Are you looking for a nice weekend trip in France?
Have a look at Château Saint Paterne, located in Saint Paterne, next to Alençon. Alençon is the capital city of the department Orne, in lower Normandy, actually on the border of the Loire region. You can reach Alençon easily by train from Paris, in less than 2 hours.
The Château Saint Paterne is a lovely typical French château of the 15th century surrounded by a huge garden, a pool and a prestigious inner court. Funnily enough most of the guests seem to be British, we were the only French speaking guests during our stay. The very welcoming owners Charles-Henry and Ségolène love antique fairs so all of the 10 rooms are individually designed with a good mix of precious vintage pieces and quirky objects.The library and salon has the grandeur you’d expect from a château, so even if the weather is bad, you’ll have a good time relaxing in this beautiful scenery.
Every night at 7.30, the owners will offer their guests to have an apéritif in the salon, a moment I particularly appreciated and where the hotel guests mingle quite naturally. After that, if you stay for dinner (which you should at least one night during your stay) you’ll be accompanied to the dining room where you’ll take a seat at one of the candle-lit round tables.
Dinner is great! The cuisine is a classical French cuisine with fresh and seasonal products. Don’t miss to take the cheese after the main course, cheese is Normandy is heavenly. Good wine menu.
I would not say that the meal has been exceptional, it remains very classic, but then again you do not have to go all out there every time. A simple dish can sometimes be very satisfying, especially if enjoyed in a château.
If you do not want to have dinner at the hotel, you should try the restaurant Rive Droite in Alençon. It is managed by the same chef than at Saint Paterne, but presents a more modern and chic cuisine. All of our dishes were delicious and once more we had very good cheeses. The wine menu offers some very nice choices, also “au verre”, which I always appreciate. The setting is beautiful and service is great. All in all, I highly recommend this restaurant, which is also very good value for money.
Back to the château, do not miss the breakfast! As an absolute breakfast lover, this was probably my favorite part. Everything was just scrumptious (well maybe except for the coffee, but that seems to be a common flaw in French hotels). You should actually consider to skip lunch because everything looks so tempting that you want to try it.
So go and treat yourself to a royal trip.
Château de Saint Paterne
72610 Saint Paterne
Tel:+33 (0)2 33 27 54 71
Restaurant Rive Droite
31 Rue du Pont Neuf, 61000 Alençon
Tel:+33 (0)2 33 27 79 73