DISCLAIMER: This is yet to be edited.
I do not even know where to begin. This was a night that I had been looking forward to for months. I had decided that there should be a night which was a splurge for me. Chateau du Forges did not disappoint!
The chateau was built originally as a farmhouse in the 1100’s. It was added to over time and the owner, if I remember correctly, worked for the king being in control of the royal wines. When times were particularly unstable (Hundred Years War), an additional portion was added to house a garrison of soldiers.
Raven and I were met, upon our arrival, by Alix and her friendly dog. She helped us bring our belongings into one portion of the castle, through a long room designed to be a kitchen and eating area and then up a spiral staircase. Once we were on the second level, Raven and I had our choice of bedrooms as well as the living room. Alix let us get unpacked invited us to take some refreshments with her outside on the terrace.
To see the video of our rooms, CLICK HERE. (Mom, I am talking to you. Click on the blue words!)
Room choice that lost…
Once outside and drinking some orange juice, Alix explained the house had been in the family, through her husband, since it was built 900 years ago. The original portion was used to house guests (not much has changed), the family lived in the second portion, and the third portion contained a huge kitchen on the bottom floor and the garrison slept on the second floor. At any given time, the kitchen would need to feed approximately 80 people.
To see a short video of the interior of the big kitchen, CLICK HERE. (Yes, you too Mom!)
The bottom floor of the garrison building.
The second floor where the soldiers slept. It was also used as a hall when important people came.
Raven decided to go for a run about the countryside for a while and I relaxed in our rooms. I could not believe (and still cannot) that I was sleeping inside a castle!
Raven and I left for LeBlanc to eat dinner but we did not tarry; I wanted to spend as much time in the castle as possible!
Here is a photo of the castle upon our return.
When we entered our rooms, I found that Alix left us a thermos of hot water so I could make myself some tea.
Raven, tired from the day, went to bed fairly early and I moved from chair to chair to enjoy the different vantage points of the room. I worked on my blog, read from a novel and generally tried to imagine 900 years of people living in this castle; I did not want to miss the experience by sleeping!
Raven, before bed.
Around 1:30 in the morning, I conceded defeat and joined Raven. I still could not sleep. I was sleeping in a castle!
A few hours later, I woke up and sat on the stone bench that countless people had sat on for 700 years and watched the sun light the sky. You can see the garrison building on the left and the private family home on the right.
After a relaxing bath, I got dressed and walked out into the family room to find our breakfast feast awaiting us. Raven and I sat down and enjoyed the start to our day.
As we were getting ready to leave, Raven and I met Alix’s husband who was as friendly as his wife. He gave Raven and I a tour of the chapel and send us down the stairs into the cellar to gape at a gorgeous spa. Then he took us to the soldier’s garrison but proceeded to take us into the back rooms where he let me handle two weapons that have remained with the home. I will fail in the exact description of these two rusted weapons, but one was a type of throwing spear and the other looked like long thin creatively shaped ax on a long pole. To know those very weapons were likely used in the Hundred Years war… wow.
I was lucky that Alix let me pick up a fallen pebble from one of the walls and let me keep it as a souvenir. I explained that I wanted “just one more” because I had a student who loved French history and I wanted it for him. Alix gave me a piece of the roof, a small chunk that fits in the palm of my hand. I can’t want to hive it to S.O. He will be thrilled!
If I am ever back in France, I will spend a night here once again. I cannot say enough about the family, their hospitality, and the castle itself.
I miss the chateau already.