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Truly different: masses of space, character and low-key style
Their House Parties are a breath of fresh air: akin to staying away with friends without the bore of domestics
Perfect venue for special celebrations and weddings
Great for kids (huge playroom, games room, lawns to race around, childcare)Read moreLess
"We went to Chateau Rigaud for the October half term…"
We went to Chateau Rigaud for the October half term house party. We had read the reviews, so were expecting something special, and Chateau Rigaud didn't disappoint.
We were greeted by Anna who showed us round the beautiful chateau. We were staying in the tower room, which was perfect, very large with a lovely bathroom and amazing shower/wet room housed in the tower. We were instantly made to feel at home and joined the other guests in the garden. The whole atmosphere in the chataeu was great and very relaxing.
Each evening about 5pm the children ate together in the kitchen, all the meals went down very well with all the children, after the children have eaten the older ones are able to chill out in the cinema room or play room while the younger one's settle down for the night.
The adults then meet in the well-stocked bar for pre-dinner drinks and when all the guests are ready move to the dining room for an amazing dinner, including plenty of wine.
In the mornings childcare is arranged from 9am to 1pm, leaving the parents to go for a walk, visit one of the local towns or have a lie-in. Our two daughters are 10 and 7, and being older than most of the children, helped to organise the halloween party planned for the Thursday evening. During the morning childcare session the children eat lunch together.
In the afternoons the children are free to play in the chateau, watch a film in the cinema or play outside. The adults enjoy a 2-course lunch with plenty of wine in the garden. We had planned to go out in the afternoons, but our daughters were having so much fun that they were reluctant to leave the chateau and my husband and I were happy yto read a book or chill out in the garden.
For the children, the highlight of the holiday was the fantastic halloween party with a special tea, parade, apple bobbing and games.
We would highly recommend a Chateau Rigaud house party for a very relaxing, enjoyable holiday with children, we didn't want to leave.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Having been to Chateau Rigaud a few times now I…"
Having been to Chateau Rigaud a few times now I have to say that I am really surprised that anybody could contribute anything less than a 5* review for this fantastic and welcoming chateau and spa.
Perhaps, as it is run by a family who do host weddings during the summer when they are not doing family house parties or house rentals, they were in the middle of a wedding or something but as Anna is a working mother who single-handedly manages bookings, events, weddings and her two young children I would cut her some slack here. I also think it is a bit sad to post a negative review on here when you have not even visited the place.
This is the most fantastic place we have ever been on holiday with the children and in fact, since we discovered it we have not been anywhere else. It is truly wonderful.Read moreLess
3 people found this review helpful.
"You read reviews. You think, maybe, just maybe this is…"
You read reviews. You think, maybe, just maybe this is for me. A luxurious holiday in a lovely setting and they don't mind kids either.
Which may be true if you could ever persuade the owners of Chateau Rigaud to correspond with you or speak on the phone.
Having made initial contact it became brutally apparent that the owners have no interest in families. Only in the more profitable weddings.
Which is perhaps understandable if you have bills to pay. BUT in which case stop marketing to families.
Oh, and, Chateau Rigaud, don't just stop e-mailing or returning calls. Have the common decency to say, no matter how politely, 'sorry, we aren't interested in your custom, thanks.' That I will accept. I might be disappointed but it seems fair if you actually want a different clientele.
But remember also that treating a person or people like that might mean you lose the chance for more lucrative opportunities.
We have now been elsewhere and had a fabulous time. I returned with a far more lucrative corporate event, and will be doing so again very shortly.Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"I'm not going to repeat stuff but what everybody else…"
I'm not going to repeat stuff but what everybody else is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. If you have kids under the age of 10, like great wine, great food, escaping from your children and generally having a ball living in rural France with everything you need to hand, I can't imagine anywhere better. They even don't mind when someone throws up - the best hotels I know wouldn't have been too pleased to have had their dining room sealed off for half an hour and their washing machine filled with yucky clothes but somehow my husband got sympathy rather than abuse when it happened to him!
My view is that it really works as long you get with the "house party" programme - ie be prepared to eat and drink too much, let your children enjoy the childcare and the cinema without fussing about what they're doing and get them into bed in time to let the adults enjoy the untold pleasure of an unhurried dinner without having to think about a babysitter.
It's a short flight to a small airport, an easy 40 minute drive there and looks even better in real life than on the website.
I actually really hate doing this review as I just know it's going to get too busy and I won't be able to book in ever again. But go, you really won't regret it.Read moreLess
4 people found this review helpful.
"Gah! Why have you told everyone! Yes, its lovely. We…"
Gah! Why have you told everyone! Yes, its lovely. We went last year and are booked to return this year. The only reason I have marked the accommodation as an 8 is because it can be a bit noisy, all those wooden floorboards do not act as a mufflers, and if you are over the kitchen for example, it can be a pain. The rooms are gorgeous, however, and the place is beautiful overall.
Yes, its not cheap, however for what you get (top quality food, as much good quality booze as you want and half day childcare everyday)then it actually represents reasonable value for money, particularly if you compare to something like Mark Warner.
Its all the nice little touches that really make the difference. We got a questionnaire asking us exactly what our dd liked to eat and play with, and everything was on a 'help yourself' basis. Microwaves/cots/sterlisers/change mats/high chairs are all there, but don't spoil the very cool ambiance of the place.
