If you've seen "Joe Millionaire" on Fox-TV, you may have become infatuated with Chateau de la Bourdaisière, the exquisite Renaissance castle in the French countryside.
There he chose Lambertville, New Jersey native Zora Andrich above a bevy of contestants after romancing her on horseback, in the chateau's hot tub, in Paris, and on the island of Corsica.
Located less than an hour's train ride from Paris in Montlouis-sur-Loire, the private Loire Valley chateau features a turret out of a fairy tale, a romantic stone staircase, and its own vineyard.
You can stay in the chateau and even get married here (although not to Joe Millionaire).
Chateau de la Bourdaisière has seventeen luxuriously furnished rooms decorated with different colors and fabrics in the main building and additional rooms in its south pavilion.
Each suite has its own bathroom and telephone; TV is supplied upon request. The Henry IV suite, for example, has a four-poster bed, fireplace, large bathroom, and overlooks the castle's 135-acre wooded park. The romantic Agnes Sorel room has a private balcony. Quarters are not air-conditioned.
The best part is, you need not be millionaires to spend the night here. As of January 2003, the nightly room rates ranged from 115.00 to 239.00 EUR, depending on which guest room you chose. The actual rate is provided upon reservation confirmation.
In addition to wandering the surrounding park with its French and Italian Renaissance gardens, couples can go horseback riding, play tennis, visit the vineyard, and swim in an outdoor heated pool after enjoying the breakfast provided in the price. Golf, fishing, canoeing, and biking activities are nearby. Couples also can arrange to have their wedding ceremony here.
The city of Tours is 15 minutes from this romantic retreat, and vacationers who stay at Chateau de la Bourdaisière may also want to visit other Loire Valley chateaux, explore the nearby troglodyte caves of Ranton, and participate in wine-tastings at Touraine vineyards.
HISTORY OF THE CHATEAU
Built on the foundation of a fourteenth-century fortress, the chateau was constructed by Francois I in the seventeenth century for his mistress. A century later it was the birthplace of another royal mistress, who became a favorite of Henry IV. The present owners are two genuine princes from Normandy who bought and refurbished this magnificent castle, then opened it as a private chateau. Both live on the premises, and greet and assist guests.
Image appears courtesy of France Wedding Association