A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS

Hello! Today I’m really excited to tell you about a very unique and special travel opportunity that comes to you by invitation only. It’s a private invitation from a French Countess by the name of Marnie de Vanssay asking us to join her for 7 days as the exclusive guests of the French Aristocracy of the Loire Valley, the magnificent Chateaux region just outside of Paris.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Over the course of 7 days in May an intimate group of exclusive guests will meet the owners of stately French homes, famous chateaux and romantic gardens, and see parts of their houses, wine cellars and art collections normally inaccessible to the public. Because of a special connection I have to the Countess, I am able to pass this invitation along to you. Since this is a very small group trip you must act fast because the opportunity will not last more than a few days before it is sold out. Here’s the fantastic itinerary entitled, Jardins à la Française, Gardens of France.

DAY 1 Friday, May 25, 2018

Arrival via own transfer to Château de Bourron, an elegant, family-owned castle hotel.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Bourron, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Occupying a grand, 17th-century chateau at the edge of Bourron-Marlotte village, this high-end hotel lies on a 42-hectare estate.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Bourron, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It boasts 9 refined, country-style rooms decorated with period features such as oak wood floors and fireplaces. All have en suite bathrooms.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Bourron, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Enjoy a VIP welcome by Count and Comtesse de Cordon with afternoon tea, a tour of the Château and discussion of its history. Later in the evening enjoy dinner in the gourmet restaurant “Les Premices” in the Orangerie of the Château.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Bourron, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Bourron, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Day 2 Saturday, May 26th

Spend the morning at Château de Fontainebleau with art historian Wafaa Lenkey.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Fontainebleau, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A fabulous French Renaissance Chateau chalk full of paintings, statues and furniture collected throughout the centuries by the rulers that called this château home. It has amazing gardens, courtyards and one of France’s favorite forests. Its Grand Parterre, the largest formal garden in Europe, is the most impressive garden of the chateau.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Fontainebleau, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Château de Fontainebleau is the only royal residence that has housed rulers for over 8 centuries and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  In 1814 Napoleon bid farewell to the Republican Guard here before being deported to the island of Elba.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Fontainebleau, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next you will visit Chateau de Courances with owner, Valentine de Ganay.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chateau de Courances, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chateau de Courances, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Built in approximately 1630, Courances has been acclaimed as the epitome of the French Formal Garden combined with a Chateaux.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chateau de Courances, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The story goes that the name Courances stems from the “running waters” present in the park.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chateau de Courances, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There are no less than 14 natural springs in the park, a river (the Ecole) and 17 ornamental pools. The earliest pools date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chateau de Courances, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Following the visit to Chateau de Courances you will enjoy a gourmet lunch at Caveau des Lys in Fontainebleau.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Caveau des Lys in Fontainebleau, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

After lunch you will drive to Vaux le Vicomte for a VIP late afternoon private tour of this famous Chateau with the owner, Count Alexandre de Vogue.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Count Alexandre de Vogue | Vaux le Vicomte, Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

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His beautiful Chateaux was a model for Versailles as well as the set of the James Bond film Moonraker.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Vaux le Vicomte, Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The tour will be followed by a candlelit dinner at the Chateau. Following dinner return for night to Chateau de Bourron.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Vaux le Vicomte, Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Day 3 Sunday, May 27th

On to the Loire Valley, cradle of the Kings of France, where you will enjoy a chic lunch at Château de Beauregard hosted by owner Comtesse du Pavillon in the room of the 427 portraits of the main kings and queens of Europe.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Beauregard | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Beauregard, Room of the 427 Portraits | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next, visit the most magnificently furnished Chateau of the Loire: Château de Cheverny, including its beautiful gardens.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Cheverny | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This private visit will be guided by the owner, Marquis de Vibraye, with coffee in the private drawing rooms with his wife, the Marquise.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Cheverny| Marquis de Vibraye |Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Vibraye family has owned Cheverny for over 700 years!

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Cheverny | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next stop, Château de la Barre which will be your new home away from home.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de la Barre |Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Receive a VIP welcome by Count & Countess de Vanssay, 20th generation of the Vanssay family at their chateau.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de la Barre | Count & Countess de Vanssay |Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Partake in champagne cocktails and the Grand Siècle Dinner, hosted by the owners in their 18th century grand dining hall, with prestigious wines from the Count’s private cellar.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de la Barre |Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Following dinner retire for the night at Chateau de Berre.

