Meet Madame Beatrice de Monferrier, the owner of the farm-to-table restaurant and estate Chateau L’Etape Gourmand, on a Be My Guest experience that will take you back in time to 17th-century France.
Many of our guests tell us their most memorable vacation experiences are those “pinch me” moments — the instant you find yourself in a place with intriguing people you may never have come to know on your own. As you walk down the country lane toward the famous Chateau L’Etape Gourmade, you’ll hear a melodious voice call out “Bonjour. Bienvenue dans ma maison et ma ferme” (“Hello and welcome to my house and my farm”). You can feel you’re about to experience a real hidden treasure.
Beatrice, as she asks everyone to call her, is the gracious and welcoming owner of a magnificent 17th-century estate in Villandry, France.
“This is a farm and our buildings are very old. From the 17th century. I think it’s a joy for everyone to forget big towns,” Beatrice says. “Together with my daughter Alexandra, we work the land. We have 17 hectares. We have animals; many boarders like our chickens, goats, sheep, and ducks. And, of course, the restaurant. When you visit, I think what is very special is you arrive into a very rural atmosphere of France. You will see our everyday life. I think that is very important because it’s very rare.”
Visiting Chateau L’Etape Gourmade and meeting Beatrice is one of the exclusive Be My Guest experiences on our Best of France trip.
“I make my own cheese. But as you know I am getting younger and younger every year and I can’t make as much cheese. Now I just make my cheese only for Trafalgar guests,” laughs Beatrice.
During your visit to Chateau L’Etape Gourmand, you’ll enjoy a three-course Tourangelle dinner accompanied by local wines. “In France, we always welcome our guests with a glass of wine in hand and say ‘sante’!”
But perhaps the most memorable part of your experience is getting to know Beatrice herself. “I think the experience you will like is that we treat you like friends. We talk together. We explain
what is important for you to understand when you come here,” Beatrice says. “It’s a very friendly atmosphere. I really feel happy because you arrive and you give life to those buildings which I love. This is very important for me.”
“I think our visitors are happy when they come because they talk a lot. And they give me lots of kisses,” she adds, with a smile.