4 Day trip to Castigno Chateau Hotel for David's Birthday , September 4th 2019

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This gem was located some half hour's drive north of Narbonne - 7+ hours from Moraira
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Our 'junior suite' hardly had a sitting area, but did possess wondrous views over the countryside & pools- so we declined the upgrade to a viewless suite!
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The pools and surrounds were bliss- like overlooking an African landscape! And the village was enchanting with its mauves, reds & purples
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The birthday boy had Chateau Castigno Rose Champagne in the Petite Table restaurant in the square, with a pleasant dinner, albeit on the chilly side, both us & the food!
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One dessert to die for! Breakfast, 300 metres walk from our Maison d'Amis, was sumptuous, but my, we needed those blankets!

. . .

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We felt we were living in a film set. From the square, we walked down to the church, past the inhospitable, cavernous Wine Shop, the only
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place to get their incredibly useless Wifi! Then to the roundabout and left to the Maison d'Amis. Then a good half hour walk to reach their
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ultra modern Winery, coated entirely with cork - of which more later


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The Highlight of the place was their one starred Michelin Restaurant, La Table
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We were booked there for Thursday lunch & Friday dinner, but managed to wheedle a booking for Saturday lunch too- my, it was heaven!
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Although the Boyzz were a bit worried about the interior wall of flattened bear skins!! - but posing with one of the chefs made up for that!
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We left this heaven for a few hours on the Friday and ventured to Chinian and then Capestang, with its impressive Collegiate Church
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Then on to the Oppidum d'Esserune, an ancient hill-town (or oppidum) located between B├ęziers and Narbonne, dating from 6th C BC. The Etang Montady was a fantastic engineering feat; in the 13th C wedge shaped fields were separated by irrigation ditches, converging in the centre


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And finally an unplanned canal trip at Colombiers, through the seventeenth century tunnel:
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a trip down memory lane, washed down with a glass of wine and an interesting chat with the lady captain.
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Then on the Saturday afternoon, we walked back to the Winery and participated in a french speaking tour of it
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Shaped like a bottle- as the aerial photo confirms- money no object in establishing it!

And then the long drive back on the Sunday - a birthday to remember!

Life in 2019