July 1, 2010

Le Château de Tennessus - July 1

We celebrated Canada Day in style by staying at Le Château de Tennessus for the night.

The Château is a remarkably authentic 14th-century castle complete with moat, working drawbridge, arrow-slits and battlements.

Entrance seen from inside the courtyard.

Karl examines the weight to lift the drawbridge which broke just the week before.

The reception area is also where breakfast is served at the huge refectory table in the magnificent setting of the stone-vaulted entrance hall.

There are 26 steps leading to the Knights' Room, where we stayed for the night.  The narrow and winding steps are rather challenging when carrying luggage, but the rooms above us are even more challenging, with 52 and 80 steps from the main... 

At the casement window of our bedroom.

It had a curtained double bed.

Originally the Great Hall of the Château, this splendid Knights' Room has a heavily-beamed ceiling, a vast granite fireplace and window seats.

It has been furnished in authentic medieval style with trestle tables and benches, torches, shields, wall-paintings and hangings.

Drinking the champagne left on the table to welcome us.

Not sure if the hostess left these red and white roses on the table because she knew they were the colours of our flag, but how appropriate for Canada Day!  I don't suppose we'll lose the house key.

The moat is filled with fish and we watched them jump and splash.  Now that's entertainment!

The little black pig was most friendly.

Looks like I've graduated from my troglodyte home to a shack above ground.

There is a huge medieval garden planted in boxes above ground.  There you can also find an artisan metal bird and unicorn.  Extremely well made!

Karl at the watering hole again...

A dark-haired beauty befriends Karl.

The Château calmly bids good-night to the voyageurs it protects within.


Tired of reading about fine food and the wonderful restaurants we discovered along the way?  We are thinking of becoming food critics and writing reviews for restaurants, so this is our practice run!  (Just kidding.)

Drove to Parthenay for a special Canada Day dinner at Le Fin Gourmet.

Settings were red and white - how appropriate!

For the mise en bouche, we dipped our bread in a cream sauce with garlic and chives.

Shrimp mousse with whole shrimp on top, sitting on a lobster bisque type of sauce.

Lobster and white fish set in a jellied mousse with asparagus spears.  Topped with BEET sprouts!

Stuffed white fish served jelly-roll style with chanterelle mushrooms and Manchu peas.  Potatoes and root veggies mashed together.

Light white fish served in beurre-blanc sauce with rice and mushrooms and peas.

Chocolat fondant (volcano cake).

Orange mousse wrapped inside a crêpe purse, surrounded with strawberries and peaches, sitting in a Grand Marnier sauce.

Coffee served with meringues dipped in chocolate, macaroons, and honey tuiles.


A little treat for us.  The next morning, as we paid our bill, we were invited to enter the private kitchen of the Château.  Raymonde, who was looking after things while the owners were away on holidays, was trying to cope with cats and dogs who weren't where they should be!  We had the privileged opportunity to peak into the private domain...

Their dining room.  Please note the benches have a "back" that can be adjusted so that you can face the table to eat, or face the fireplace.  We saw these benches in one of the castles and they called it "caquetière".

This is their stove.  I kept thinking of our new friend Aaron from Circle of Missé and how he would appreciate this "cuisinière" when he teaches his gourmet cooking.

The hutch with very beautiful dishes.

The working kitchen.  Note all the jams stacked in the alcove. 

Absolutely loved this kitchen!

No comments:

Post a Comment