Day 4 Monday, May 28th

Today you will enjoy an elegant picnic lunch at Château du Lude, hosted by Countess de Nicolay. This visit will include a visit to the chateau’s rose and labyrinth gardens.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château du Lude | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next we will discover the famous Villandry Gardens with the owner, Henri Carvallo, great grandson of American heiress Ann Coleman who purchased Villandry in 1905.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Villandry Gardens | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Villandry Gardens | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Villandry Gardens | Henri Carvallo | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

But you day will not be complete without a visit to the Château de Chenonceau (my favorite one of all!). You will be guided by Botanical Director, Nick Tonlay. I am so excited about this visit to what is known as the ladies château. It is the most visited and photographed château’s of the Loire Valley, and for good reason.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

That evening enjoy a private visit and elegant dinner at the Gardens of Sasnières, created by former President, Giscard d’Estaing’s sister-in-law, Rosamée Henrion.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Gardens of Sasnières | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Gardens of Sasnières | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Gardens of Sasnières | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Return to Château de la Barre for the night.

Day 5 Tuesday, May 29th

Visit the medieval Plantagenêt City of Le Mans on a guided shopping tour with Countess de Vanssay.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Plantagenêt City of Le Mans | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

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A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Plantagenêt City of Le Mans | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

See the famous Malicorne Porcelain, visit a stained glass window manufacturer and stop into the home of atelier Hervé, manufacturer of the famous hand-crafted Hermès Birkin Purses.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Plantagenêt City of Le Mans | Hermès Birkin Purses | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A private visit and lunch at 18th century Château Chêne de Coeur will be hosted by the owners, Comte & Comtesse Ogier d’ivry.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Plantagenêt City of Le Mans | Château Chêne de Coeur | Loire Valley, France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Drive on to Versailles with stops at Chartres Cathedral…

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chartres Cathedral | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and the 12th century medieval medicinal herb gardens of Bois Richeux…

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Bois Richeux | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

then past the magnificent Château de Maintenon, residence of Louis XIV second wife.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Château de Maintenon | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Evening check in at 4 star hotel, Le Versailles…

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Hotel Le Versailles | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

located at the foot of the Palace of Versailles and Gardens and just 30 minutes from Paris.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Palace of Versailles | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Dining on your own at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Versailles such as Gordon Ramsay’s 2 Michelin Star Restaurant. His restaurant is located in the beautiful Trianon Palace Hotel, a place I have stayed and loved.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Gordon Ramsay's 2 Michelin Star Restaurant | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Day 6 Wednesday, May 30th

Morning visit to gardens & castle of Chateau St. Jean de Beauregard with owner Viscountess de Curel followed by light lunch onsite.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Chateau St. Jean de Beauregard | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Afternoon private VIP visit to Queen Marie Antoinette’s Apartments and private theatre at the Trianon Palace, not normally open to the public.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Queen Marie Antoinette's Apartments | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Diner at the very exclusive Jockey Club in Paris, normally open only to members of the French Aristocracy.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | The Private Jockey Club | Paris | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Spend a second night at Hotel Le Versailles.

Day 7 Thursday, May 31st

Depart for Monet’s gardens at Giverny, arriving before the tourists for a private visit of his home and gardens.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Giverny | Claude Monet's Home & Gardens | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Giverny | Claude Monet's Home & Gardens | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Giverny | Claude Monet's Home & Gardens | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Check into the magnificent Relais & Château Auberge Jeu de Paume, a 5 star hotel next to the Royal Palace of Chantilly.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Auberge Jeu de Paume | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Auberge Jeu de Paume | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Lunch at La Capitainerie, where famous chef Vattel invented the whipped cream now called “Chantilly Cream”.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next you will enjoy a guided tour of the Domaine de Chantilly where the palace art collection is second only to the Louvre, and the Apartments of the Duc d’Aumale are unchanged since 1870. You’ll have a guided visit through the 300 acres of grounds of the Domaine de Chantilly, which is a magnificent summary of garden fashion over the centuries: the 17th century style garden of Le Nôtre, the Anglo-Chinese gardens of the 18th century and the English garden of the 19th century. Scenes from the James Bond film, “A View to a Kill” were filmed here. Tour the apartments of the Duc d’Aumale, unchanged since 1870.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Domaine de Chantilly | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Farewell dinner at 2 star Michelin Restaurant, Table du Connetable.

