orangerie gite can be combined with the left wing of the chateau sleeping 9 in 4 further bedrooms. The chateau wing is available on its own all July and August.
Constructed of hand–made brick it remains true to its original design with fan-shaped glazed windows fitted to the full height bays. The gite is furnished in a simple yet sympathetic country style but the rooms are enormous and it is conveniently placed in a secluded position close to the swimming pool and tennis courts. The first floor has been arranged as 5 bedrooms sleeping 13 while the entire ground floor has been divided into two enormous sitting and kitchen/dining rooms. There is 1 bathroom, 4 shower rooms and 4 WCs.
If you have been searching for THE perfect fairytale setting for your wedding day then look no further. This classic 18th century Chateau built in the same white stone as its famous neighbours in the Loire Valley comes complete with its own ornately gilded chapel, is set in over 40 hectares of romantic parkland and is quite simply the stuff dreams are made of.
Imagine the delight of your waiting guests as you descend its grand staircase before stepping into your own horse drawn carriage to be driven to the chapel, your beaming Dad at your side….or if you prefer you could descend by hot air balloon!
At Le Chateau de Craon it's all possible.
Since opening its doors to the public in 2001 the Chateau has become a popular venue for bridal couples on both sides of the Channel looking for somewhere that little bit different to distinguish their wedding. Those who want to create a very special occasion that will live forever in everyone's memory of wonderful weddings past.
The stables on the grounds behind the Chateau have been sympathetically converted into 2 reception rooms each holding up to 150 guests which can be hired together or separately depending on the size of your party. Normally a section of one room is set aside for dancing. Pre-reception drinks can be taken on the lawn of the formal French garden at the rear of the Chateau. Catering can be arranged through local sources in Craon from whom a selection of menus is available.
Accommodation for family members is available in the Chateau itself with additional sleeping in the Orangerie gite. Overflow accommodation can be organised in the town of Craon itself and the nearby countryside. Local taxis are available for those who do not wish to drive to or from the reception.
French law dictates that the bride must reside in France for 1 month prior to the marriage. However, the religious ceremony conducted by either a Catholic priest or Protestant pastor can be performed providing that the civil ceremony has already taken place in England. This marriage ceremony can be held in the Chateau's elegant little private chapel atmospherically lit through its stained glass windows by day or by candlelight in the evening. Larger Catholic weddings can be performed in the town's church only a few minutes walk from the Chateau.
Loik and Helene can provide a liaison service with all local services and suppliers on your behalf and will be pleased to help with arrangements as much or as little as you require at very reasonable cost. If you would prefer to make your own arrangements they will be happy to simply supply details of local contacts. You will be surprised to find that catering costs and this unique venue are much more affordable than anything comparable in England.
Be a guest at Fiona and Alex's Wedding!
PUTTING ON |
|SIGNING THE REGISTER||
|THE FIRST DANCE|
For initial inquiries you may contact Marie in UK on 01304 842994.
Ryan Air - Stanstead to Dinard with 1 hour coach transfer to the Chateau. Ryan Air have special rates for car hire with Hertz. Ferry Crossings via Brittany Ferries or Hoverspeed via Dover - Calais *Discounted ferry rates apply on Dover/Calais crossings.
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