Its not for you if you want complete solitude and hate talking to other people on holiday...but you could always hire the whole place for yourself in the Summer!Read moreLess
4 people found this review helpful.
"It's rare to go away for four days with 3…"
It's rare to go away for four days with 3 youngish children, have a great family time and still feel as if you've had a weekend away with your partner - but that's what Chateau Rigaud offers. We joined one of their half term house parties in Feb and had a truly glorious time.
The journey is a doddle. One hour 20mins to Bordeaux, then pick up a hire car and it's around an hour on easy roads. The owners, previously N London based, were fans of Babington House and it shows. The chateau is tastefully decorated with a wonderful mix of ancient and modern, ipod chargers in every room and lovely Ren toiletries. There are also lots of communal rooms, so that if you wanted to avoid the other house guests you could easily find a quiet room to mooch in. One lounge has Sky for news, footie or Cbeebies (perfect, when that's all that will do for a tired toddler) plus a nintendo Wii (heaven for my older 2 who are deprived, of course, because we don't have this at home). There are two other non TV lounges if none of the above appeals, plus an in-house cinema with squishy sofas, furry throws and an impressive collection of both grown up and kids' movies.
Outside there are swings, slides, a Wendy house and the wonderful house labrador Hobo who will follow anyone anywhere - perfect therapy for stressed out city dwellers who always fancied themselves as black lab types but who never had the time/space/ energy to live that particular dream. There are also bikes which have all sorts of kiddie attachments, or can be taken out by adults (we had our first bike ride a deux for years) while the children are being cared for by the top English nannies.
Childcare is provided free from 9am-1pm and includes lunch, which sometimes the littlies helped to cook. My 9 year old was in heaven putting together an animated film which was premiered in the cinema on the last night (with posters, tickets and ice cream of course).
My younger two (aged 6 and 2) had great fun in the roomy creche/ nursery with lots of artsy stuff, dressing up, games, outdoor play and a bit of cooking. The owners' children are an added bonus - fitting in brilliantly and helping everyone feel welcome.
Their parents are impeccable hosts - funny, irreverent, very Mumsnet - they are refreshingly honest and open, even when things aren't quite going as planned (the first night the chef went home sick - many fawlty towers jokes later we still managed to have the most delicious evening meal). The food is fresh and tasty without being too poncey and the kitchen door is always open - so you can help yourself if you ever fancy something. Breakfast is buffet style and lasts until the last guest has emerged. Even though it was Feb we managed lunch outside every day, which was again simple, French and yummy. Children's tea is served early and then when the children are taking in a movie, the adults have a communal dinner - which was always a culinary treat. The chateau isn't licensed to sell alcohol so all the wine/ beer / champagne was also included.
We were very lucky in our fellow house party guests - which is important as both lunch and dinner are communal - but the owners seem to have a pretty good idea of the sort of guests they want and you get the impression they'd rather lose money than share their dining table with folks they don't like - after all they have to eat with them too. There are plans to include the chance of babysitting for one night so couples can have a bit of evening couple time if they want it.
Apart from walks and bike rides, adults can explore St Emilion and the surrounding wine areas. The chateau is in a beautiful setting with vineyards as far as the eye can see. There's a lovely open air pool if you're lucky enough to be there in the summer (during the peak months the chateau is rented out as a whole) and spa treatments can be arranged in your room - I had a very welcome massage and facial.
The thing that really makes this work is that there's something for everyone. The owners have done their homework and although it all feels very chilled, there's a lot of thought and hard work gone into trying to create the perfect family mini break. The children are in heaven - space to run around, toys, cake, two movies a night and a dog - what more could a child want? For adults there's in or out of house wine tastings, great food, fab walks/bike rides and just a wonderful sense of time slowing down. If Mumsnet ever did holidays, I'd like to think they'd be something like this.Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"PSSST! BOUTIQUE HOTEL THAT WANTS BABIES AND CHILDREN! I just…"
PSSST! BOUTIQUE HOTEL THAT WANTS BABIES AND CHILDREN!
I just wanted to let you know about a fantastic place that me and my partner have found that is not only absolutely fabulous (think boutique hotel) but they actually ENCOURAGE BABIES and CHILDREN!
There is childcare, a huge gallery full of toys, a cinema room, wine on tap, gourmet food, an adventure playground in the garden, outdoor heated swimming pool, fully equipped bar. Children's meals are cooked by a dedicated chef and they all eat together too, which means nobody cares if your baby throws peas at the walls (as mine did).
Think Babbington House, Cowley Manor etc. but you don't have to worry about your kids getting stains on the white barcelona chairs (as mine did), it's in Bordeaux and nobody sighs when you turn up with a toddler and baby in tow. No really! I can't tell you how wonderful it is.
Chateau Rigaud is in Bordeaux and is run by a charming and hilariously funny British couple called Anna and Aib who left Shoreditch for France with their two children a few years ago and wanted to set up a place where people could holiday in style without feeling self conscious about taking their screaming babies or packing a lorry load of things (everything your little trouble could possibly need is already there).
I am loathed to give the details of this place as I would love to keep it for myself but I searched for somewhere like this for years and feel in some ways I am doing a service to tired yummies everywhere by spreading the love...Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.