A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS | Table du Connetable | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Spend a second night at Auberge du Jeu de Paume.

This is a bespoke travel experience, during which discerning travelers will enjoy the unique aspects of French and European culture. It will offer travelers the rare opportunity to meet and spend time with the often colourful owners of grand historic houses and chateaux. It also provides private access to museums, homes and events in a totally exclusive manner. All this while also enjoying the highest level of personalized service in addition to unique and creative insider tips .

By Invitation Only! For all the information you need to book this unforgettable journey please contact my dear friend Lori Seeley. You must tell her I sent you. Do it quickly as this private, invitation-only tour will sell out in days!

Lori Seeley
Group Travel Specialist
Innovative Travel Concepts
A division of Largay Travel
Phone: 941-312-2584
lori@innovativetravelconcepts.com

So there you have it: A PRIVATE INVITATION FROM A FRENCH COUNTESS

Thanks so much for dropping in! 

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. This post contains affiliate links which help to make this blog possible.

Comments

  • What a fabulous trip! Maybe I need to start a July book tour in France! It looks amazing and so wish I could be a part of what is sure to be an amazing adventure! Happy Monday, Celia!

  • Yes, come on the trip and we will all read your latest novel! In fact, I get my best reading done while traveling, it helps pass the time on long flights. It is indeed a fantastic itinerary unlike anything ever! Enjoy your Monday too Kristy.

  • Juliet Russell

    Oh my goodness, this looks like an amazing experience. I haven’t been to the Loire Valley in 20 years. It’s time to return! I’ve written to Lori to inquire about details. My husband would not be able to join me at that time, I’m going to inquire of girlfriends, but wonder if going alone would make me the odd woman out. So to speak! Oh my, just breathtaking, I’ve visited a few of these properties as a general tourist – how special to have a behind the scenes peek!

  • Yes, Juliet, this is a really unique and special way to see the best part of France. I am sure you would enjoy the trip even if you had to go alone because there will only be about 18 guests, an intimate group that would be together the whole time. Travel is such an amazing way to meet new friends. I have made lifelong friends this way. Plus, it looks like 2 of my girlfriends may go without spouses too, so I could put you in touch with them. Thanks for your interest!!

  • Juliet Russell

    How wonderful! We are in the process of moving to our new home in the PNW and adopting a new puppy, so it’s a crazy time but it looks like such a wonderful opportunity. I’ve sent the information to a few girlfriends who I might entice to join me if I can work out timing. Stay tuned!

  • Congrats on the completion of your new home. I can just picture it there in that beautiful area. Hope you find a friend to join you on the trip. If not I just heard that there are other women going who have already booked. Be quick because it’s selling fast!

  • What a wonderful opportunity! The itinerary looks fabulous! Mr B owes me a trip back to France (long story)..and this would definitely do! I’ve already inquired about details. I hope I can make the dates work!

  • This sounds wonderful! Unfortunately I am tied down with elder care for the time being. One day!

  • Yes one day for sure! I know the care of your parents has put your travels on hold for awhile. Fortunately my father is in good health at 90 (in March) and we are actually going to take him on a cruise to celebrate his birthday. I feel very lucky that he continues to be able to care for himself (knock on wood).

  • Oh, yes Vanessa, I sure hope you can make it too!! Time to have Mr. B make good on his debt;)

  • The Enchanted Home

    Oh my word..what a dream trip!!! It has me fantasizing! We are going go be away for part of July otherwise this would so be a trip I owuld love to take!! I also love that its a smaller more intimate group, to me makes it so much more enjoyable. What a trip of a lifetime getting to live the life of a Parisian aristocrat!! My aunt has a home in the Loire Valley and all I can say is that its as close to heaven as I have seen, just dreamy!! So look forward to hearing all about this incredible trip.

  • Yes, this is a trip of only 16 lucky travelers so it will be very intimate. Lucky, lucky you having an aunt with a home in the Loire Valley! If I were you she’d be my favorite aunt for sure. I’d want to visit her all the time!! Have a great Sunday!